Wednesday, 23 July 2008

THE NEDDING - Part 1. Signing the Registry.

I am not, by nature, a particularly emotional person. Generally, I don't go into transports of either delight or despair. In fact, I spend a great deal of time feeling very little at all. I believe this is because when I do feel an emotion, it tends to be all-encompassing; it leaves me with no room to think of anything else, little desire to do anything else, and a complete absence of rational thought. I dislike this very much. Emotions are too powerful to be a comfortable experience, and therefore I tend not to experience them at all.

The nedding, however, swept all that away. I experienced 72 hours of unbridled excitement and happiness, with only a small, 20 minute spell of grumpiness to remind me how happy I actually was.

It all began on Thursday. I drove the 7 seater I had so boldly fought for (see previous post) to Edinburgh, via Lundin Links to deliver Secret Location directions to Brave Bird and Minstrel. In Edinburgh I tried to drop off more directions to Ceegar and Meeper, then realised they were actually at their country cottage, not in Edinburgh - so went to pick up the first of the hench-maidens: Janus. I was slightly alarmed to see that, although she'd packed a sensibly small suitcase, she'd also left a large pile of leftovers for Badger to take with him. As Badger, unbeknownst to him, was going in the surprise rental (more of that later), I had to warn him there would be space issues. This was slightly tricky to explain, because as far as Badge was concerned, he was going in Norman - Wheeler's large VW camper van - which could only have space issues if it was attempting to transport the congregation of Westminster Abbey. But I shrugged off explanations, and Janus and I headed off to get Koios - after first dropping yet more directions at Wheeler's. While returning Dougal the cocker's warm greeting, accepting the plastic baguette he brought me, I warned Wheeler about the space issue. He reassured me that all would be well. He would think of something. I believe he may have suggested I stay calm, but by this point I was so buzzing and bouncing with excitement, he might as well have instructed Amy Winehouse to stay sober.

Off to Koios we went, and thence on to collect the lovely Blarney. I was delighted to see that Awesome Girl had arrived safe and sound, not too jet lagged, and perfectly content to spend the night alone in Spartan & Blarney's flat before joining the minibus the next day.

With the 7 seater Kia bouncing with good vibes, we set off on the last leg of Operation Round-Up. This took us to Dollar to collect Phidippida, then home, via Blairingone to drop off yet more directions to Ceegar and Meeper. On the way, we phoned through a Thai takeaway at the lovely Rama Thai in Dundee - then phoned Fisher, who was at home, and asked her to pick it up. This she did, so there was a wonderful smell of Thai cuisine to greet us as we pulled up at HC.

The evening was passed playing Who's In the Bag?, eating Thai food, and looking at the wonderful album they'd put together of the Hag Weekend. It was just the distraction we needed, and before you could say Nedding, it was time for bed.

Sleep came quickly.

Waking also came quickly. It was 5am. Luckily, sleep came back quickly, and the next time I woke it was 7am, and I decided to read a bit of Patrick O'Brien to keep my mind from wandering into the dreaded area of Psycho Tummy. I could feel the tension headache just starting to throb behind my eyes, but it was barely worth concerning myself, so I paid it no mind.

Soon, the household was stirring. Owing to the fact we've had our downstairs bathroom ripped out, there would soon be a queue forming for use of the facilities, so Fisher and I got up, got ready, and tripped our merry way downstairs.

Soon, we were all breakfasted, washed, dressed, brushed and ready. The car was packed. The hour was nigh. It was time to go.

We drove sedately to St Andrews, where I kicked Blarney out to go and buy me ibuprofen, then continued on to the registry office. There we saw Lubentina, waiting in a perfect car parking space. Unfortunately, it would have been perfect for an ordinary car, but the Kia was too vast and unwieldy, so we had to reject her kind offer and park further down the street. This probably proved a godsend to the Cheese Board, who, while Fisher and I were performing the lack of ceremony, took it upon themselves to decorate the back window with a shaving foam message of "Just Nedded", festoon the thing with balloons and streamers, and place a "Congratulations" banner on the dashboard. Had we been parked in the original place, the extra 30 seconds it took us to walk back to the car would not have allowed them to finish the job. After all, as Blarney so romantically put it:

"People take longer in the toilet than it took you to get nedded."

But, short though it was, it wasn't without ceremony. We used the official chambers, with the vast wooden throne with a carving of St Andrew on it, and it felt very sober and grand. The assistant registrar told us who she was. We agreed that we were who we said we were. Then we were told not to enter into our partnership lightly and given a pen. We went round the table, I sat in the throne, and we all signed our names where appropriate. Job done! Hugs from Arrow and Lu, then out into the fresh air to see the final squirt of shaving foam applied.

The ceremony completed, we leaped joyously into the car and headed on our merry, merry way.

End of Part One