On Saturday a great thing happened. Then a terrible thing happened. Then I got drunk.
Great thing: my good friend Tom got married to his girlfriend Dom. Being non-religious types, the couple made sure the ceremony was churchless and hymnless, and so the events of the day took place in a still-operational mill just outside Bath. We got the bride walking down the aisle to The Beatles' All You Need Is Love, the father of the groom reading an Apache Wedding Blessing and the happy newlyweds walking out to the uplifting tones of Primal Scream's Movin' On Up.
Tom is known for his tendency to blub at anything (the previous wedding he'd been too, he’d been in floods of tears, despite having never even met the bridge or groom) but he managed to hold it together, following a shaky start. They were married!
After the ceremony, there was a delicious sit-down meal, a raucous barn dance and that wedding staple, the drunken disco. But before those things happened, there was the throwing of the bouquet. The bride stood on a balcony surrounded by excited males, while about 15 young ladies gathered on the road below.
I stood to one side, half watching. Then the bouquet was tossed and it flew through the air like a… well, like a bouquet of flowers. Amid the scramble, I didn’t see who got it. We now come to the terrible thing. The dust cleared and I saw what had happened. Sarah had caught the bouquet.
Robbie, the Geordie usher with a booming voice, spotted me and boomed, "Will looks terrified!" A number of people turned and looked at me. Their laughter was loud. Tom's dad walked up and shook me by the hand, cruelly asking when the big day was going to be. Sarah shuffled, over, shamefaced. In case she thought I hated her or something, I gave her a kiss: "Don't, Will!" she said. "They might think… y'know…"
The gags, inevitably, continued for the entire day.
As the night drew to its rowdy close, we all boarded the bus which was to take us back to Bath town centre. As I walked to my seat, I heard a quiet but mocking 'ner-ner ner-ner nerr' singsong voice: "You're getting married." I continued down the aisle. Down the aisle. Gah.
After the architectural splendour of Bath, the hay bales and barn dancing of Priston Mill, I arrive home in Stockwell to find a pile of washing up and what appears to be a bottle of piss lying on our roof terrace. Ah, it's good to be back.