So we're now down to just a few days before the big W and in the last week I've been late for most stuff and, actually arrived a whole week early for something else work-related. To say I have lost clarity of thought would be an understatement.
As I write I am sitting in the hairdressers about to start the mother/daughter hair marathon with the lovely David at the Story of O. He has already calmed us down - we arrived late, obviously - and sent us out for food to the world of different take-away joints in Leeds student-land. Number 1 returned with the biggest bacon and brie ciabatta for me, which is absolutely perfect for the pre-wedding, no carbs, no dairy routine I am currently on. Also it is the size of a house brick. But a girl's got to eat... Anyway two hair do's later and a trip for me round an unfamiliar Sainsburys whilst number 1 had her colour done to get 60 baps and 60 sausages for Sunday breakfast, amongst other less unlikely stuff, and we are on our way back home. Re the sausages and baps for Sunday - "You and Dad won't have to do anything on Sunday. We'll do it all." We might pick up on that in the final wedding blog!!!
Number 1 and my favourite son-in-law-to-be have come to us for the last two weeks before the wedding to do the enormous amount of things which are going to make this wedding a complete one-off. I know all weddings are complete one-offs and absolutely they should be, but it is the tiny, sometimes quirky bits and pieces which lend so much character to the day. For example, I may have mentioned that we have been accumulating jam jars since Christmas. Because we live in such a lovely friendly village, the vast majority have been left in the village shop courtesy of Dave and Amanda and I have brought home almost daily carrier bags full of the things. My tennis buddies have been equally supportive and even the Intrepid Granny's golf club girls have produced a seriously impressive number of 'Jean's Jars' as they have been named in the Ladies Changing Rooms at the golf club. It took the bride and groom two and a half days to de-label them and they will be used for a myriad of purposes, from flower receptacles to candle holders to cocktail glasses. This proves conclusively that you can never have too many jam jars!
We also had to pack in the dog's haircut - well, everyone else had had one, painting numerous wooden signs pointing everywhere from the car park to Phuket, Liverpool and Hackney, and getting the boiler repaired. The boiler had, with classic timing, started to make the sort of noise that would make you pull off the motorway if driving. I rang the people who regularly service the boiler to discover that it actually hadn't been serviced for six years which explains a lot. Seemingly, the householder (not me) had decided that boiler service was a needless expense and even when quizzed about this, he replied that we had saved at least a thousand pounds by not having it regularly serviced. This did little for my sense of humour when I paid the ENORMOUS bill to the boiler man after three hours of tinkering. Anyway, much of the boiler is now brand new which is surprising because apparently the man hadn't seen a boiler like ours for five years because they are practically obsolete. Ho hum...
Now in the midst of all the frenetic activity (frantic gardening, arrival of marquee and various beers, daily deliveries of stuff in boxes, much from various Scottish locations of which more in the next blog) two things occurred. The first was that Mother Nature decided that a week of warm sunshine (tulips definitely over and largely hoiked out and replaced with other stuff) should be followed by hail, snow, rain, sleet and strong winds. Which made the marquee leak. Stress. And, my beloved who had promised a week on-site rather than down in Stamford where he works, announced he was going to Stamford for one day ... ok with me. Sounds reasonable. And Dublin for two - Wednesday and Thursday. Hmmmm... slightly less reasonable in my book. And Milton, number 2's dog, who has the hardest, waggiest and therefore potentially damaging tail on any dog the world over, had been banned for the week and suddenly he's in residence too! But we love a bit of drama here as you know, so we negotiated our way through all of this with no tears shed and only the smallest amount of standard family shouting. All of which brings us to the Thursday before the Saturday when along with everything else that needed doing and stuff that couldn't be done in the marquee because it's STILL leaking, three separate visits to three railway stations to collect family members had to be squeezed in. Also we now have the first lovely friends of the bride and groom on-site, helping with a million jobs and I am now cooking for 11 with 7 in residence.
Is it brilliant? Yes! I am loving every minute of it!
Mother Nature's little jest! Perfect weather for marquee construction and then a week that's so cold even the birds are freezing!