Thankfully, the venue is not massive, however, it did put us next to two women who nattered constantly for the entire length of the, aptly named "losing it", show. I had to really bite back hard not to say anything to them. I knew that if I had started I would have lost it with them. The topics they covered were wide and sweeping and included an in-depth conversation about the content of their handbags, (at one point they were actually taking items out of the bags, no doubt for even more in-depth discussion and visual impact), what they had for lunch, the price of school clothes, where they had got the blouse that one of them was wearing. This took up about 10 minutes on its own as they discussed how lovely it was and how both of them thought it was lovely and they could not think of a lovelier blouse that either of them had ever seen etc etc etc.
The only thing that interrupted the constant flow of words was the interval and when one of the harpies phone rang. "Oh, I'm so embarrassed" she exclaimed but instead of turning it off she proceeded to answer the damn thing..... At the end of the show they finally stopped chatting long enough to applaud and I heard one of them say:-
"That was brilliant!".
How in hell would they know? Unless of course she was not actually talking about the show but the catch up session that she had just had with her friend. No doubt they went home and immediately called each other up for the next two hours to say what a good time they had.
I was trying to think why I didn't say anything to them. Even Mrs B expressed her surprise at my dogged silence. On reflection, I believe the main reason I didn't say anything was because of the delicious juxtaposition that had played out before me. While Ruby was on stage talking about the ability of Englishwomen to prattle on endlessly about nothing in particular, the ladies next to me went above and beyond the call of duty to prove her point. The irony clearly being lost on our two new friends... Names, addresses (and, if I had my way, their breaths(permanently)) have been withheld...
Craig & Mala's wedding details
OK, OK, I've kept you waiting for long enough (even to the point of being harangued by Vinnie, who demanded to know where the photographs of him were....You have to remember he is Italian) the details of Mala & Craig's wedding and the safari we went on....., Settle down, settle down, it was only a day at Woburn Safari Park and not a 2 week trip around deepest, darkest Africa (which would not be a problem for The Beast as it has great low light capability....). The wedding being held close to Woburn, Mrs B took the opportunity to book a weekend break which included dinner and access to Woburn Abbey and Woburn Safari park....Why is it that the offer, clearly stated on the WEB, is never available when you try and book it? But curiously there is a slightly different offer : "half as much for twice the cost...." Grrrrrr bloody hotels....
When I was invited to the wedding I thought I was simply down as a guest and witness to our friends happy day. I guess the six weeks that Mala and Craig left to organise themselves meant that they did not have a lot of think time, otherwise I'm sure they would have found someone more suitable to assist them. Either that or they were hoping that I would not have enough time to use The Beast.....Fat chance...
The tasks I picked up were :-
1st up - Sorting the music out for the ceremony. Unfortunately I didn't get to select the music and I fear most of the congregation now think I'm a Barbara Streisand fan. I got to create the CD and play it at appropriate moments, through the service. Poor Mala has been so busy trying to squeeze 6 months of planning into 6 weeks that she forgot to ask me to undertake this task. I suspect she had one of those conversations in her head and then convinced herself that we had spoken. I only found out when Craig sent me the running order with my name against the music part and a note thanking for me agreeing to do it....Thank god that Craig is excessively organised, otherwise I would probably have not found out until during the embarrassing silence as Mala walked up the Isle.... The best man's speech touched on Craig's ability to over organise. I actually had first-hand experience of it when I received Craig's wedding planner:
11:45 Background music starts [I fear my cue may have been about 12 seconds late, putting the whole schedule in jeopardy]
11:55 Craig meets Registrar beforehand ; hands over "certificate for marriage" [This makes it sound like a relay race. I wonder if they get disqualified if they drop the baton, sorry I mean certificate....]
11:58 Wedding dress arrives*
12:00 Ceremony commences [personally I feel a starting pistol would have been appropriate but it was not to be....]
12:00 + 12 seconds Music change to Evergreen : Barbara Streisand [Time for me to stick my fingers in my ears and make loud noises to cover my distress]
12:00 + 28 seconds Mala walks down the isle [Would it have been so bad if I had swapped out BS for something decent? I mean what bride has not dreamt of walking down the isle to Roy C - 'Shotgun Wedding'....? As it was I could not find a copy]
12:00 + 37 seconds Mala reaches her mark [I was tempted to move it but thought better of it...]
