Sunday, 1 August 2010

North Devon or Bust... To Wed or not to Wed.

So the big day approaches and Hazel, my beautiful and dearest sister, is about to marry her gorgeous and handsome beau. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, nothing actually…

A few notes to get you in the mood though.

Mad, 80 year Old Grandmas with filthy mouths, who whitter through services and make unkind comments to helpful Granddaughters, should be shot!

Priests who warn supportive sisters that they must show behaviour appropriate for a church should expect to be reminded about child abuse cases being covered up. Fortunately supportive sisters are able to bite their tongues.

Fathers who drone on and on and on, while managing to say nothing should expect to be told to shut up, especially when they managed to embarrass the Bride. 

Older sisters, who are asked to do a reading in Church, will be mildly surprised when the Groom’s Mother likes it so much, she cries and asks for a copy of the poems.

Older sisters will grow more and more surprised when lots of people comment on her beautiful and well performed reading!

Older sisters will nearly cry when beautiful newly weds thank her for her reading and give her a present.

Flower girls should not be so sweet and lovely and then have tell off the brides sister for being silly, even though they are six and she is nearly forty!

Drunken younger brothers should not try to use a wedding as a cruising place to pick up his sisters unmarried friends!

Drunken old lesbian Aunties should not accumulate around the Bride's young lesbian sister, like Priests around an Alter boy. It is creepy and disturbing!

Hotel waiting staff, who try to smother a laugh, when asked by the Brides sister to slap the brides poorly behaved brother, shall be tipped.

Best Mans speeches with that many Knob gags will cause tears of laughter from every one.

However, before you can get to the fun bits, lets deal with the getting there first. My Brother Mez phoned at Midnight on Thursday to say that his friend could not drive them down due to her spraining her ankle and not being able to drive. Cue him begging for a lift from us. Sure enough he turned up the next morning with plenty of time to spare and looking a little worse for ware, having just been made homeless!

With all of our clothes ironed and packed, all of our toiletries packed, my crate of make up packed and my brother crammed into the car, we headed off to North Devon, a place rumoured to be a hive of incest, sheep farms and hillbillies with more than the usual allotted number of toes, fingers or eyes!

Now the journey there is one that we have made several times in our old faithful car Toyah, the Toyota Corolla. She has nice manners and drives very well, even up the steepest of North Devon hills. However, today I felt like doing a bit of driving, having driven only three times before and still being some way from my test. Once Carol had got us safely away from the Motorway I took to the controls. Fear has a smell and it is the smell of fouled underwear.

Carol drove us safely the rest of the way, Mez tried to let the horror of the last few minutes pass safely away from him and I let my heart beat fade back to a mere black metal blast beat!

Arriving at the farm, we parked up and unloaded some of our stuff and relaxed in the garden, Carol photographed some amazing butterflies and I worried about hillbillies while Mez chatted with family inside the house. The cats played and the day was beautiful, what a time to be in North Devon and away from home.

The hour of practice approached and we were soon bundled into the car again and off to the church for the practice service…

Now you should by now have an idea that I am not at all the most girly of people, I ride motorbikes, I listen to extreme black metal and my favourite footwear is my old brown walking boots. For this trip I was wearing my Snow camo bike trousers, my old brown walking boots and a my Marduk shirt. I looked every inch a brick hard dyke!

The Vicar looked at me with disdain, I was not his usual type of parishioner, if anything I looked more likely to burn the church down than want to come inside and listen to a service. However, I was polite, friendly and my usual cuddly self. The two darling little flower girls, my sisters God Daughters, smiled at me and giggled as I waved at them while they sat bored on the pew as the Vicar went through the rules with my sister and Dom.

To be honest, I wanted to keep my mind off the religious ceremony that was going on in front of me and also that man making my pregnant sister to get down on her knees in worship of an invisible man who lives in the sky, struck me as some what wrong. So I pulled faces at the flower girls and they giggled and laughed very quietly, hurting no one and in no way getting in the way of the discussion going on at the front.

The Vicar then called for me in regards to my reading. I was asked if I wanted to practice and I said that I was fine with it and he simply showed me where I would go to read it. He then added that I was to show the respect becoming of a church on the day. To be honest, I was a little bit incensed; after all, fiddling with kids is really not my thing and I am not keen on Alter boys or any kind of boys! Grrrrrr…

Back home to the farm and we got lost, the Sat Nav was tying to take us back to Bristol, in a vain attempt to get me away from religious men in frocks and the local Hill Billies, strumming away on their Banjos. Once home though I retired to the bed room to sort out my bits before an early night and a restful sleep.

The next morning we awoke bright and early, not to the gentle sound of birds singing or bees buzzing, but the droning of my Grandmother and father talking and giggling, only it was not morning, it was still night time, being only half past five! We managed to get back to sleep and were woken up again at seven by Grandma and Dad still chatting like loons, only my Dad had now added Elvis style singing to the mix!

