18 Oct 2009

Post 162: Some Magic and a magic wedding

Life never seems to get any easier, no matter how hard I try to distract myself it just doesn't. but it's time to get my act in gear! (sigh).
I don't have enough unbroken time between torture sessions to meaningfully start this creative writing course yet, so I have been listening piecemeal to Dan Browns follow up to the 'Da Vinci' code 'The lost symbol' and I really had to struggle to listen to all of it. Not because it is difficult subject matter because the more I listened to it the dirtier I felt (and not in a good way), rather like that grubby feeling you get when you've just watched an episode of Hollyoaks, you know, when you feel ashamed that you've sunk that low. I'll be honest, when I read the Da Vinci code five years ago, I found it to be a ripping holiday read and I genuinely thought/hoped it would do serious damage to the church, when I found out that most of the Da Vinci code was horsesh*t I felt annoyed for being misled by the haughty claims and the 'this is fact' tone of the book. I therefore should have known better when I downloaded the 'Lost Symbol'. Here is a book written by nothing more than a tinpot conspiracy theorist in it for the money and he dresses it up in such a way as to draw the reader into believing there is such a thing as no-etic science (the assertion that concentrated thought can have mass and can therefore be used to control things in the real world and that humans have a soul) or that the Masons guard a secret word of 'unfathomable power' rather than being an excuse to meet weekly, dress up in silly regalia and drink heavily. Are you starting to feel grubby yet? It was just one of those books that the more you listen to it, the angrier and angrier you get if you have a vaguely scientific, logical and empirical outlook on life as I think I have, that you're still listening to it and because its dressed up in the language of a thriller you can't just turn it off because you want to hear who lives and dies. Anyone thinking of reading it. Don't, and anyone who's started it, give up while you can before you drown in manure. That's a few hours of my life I'll never get back rather like sitting in a traffic jam that has been caused by a moron coning off two lanes that will stay empty of roadworks (this has happened to me about five years ago, so incensed was I that I thought about writing a letter, I never did obviously). The other thing I went to Friday night was an amazing magic show by a good friend of mine, Chris Dugdale. Some of you will remember him from my last birthday, where I will never forget my mums reaction to him producing her wristwatch (which had been on her wrist) out of thin air before her very eyes. Her reaction was priceless. Now, I go to a lot of shows to try and break up the tedium of fatigued convalescence, but this was a big change. Chris is quite a performer and did a mind bending array of card tricks and mind-reading which left the audience stunned. He clearly has amazing slight of hand, making cards seemingly jump into boxes, sealed envelopes, thin air, pockets or his mouth, an inexplicable skill that has had him 'excused' or 'thrown out' of most Vegas casinos, something I wish had happened to me when I went there, I might as well of tattooed 'mug' on my forehead. That's all in the past and in the words of bawdy Australian comedian Kevin 'bloody' Wilson who I saw last Sunday in Dorking on a sold out leg of his Dilligaf cafe world tour. I had wondered why 'Dilligaf'. It was soon explained through one of his many pretty funny country songs. Take the first letters of the phrase 'does it look like I give a f*ck', gosh, that sounds like a new Mantra. It doesn't vary wildly from the last one but I think it's more coherent. I am slightly loathe to so blithely adopt something from so bawdy a comedian and furthermore an Aussie who starts his act off with his 40ish daughter singing dirty and only vaguely humorous songs. Incidentally her stagename is 'Jenny Taylia' from Australia, at least I hope that's her stagename, you would have thought, no hoped that someone called Jenny would never marry a man called Mr Taylia or even Mr Taylor but with a 'rough as guts' accent like hers and such a fine upstanding father any thing's possible, but where was I? Dilligaf.
Oh yes, something I really do gaf about, yesterday was the wedding of a great friend of mine, the Reverend Richard Lloyd. Even though Ricardo was in the same year as me at college, he has always looked about ten years older. He is a unique individual and definitely one of the most amusing men I have ever met. Probably one of the best ranconteurs in history and a fine orator, which is why he is ideal for the job of senior chaplain of Charterhouse School. He is a great man and in Vicki he has found a perfect wife. I believe they might have even met in the church they are getting married in. Indeed, it is a welcome change going to his actual wedding rather than the marriage of a friend that he is ministering over (I have been to a couple). While we were at college Ricardo eschewed getting drunk and chasing girls like the rest of us idiots, and he has certainly showed us, a classic case of hare and Tortoise. In fact Richard appeared to have the Dilligaf attitude (with better language naturally)
