Clare and Amy were here this weekend, I can't believe it. The time went so quickly and now they've gone.
It made a nice little circle- Clare and Amy visiting a few weeks before me and Kayt leave Paris forever. We wrote our names on a padlock and put it on the Pont des Arts. I kept saying, “It started in Paris and it will end in Paris” until Amy pointed out that I was making it sound like some great catastrophe was about to befall us, or else we were going to have a falling out and end our friendship.
"We'll always have Paris" became our tagline. Me and Kayt saw it on a mug the other day and bought one for Clare and Amy. (We're going to buy each other one as well, as a parting gift. Maybe we will dress up as Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and exchange mugs at the end of a runway, in the fog.)
It was quite a quiet weekend, revisiting old (Les Parigots) and new favourites (Chez Justine, of course, our new Sunday drinking haunt). On Friday night we met TC and OJ at Montmartre for Fête de la Musique because they said there was really good music going on down by the side of the Sacré-Coeur. I don't remember Fête de la Musique being so ravey last year, but maybe that's because I was running round Paris all night looking for my little brother, who was lost and didn't have a phone. (Still gives me nightmares.)
I thought we'd end up raving in the streets, but unfortunately I'd eaten far too much pâté, bread and cheese for tea... I felt like I was going to throw up and couldn't make myself dance. TC said we could all go back to their flat for 'a drink' and we ended up getting very drunk, drinking tequila out of teacups and dancing around to Kate Bush until four in the morning. I miraculously stopped feeling sick once TC and OJ cracked their box of wine open, but Kayt threw up when we got home. She did something else on the walk home but I can't tell you what it is or she'll kill me. (BAHAHAAAA.)
By the way... TC and OJ are married now!
Husband and wife.
Mr and Mrs.
I went to their wedding and I've been wanting to blog about it ever since I got back (over a week ago now) but my laptop has been behaving atrociously.
It was such a fun, fun wedding. I was really nervous before I went, I kept wondering why they'd invited me when I was clearly going to be an awkward problem for everyone, not knowing anybody and leeching onto anyone unfortunate enough to make eye contact, forcing them into polite, boring conversation until they could think of an excuse to slip away.
The night before the wedding I was panicking and debating whether to accidentally-on-purpose miss my Eurostar, but I really wanted to go. Plus, I'd bought a new dress.
On the day of the wedding, I travelled to London wearing the dress and some flats. Originally I wanted to saunter onto the train in my entire wedding outfit, so people would think, 'Look at her, popping over to London for the afternoon! What a jet-setting, European Playgirl she must be. I am in awe.' But my shoes were quite high and I didn't want my feet to hurt, so I took my heels in a bag... Can I can still be a jet-setting, European Playgirl, though?
When I got to St Pancras I put my shoes on and touched up my make-up in the toilets. I also had my feathery headband with me but I wasn't sure if it looked ok... I put it on and asked a sensible-looking granny by the sinks if it looked stupid or not.
"No dear, it looks fine." she breezed.
I realised then that if it did look stupid, nobody in Britain was going to be rude enough to tell me the truth. I decided to keep it on my head nonetheless and made my way to the underground, slowly clip-clopping along, a little out of practice in my heels.
The ceremony was at Marylebone Town Hall, but a lot of people were meeting in a pub down the road about an hour before. I got to the nearest tube station about twenty minutes before everyone was supposed to be at the pub and because I didn't want to show up too early, on my own, I sat in Starbucks, worrying and feeling nervous. I wanted to ask everyone in there if my feathery headband looked alright but thought this would probably make me look like an unhinged, egotistical maniac.
Talking of egotistical maniacs, I've just realised I'm doing that thing again where I pretend to blog about somebody's wedding (like Bryony's and Emily's) and then just write about myself for six or seven paragraphs, so now I'll talk about the actual wedding. It was over a week ago and the day has kind of blurred into one loud, colourful collage of memories and snippets of conversation, so I'll just write down anything I can remember:
Everyone seated, waiting for the bride and groom. All the girls on my row whispering about the bride's gown, people excitedly wondering what kind of dress it was going to be, rumours flying round that it wasn't white... I heard it's cream. Suddenly OJ took his place, standing on his own at the front, waiting for his bride to come in, I wonder if he's nervous all on his own... He was wearing a dark blue suit jacket with a pale blue floral tie and his four best men (two sets of brothers OJ has known since childhood) wore dark blue floral ties.
The music came in softly, the instrumental of 'Kissing You' by Des'ree.
A sudden shush.
TC's two bridesmaids, in 1960s style white and sapphire blue dresses, short and sleeveless with A-Line skirts, both had their hair in neat beehives.
