Yesterday I travelled from the coast to Newbury for a party to celebrate an old uni friend’s daughter’s wedding. There was an interesting article in the week on the pressure put on the modern wedding guest in terms of time and money. Polly is in deepest Devon with Grania as part of their hairdresser’s celebrations. At various times the nuptials were to be at Miami, Cyprus and now thankfully Devon. She is there for a couple of days. Factor in the hen night which is now (with spa) a full day as well as night, present, traveling and hotel and they won’t have much change of £1000. At one stage the bride-to-be suggested to Polly they go to Barbados to get a tan for her big day.
Happily all involved here was a two hour car trip and Amazon gift voucher. All went well up, the A23, across the M25 and down the M4 to the A34 turn off. We hit problems in a warren of country lanes where sat-nav reception was random as were road signs. By some fluke we emerged from a country lane to face the house.
A quick survey of the marquee (something out of Four Weddings and a Funeral) revealed I knew almost no-one there. However an ex alumni of our college hailed me warmly. I recalled his name, something of a feat with my memory. Realising that we were wedded as both of us were in the same, friendless boat we made the most of catch up. It s something of a shock to see someone for the first time in 35 years. Hair is thinner and fresh faces replaced by wrinkled ones.
We were joined by another alumni. He was a model of appropriate dress 40 years ago and was now in a beautifully tailored double-breasted suit, shirt and tie and Church’s shoes. Most of the guests including me wore something more colourful. His father was Dean of Windsor Castle and I recalled his twenty first party. The three of us were chatting when a short benign looking lady approached us. One of our group muttered “F- ck me, it’s the Queen …” At which point all three of us scattered in different directions.