12:01 + 22 seconds Registrar gives introduction, says Flitwick Manor is authorised for weddings…
12:03 Registrar calls on congregation to declare if they know of any lawful impediment…[I thought that the Registrar had a slight speech impediment but decided it probably was not the time to bring it up ]
12:05 Registrar talks about marriage…
12:06 Craig and Mala declare that they know of no reason why they cannot be lawfully married…
12:08 Dawn reads "My love"
12:14 Registrar asks Craig and Mala if they wish to marry each other…. "I do" [Craig could have said it with a bit more conviction but it was OK as Mala more than made up for it with a very enthusiastic declaration....]
12:15 Craig and Mala then contract to marry, saying additional vows they have chosen with prompting from the Registrar [I felt the cattle prod was a bit OTT but it certainly proved effective]
12:16 Glen gets the rings out
12:16 + 12 seconds Glen drops the rings
12:16 + 42 seconds Glen finds and picks up rings and hands them to the Registrar [Wow, Craig even built in some contingency planning in case of problems]
12:17 Craig and Mala exchange rings saying some extra words [Craig seriously..... just 3 minutes for Mala???]
12:20 Ritu reads "Blessing for a Marriage"
12:22 Music change to Romance from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik [That kind of gives the impression the music automatically changes.....that was another 30 seconds lost off of the schedule....oooops]
12:23 Craig and Mala sign the register
12:24 Music change to Alla Hornpipe
12:25 - 12:27 Confetti Outside…
12:28 Music change to Classical Background
* No joke, due to the problems with the ash cloud** Mala's wedding dress and her dress for the evening did not arrive from India until the night before the wedding. She was running around at 10pm trying to find a tailor to make final adjustments.
** My sister was distraught at being forced to spend an extra week in her 5star hotel in the Caribbean at BA's expense. People just don't realise the hardships somr are being put through. As our friend Lisa said, another couple of days in the sun and with the addition of two handles my sister would have been returned to us as an Antique Leather Handbag......
I must point out although I may have enhanced Craig's wedding plan a little, it was not by very much..... I do like it when someone else gets to write most of the BlackLOG script.
2nd - Mala handed me a video camera a couple of days before the wedding (An improvement in that she remembered to have the conversation with me this time) and asked me if I would mind doing a bit of informal videoing through out the day. Always up for a challenge I was happy to oblige...The first problem I found was videoing the wedding and attempting to cue music while using the Beast.
Next the music was at the back of the room and so I had to do all the filming from there, which was straight into the light....Oh, well it was informal so not a problem. I did a little bit of filming through out the day and thought nothing of it. However, any time I stopped, Mala's mum would come up and ask me why I was not filming... I managed to get Mrs B to do some, she's much better with video as she makes the effort to put a bit of commentary to go with it....
Come the evening session, however and the battery was flat. Which meant I missed most of the speeches. Mala's mum again appeared and asked me why I was not filming. I explained the battery was flat and she asked me why I had not recharged it....I looked a bit quizzical and at this point I was informed that the video was for all the family back in India who had not been able to attend.....Gulp...... .
Having failed to find a plug at the venue I grabbed Mrs B's mini Beast which has a video option and filmed everything that moved....Oh no. ... I hope someone explains that it is a wedding video.
3rd - Assisted with writing one of the speeches :- Vinnie, as the person most responsible for Craig and Mala meeting in the first place was asked to open the speeches by letting everyone know how Mala and Craig had met. He decided that his speech could do with some BlackLOG magic. I may have already mentioned that he's Italian so can be forgiven for mistaking my mindless chatter for English humour. I say with some satisfaction that the best laughs were my from my lines but I'm not sure if it was Vinnie's excellent delivery or pity laughs for bad lines....
Woburn Safari Park
I can't help but think there was something wrong as we sat in a traffic queue edging through the animal enclosures, pumping out carbon dioxide. I appreciate that it is the people going to see the animals that pays for their feed but fear we are going to produce generations of sickly lions, asthmatic tigers and barfing bears.....
But at least Mrs B got to see some owls, tune in next week to see why that was so important....
I'll end with some photos