It was my steel wedding anniversary at the weekend, otherwise known as “How-long-is-it-again-eleven-years”. Since I recently blogged on the subject of nuptials (5 May 2012) I will keep this brief, but I couldn’t resist a little speculation on the worst possible gifts to mark the occasion.
Handy for jemmying open recalcitrant jars of night cream but too scary to be romantic. In the face of steel teeth I would panic and scour the streets for a crowd of sinister Brazilian carnival puppets among which I might hide. Not many of those to the pound in Surrey. Frensham’s Scarecrow Festival could work if I get desperate.
DVD Box Set of Sapphire and Steel
I would envy Joanna Lumley’s haircut and wonder wistfully what it might take to make David McCallum smile and I might have to take myself off to compose an ode to Love Across the Sands of Time and that would be the end of a romantic evening with a real person.
A novel by Danielle Steel
The Ring would be good, except of course that it is golden and must therefore be saved for 39 years’ time. The Promise is too tragic, while Martha’s New Daddy is plain wrong. Where to turn? Where to turn? Disaster everywhere I look. And not in a good, Danielle-Steely kind of way.
Steeleye Span album
Nice thought, until you remember the band’s appearance on Top of the Pops dressed in Womble suits. This would not light the touch paper of romance beneath this particular love cauldron, although I might develop an urge for litter-picking on Hankley Common.
What are we left with? Bolt cutters? A neck brace? Some kind of vehicular chassis? It’s a problematic anniversary, friends. And then I remember – with unalloyed joy – that it’s over and done with now anyway. Next up: silk. Hurrah!
I’m sure there are plenty of you out there with wedding anniversaries today, it being May and all. Congratulations all round. But for those of you at the maybe-getting-engaged stage: if you live in Britain, think VERY hard before getting married in May.
May is hopelessly unpredictable. Of course, every month in Britain is unpredictable, but May is particularly bad because it’s full of such promise, making the disappointment all the crueller – particularly if this year is anything to go by. If your dress doesn’t blow over your head, your shoes will sink into the mud and no one will concentrate on the service because they are all so cold and cursing their sleeveless dresses and 5-denier tights and desperate weather-optimism. I have of course been to some lovely May weddings when all that truly mattered was the bride and groom and the whereabouts of the wine, but I can’t help looking out of the window today and thinking: well, THIS was a sure thing.
She stood all alone at the wedding
And toyed with her celery pate
She felt rather sick of the prawn on a stick
That she’d dolloped too deep in the satay.
She’d suffered a social disaster
She wanted to curl up and die
The truffle-wrapped grape she’d called a canape
To the horror of waiters nearby.
On the subject of canapés, they are officially my favourite food. They are like a magnificent banquet, of the sort enjoyed by a miniaturised Peter the Great. If I could eat canapés all day every day then I would, especially the prawny ones, though one can have too much tapenade.
The postage-stamp soupçons of sausage
Were hurriedly handed her way,
And men gathered round her, so glad they had found her
To while the reception away.
“I’m sure that we met at the polo!”
Cried Dickie, or Jono, or Rupe,
“The spring point-to-pointing was most disappointing,
The damp gave the labradors croup.”
Conversations at weddings are often rather dull unless you know everyone in the room extremely well. I would love it if someone came up to me at a wedding and instead of saying, “So how do you know Lisa / Chewbacca / Winnebago?” they said, “I got married in May. A cow ate my shoe and I lost my bride in a large puddle.”
Six years ago I was lying in Frimley Hospital clutching son number 2 and thinking how peculiar he smelled. The sun was blazing outside. Seven years prior to that, FA Cup Final Day was a warm and drunken first date in Soho with my future husband. If excitement’s your thing, go for a May wedding. If you want a little certainty, opt for January and fleece-lined underwear. Me? I went for a full-out thunderstorm in July.
So after a while she decided
The guests were all dull and verbose
The fatuous braying and territory-spraying
Began to get right up her nose.
She sped down the drive in her Escort
Delighted she’d been so astute,
Quite failing to see the Polo (reg-P)
And Jonno in hopeful pursuit.