I haven't been in the mood for blogging, every time I try to type anything I sigh and think 'Why would anybody want to read that?'
But Amy messaged me last night to say that she wants to hear about my time in England and even if she was kind of pretending, in an attempt to coax me out of my non-blogging slump, I've decided I will do a blog for Amy. Also, if I don't write things down I will forget about them and one day, when I am old and dirty and surrounded by cats, it will be nice to have a reminder of a time when I had friends and travelled around and the kids on the estate didn't yell 'Cat Lady' and throw rubbish at me whenever I shuffled to the corner shop to buy cat food and chocolate digestives.
I'm going back a couple of weeks now, to the 26th October I think...
Me and Kayt were on the same flight back to Manchester (her new boyfriend lives there). It made a nice change travelling back to England with a friend. We got up at 4am and got the Night Bus to Gare du Nord, only to discover that the first RER would be arriving an hour later than specified on the RATP website. We panicked a little bit, because we knew there were strikes at the airport, so we went outside to try and get a taxi. Neither of us was keen to eat into our already pitiful 'One Week's Holiday in England' budgets, but I pointed out that we couldn't afford to miss the flight. It's always better to arrive in England penniless, than not to arrive in England at all.
(I felt a bit mean because there was another girl waiting for the RER and she said she couldn't afford to get a taxi. As we left her to wait alone, a group of scallies bounced onto the platform and she looked a bit nervous. That's my main qualm with getting the RER- it doesn't feel entirely safe and if you can avoid it, you should.)
I asked the taxi driver if I could eat my apple and he said "Normally, no. But it's a special occasion!"
As we sat back in the taxi, eating apples and watching the dark city disappear faster than we could have hoped, we knew we'd made the right decision.
During the flight, I told Kayt about the last time I was home and how my stepdad practically threw me out of the car while it was still moving because he didn't want to park at the airport. As soon as we landed, Kayt's boyfriend was waiting for her and my mum was nowhere to be seen. When my mum finally walked into Arrivals, she told me to follow her quickly because my stepdad wasn't allowed to be parked where he was. The car started moving as soon as I climbed in and my stepdad drove off while my door was still wide open. I'm surprised he bothered to stop actually; I thought that perhaps he would just yell at me to jump in as the car drove past, like that scene in Little Miss Sunshine.
(By the way, whenever I use the word 'stepdad' I feel about thirteen years old. Normally I say 'my mum's Husband' but recently I've realised that this makes it sound as though I'm estranged from both my mum and her husband; as if my mum remarried and moved to Prague, leaving me and my brother in a boarding school where she occasionally sends us hampers of fine cheese and truffles [when she can sneak the money away from her cold-blooded, tight-fisted Husband].)
It felt a bit surreal, zooming down the motorway, in England, when the last thing I could remember clearly was sitting in the back of a taxi eating an apple, looking at the banlieus through the window. We stopped at a service station and my mum told me that my brother had split up with his girlfriend- apparently the girlfriend said that she wanted more affection and love from him and my brother just said: "Well I won't change so we better split up."
THEN my brother's girlfriend was really sad and said, "Oh I wish I'd never said anything now."
Maybe I was over-tired and feeling emotionally fragile because of the travelling, but when my mum told me that last bit I burst out crying. It's the kind of little detail that gets me Right. There... even if you can't really explain why.
I think it's the disappointed resignation that breaks my heart; me and my friend Claire used to watch this documentary over and over again where this single woman in her forties says, "Once I get my coat off and cook dinner and stuff, I'm fine, honestly I'm fine. But when I first walk into the flat...and I know that there's nobody there... I just feel so sad."
OH GOD, CAN'T TAKE THE DISAPPOINTED RESIGNATION. STOP IT.
What was I talking about?
The wedding! So, we arrived at our B&B and got ready. The B&B was full of dolls that the owner said she and her ancient mother had made in their friend's workshop in America. Yes, it was a bit sinister. Also, me and my brother were sharing a room. I felt about six years old again.
I wore my Claudie Pierlot dress with black tights and shoe boots and a tailored jacket I borrowed from Julia. My nose was still a bit hanging so I had to put on about fifty layers of concealer, foundation and powder and to be honest, I'm not sure that I didn't look like a lady wearing a big false nose, because her real nose has been unfortunately eaten by rabid dogs. But it was to be expected- Coldsores Ruin Lives.
