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Sunday, October 25, 2009

I might be twenty-five years too late, but I've finally got into Brighton College...

College Boy
That's me in the foyer. The booze on the left is extracurricular. Fortunately, to pass the entrance exam yesterday afternoon, all you needed was a wedding invitation. Our good friend Lorraine moved house on Monday with her three cats and two babies, so what better time to get married than the following Saturday. She booked Brighton College mainly so that Lisa and I wouldn't have to walk more than a hundred yards to get there. She knows what we're like for being late.

And here are the happy couple...

Marriage Made in Heaven
It's as if David Cameron has married Barbie. We also thought the littlest bridesmaid was a lot like Amelie. Only much better behaved.

Toilets This WayAnyhoo, despite the confusing signs, we found our way around Brighton College quite well yesterday. The wedding ceremony was held in the chapel, which featured the kind of numbingly hard pews which make you want to stand up and praise the Lord at all times. Lorraine had eschewed the traditional organist in favour of a string quartet made up of retired members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, which I thought was a nice touch. I've never sung a hymn accompanied by violins before.

As the congregation settled down to a nervous hush, Lisa realised she had her mobile phone on, which is ironic, as she never normally does. But fortunately she turned it off before the groom's sister (who's apparently been on X-Factor) took to the lectern to perform an a cappella version of 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face'. Which according to the best man's speech, was at a barbecue. Personally I thought she was very good. Despite what Simon Cowell may have said.

Made in JapanWith the vows made, and the couple spliced, we made our way outside for the photos. And then inside shortly afterwards when we realised how cold it was. It gave Lisa and I the chance to catch up with the winner of the award for 'Person Who Travelled Furthest To Be Here'. That's her on the left, pictured with the woman who lives within spitting distance.

I actually mentioned that young lady on this blog three and a half years ago (third paragraph from the bottom), and despite having moved back to Tokyo since then, she'd flown for seventeen hours on a plane just to attend Lorraine's wedding. Which makes me feel slightly guilty that she got there before us.

Anyhoo, we had plenty of time to mingle, because there was a gap of more than two hours between the ceremony and the sight of any food. I was so hungry, I could barely shake hands with drunk people.

Halfway Up the StairsBut fortunately I managed to summon the strength to take this photo of Lisa with the blushing bride. Admittedly, Lisa's looking the wrong way, and Lorraine's not looking at all, but you can't have everything. At least Lisa's not falling down the stairs.

Shortly afterwards, we finally took our seats for a surprisingly good meal of pork, duck and white chocolate (not all in the same course), which was served to us by people in Brighton College aprons. It was a bit like a Hogwarts banquet, only more magical. I particularly enjoyed the anecdote shared by a chap on our table, who recounted to us the story of Lorraine's 21st birthday do, a fancy-dress party held at a venue owned by a Jewish couple. Which wouldn't be significant were it not for the fact that someone turned up dressed as Hitler.

As it happens, Lisa was at that party too. She went as Popeye. And trust me, if photos exist, I will find them.

Anyhoo, the sit-down meal was good, the evening buffet was better, and I even enjoyed dancing to 'Love Shack' by the B-52s, but my favourite part of the whole day was the moment when Lorraine stood up in front of a hall full of people and publicly identified the role that Lisa's played in her life over the past ten years...

That Alison sounds like a nightmare too.