Then the bride walked in and there were gasps from people closest to the aisle, whereas people in my position were trying to crane their necks to get a glimpse of The Bride. She looked like Maid Marian, with very long, dark wavy hair, entwined with a wreath of white flowers. I could only see the back of the dress, it was white and lacy with a long train and long sleeves. TC and OJ friend Katy was sat next to me and she whispered "Oh, it's high at the front" and I really wanted to see it. From the back it looked as if TC was crying which is weird because she swore OJ would be the one weeping hysterically throughout the ceremony...
After the ceremony everyone got on old fashioned London buses to the reception in Hackney and the best men came round with many bottles of champagne. I felt sorry for everybody we passed on the street because they weren't on the bus, having a Really Nice Time.
The pub in Hackney was beautiful and I didn't just think that because I was drunk. TC's mum had spent months making bunting which was strung across the room with fairy lights and photographs. On each table there was an old wine bottle with a candle burning in it and the bottles were covered in photos of people sitting on the table! (I told TC later on that it was a really lovely detail and just yelled "What? Oh, it must have been OJ who did that.") The wedding favours were sunglasses with fluorescent frames.
All the speeches were excellent but if I try and describe them I'll just make them sound rubbish. OJ's aunty performed a poem she had written for the occasion. She began by saying "This is not a love poem" and nobody knew what to expect, but it was brilliant. I can't remember why not but she had the whole wedding yelling YES or NO at the end of each line.
I know I'm in danger of veering into gushy sentimental territory... but everything was perfect. Not only was everything lovely lovely but I didn't once feel awkward. It's weird because now I can't remember how I got chatting to people but I was always with people, having a great time, throughout the whole day.
After the food, people milled around drinking and dancing. TC and OJ's friend sang with the wedding band and everybody flocked to the dance floor. Later there was a DJ but it was not your typical Wedding 'Now for some David Cassidy' DJ. For a start there were two of them.
I remember TC and OJ were raised up on people's shoulders, dancing above everyone and below them people in animal-onsies were weaving in and out of the crowd, just as 'We Are Your Friends' by Justice was on. Somebody showed me a video of the DJs on their iPhone, I can't remember who it was but they were saying “I thought I recognised them!” and it was these guys, who did this song for an Ikea advert:
TC and OJ had no idea who they were when they booked them. It was brilliant. Suddenly I looked around and realised everybody was fucked and all I could think was 'Where are all the grannies?”
Everybody was herded into taxis to TC and OJ's friend's flat. There were so many of us back at the flat. I'm really not sure how we passed the hours until morning but there was a core group of us that didn't go to sleep. I did have a sinister half an hour where I didn't want to go home or sleep but I didn't want to be awake either, but then we started drinking wine again and I got a Second Wind. Apparently the police came into the flat while some of us were chatting on the balcony... they probably didn't believe it was a wedding party.
Around noon the next day the people that had stayed awake went to the pub. I was so happy that so many people had stayed awake- I hate that feeling when the rave (or wedding) is over and you feel really lonely and ill and full of dread for No Reason. When I went to order a drink the barman asked me if I was with 'the wedding party'. When I said yes he asked, 'When was the wedding?' and he didn't look surprised when I said 'Yesterday afternoon.'
Originally people were only going to the pub for a couple of hours so I tried to get hold of my cousin Sophie so I could hang out at her's for a bit before my train... but I can't really remember what happened. I remember speaking to her and arranging to meet but we never did. TC said she would stay until it was time to get my Eurostar so in the end I went straight from the pub to St Pancras and it was fine, I even had an escort to the tube station.
Before we left I looked in the mirror and realised that for Some Reason half my face was swollen up like I'd been at the dentist's. I looked less European Playgirl, more Eurotrash Crackhead Prostitute but as we all know that is a Great Look.
When I got to St Pancras I tip-toed around so people wouldn't look at me. Inconspicuous. I got on the train, found my seat, briefly wondered why everyone on the train was wearing wedding suits and then I woke up moments later as the train was pulling into Gare du Nord. I felt like I'd teleported myself back to Paris.
So that's it- TC and OJ's wedding. I'm so glad I went and also... after the wedding I decided that I should definitely go to Secret Garden Party with TC, OJ and all their friends. (They did invite me, honest.) I've got a ticket now and I am so very, very excited! Just have to sort out the small matter of packing up my room, deciding how I'm going to get back to England and breaking the news to the au pair family that I'm leaving earlier than planned...
It was such a happy day, everybody there was so, so thrilled that TC and OJ were getting married. Imagine if TC had never commented on my blog and I'd never met her that night for drinks? Here is a photo I stole from their friend Matt, this is the moment they were dancing on everyone's shoulders: