The wedding, The Ring of Kerry, another wedding, and finally another wedding!!!
Bonjour Mes Amies,
36 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, only 3 hours to go before the ceremony, and the Bride calmly suggests that 30 tablecloths need ironing! Suddenly there is not a soul in sight; 30 seconds before we had a house full! My brother in law, Mike (aka, yours truly, The Gerbil), the one that corrects Olif’s grammar and created this website, finds the ironing board, plugs in the iron and away he goes. I thought it was only horses that sweat, men just perspire and Olif’s lose heat (actually I don’t, thank you Joe, marvellous stuff this HRT!). Well, after 2 hours of solid ironing in such temperatures, tablecloths looked super creaseless, and Mike resembled a hot horse!
Back a week.
Franklin and Tasha’s purchase from ebay.fr of a recycled tent is about to be erected in readiness for their wedding. Five strapping, French, six pack hommes, and JS! Successfully complete the task. It looked magnificent, until the next day when the Mistral gathered underneath it.
“Nessie, battle down the hatches, we have a premature lift off!!”
If it had been a kite it would have been fantastic, I was holding onto the north pole and JS was holding onto the south pole, clearly unsuccessfully, as this balloon was gathering pace towards Figanieres.
“Don’t let go Nessie, if it takes off, go with it!!” is he really mad?
Tash arrives, realizes both her parents are in this critical situation, and, like a suffragette, leaps for the east wing pole and attaches herself to it. We are losing the battle fast, JS’s little legs were lifting up towards the sky, the land army on the other end were holding their own…just, when the cavalry arrives.
“Qu’est que vous faites tous les 3?” shouts Franklin.
Tasha’s reply was unrepeatable! Difficult to translate, but I was busy doing another job. Franklin’s super strength outrides the mistral, resurrects the tent, gets JS’s feet back on the ground, kisses the wife to be, and gets Olif a large glass of wine, in that order!
The Big Day.
A very early start for the Bride’s mother. I had to be at the hairdressers at 8am! Tash and I stayed at a hotel the night before, so I could chat to my daughter about marriage, the birds and the bees, and how wonderful marriage is, especially the second one! In truth, the hotel was ever so posh; it had a large swimming pool, a masseur and gourmet food! Back at St Blaise JS was multitasking; Franklin was perfecting all the wedding arrangements, and Max was blowing up 100 balloons, where would you rather be?
One hour to go before the ceremony.
“Shall I wear this suit, or this jacket with these trousers, a tie or no tie, and I haven’t got any shoes that match!” explains the Father of the Bride.
“Just get me down the aisle Dad, wear your pink swimming trunks if necessary”
“Does she mean it Nessie?”
Jean Pierre had lovingly prepared over several months, his pride and joy, A Riley 1935 to deliver the bride and JS in his pink trunks to the Marie and take Monsieur et Madame Sieurac back to St Blaise for the reception.
Manufactured in Coventry (Jean Pierre’s car, not Mr & Mrs Sieurac!) as a 4 seater Falcon model. Today, the bodywork was most probably made by an “amateur coachbuilder” at the end of the fifties (a bit like Olif’s body!) The engine is a 4 cylinder of 1498cc, twin camshaft, 90% overhead valves, giving a good 50bhp (when new!). 2 x SU carburettors, 4 speed preselected Wilson gearbox, centrifugal clutch, Hartford and Luvax shock absorbers and Lucas electrical equipment. The wheels are Rudge type.
All equipment of traditional British quality, (again, similar to Olif) I hope you men out there are impressed with my specifications!! (Gerbil: Did you get any help with that specification by any chance Olif?)
In France, a legal marriage is only possible through a civil ceremony which takes place at the council offices (Marie) and until 2013 medical certificates were mandatory! The couple can then follow this with a religious ceremony, a secular service or in Franklin and Tasha’s case, back to St Blaise for a large cocktail, their mates and a Gipsy Band, who against all odds turned up and played brilliantly.
My great French friend, Chantal, performed the ceremony, both in French and English, with a little help from the absolutely charming translator, Hugo. We did miss Chantal’s husband, Jeff, who used to call Tash, then aged 12, ”the little one“ He would have been so proud.
Thank you so much Chantal. Xxxxxxxxxxxx
The best man, Cookie, sang to them both (Olif shed a tear or two at this stage; ruining the makeup I might add!). JS conducted his entire speech in French, so can’t tell you about that one.
The Caterer created the best banquet ever.
A perfect Day, ending at 6am, with Franklin and Tash holding each other tightly on the dance floor, and JS with a glass of champers, watching them from our bedroom and saying,
“Do you remember when she always used to put the potty on her head Ness!?”
“Sort out a quick trip to see the Irish Vanessa. I fancy a Guinness or two after pregnancies, chocolate drop arrivals and a wedding” suggests JS a few days before the Wedding Day!
“Fine” I replied. “I haven’t got much to do today, having just arrived back from the birthing bit in England, secured a tear in the tent, opened up and fixed about a thousand marriage decoration packages from China, calmed the Bride to be, and encouraged the wilting plants to buck their ideas up and try and look glam,”
Ryanair from Nice to Dublin for 7 euros each. I was told by our mate Colin, the Pilot, that Ryanair frequently runs out of fuel mid-flight, and often land at a different airport than planned, but a good price anyway Vanessa!!
We find Ireland, and then head off to the Ring of Kerry.
179km circuit of the Iveragh peninsula, is a panoramic road that winds past pristine beaches, medieval castles, mountains and loughs, with ever changing views of the island dotted Atlantic… The Lonely Planet guide 1999 edition. I nicked it from the Ryanair seat in front of me!
I am sure they are right, but there was no mention of thick fog however, Frank Spencer driving a rented orange Fiat 500, and me doing the navigation. Honestly we looked like Fred and Wilma Flintstone. Every bit of cred I had was entirely lost, even the tourist coaches never expected us coming round the corner.
“What’s the view like Nessie”, as we swerve from the left to the right and visa versa.
“This is such fun” exclaims John.
“Which bit is fun, JS?”
Kissing the Blarney stone was fun, however, my driver nearly fell through the grid and for a split second I thought he was a gonna, I can upgrade the car!
The chocolate drops.
Growing fast, Remy weighing in at 16lbs, and Indy at a delicate girly weight of 11lbs.
Remy has attended his first Birmingham City football match with his Dad and Indy to her first delights, of a beauty therapist. She is definitely following in the footsteps of both her Mum and Grandma!
JS may never recover from the births, a wedding, Brexit and the exchange rate!
So, a rather busy 2016!
Love to all
“I always said if they have a golf course like this in Heaven, I want to be the head pro.”
-Gary Player, on the Masters. Xxxxxxxxxxxx