Apparently it is 23 years today since we stood up in the Friends’ Meeting House and declared our intention to be bonded for life (or ‘manacled together’ as Basil Fawlty puts it.) I was wearing blue silk and Mark was in Indian-style trousers and silk shirt with Indian sandals which fell apart on the way to the venue as it was raining! My outfit held up well: not so the wedding video (which we only had done because Mark’s brother couldn’t make it). The camera’s batteries ran out just as we were standing up to take our vows, and the person videoing hadn’t brought any spares: hence our wedding video is remarkable for not actually containing the wedding ceremony.
It was a beautiful occasion though; and after the photographs we went to the Rainbow and Dove for the reception. The entire wedding cost £200: a couple of people were rather sniffy about that. These people went on to spend thousands on their wedding and I have to report (with no smugness at all) that they are now divorced.
And then the honeymoon.
Oh, what a honeymoon! Will I ever forget it?
We had no money and as my parents had paid for the wedding we couldn’t really ask them to stump up, so we signed on with a lift agency and waited. And waited… in the end we set off and got to Madrid (where all my stuff was, since I’d just left thinking I’d be back again) in four days. We slept on floors mostly and people were quite bemused to see me with a husband in tow since I’d left before Christmas and they had no idea I was married. Well, hitching back wasn’t such a breeze: we got stuck in Burgos for eight hours and I broke my guitar climbing into the back of a lorry. Mark then promptly fell asleep while I fended off the advances of the lorry driver, all the while trying to nudge my loving husband awake again. Back in Paris, we had just enough money for a cheap hotel, and so to Boulogne where we scraped together the cash for the return fare.
Disaster. For some dastardly and inexplicable reason the return fare was MORE than the outward fare. I guess they just didn’t want to let us go… It was awful; at one point Mark thought he’d have to sell the wedding ring I’d bought him in India* and at that disastrous thought he stood in the terminal and wept.
Oh dear. We went back to the desk and explained our predicament. Fortunately there was a cheaper ferry at night, so we hung around and got that one.
On our return my father-in-law, whose sole contribution to the wedding had been to take some photos, asked when we were going to pay him for them: while everyone else just said ‘well, if you can make it through that, you’ll probably be OK.’
I deserve another honeymoon, a proper one this time. I think we should go to Venice.
Still, it serves a purpose: nowadays whenever we have a hard time we always say, ‘never mind: we’ll always have Burgos.’
*It got squashed in the end, but it was very thin