Back from Anton and Anna's wedding, via a short spell in Brighton. Am finally relaxing a bit.
Mrs Kenny and I travelled to Salisbury on Thursday. Infuriatingly, I realised on the train that I'd picked up an early draft of the wedding poem I'd written for the event. Fortunately I was able to get a copy of the final version from the registrar just before the wedding. Thursday night was spent in Philips House -- a huge house in its own grounds. Walked in the side entrance through and then through a bookcase door into a huge high ceilinged room with many big oil paintings of old worthies, a log fire and a view over rolling grounds fringed by trees and with the distant glitter of a small lake. Here's a photo of the house.
Many happy reunions with Anton's family, and I enjoyed meeting Anna's parents for the first time. We rehearsed the ceremony for the marriage the next day. Which involved walking down flights of stairs to a landing where they would be married. This took several attempts to get it right. The couple who were the custodians were running about being very hospitable and serving some mouthwatering food. The host very friendly although later and a bit worse for wear he got over-enthusiastic and started racing about in a Fawlty Towers style and at one point squeezing Mrs Kenny and others in what I thought of as an over-familiar way. Then Nick and Suzie gave Mrs K and I a lift back to our pub hotel. I managed about two and half hours sleep and fell to working on my speech at 4.30 in the morning.
Next day the wedding was not till 4.30pm but Anton was in dire need of attention. Nick and I found him lurking in his bedroom, with Trotski the intrepid cat, looking like he was about to have root canal work done without anaesthetic. Of course when the ceremony was over he was transformed. The wedding went very smoothly, Anna looked beautiful, the ceremony was moving and beautifully staged, and at the end of it I did my poem about them paragliding which seemed to hit the right note judging by the warmth of the applause afterwards.
The wedding breakfast was great although my nerves were a bit shredded by the time it came for Nick and I to do our speeches at 9.20. They went well, especially Nick's, I felt I was slightly under prepared and slightly drunk. Then outside for a wonderful firework display. And chatting with lots of old pals, and Nick and I smoked some fantastically expensive cigars. Particularly enjoyed seeing Loretta again, who I'd not seen for a couple of years.
Next morning grimly coming to concsiousness in the dismal pub Mrs Kenny noticed that the toilet was leaking. This turned into a catastrophic leak which was pouring through the bar below. We got up and later the owner confronted us, and said that I'd told her that I'd knocked the cistern. I'd not even used the cistern and certainly had told her no such thing. She then wandered about muttering about this and making phone calls to people about how I'd "knocked" the cistern and now had denied it. This made me feel furious but Mrs Kenny said I was overreacting. Fortunately there were Brian and Loretta and Sarah and Frase there as we waited for breakfast, as I was feeling vulnerable, hungover and liable to explode.
Frase asked for a new head when asked what he wanted for breakfast.
Then we travelled from Salisbury to Brighton and looked at lots of houses and stayed with Janet and Ken. I felt a bit of a zombie by then with tiredness. But we saw several houses, one really nice house -- and then went back to Janet and Ken. Stayed up talking about culture, politics and books -- Mrs Kenny heading for bed at the lightweight hour of 9 o'clock -- but I had a second wind and roared till midnight.
Sunday we travelled back home. Finally today I am feeling relaxed. Stupid work tomorrow and another tsunami of slog. But had a massively enjoyable swim today.