Sunday, January 29, 2012


Last night we had the third and final round of our wedding celebrations, in the Punch Tavern on Fleet Street. When we arrived at 4:30 I was a bit worried as there seemed to be lots of people I didn't know, but they all cleared off around 5 as the first of my friends began to stream in.

As with our wedding in Halifax, we'd erred on the side of caution too much, with the result that at the end of the night we still had vast vats of hot food waiting to be eaten, and two halves of wedding cake. My rugby playing workmate arrived in the nick of time and made a valiant, Stakhanovite effort to polish off as much as he could, which made up for our miscalculation.

We had seven hours of drinking and eating and talking to people, some of whom I hadn't seen at all in the last decade. I began to wish that I'd printed up some laminated cards that would explain the passage of my life over the last 10 years, so we could get past explaining what I'd been up to and talk about other things. Or concentrate on putting more Guinness into my face.

But it was a joy to see everyone after so long, whether it was university stalwarts, fellow survivors of the south London comprehensive school system, or some of the many and varied boozehounds that I've been mountainbiking with. Or, indeed, anyone who's had to accomodate my neuroses in the workplace or in a family environment.

I drank and jabbered and held my wife up in the air for the benefit of the photographers, and wished the night could have been twice as long so I could have spent more time with everyone. And maybe drunk slightly less beer and slightly more water.

We're now richer to the tune of one CNCed breadboard, six dessert forks, a copious supply of books, plus all the other presents that I was too inebriated to focus on by the end of the night, and also reminded how rich we are in friends.

And hence to bed, in what appears to have been the hottest room in a hotel with the world's thinnest walls. Sauna-like conditions helped me sweat out my hangover, and thin walls meant our next door neighbour's alarm clock helpfully woke us up today. At five thirty this morning.


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