I could do with a bit of melting away. I miss those days when I could just sit in a chair, in the bright sunshine and relax, daydream and melt away. I'd feel the beads of water slide down my glass of coke~cola and make a cold puddle on my leg - but it was nice because it was the only cold thing for miles.
We had a great time down in Harrogate for the wedding. The hotel was fine and countrified with tartan curtains and matching headboard on the extremely comfortable mattress - I was keen to pull out the sheets and see what brand it was, it was that comfy, which I've never had before; a comfortable bed in a hotel room. Rare indeed. It did feel like we were in our grandma's spare bedroom, though. Harrogate is a rich town, where we find out that the rich folks of Leeds retire too. In our one-night wader about we saw three Ferraris! Not to mention the TVRs, Porches and antique Morgans. The Porches were only notable due to their abundance, otherwise they seemed as common as a Volkswagen among the grander cars.
By day it was lovely and manicured, but once the sun set, it was like Sunnydale - the kids all come out and run riot, drunk and rolling in the tulip beds. One guy was walking with his pals and he had his hand right down in his troushers holding himself as he walked down the street. I don't know why he even bothered to wear a belt, but I thought most young boys outgrew the "holding his peepee" behaviours. We found a great pub called The Bell, which had a plaque up saying that in the very booth we sat Bill Clinton sat and ate a steak and ale pie back on 2001. They had some amazing lager and a very nice cider. We only had a couple because we didn't want be staggering about later on.
We window shopped and people watched and went to a Thai restaurant for dinner. It was ok - within our price range and the food was nice, but nothing spectacular - well except the service which was excellent! They said we could get us a table but that we must depart by 9:15 for reserved patrons. As it was only a wee bit before eight we figured if they could keep the kitchen moving, we'd be ok. We were out before half eight, and the staff were really alert and friendly. We didn't feel like we'd been rushed at all. Once the starter was gone - bam there's your main dish, finished? Bam here's your drink. We expected countless lost minutes watching folks fumble about but they were very attentive and polite. So unusual compared to Scotland. *ahem*
We lounged about on Saturday morning reading the newspaper, and I had my book. We'd gone in town early for a couple of presents, but the rain was threatening so we hid close to home and nibbled shop-bought snacks in our room while listening to the radio. On BBC2 radio has a show by Jonathan Ross which is always good for a laugh. Have a listen if you have time.We got dressed at two and ambled over to Ripley Castle for the wedding. I say ambled because it was only next door to the hotel - talk about leisure! We met up with a couple of friends and had a bit of "Oh don't you look nice!" talk and "Where are you staying?" blah blah "Nice knees, love the kilt,". I noticed most of the women had hats on, and I didn't. My friend Fee said "But I'll bet no one else will have scarlet red streaks in their hair either. A hat would've covered those." and her pal Sandy agreed, So I was satisfied with a possible uniqueness.
Now, I'm not easy with conversation. I'm not good at it, because I always end up saying something very very wrong. Before the hour was up I had two hits against me. I conspired with one friend "I know the groom invited two of his ex's here, but I can't see Tracy, and I don't know the other one." Fee was smiling and changed the subject to children. I later found out, her pal Sandy, who was sitting on her other side, was the other Ex. Later after a couple of glasses of champagne, I mentioned lesbians in conversation - I can't even remember the context now, but I got shushed for it. I know it wasn't anything mean or rude - I like lesbians, I'm not prejudiced, but I was taken aside and told that Tracy was a lesbian, and here with her partner. Tracy, you know, the other Ex. I stomped over to the Hubs and growled in his ear about not telling me about that! So in future: No talking about lesbians, or homosexuals for that matter, even in flattery and never mention the past - EVER!
After that, I had another champagne, a few nibbles off the passing trays and I wandered off on my own outside into the castle coutyard to eavesdrop into other conversations. I ended up with a couple of older ladies and super-fit fourty-something who were sneaking cigarettes. Before I knew it I was handed a hand-rolled and I was in the clique. I can always make friends with smokers, vices and weakness of character bring out the best in folk. The gossip, the chat! I can't remember a word of it, but it was great. I noticed my champagne never seemed to be empty, only to realise the staff were sneaky-sneaky filling up everyone's glasses when they weren't looking - I was rat-arsed pissed. Husband came out looking for me and found me laughing, smoking and drinking with the "hens"(the Bride's Aunts). He was amused, and content that I'd overcome my anxiety so well. Dinner was being served.
Dinner table had many plates, glasses and silverware. I just sat nice and smiled around the table of strangers...no wait, not all strangers. Tracy was there with her Partner. I made a great effort to not be myself. We talked about Australia, New Zealand and travel. I went to pick up my glass for an offering of red wine and noticed lipstick all over it - the horror! A top place like this with dirty glasses on the table! I was about to start a snit when I realised it was the glass I brought in with me from outside. Two glasses of wine later...
I don't think I was sober after five pm. I don't usually drink, and hadn't smoked in nearly three years and all of it went right to my head; even a full meal with fudgy dessert didn't curb it. I went outside to clear my head in the fresh air, only to find the "Hens" again, pushing a cigarette at me and gossiping, talking about decolletage, and how to make a man do anything you want. I listened intently to the wisdom (Which was simply, show your cleavage and tell them how wonderful and clever they are). Husband found me again, they announced the cutting of the cake, and everyone went inside.
Hubs was kind and took me to a bench to sit. I was falling asleep, so he walked me to the hotel and got me undressed and in bed. He left me to have a sleep. Two hours later, about 11pm he comes back in, exhausted himself. I was however, quite refreshed and said we should go back - just to say goodnight. We both got dressed again and walked back up to the reception. The whole time I was away, folks would ask Hubs where I was, but he was kind and said "Oh she's around here somewhere," or "I think she's just stepped outside," and didn't tell anyone I'd passed out, which was really sweet of him. When we went back folks were like "Oh you found her,"
It was a great weekend. A lovely wedding. I'm a bit sad I missed the cake cutting, Hubs had sent the Groom a birthday present which he suggested, in jest, they would make great bride&groom cake toppers. Well, they did use them on the cake, explaining the whole birthday card thing. Groom even suggested changing the wedding day to May 4th instead of the 6th (May the Fourth...I know I know!) but alas.
The kids were really well behaved for Grandma, and didn't seem to miss us too much - which was bittersweet. I guess this means, we can take another wee weekend trip again some day, only I'll stay clear off the never-ending glass of champagne.