Saturday dawned sunny and frosty. Had a good old slap-up breakfast then headed for Kaye and Charlies' (the happy couple) at around mid-day. Couldn't find their street. Did a couple of laps of the village and eventually gave up. Phoned in for directions. Arrived about 1ish. Charlie was there with Rod (my bro-in-law). Had a quick run-down about feeding the cat and dogs (we'd be house-sitting Saturday night) then they both left for the hotel to get ready. Wedding scheduled for 3pm so it was all a bit rushed. Georgie and Don then set about getting ready while I watched a bit of the Everton/Man U match (Charlie and Kaye have Sky - whoopee!). At about 2ish, I dragged my crumpled white(ish) shirt from the depths of my rucksack and set off in search of an iron. Found one but no ironing board (discovered later that it was hiding behind the fridge). Ironed out most of the creases on the kitchen table and ironed in some catfood. Damn - no tie. Nicked one of Charlie's. Donned kilt, sporran, jacket etc. and was ready to go on the dot of 2.30. Went outside for a fag while Georgie and Don fine-tuned their warpaint. Left at about quarter to. Drove round the corner to the church. Arrived at ten to. Church bells clanging. Had another fag. Sister emerged from church to check if we'd arrived yet (everyone else was already inside). Poor thing hasn't seen me in a kilt since primary school. Got top marks for making the effort and pleasing Mum (she'd be looking down from above). Took up positions in the church pews. Lovely little church. Bride Kaye arrived bang on time, escorted by Rod. Sun shining through colourful leaded windows. A good do. Kaye's 18-month-old bairn Penny particularly enjoyed it, yelping with delight at all the hullaballoo. Not sure she really understood what mummy and daddy were up to. Still, she will one day.
Service over, the happy couple and various relatives posed for photos outside. Suddenly got a bit chillier so everyone was quite relieved to jump into cars and head off for the reception at the local hotel. Another cracking do. Excellent nosh-up (despite Kaye's insistence on a vegetarian menu), followed by speeches (surprise announcement that Kaye was expecting her second in September - Rod had hinted this a couple of weeks ago which stopped me spluttering a gobful of cabbagey stuff across the table), followed by a fag break and welcome bar attack. The evening could then have slowly fizzled out but the organising committee had an ace up their sleeve: an in-house casino soiree. This consisted of a pon-toon (dunno how it's spelt) table and a roulette table with everyone being given 75 quids' worth of chips (not real money of course). The person with the most winnings at 9.30pm would win a bottle of whatever tickles their fancy from the cellar. Splendid stuff. I was immediately tempted to put the lot on red, lose, then go outside for a few fags. But I took things easy. Captain Sensible. Nevertheless, within about ten minutes flat, I was down to my last chip. And we still had a couple of hours to go. When that went, I bummed a chip or ten off Georgie (so what's new?!) and switched to pon-toon.
Amazingly, at 9.29 I was still in possession of chips. Thousands of the buggers. I had piles of black ones, blue ones, red ones, all sorts. The winner would be between me and Charlie's dad (actually his mum - his dad had lost out ages ago but had taken over his wife's stash!). It all depended on the final hand. All in. He, or should I say she, won. Rats. So near and yet so far. But by now we'd all got to know each other (first time I'd met Charlie's gang) and a splendid time was had by all. Champagne all round. Outside for another quick fag then all back to the bar.
I don't know what time Georgie, Donnie and I left (I'm guessing about 11ish), but I do know it was a chilly mile walk back to the house (everyone else stayed at the hotel). Gave the dogs (a couple of bug-eyed, but perfectly behaved - compared to my/our mutts - King Charles spaniels) a run in the garden, then fed 'em, and the cat, had a coffee or two and went to bed. Knackered.
Woke up on Sunday to about six inches of snow. And it was still snowing. Thought it might mean we couldn't drive back. Luckily the snow stopped when sis, Rod, Charlie, Kaye and Penny arrived at about mid-day. Said our farewells at about 1.30 and headed south. Arrived Putney about six hours later, having stopped off for a mega Little Chef all-day breakfast on the way. Great to get home (well, second home) to a nice cup of tea (actually I went straight for the scotch). Shoes off. Mission accomplished.