Its a night that started in Hull, but now we're in Bristol drinking Plymouth gin. In the morning we'll be on our way to Tenby from where Benjamin and Kirsty will leave for St Petersburg. RHB, mostly a traveller, is fading and Sal, ex-Mansfield, has gone to bed, with the parting gift "You're p**ssing me off, Scally Puff Boy". I have come from Liverpool via Leicester, Coventry and Halifax, N.S. "The important thing about blogging" I tell W. "is originality". W. opens his notebook, and writes "original".
The reason for these travels is that we're making preparations for a marriage in what is, at least for us, the countryside. The marriage is between Benjamin, RHB's nephew, and Kirsty, whom I have never met.
I ask Sal "What's Kirsty like?" . "Much f**kin nicer than you" she says. "And more attractive." W. opens his notebook and writes "attractive".
Sal is looking forward to the event "I f**kin love Niome" she says, before adding "F**k off, Martin". This is because I have speculated that the dresses will, according to latest fashion, be very sparkly, and RHB's nieces will be among the sparkliest and the most beautiful. Even RHB, who is now a Doctor in this country, has a sparkly dress. Sal, I have decided, is stripey. W opens his notebook, but doesnt write "sparkly". Instead, he looks at Sal, and underlines "original".
There is a critical mass of chaos surrounding RHB's family - its like the dark matter that the majority of the universe is supposed to comprise - unseen but immensely powerful, a quantum effect. Our own journey started in Hull, perfectly on time, and if various members of the L'Argent family were not converging on Tenby, we would have arrived in the mansion we have rented for the weekend perfectly on time. I have promised another of RHB's nieces, Sadie, that we will meet them at about 5.30pm in Tenby and have a family pillow fight, but it's now 8.30pm and we're running out of gas and weather just inside the Welsh border with 150 miles to go. The L'Argent Effect is in full force - every "short cut" we decide to take to reduce our journey time turns out to be longer than our original route, every gas station we stop in for refreshment or a bathroom break is closed, and as the journey progresses, it becomes evident that we've left toothbrushes, razors, wedding presents, cards and sparkly dresses behind, as well as losing all details of time of, directions to, and arrangements for the following day's ceremony. "Is Lyd's going to the wedding?" I ask Sal. "Of course Lyds is going, you idiot" says Sal "I f**kin love Lyds" she adds.
The wedding is brilliant. Joyous. Good humoured. Sparkly. There's not enough time to catch up with everyone, and there's the usual (for me) short-sighted offence of looking right through people you should know (sorry again L and Neil), but on the whole, it is such a different experience, for me, than the usual wedding experience of knowing in advance who is going to deliberately snub whom, and who might punch whoever. Afterwards, our crowd all crash in the massive living room of the mansion we've rented for the weekend to watch a very late edition of X-Factor - "F**kin X-Factor? Justify! Justify! Justify! F**kin karaoke! Just all sparkly b**ll*cks" . Sal is the last to arrive. W. opens his notebook and writes "sparkly".
With apologies to "spurious".