Authie et Mi

Tu es absolument éblouissante

25th July 2011

So what time is this train then ? 0418 hours, so that means being there for 0348, leave here about 0200 so get up at 0100. Nah! It’s not worth the effort. I’ll just stay up and fall over when I get there.

So I watched the last two episodes of Caprica, packed the car and left at about 2330. Reached Montreuil and got stuck behind two lorries that were crawling along the road at 60 kph. Oh well I am in no hurry I thought, but all the same this is still slower that I had intended.

Parked up at the Eurotunnel terminal and tried to doze — couldn’t because it was all so exciting. The train rocked about so much that I thought I was on a boat and it was with relief that I reached Folkstone. Put the clocks back so we are now 0400 again.

By now it had occurred to me that — Good Point ! Anton and Debs have moved and I haven’t got the new address with me. Never mind, for the moment I nearly know where I am going, it’s sort of on the way to the old place and alongside the main road. Get to Bluebell Hill, come off the main drag and then think OK, it’s along here somewhere. Half an hour later, not much the wiser, but they should be up and by some miracle I did have the new telephone number on my portable.

Five minutes later I was there. I had turned right instead of left. Anton and Debs were up and surrounded by strawberries and raspberries, bottles of drink (Drink!) and did I mention the strawberries !

Coffee, breakfast, coffee. Re-pack the car, unload the car, put the back seats forward and re-pack the car. This time the axles are no longer on the ground. Wee Simon is up — more coffee (Is it any wonder really that I couldn’t sleep). Do we have Brit money for the Dartford toll ? Can Anton get all the strawberries in his car; and take Debbie as well ?

I hate driving in England, they have so many cars all going in my direction. Frankly why do people want to spend an hour of their lives every morning in a six lane wide queue of traffic attempting to get under the Dartford River — you can go under the Pas de Calais faster than that.

Break for photos — nobody is coming here to read this drivel they all want to see Hannah.

Welcome Back

At the wedding venue we got our selves settled in and the kitchen packed. The rear suspension on the car was so pleased to off-load the wine and beer. The venue was really nice with a large courtyard surrounded by the buildings. Rather like a manorial farm in northern France. The set-up was that we were allowed to cater for ourselves. Alex’s mum had thought about doing all the work, but come-on folks you can’t fly in from the Philippines and start cooking immediately (You would need at least a morning off to get over the jet-lag).

A caterer had been organised to provide us with a Philippine menu and they slaved for hours chopping veggies and brewing up interesting sauces. Some of the guests wondered if the food had been brought in – nope, it was all prepared on-site.

More photos anybody — oh all right then.

I make no apology for not really having cottoned on to exactly who everybody was or their names. No doubt I’ll get reminded on here of the important people. Old geezer in purple shirt — that was your father !

The gathering did just that, in the courtyard before filing into the salle de marriage to wait on ‘she who will be late’. Said young lady was almost ready.

Hands up all who know the film Pirates of the Caribbean I ? There is a moment at the beginning of the film where Keira Knightley comes down the stairs of the mansion and Jonathan Price says (and I have just had to check the English subtitles on my French DVD) : you look absolutely stunning.

As Hannah appeared on the stairs with her dad (my wee brother; Anton) the scene came to my mind but I know it in the French version : tu es absolument éblouissante; which translates as dazzling. You can see from the photos that the word is well merited.

With Charlie and Camilla hovering as attentive bridesmaids, no hair was going to go astray and the dress was always perfect.

The official photos were being taken by my youngest brother Nigel (did you know that in French the youngest of the family is known as : the Benjamin(e) ? Of course at our ages, that simply makes him less grey) and he took the last few shots of Miss Godly before the cortège turned onto the magic path that would bring the transition into Mrs Harpur.

The civil ceremony was simple, to the point and accompanied by Claude Debussy’s Claire de lune. Spooky, on the way up the road Simon and I had been talking about the book Twilight which I am reading in French and Edward the vampire’s musical taste : Claire de lune.

And so Hannah and Alex exchanged rings, made no mention of obeying anybody whomsoever, signed the register and looked very, very happy as they emerged into the sunshine for the photo session. Adam the Usher had his list: her family; his family; his and her family; same again but less people; same again but with friends. Where’s Nanny? Give us yer bag a moment. Mind the dress! Put the glass down. For goodness sake, just give it here a moment. You two, stop chasing the pigeons!

The food was ready and it is always a good sign when the noise level diminishes at table, people are eating. Our four caterers excelled themselves providing what for many of us I am sure was a first taste of Philippine cuisine.

Speech !

Discours from Anton, Alex and his two bestmen, Sam and Dan, were enlightening. Alex can’t hold his drink, there are no shelves in his house because Anton never did lend him the drill, he is never wrong but will have to accept than in married life his chances of ever being ‘right’ have seriously diminished, and for someone so quiet he has a viscous competitive streak in him that has in the past led to mega sulks or — let’s play a different game.

UPDATE: I’ve just been out shopping at my local hypermarket and spotted something that reminded me of another remark that was mentioned about Alex. Put melon in front of him and he turns into a Velociraptor.

We also learnt that he is madly in love with his wife, which was a really good thing with his new in-laws just a metre or so away.

The evening continued with Peter acting as DJ. That’s a brilliant program you have there for the i-pad. How much did that set you back? 59p, is that all. Gramps’ll have that. Fast forward ninety seconds. Did you see what Peter was using for the music ? It’s only 59p I’ll have to get that.

Strawberries and cream, wedding cake and then the caterers produced more food for the evening guests. It was noted that with the extra hour or so of marination some of the dishes were spicier the second time around. How did we manage to eat all of that. Ping ! There goes another button.

No good though, my eyes were telling me that they needed rest. It had been a long and eventful day. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Posted : 27 July 2011

Travel, England