The wedding was beautiful and I am not just saying that because it was my cousin's wedding...
It was absolutely freezing but it was one of those crisp, pretty days that make you wish we had a bit more time to appreciate Autumn, rather than everyone pretending it is Christmas as soon as the first leaves fall. The wedding was in the 'wedding barn' of a gorgeous hotel in the Cotswolds. I was so excited to be there that I got (a tad) drunk quite early on, but don't worry, I stopped drinking before anybody noticed: I bumped in to my mum on her way back from the toilets and I told her how the waiter at my table was my Arch-Nemesis and she said that perhaps I should stop drinking for a bit. (I wasn't being a dick- he told me I couldn't have any more champagne and then he spilt a glass of water all over me and he didn't say sorry.)
|The wedding favours were little bottles of homemade blackberry brandy.|
Anyway, the food was lovely, the speeches were very good and my cousin's dress was beautiful- it was sparkly around the bodice, but not in a WAG way, and it had little cream buttons down the back. She wore it with a lace bolero and a pretty headband rather than a veil. The dress had a really long train that she could adjust for dancing, which she'd asked for specifically because the wedding band was a ceilidh band! Ceilidhs are EXCELLENT.
There were two little girls who had the whole dance floor to themselves, spinning each other round and round. Me and my cousin Chloe tried to dance with them but they wouldn't let us, and we mourned our childhoods and the days when we would have been those two little girls, dancing like mad things and having the best fun EVER...
Then the two little girls went for a nap and me and Chloe had the whole dance floor to ourselves and we danced like mad things and had the best fun EVER!
We span each other round and round and then we did the tango and then I did some ballet moves... In a way it makes me sad that I never grew into the adult I always wanted to be, but it's time to face facts: I'm essentially the same person I was when I was seven years old, except now I am allowed to drink alcohol.
The ceilidh was really fun but then a Horrible Thing happened. It started with a Brilliant Thing- my gran suddenly thrust her handbag at me and said "I'm going to dance!"
She got my aunty by the hands and they skipped into the ceilidh...
Literally five seconds later the ceilidh stopped and people were moving out of the way- my grandma had tripped over a lighting rig and there was blood pouring down her face. It was awful. She was shaking and looked really shocked, so my aunty sat down with her and then we noticed that her right cheekbone had swollen to about five times the size of the other one. It looked like she'd done something really serious, so I went and got the bride, who is a doctor. She had a quick look and then asked a doctor friend to come over, because you're not allowed to treat your relatives.
Thankfully, my gran hadn't broken anything- her cheekbone was just swollen because she doesn't have a lot of cushioning on her face. She doesn't eat enough. She's always worried about her cholesterol but I don't understand how she can have a high cholesterol when she eats like a bird.
So, that wasn't very nice. There's nothing worse than seeing an elderly person falling over, especially when it's your grandma. I think it was more shocking because my grandma doesn't look like a little old lady- she's quite tall and she has a straight, dark bob. The next day she had a huge purple bruise on one side of her face and she was too embarrassed to go to her literature class the following week.
It was ok though, it didn't ruin the wedding for her. For the rest of the night she sat down and chatted to people and she even got up for a little dance right at the end. It could have been a lot worse.
By the end of the wedding I was quite drunk and I felt a bit sick from all the eating, drinking and enthusiastic dancing. In my defense, I'd been awake since 4am and when you're tired alcohol affects you more. I managed to make it all the way back to the B&B without throwing up and fell asleep straight away.
The next day we were served a Full English by the lady who owned the B&B. For Some Reason she put on a CD of brass music to accompany our breakfast. As we were leaving, she told us more about the dolls- she and her mum make the molds, cast the dolls out of clay, then they cook them, glaze them, design the faces and finally they make all the dolly clothes themselves. Don't pretend you're not impressed.
Well, that's just about all I have to say about my cousin's wedding. It wasn't eventful as the bride's sister's Serbian wedding last May, but it was just as fun. It's funny that in Serbia, both sisters were pregnant and at this wedding there were two little babies being passed around.
(Incidentally, my mum told me that both sisters had been told it would be really hard for them to conceive because of an ovary problem or something, so how lovely that they both had babies, at the same time!)
I wonder who will be next? My cousin Sophie caught the bouquet at the wedding. Her boyfriend Dan, who was at the wedding, didn't run away screaming or even look worried...
I love a good wedding, me.