Once washed, dressed and had half a pound of make up applied to my face I was ready for the day’s proceedings. Carol looked beautiful in her Skirt and top outfit, her pretty red toe nails showing through her open toed shoes. Had she not been my girlfriend already, I may well have asked her for the first dance. As it was, she complained that with my four layers of different coloured lip stick, I was refusing to kiss her, knowing that I would leave smudges every where.

We arrived at the church and waited outside for a while, various people turned up looking well dressed and ready for the wedding of the year. Dom although looking beautifully dressed, was as cool and casual about getting married as if it was just an ordinary day. This is just one reason why I know that he is the perfect man for my sister.

Finally we were all asked to enter the church and take our seats. Once again the Vicar asked me to ensure that my reading was appropriate, I reassured him that it was a selection of the finest knob gags and he pleaded with me not to make it so. Ha ha, the power was now mine. Dress boy wandered off to talk to the family of the groom and escape the lesbian harpy threatening to make knob gags in his church. I sat with my mad Granny and listened to her rolling off the mildly offensive phrases as she spoke to me in what ever gender she wished to apply and casually referring to both my Step Mother and I as over weight. She was to whisper and comment on the whole day and to be honest I stated wishing that I had brought the sticky tape with me, to tape up her mouth!

Your Author and Step Mother
 Hazel arrived and was more beautiful than I have ever seen her, My Dad held her gracefully on his arm and she was radiant. Only an utter fool would turn her down today. The hymns started and I found that I was in a minority group of Atheists, but the ceremony went ahead with out a hitch so to speak. Finally the rings were swapped and Hazel was married to Dom and they shared their first kiss as Husband and Wife. I was then called to deliver my reading and had chosen two lovely poems, an Inuit Love Poem and Wedding Advice by Jane Wells from 1886. The rest of the service followed and we were allowed to leave, to the sound of bells ringing out.

Signing the wedding certificate
The reception was at the local Golf Club and once again we got lost in Darkest North Devon, our fear of Hill Billies and being made to squeal like piggies prevented us from asking the local three eyed sheep farmer for the way. However we soon found where we had to be and headed for the club, screaming up country lanes at speeds top rally drivers would be proud of. Crunching to a halt on the poor surface of the car park we got out and sprinted down hill to the pavilion. Just in time to hang around for an hour and a half, doing nothing but chilling out in the sin shine and relaxing with a cool drink. Perfect.

The dinner started and Carol and I were sat together with Mez, Vikki and her chap Chris. We also had Hazel’s future Brother in law with us and we talked mountain bikes, fast bikes and adventures. He drank a bottle of wine to himself and got slowly merrier, were we really that difficult to talk to? Mez was his usual playful self and at one point I asked a passing waitress to slap him as she passed. For a tiny second she looked concerned and then started to laugh before running away.

The speeches would follow the lunch and first up was my Dad, with his usual style, he waffled and wandered, telling bad jokes and making us either laugh or cringe.

 Through it all though shone his pride in my sister, like a lighthouse on a stormy night, even if it was in a desert.

Dom’s speech was short, charming and witty, his graceful delivery was perfect and again the most obvious part was his love of my dear sister. 

He also chose this time to give out gifts to the various people that he and Hazel had believed had been of help during the wedding. I was surprised and honoured when he called out for me and Hazel handed me a gift to say thank you for my reading. As if asking me to do it was not honour enough. The beautifully wrapped box contained a delicate and pretty silver watch. I could not believe that they would do such a thing.

The Best Man had obviously spent some time working on his speech and his delivery was perfect, his jokes hilarious and his heart warming stories were lovely. 

This was the way that a Best Man should be and a series of Knob gags were finally delivered. After the speeches, I was suddenly surrounded by a group of elderly lesbian women, all of whom approved of my choice of dress and collection of poems I had read out. Dom’s Mum had taken my copy of them and the gaggle of dykes wanted copies. Bravely I retreated and told them to e-mail my sister who could forward them copies.

The rest of the day then turned into the entertainments and coffee drinking. A magician wandered around showing us tricks, a Dj set up his disco and a band set up their instruments. Carol and I wandered off to get changed and chill out away from the noise for a few moments and then bumped into Hazel who was once again being photographed. A few snaps with us together and then I was off once again, having walked Hazel back to her wedding.

As day turned to evening we slowly grew quieter (except my Grandma who continued to be abusive, rude and hilarious, with out ever realising she was doing it!) and more tired and eventually after a buffet meal we retired to the car and the drive home.

Step Mother and Grandma
To Hazel and Dominic, I wish you the very best for your marriage, for the best of health for the baby you have on the way and for years to come and may your lives together be as happy as the day you declared your love to us all. I love you both dearly and will hold you in my heart for ever.