Anyway that was all written on Saturday morning to try and get ahead of the game, I have now been to the wedding and have rather a lot (of good stuff) to say.
Despite everything working out in the end, things started badly. My housemates (who look after me) had taken my van (after asking me) to go and do the weekly shop. I had thought we had plenty of time so had said 'be back by 330'. While they were out my mother (my kind consort for this sojourn turned up and informed me that we had to leave by 3 to stand any chance of getting there,whoops, my mother, well known for her calm demeanor instantly flew into a panic, desperately trying to allocate and spread blame, something that Daily Mail readers have to do. Stage one was of course blaming me, I adopted my normal, 'shutup and lets try and think logically' position as I hate bluster and kerfuffle, stage 2 was naturally to go out in the street and tell everyone the problem as hysterically as possible followed by stage 3, use the phone to tell everyone whose number she could find about the predicament, net result – bucketloads of stress for all concerned and at least one of my friends with a hysterical, nonsensical voicemail. Brilliant start: Well, my housemates, normally the most reliable and punctual people in the world pitched up at 345 implying that I had probably not been insistent enough about the need for them to have the van back here at 330. So, we finally set out by 350 which I was irately informed by my foaming at the mouth matriarch was '50 minutes after she had (meticulously) planned to leave.
After nearly crashing several times, and cursing every red light we arrived at the Church only a few minutes late (after all that) and were ushered in a back door only to find we had the best seats in the house and Richard and Vicky were just about to be pronounced man and wife. Result! I don't think I'll ever turn up to another church wedding on time again! Because Richard was the reverend of an Evangelical church before he became senior Chaplain of the rather more traditional Charterhouse School, an eyelid was not batted at the fact that they appeared to have a rock band playing the music. Classic Richard. It made for an incredibly memorable and unique interpretation of usually stuffy church music. Indeed, during Their interpretation of 'Amazing Grace' I wished I had still been a smoker so I could have whipped out my lighter. The other thing that made the service unique was that the address was given by the Archbishop of Hydrabad. Since starting his Chaplaincy at Charterhouse Richard has been on several pilgrimages to visit a christian mission and has made some friends in High Places. Anyway, most church sermons are an excuse to catch up on sleep, but for once I stayed conscious, he explained that since meeting Richard they had been praying for Richard to find a perfect wife and that they felt Richard finding Vicky was an answer to that prayer. Although I am not a believer I was rather touched by this sentiment, it's quite sweet and I can't help feeling so pleased for both of them, this means everything to Richard and in him, Vicky has ended up with one of the nicest men in existence.
Sentimental claptrap aside we then naturally moved on to the reception at some place in Mayfair called the Savill club, think Wood Pannelling, smoking Jackets and Bertie Wooster. Sadly I'm not sure this place had ever seen a person in a wheelchair before somewhat given away by the temporary ramps to get up the steps into the club and the lack of disabled loo. To make matters even trickier Dinner was on the first floor and the lift was far too small to fit my wheelchair in. I was about to throw in the towel and go home when I decided that I wasn't going to let this beat me. Instead we (Tony, Vicky Denning and others) hatched a plan for me to get out of my wheelchair and with brave assistance from several burly guys, I got upstairs in the elevator sans wheelchair and staggered slowly with the help of two the 25 yards to where I was sitting and sat precariously in a normal chair for dinner. There is no way I could have done this a few months ago, I would have been too scared of exhaustion and ruining everyones evening, again I'm glad I made the effort, I seriously doubt I could have made it for anyone except Richard and if I didn't have such determined friends. I'm so glad I stayed! It was a special occasion.


Simon said...

"There is no way I could have done this a few months ago" My word, is that an admission that you might actually be making progress, no matter how small?

Dom P said...

Don't be ridiculous, Progress will be when I don't feel exhausted all the time and I can walk independently, without these things everything else feels a bit hollow

Anushka said...

Blogger Simon said...

"There is no way I could have done this a few months ago"

My word, is that an admission that you might actually be making progress, no matter how small?




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