Friday, May 30, 2008

Book update

Jacket now approved! (After some unseemly to-ing and fro-ing over the 'author photograph'.) And now I'm about to sign off the final proof - which is terrifying and wonderful, all at once. When that's all in the post I can start getting on with the best bit about publishing a book - planning the launch party. September 25th - get ready!

Country Weddings

Spring has sprung, the lambs are bounding (I even went to a Masterclass on Sheep Keeping), the flowers are blooming and the country is one big festival of....weddings. Sorry I've not been on this lately, but I've been too busy trying to kiss my fellow wedding-attendees. This is harder than it sounds when you're both wearing hats with outsized brims and Posh-tribute sunglasses. Add to that the tribulations of pulling high heels out of the soft lawns at every step and eating a puff-pastry asparagus ca-nap (no-one says 'canapay') while sipping/glugging too much free champagne. Ah, it's life at the coal face, I tell you.

I've been lucky enough to have gone to two wonderful examples of country weddings - both of which were fairly 'townie in the country' (or 'TIC'), which made for style and groove but no pretension, which made them both as enjoyable as fresh peonies in a milk bottle in the kitchen. If you know what I mean.

The first was set on an extremely blowy cliff, with large yurts set up in between the ruins of Hastings Castle.'If the winds get higher than 45mph,' said the tent-erectors to the bride's parents, 'you'll need a Plan B.' There was no Plan B, so there we all stayed, freezing but jolly happy and warmed by the fire in the smaller yurt, or dancing in the bigger one. The bride looked fab in a short and floaty white chiffon Amanda Wakely number and the groom looked extremely relaxed.

The second was by the Norfolk Broads on one of those perfect May days that makes you wonder how you could ever even think about living in any other country. The marriage blessing was by the river, and the priest sat at a trestle table, covered with a white cloth and candlesticks and in his dark sunglasses looked thrillingly like a member of the Mafia. The couple exchange grouse chicks instead of rings, and the children - who seemed to reproduce in numbers and certainly noise and overexcitement as the day wore on - played with unashamed, unsupervised bliss. You could hear them splashing into the river, running into the woods or playing a game of 30-a-side football. We ate hot jacket potatoes and cold beef and danced to the groom's teenage son's band. We gave thanks and praise.