I hereby extend to all my American friends my very best wishes on this Fourth of July holiday. Sadly, I have not received a single greeting from them. Nor do I expect any, as most of my friends in the former colonies think of me as British. Although I have long held both passports, I sound British – the more so since my return from the United States a dozen years ago – and I suppose I now think of myself as British first and American second. There was a time when the reverse was true – well, almost. Now I’ve gone native again. Dual nationality can be quite confusing at times.
My daughter Sara has (finally) announced her engagement to her long-time boyfriend George. I’m very happy for her. I’m especially happy for him, as I was starting to make arrangements for his assassination. I’m also happy for my wife Martha, who had despaired of it happening. I might add that I’m also happy for myself, as I won’t have to listen to any more “Do-you-think-it-will-ever-happen?” conversations. The plan, I’m told, is to have a big engagement party and a small wedding. ‘Small’ of course is a relative term. The modest list is already growing alarmingly and will no doubt continue to expand until ‘small’ is a distant and fond memory.
The wedding venue is problematical. George is a Christian, or so I understand, and Sara a Jewish-raised atheist. I am also an atheist; my wife is Jewish. None of which has inhibited Martha from contacting the local parish church to ask if they ‘do’ secular weddings. “Don’t be daft, woman,” was my response. Shows what I know. A lady at the church said she would check with the vicar, but mentioned that he often does inter-denominational ceremonies. Why? “He likes everyone to be happy, and if the church can help, all the better”. What a lovely and thoroughly sensible attitude. Martha’s parents must be turning in their graves.
Stay tuned for more pre-nuptial adventures….