Friday, August 2, 2013
Less time for murder
When I was a little girl, I never dreamed of having a traditional white wedding. I did, however, harbour a small desire to tie the knot in the manner of Gun N' Roses' November Rain video. But when the time came – two years' ago today – Slash wasn't available to perform an epic guitar solo outside Mansfield Register Office, so I had to make do. Surprisingly it still turned out to be the most incredibly perfect day.
That it was so wonderful was all the more incredible given the circumstances. My dad was ill at the time. Extremely ill. So ill that James had proposed to me in the Costa at the hospital over a tuna melt panini and we'd made all of the arrangements in the space of the three weeks that followed. All that really mattered was that when we got married my dad would be there. It was a strange time. I'd never felt so happy and so sad simultaneously before.
It's amazing how quickly you can arrange a wedding if you want to. You come to realise that table plans and speeches, favours and photographers are all unnecessary faff. We dispensed with it all and instead focused on the important things: Champagne and sherry trifle. Not that we thought we'd need that much of either. After all, who was going to be able come to a wedding in Mansfield on a Wednesday at such short notice? We didn't expect more than a handful of people to join us, so we were astonished when so many people told us that they would be there with bells on. They traveled up from London by the train load. They drove down from Manchester and the wilds of Scotland. They brought with them cakes and cameras and confetti and cheery dispositions. Perhaps they'd heard how good the sherry trifle was going to be. Either way, it meant a lot.
I remember the heat. It was the hottest day of the year and all the men sweltered in their suits but looked glorious in the sunshine. I remember James's smile when I saw him for the first time in the Register Office's car park and he gave me my engagement ring which we'd only managed to buy and get adjusted in the nick of time. I remember how tightly I clutched my dad's hand and how tightly he clutched mine as we walked steadily down the aisle. We were both as nervous as each other. I remember the effort and the courage it took for him to give me away that afternoon. Perhaps I'll never fully understand how much it took out of him. I remember L and C reading Rainy Night In Soho, and Jo and Christian reading You're The Top. I remember how happy everyone seemed to be. Again, that might have just been the sherry trifle. But the thing that I remember most about our wedding day is the incredulous look that James and I gave each other when we heard that the registrar performing our ceremony was called Colin Womble. Yes, that's Colin Womble. To be honest, it somehow felt more appropriate to have a Womble at our wedding than Slash.
It was a day to remember. And here I am, two years later, remembering. My dad isn't around anymore and I miss him like crazy. Me and James have a baby now. We are knackered. We smell of wee most of the time. Life isn't always easy and James says you get less time for murder. But we're still as happy as we were that moment in the car park. That moment over the tuna panini. Happy anniversary, James.
Posted by Knittenden at 3:21 PM