Cathy and Robert Duncan celebrate with a cosy video evening…
Regular avid followers of my warm, wise and witty blogs will be surprised to see that I have chosen something as everyday as a wedding anniversary – but I have. With good reason. Every one of these (and we have one every year you know) reminds me of (a) how much I love my wife and (b) what a wonderful day it was.
This was underlined when we took our sons out for an Indian dinner (at the Dinner Man, as Jamie calls it) and then settled in to watch the entire wedding video, and not skip through the church service in order to get to my speech. There I was at St.Mary’s Church in Thame (a special place to Cathy’s wonderful parents) welcoming the guests, many of which have now gone on to their great reward, and waiting for the arrival of the star of the day. Driven in style (my car) by superstar chef Lotte Duncan, the lady in question arrived on the arm of the man in her life that had the enviable task of giving her away, Sam. Incidentally I asked him earlier if he would be prepared to give her away, and he said ‘No, but I’ll sell her for fifty quid.’ Smart lad. As they walked up the aisle I was lucky to be in the right place to thank God that I had taken a calming down pill, because otherwise I would probably have burst into tears and would have had to be comforted by my best man Peter. She looked beautiful. Hair perfect. Dress designed to be the best covering this girl of mine could have, further underlining how extraordinary it was that I had (a) attracted her attention, (b) got her, and by some amazing chance, created our gorgeous little boy, and (c) dragged her down this very aisle to get manacled to me for life.
1st May 2010 was planned as a simple event. Second time around for both of us. The service was lovely, annotated by my illustrious mother in law reading a relevant passage from my Bible story book Once Upon A World, my dear friend theatre producer Ian Liston reading a poem of Cathy’s choosing, and walking out of the church to the strains of Cliff singing When the Girl in your Arms is the Girl in your Heart. Not live sadly.
Then back to The Old Forge, our home at the time. Marquee looking fab, weather behaving itself perfectly unexpectedly, loads of balloons ready to be released into the blue sky. Those guests expecting white tablecloths, reconstituted chicken and giggling bridesmaids were disappointed. We gave them loads of champagne, shepherd’s pie, jelly and ice cream, and some riveting speeches.
One guest was overheard to say to her husband ‘If I ever get married again, this is just the sort of wedding I want.’
Wedding cake with a cartoon of us, bubbles, a magician, a harp player and weather that stayed on hold until we were all finished and didn’t care anymore, and the day was over.
A few people stayed on for an Indian takeout and that was it. Job done. Cathy and I had a wonderful lunch at Le Manoir the following day and returned to normality.
Jamie was fascinated with the whole video thing, not least the fate of the people who are no longer with us. But he has a broken arm, silly little thing, so he couldn’t do much else apart from watch a DVD that starred him when he was one and a bit, and a few other people, including his mummy and daddy, who thought it was probably the best time ever.
Prezzie time – and The present for a fifth anniversary is wood (behave) so I gave her a bay tree. This will be in the lovely garden, outside the lovely house that we have created since that happy day, and will hopefully grow as our love grows. And if you think that’s a bit cheesy, it is. But I mean it. She’s my girl.