So, my oldest friend, M, got married yesterday. Our parents were friends and she is a year older than me so I have known her since I was born – 50 years ago as regular readers will be aware.
I haven’t been to a wedding in a while – I’m waiting for my friends’ children to start getting married – and I did enjoy it. I described M’s father’s funeral last year. It was sad that he wasn’t there as he would have hugely enjoyed it all and made a great speech to boot.
The wedding was in Bantry House which was lovely but absolutely freezing – consider yourself warned. I spent much of the evening crouched by various fires. When it came to dinner in the huge dining room (possibly originally a ball room) one of the other guests who was sitting near me had both a shawl and a poncho and lent me the latter: she was a Bulgarian and many years of living in Ireland appears to have given her little confidence in Irish people’s ability to heat their houses. This was fortunate for me.
The wedding brought a range of visitors from far flung places including Argentina, Canada, Vietnam and Brazil. The bride’s cousins had come from England. I hadn’t met them since we were all little girls and I confided to these grown up, sophisticated English women that I had regarded them with great bitterness when I was a child as, for weeks before they came to visit M spoke of little else and I was terrified of being usurped. They were a bit nonplussed for a moment and then started to apologise. Honestly, English people can be truly charming.
Notwithstanding its freezing nature, I loved, loved, loved the venue. I’m not sure why but I’ve never been to Bantry before. Bantry House is a delight and as wedding guests we were free to wander around and inspect a number of the rooms which I enjoyed hugely. I am very keen to go back and stay in the B&B they run and have a tour of the house (will definitely bring my hot water bottle though).
The bride and groom were visibly delighted which made everyone cheerful. They picked their own readings for the ceremony, made their own vows had a friend officiate and another friend sang. I knew I would cry and came prepared with tissues.
Speech of the night came from the groom’s 17 year old son who was funny and touching. After dinner there was a great magician. Not words I ever thought I would utter but he was really entertaining.
The music was calculated to appeal to the mature audience. You have not lived until you have seen a 78 year old lady dancing very handily to “Love Cats” by the Cure (the bride’s aunt, since you ask – looks amazing and very on top of who everyone was “Oh,” she said to me, “I remember you, you used to come and play with M.” True.)
What was really nice as well was that Mr. Waffle and I had a weekend away – just the pair of us – for the first time in ages. On Saturday morning we wandered around Bantry delighted with ourselves and bought various crafty things including a large basket for turf which we carried back to the hotel between us looking as cool as you might imagine.
Herself was 16 on Friday (hold your breath for a long post on that milestone) and I felt a bit of a heel abandoning her but she wanted to stay in Dublin and Mr. Waffle’s wonderful sister had her to stay and showed her a good time. The boys stayed in Cork. My brother and sister looked after them and they seem to have had a great time also. A win all round, I hope.
Today was a bit of a long day. We left Bantry about 11, picked up the boys from Cork, stopped in Cashel for lunch about 2 (I was still full after a large breakfast and ordered the warm salad with bacon and black pudding – a plate heaped with lardons and almost a whole black pudding dowsed in salad dressing arrived, after some digging I found a solitary lettuce leaf cringing miserably at the bottom of the bowl – when they say bacon and black pudding in Tipperary, they mean it) and got home at about 4.30. Herself had been dropped home shortly beforehand by her loving aunt which was great. The cat had been sick on our bed and the rug which was less great.
How was your own weekend?