27 June 2017

Courage (but not of the Dutch kind)




I am sure many of you will have heard recently that Ant - of Ant and Dec fame - has gone into rehab for an alcohol and prescription drug addiction. As most alcoholics live in a state of denial, it takes immense courage at the best of times to admit to yourself that you need help.  Incredibly more so, if you admit it to the entire world and its grandma, who are largely responsible for your bread and butter. Only those who have had such an addiction or families who have truly lived alongside such an addiction can appreciate what this means.   I can well imagine what his wife is going through and wish her the courage (as well as him) to cope with this. Let us hope the rehab works and he does not relapse when he comes out, as is most often the case. Being in the pubic eye will make it a thousand times worse.

20 June 2017

Dearly beloved

I do enjoy a nice wedding. It's an excuse to get all dressed up and meet friends or family you haven't seen in years. A chance to catch up. A chance to see how grown-up the children have got or how decrepit the elders.

When I was small and cute, I was asked to be bridesmaid on five separate occasions. By the time I was in my thirties I had been to quite a few weddings as a guest, not to mention my own during that intensely hot summer of 1976.  Compared to me, Kay has been devoid of any weddings. There simply hasn't been a single wedding in our circle for the last 25 years or more. At the grand old age of 25, she has NEVER  been a bridesmaid and the first ever wedding she even attended was three weeks ago when we crept into the back of the church to watch a not-so-close friend of hers  from primary school days marry at our local church. (We just happened to hear about it by chance and thought as it was a five-minute walk away, we would go, but we were not officially invited.) A few days ago we were invited to be guests at a family wedding in the Midlands. Kay's first ever proper wedding invitation.

I suppose it is a sign of the times that weddings are not as commonplace as they used to be. Cohabiting is far more common that it was forty or fifty years ago. Rightly so, people marry only when they really want to, but it is no longer a given and therefore the ceremony to cement the relationship becomes a rare event. Having children outside marriage is no longer taboo either  (I so weep at the stories that unfold on Long Lost Family, where unmarried mothers were forced to put their babies up for adoption).  Shotgun weddings are a thing of the past. In fact, the little page boy at our family wedding was the couple's two-year-old son. 

I've noticed the wording of the service has changed a lot too. No more thees and thous and plighting troth. No more lawful wedded husband or wife. I was quick to abandon the obey at my service in 1976 (something I think Mr Alcoholic Daze may have later regretted), but it was still peppered with thees and thous.   There's still the usual titter and nervousness when the congregation is asked if there is any just cause why those two people should not be married but on the whole there's a lot more jollity and less solemnity from the vicar.  

For Kay's first proper wedding this was the best. It was perfect in every way..... perfect weather, beautiful bride, handsome groom, adorable children, lovely food, incredible venue, hilarious speeches.... the perfect day for the perfect couple.



12 June 2017

Flat

I haven't blogged for a while and, whilst wanting to keep up the momentum, I've run out of steam. I'm a bit flat, so to speak. First of all, the election result has made depressing news, whatever party you voted for. Nobody really won, did they? And now we are left with a government in tatters, when 10 weeks ago, things were more or less, er, strong and stable.  So many things to fix - Brexit and terrorism to name the two biggest problems facing us at the moment - and a weak government on the one hand and an excitable mob on the other. God knows how far we have sunk in the rest of the world's eyes.

It's funny how when the Leavers won Brexit, the Remainers said it was the wrong result and wanted another referendum. Now the Conservatives have the biggest number of votes compared to any of the others and Corbyn is demanding the PM's job.  I stand by the rules of democracy.  You win some. You lose some. I'm just sick of all the back-biting, name-calling, witch-hunting and wish we could go back to good old-fashioned politics where gentlemen (and by that I mean polite people, not gentry) discussed our state of affairs. I'm currently hooked on Channel 4's The Handmaid's Tale which is a realistic but scary look into the near future. Let's hope it remains fiction and doesn't come true.

Added to that, I have had a throbbing tooth all weekend, which has been driving me crazy.  I hope the dentist is about to fix at least that problem for me. So it's onwards and upwards from now on, I hope, and an upcoming family wedding in a few days to lift my spirits.