Monday, 28 May 2012

Account of a wedding - and nostalgia

Just back from a wedding in Shropshire. Lovely country hotel, beautiful flowers, great weather and all the usual wedding trimmings.

Patrick and Janine with Patrick's family
Janine and Patrick - R's nephew - were very sweet and obviously enjoyed their day. They had organised it all in minute detail, with thoughtful reply cards included in the invitation, a welcome letter as the day approached, and a theme of sunflowers and ladybirds. The wedding was held in a pavilion in the garden of the Elizabethan house, complete with red carpet. The bride wore a pretty embroidered and ruffled organza dress, the bridesmaids wore simple dark blue and the flower theme was huge sunflowers and even bigger blue hydrangeas!
Really lovely and unusual. Each place was set with a little bag of sweets - a cream egg and jelly beans - and a perfectly formed tiny wooden top, handmade on a lathe by the groom, for each guest. Such fun!
our table
There were around 40, maybe less, for the actual wedding – a simple civil ceremony, with just a reading and entrance music. Then Pimms, photos and reception in a marquee – sit down, 3 course meal, all very lovely – and then their friends came for the evening dance. 
Richard SOOO disapproved of the ‘wedding dance’  - not the dance that P and J did, just the concept - but he did actually dance with me for an interminable enjoyable 5 minutes. Amazingly, we managed to keep in step with one another though it must have looked quite funny – especially as he kept trying to remember the salsa steps and do those to pop music! This was an improvement - the last time we danced, he performed a Scottish jig to waltz music...Perhaps we should try to learn ballroom dancing?
There were of course relatives, friends and acquaintances from decades long gone. Much catching up. We met a girl from Kenya, a twin a couple of years older than Cat and Jonny; I remembered we bought a double buggy from her mother when they were born. Cat is bridesmaid to a school friend this summer; this girl knows the other bridesmaid, from Cardiff, well. Common wisdom has it that there are no more than 7 links between any two people: this was only 4, but across two continents...
Richard with his sister Sarah
The next day, wedding over, we pootled slowly up to Manchester – our return flight left in the evening, so we had time to kill. So we stopped in Audlem, where we had visited a pub next to the canal with my parents, when the children were small: they had helped open the locks, which are very narrow there. We walked along the canal a bit, and nostalgia began to kick in. I spent much of my childhood and teens walking along the canal - the Grand Union - which circled our town, revisiting it much later when we returned from Kenya, exploring the history. It still fascinates...the technology and engineering needed nearly 300 years ago, skills which have stood the test of time. 
After that we went past Northwich, in Cheshire, where my parents had lived in a Victorian cottage overlooking another canal - the Trent and Mersey. The house was next to the pub at  Broken Cross and so we had a drink at the pub and a nose at the cottage, sold last year – the kitchen is being gutted and a lot of work done on the inside but the garden looked just the same. My mother had created a beautiful flower garden, filled with sweet-smelling shrubs and the roses she loved.
So then we went to see my mother, who knew me – and seemed to know Richard, too, at first anyway. She was in good spirits, laughing and joking though got very firm with one of the other residents (not right in the head) who came up. She looked well and was quite satisfied with a short visit – we stayed about 20 minutes in the end until she indicated that we should leave. It was a relief to see her so well - previous visits had been uncomfortable and strange, as she had been too confused to know who I was.
And so I am afflicted by nostalgia, and a wish to remember only the good, the happy. And for some absolutely unaccountable reason, I remembered this song from the 1940s which my father used to sing to me when I was very small: Mairzy Doats:
Memory is a strange thing...


jonny said...

exactly how old were you in the 1940s when this song came out? 5 or 6?

Mama Mpira said...

I think I was 7...not sure. It was a VERY long time ago.