30 May 2008

2008 Weddings -- #2

The second of the year's weddings (well, the ones I'm invited to, at any rate -- I imagine there must have been others) happened last Sunday at West Quantoxhead in Somerset[1]. It was another thoroughly pleasant affair -- the weather put a rather literal dampener on the proceedings (and the vows were amusingly heralded by an ominous squall), but the rather large indoor venue was ample to contain us all.

As is customary at these events, the bride and groom seemed very happy. In addition there were lots of lovely friends, and pleasant veggie food, and drink, and ceilidh dancing. Possibly because of the astonishingly generous profusion of the penultimate item, the complexities of the last proved somewhat beyond my grasp, but B. seemed to enjoy herself with a succession of partners, which is always nice.

This was the first wedding I've been to which featured rival speech-length sweepstakes, a tradition which I inaugurated many years ago now[2]. I feel both proud and humbled (especially since I won one and lost the other, having hedged on 32 and 42 minutes respectively. Still, I got £19 out of it.) I'm considering making up bingo-cards for next time, with phrases like "be upstanding", "four years old", "N.'s first girlfriend" and "into our family" on them.

In addition to plentiful and varied drink, I enjoyed some fine cigars with friends. Cigars at weddings are not only permissible but almost mandatory, unlike cigarettes which border on the gauche. They do, however, act as a gateway drug -- someone had brought snuff, which I'd never tried before, to stick up our noses. Goodness, that's an odd sensation.

After the reception we returned to our hotel with various other guests, purchased a bottle of vodka and sat around until 4 a.m. playing a traditional English swearing-game[3] and talking mainly about -- if memory serves -- gardening and babies. I forget whether the two were alleged to be connected.

Whether it was because of the cigars, snuff, drink or late night, I felt somewhat rough the next day. Still -- hurrah for weddings! Only three (or possibly just two) more to go this year.

[1] I hadn't previously realised that St Audrey -- after whom West Quantoxhead is alternatively named, and from the shoddy reputation of whose saint's-day market we derive the word "tawdry" -- was the same person as St Ethelreda, and indeed St Æthelthryth.
[2] At least, I'm fairly sure it was me. I'm open to correction, as it's possible that the wedding booze has blunted my memory there.
[3] I've spoiler-protected the game rules to protect innocent eyes -- highlight the whitespace to read: Think of film titles, and try to work out whether they're funny with either "Up My Arse" or "On My Cock" stuck on the end. Eg Shooting Fish Up My Arse, The Unbearable Lightness of Being Up My Arse, The Hands of Orlac On My Cock, etc. We worked out that E.M. Forster adaptations are particularly productive, viz: Howards End Up My Arse, A Passage to India Up My Arse, A Room with a View Up My Arse, Where Angels Fear to Tread On My Cock. It's, er, fun when you're drunk.

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