A ceremony of civility
It's Tuesday. The old git is in Ireland, it's tipping it down and he's performing in the open air at Trinity College in Dublin. Last night they had to put plastic bags in their shoes - 16th century garb I may add, and still his little feet got soaked. Sloshing around giving his iambic pentameter.
He skyped me last night. he, sitting in the howsyourfather, in his hotel room and me sitting in my howsyourmother in the flat. We blew each other a kiss and I went back to bed, where I had been since lunchtime.
I blame Civil Ceremonies, daughters, actors and insomnia.
On Saturday morning, after I had dropped the 'oosbind off at Euston, I turned the car round and twenty minutes later was packing in the flat. I don't mean packing the flat in I mean getting my things together for the civil ceremony in Brighton.
Jumped in the little red Nellie and drove over to Hackney.
Down with the roof, in with the daughter and off we set for Sussex. The Blackwall Tunnel was shut, every car heading for the South-East converged on Tower bridge. More taxi cabs were doing u-turns than a pride of politicians.
We finally arrived home in time to make lunch, sit in the garden, have a shower and prepare for our first ever ceremony that was civil as opposed to bleedin' rude.
We arrived at St. Nicholas' Church in Brighton. The inside of the Church had been redesigned. An alter piece made with effigies of Giles and Tim as the two Kings. All the pew chairs were under waves of the most beautiful organza. so there was a sea of pinks, blues, greens and orange. Champagne cocktails greeted you on the way in and on the way out and in my ladies chamber. There were bottles of bubbly everywhere. A huge open buffet with green food, fresh food, breads and cheese and mountains of plates and a good deal of chattery laughter.
Speeches were made, songs were sung, tears were shed and the evening came to an end after all our good wishes, written on little pieces of paper were attached to lanterns which were set alight. Like dandelion heads the white lanterns gently drifted up into the night sky. The wishes for Giles and Tim flew towards the heavens. It was magical. A fitting end to a day filled with love and hope.
On Sunday we freshened up and drove down to Brighton again to partake of Sunday Roast with the newly weds and a handful of hard chore revellers. I met two new old friends a combination of new-age charm and sinner turned saint. Terrific human beings.
So after a plate of the worst vegetables I had ever eaten I paid up. The barman was completely unapologetic. 'Did you have a nice time?' he asked as I paid a weeks ransom for a plate of slosh. 'Well yes', I said hesitantly. 'But that's not the point.' His point was that the food didn't matter as long as I had had a good time. Well when I ask him to dinner I'll give him a plate of cat food, tell him a joke and see how he likes it.
Back to the cottage, packed up the car and off we re-turned to London Town. The Blackwall Tunnel was open so we hit the East End with ease, dropped off the daughter and I set my compass for the South East. Two hours later I was able to get out of East London. Cars, vans. bikes, taxis, sore heads and me.
By the time I walked into the flat I felt like I had trekked the Great Wall of China with the Mendip Way thrown in.
Inevitably I couldn't sleep. My mind was racing, the old man was in Ireland, the events of the past two days had made me as high as Tim and Giles' lanterns. When I say I couldn't sleep I mean I fell into a coma at 5.00 a.m. only to be woken at 6.15 by the window cleaners.
Then I had to walk to Balham by which time I was fading fast. Walked to the tube arrived at LBC Towers and I could feel the onset of throttle throat syndrome.
By noon my voice had gone. I sounded like Dot Cotton crossed with a Tibetan nose flute, the bosses looked at me and sent me packing.
I got back to the flat and fell into bed at 1.30. Feeling sick and tired literally. I slept on and off throughout the day. Finally falling to sleep after the call from the Irish troubadour, at 11.30 and going right through until 8.30 this morning. Unheard of.
I am having one more day out. I don't want it to get worse as this week is a busy one with extra curricula activities.
Have a good day.
Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes
I hope you feel better soon Jeni x
Get well soon and thank you for 'A Ceremony of Civility'
Ia St Nicholas church still a church? You know, a working church?
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