Saturday morning: I got a taxi to pick me up and take me to the wedding, where I arrived early. I knew that there wouldn't be anyone I knew except for the stars of the day, so I hung round in the bar until two of Angela's workmates (similarly disadvantaged) said hi and we spent most of the rest of the day together.
Just before 1 we all went into the hall where the wedding was to take place. Andrew was there wearing tails, and just after 1, Angela came in, wearing a cream top with laces at the back, a white frock with a train about a mile long and supported by her son, also wearing tails and a hat. Behind were her sister and two little cuties, a boy and a girl, who I believe are part of Andrew'a family (niece/nephew? great-niece/great-nephew?)
It's the first civil ceremony I have been to, though I have been to many uncivil weddings. The reading during the ceremony was "Us Two" from "Now we are Six".
Then photographs were taken for the next twelve weeks, during which we were served a glass of buck's fizz, and many of us also consumed a couple of pints while we were waiting for the wedding breakfast. This was well worth waiting for: mushroom soup, roast beef and yorkshire pudding with roast spuds and lots of veggies, followed by chocolate pyramid and cream.
Speeches followed. Ben's speech shone out: a fine speech by a young man.
The best man read the greetings. After those from absent family members, the first one read was from Don and Betty. The afternoon wound down just before 6, but by 7:30 the evening function was starting. I stayed in the hall for most of that time, talking to a chap from the army about his overseas experiences.
I spent some of the evening talking to Angela's mum and nephew, but I didn't stay too late as I didn't know many people there. I hear the party and the drinking went on to the wee small hours.
Sunday morning saw me at St Andrew's again, where the friendship and the sermon were both very good. After that, I went off for coffee at the Three Stags before some people kindly gave me a lift home. (Does the term "rail replacement bus" strike fear into your heart too?) Sunday afternoon I went off to see vivh's mum. Things do not seem at all bright there. Viv's dad is in the hospice, sedated, and it seems it will only be a short time till she too is making the sad trip across the world. I hope that I can catch up with my beloved wife at least briefly, but neither of us can know for sure yet.
Monday: arranging for the collection of the medical equipment, starting to tidy up and going out to dinner at the Devon Doorway with Auntie Barbara and cousin Susan. They had chicken, I had steak, so no surprises there.
Tuesday: Last chance to LJ before I leave - last chance to check mail. Air New Zealand has delivered the itinerary. That is all!