The day was perfect. Well almost ... info to follow *
I loved the gospel choir singers (4 women) - they had everyone jigging in the pews (even though we were sitting down) and the priest was a real character. The whole ceremony was beautiful and moving.
* After the Church, my co-pilot Laks and I set off for the 45 minute drive to Virginia Waters for the reception (and the evening reception). Laks punched the post (zip) code in my Tom-Tom (GPS) and 45 minutes later we found ourselves in fucking Chiswick. Really. I went ballistic because I have never driven through London (believe me the outskirts are nothing like Central London for a relaxing driving experience) before, and I had no great desire to do so, always opting for the good old British Black Cab. Okay. No option. Just had to drive through and back the way we came (kind of) whilst Laks kept muttering, "I know I put in 3LS, hmmmmm, PERHAPS my finger slipped and I typed something instead of GU." My caustic response was, "yeah like SW" (for South West London). My heart was banging in my chest and all I could think of was that I couldn't phone Cliff to come rescue me.
But, you know what? I did it! Hoorah! And it provided other guests with a great deal of mirth and amusement when we told them about it. Correction. When I told them. Laks preferred not to discuss it LOL.
Okay, back to the wedding ... as I said, the day was perfect. The speeches were short, the food was delectable, the band in the evening could actually sing (and sounded GREAT), and the company I was in ... well, it's hard to explain. I just felt at home with all those "strangers" - they were "my kind of people" - and I absolutely know that Cliff would have enjoyed it as much as I did. It was great to see my friend Mel (who is on maternity leave) and her husband Elio (who entertained me with his Mr Bean impressions) and I danced quite a lot, but kept restraining myself, just holding back every now and again, you know. Because he wasn't there ...
There was only one moment when I felt the sadness come over me like a wave of lead. I'm amazed I didn't find myself lying on the floor because of it. It was so heavy. So heavy. Lead water. I glanced at Danny (Karina's Groom). He was talking to someone and had his back to me ... he was holding a bottle of something that I recognized ... perhaps a good cognac champagne ... and it was the way he was holding that bottle, the way he was holding himself. And it so reminded me of another Groom, another time, the mannerism was unmistakably the same, even though they bear no resemblance to each other. And I understood why I liked him instantly. He's a man. Men are a dying breed. I was so lucky to find one and have those 15 wonderful years.
I wish Karina those years, but tenfold.