The last few days

There seems to be a time limit with blogging. If you don't get your thoughts down quickly they begin to fade or lose relevance. So this is going to be a much truncated version of the weekend's events.

On Friday we drove to Hampshire and joined the run-through for my friend's wedding. When it passed without any major hitches we had an evening meal at the bride's mum's house, meeting more members of the family.

On Saturday there was a lot of ferrying of people and things around. Buttonholes, make-up person, the groom, us. BY the afternoon everything was in place and I was standing at my friend's side, waiting for the bride to arrive. That she did, right on time. She was bubbling with happiness. I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone looking so happy - I was even beginning to wonder if she might faint, but luckily she held onto consciousness through the whole ceremony.

The evening brought my second challenge(the first being to not lose the ring). I had to deliver a best man's speech. I'm used to talking in public. I do it almost every day, I appear with my bands regularly. You wouldn't think it would be a problem. However, much as I wouldn't want to teach a class if I didn't think I was doing a good job, I didn't want to do this if I was going to bore the pants off everyone. Typically, I assumed everything would be fine until the day before. Luckily, I had written a good outline for the speech and was in a confident mood.

First the man taking the part of the bride's late father spoke. He was a colonel and spoke eloquently about her. Secondly, my friend giving his groom's speech. Funny, touching and without a wasted phrase. Damn, I thought, this is going to be hard to follow. Somehow I got through it (despite the groom's avoidance of any embarrassing incidents I could use, or my willingness to make something up). I got to the end, the cake was cut with the family's sword (they go back a long way) and we got into party mode.

One further twist awaited me though as two musical friends (including Soul Beaver's drummer) had asked the band if we could borrow their instruments. I was shocked. We would never let anyone use our equipment and I wasn't sure I wanted to step on the toes of the local band. The groom was adamant that we shouldn't perform as well so I felt we wouldn't go on. Except... deep down in most musicians there is an itch that an empty stage creates. The only way to scratch it is, as you can imagine, to get up and play. Eventually, after some questioning on the local band to be absolutely sure they didn't mind, we got up as a three piece (Bridge Street essentially) and played just two songs. It felt great, but it was also good to let the others take over.

Many hours later the bride and groom departed and we made our way back to the hotel.

The next morning, rather than come straight home, we stopped at Winchester, had a look at the cathedral, climbed a tower and walked the town. In the evening I tried calling home but got no response. Concerned, but aware I couldn't do anything I got some sleep. The next morning I found my mum had been admitted to hospital. She's stable now but, having written all this it's time to see how she is doing again.


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