19 May 2010

Post 207: Miss J becomes Mrs Joseph(Whole post)

A few of you may have guessed that Saturday was all about the lovely wedding of my great friend Miss Alex Jackson marrying her long term boyfriend and excellent lad Mr Steve Joseph. Now they had actually alluded to their engagement when they had taken me to go and see New Kids on the block at the dome (post 100) about 16 months ago, back then my exact words in the blog were 'I would bet the farm on them getting engaged this year ' ie it would have been the best kind of bet too, one made with a little information, a horseracing bet if you will! Anyway, weddings for me these days are endurance events but I wouldn't miss them for the world. Alex and Steve had kindly invited both my parents because there is no way I can handle these things on my own these days, and even though it means that I, a grown man have to go to these things with my parents and be accompanied like a small child, I just couldn't cope without them, this is true of so much more than weddings. It did of course mean the most stressful journey to the church and reception ever, with Dad questioning and shouting at the 'bloody satnav' every step of the way and mum questioning Dad's driving - the resultant atmosphere in the car was as laidback as in an air traffic control tower at a particularly nasty peaktime with an approaching Icelandic ashcloud. With this in mind we miraculously managed to get to both the service and reception on time, maybe their arguing is some cunning ruse that only they understand as 'everything's on schedule', I hate to imagine what it's like if they're late! I know what it's like if it's just mum (post 162) when she took me to a wedding back in October last year. This family appear to have nurtured the creation of unnecessary stress into a fine art or better still an Olympic sport, if they handed out medals for making mountains out of molehills Jill Pardey would win gold and in the team event Richard and Jill Pardey would leave everyone standing. They are living proof of why a husband and wife pairing in golf are what's known as a 'gruesome', now, I bloody hope they take this in the spirit this was intended. I make a point of not kow-towing to anyone but I'll make an exception for them, otherwise it will be one of the last weddings they take me too and given the rate at which my friends seem to get married I will miss out! Anyway back to the wedding in question, bride and groom looked stunning (which is the most important thing. Alex, already one of the prettiest girls I know looked incredible and Steve looked very smart – his breath must have been taken away when he saw her come up the aisle. The church was suitably impressive (on the top of the hill in Dulwich near the crystal palace transmitter)- it always strikes me as ironic how this collection of magnificent buildings (churches) are now largely irrelevant because no-one believes in god and are only any use because they provide a pretty backdrop for weddings - the ceremony is mere lip-service to religion, which is now quite rightly irrelevant, in my opinion the service exists to make sure people take marriage seriously – it is making a set of promises to each other in front of your friends and family, ie the people who you shouldn't let down under any circumstances, the same is true in a registry office. With the formalities out of the way it was time for the much more serious business of the reception which was at some fancy place in Mayfair. Leaving leafy dulwich I was struck by how such a pretty countrified place is right in the middle of a couple of the most unfortunate places in the world, Croydon and Coldharbour Lane in South London, any road that starts in Brixton and ends in Camberwell has got wrong stamped all over it and I say this as someone who used to live in Brixton. As we drove through Loughborough Junction, I remember it being one of the worst places ever, (we once put on a great party though in one of the pubs there)I told dad (who was driving) to put his foot down and to not make eye contact with anyone – there is a unique atmosphere of mistrust between the locals and those passing through, almost as if anyone in a car is looked at like they could be in the police. It must be what it's like driving through parts of Johannesburg and this was minutes from what felt like the middle of the countryside. London's weird like that. In a few more minutes we were in Mayfair which is characterised by portered period apartment blocks, period hotels and the sort of buildings that house wood panelled Bertie Wooster style Gentlemens clubs, the reception was in one of these. Even though it had looked to have been drizzling when we left the church, it stayed dry so we could have pre dinner drinks in a rather nice courtyard out the back and give us a chance to see if there was anyone who I knew. I immediately spotted a couple of familiar faces I hadn't seen for years who had both been Djs I had shared a few laughs with Shaf de Bass
aka Monkeyboy and a guy I hadn't seen for years Matt Clarke. I was able to reminisce with these lads about some of the most fun I've ever had in my life, back when that sort of music meant everything to us. God how times have changed! Getting upstairs to where we were sitting down to dinner
was a mission in itself. It involved going through a connecting door into the hotel next door and using their lifts. Sadly my wheelchair is pretty large and it took a while to fit in the lift, and I thought it would be prudent to go to the loo before the meal but guess what? The hotel didn't have a toilet I could fit into, after hasty negotiations we were able to locate a stretch of corridor where I had enough privacy to use the bottle. Not ideal but like much of my post stroke life, I make do , I figure getting upset or angry won't make any difference and is precious energy I can't afford to waste! So I just get on with it, although I may have vented spleen a little on one or two occasions. Old buildings and wheelchairs don't mix. That said, dinner was superb with special thanks to Kate for being stellar company. Since the weekend (it's Wednesday now), I have been privileged to have tea with a fascinating girl called Ana, who very bravely uprooted herself from her life in the UK to go and live in Chang Mai and pursue her singing career, she's only back here for a month and she found time to come and have tea and chat to a total stranger she had met on the internet. People like Ana make life worth living for me, she is very right brain, I am very left – we spent a lot of time discussing how living more in the present would make us happier people and she was very interested by the Jill Bolte-Taylor video, which I always maintain is one of the most fascinating things I have ever seen. Seeing as I'm on the topic of kind girls called Anna, I was taken to another event last night by Anna (see last post and yes she told me to use that picture of her a little bit tiddly at a hen do) She fearlessly drove me across central London to a place in bloomsbury for the recording of a radio 4 show called Heresy hosted by the gorgeous (and smart) Victoria Coren, the other panellists were David Mitchell, Mathew Norman and a guy called David Schneider (I had only vaguely heard of these last two, and I believe they're both comedy writers). I quite liked the idea of the show and the fact tickets were free! Heresy basically takes received wisdom and argues that it could be wrong. Arguing against topics like: Animals that are kept as pets shouldn't be eaten; Using the TV as a babysitter is not a good thing and something about Twitter being a good thing but remembering stuff from day to day isn't one of my strengths. Anyway the whole thing certainly made us laugh and Anna gave me a much needed lecture on the way home about how I have to learn to like myself again. She's right but I'm struggling, I only vaguely liked my old self!


俊君 said...

Joy shared with others are more enjoyed.......................................................

Dom P said...

I agree, isn't it interesting how misery shared reduces it.



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