You Could Be My Flamingo

I always do this.

I leave such a long gap between posts that the info I wish to convey becomes an unwieldy, humungeous list. I then become aware that it will take me several blogging hours to do justice to it all, and, really, there are emails I should, in courtesy and justice, answer, before I devote keyboard time to blogging again. Hence, the long gap becomes a lengthy hiatus as I procrastinate madly. Eventually I bite the blogging bullet, apologise profusely to those who have sent me emails I haven’t answered (grimaces sheepishly in several directions) and decide to whip through everything on bullet points. But I am too wordily profuse for good bullet points, and my bullet points become paragraphs… become sections… become blog posts in themselves… which is what they were originally supposed to be. Damnit. Lets just do this, and I’ll stop talking when my fingers fall off:

It is summer. It is harvest. It is, by turns, sultrily hot and brass monkily cold. It is – touch wood, four-leaved clover, and all the rabbits’ feet you can stroke – going ok. Last Thursday was a bit of a disappointment weather-wise, and, having finished oats and linseed, John’s combine trudged and growled dejectedly through the drizzle back to the farm. (Yes, combines can look moody; don’t ask me how. Perhaps the augur angle looks less pert than usual when viewed through a filter of rain?) Our wheat, as it happens, wasn’t quite ripe, and waiting out a few days of intermittent rain and sun has, if anything, been beneficial. Of course, John has just been rained off again, so the weather will shortly cease to be viewed benignly, I imagine.

Our neighbourhood wedding went beautifully, and I felt glad that I had gardened myself and my mother to a crisp in aid of it. (Our neighbourhood, I should point out, consists of our house… and next-door’s house. You get to next door’s house past our house.) The bridal party were all driven to the church, by John, in the bride’s father’s ageing, albeit highly polished, Audi estate. The newly weds rode away from the church on a pair of bloody enormous racing camels.

 

It was that sort of wedding. It was quite fabulous.

I have blanked our faces out below, not because of privacy concerns per se – although John would prefer not to appear here – but because we are both wearing THE MOST gormless expressions I think we have ever adopted, and I see no reason to make myself wince any further. Dress us up, stand us together, try to take a nice photo of us… and we will inevitably succeed in producing joint facial rictuses of seeming agony, as well as acutely tortured body posture. We are standing on sideways-sloping ground here, plus John is utterly incapable of bending his elbows in formal shots, hence he is pulling my shoulder into some absurd Richard III-hunch, whilst he is seemingly about to face the firing squad. We… ummm…  don’t photo well together.

 

  

Now, before you cover your eyes and recoil, cowering, from the the beam of pink that is blinding you, let me instantly justify my choice of outfit: the bride specifically requested 1) bright colours and 2) big hats. Something a little quieter is usually more my thing, and whilst I do sincerely love me a good hat, I don’t generally select ones that, like this one, can pick up Radio Wales on a clear day. The brim was manageable, but the befeathered crown made me taller by nigh on a bloody foot, so naturally, leaving for the church, I snapped the top feather on my car roof.

This feather, incidentally, led indirectly to John’s undoing. We stopped off at home directly after the church service so I could superglue the damage to my (hired) hat before it detached altogether and I forfeited my swingeing £££ deposit. Harry – overheated, tired and feral – immediately kicked off in magnificent fashion (how do they always know when the timing is least favourable?!), and by the time John and I had finished calming him down, our thermostats were at boiling point, too. The bottle of Lanson I had stowed in the fridge the day before suddenly looked awfully cool and delicious. I poured two extremely generous glasses. It was cool and delicious. Glug…

We strolled up the hill to the reception on the empty-stomached outside of, I estimate, half a pint of champagne each – to be met by a flotilla of bubbly-touting waiting staff.

Well, you have to partake of these things, don’t you? You look churlish otherwise. Surly, even. 

After I knocked over half the table furnishings at dinner, and started taking self portraits

I stopped drinking for the night; John, regrettably, was still powering on through in quite spectacular style. I shall draw a veil over most of it, but feel a narrative obligation to update you on the shirts. He wore the stripey shirt – significantly the more expensive of the two on offer. Which was a shame, because while levering him into bed at a comparatively early hour, I noticed his arm was badly scratched, and the unhappy shirt had a majorly impressive rent in the back of it. Apparently, he went for a walk in the fields ‘to sober up’ (an inherently hopeless enterprise, I assure you) and lost a turf war with what appeared to be a highly malevolent and rambling triffid dog rose that ‘attacked him from above’. Remembering Wilt, I was tempted to remind him he got off lightly. Still, the shirt is now good only for dusters.

I was pleased with my wedding-morning dressmaking, although it did rip my nails and cover me with oil for the day.

    

I had to put the stampy-foot frighteners on a little before a safety-conscious and reluctant John, as well as his highly dubious father, were keen on achieving the towering 3-bale arrangement I was after, but once we had propped them discreetly against the foot of a trailer they were a lot less precarious, and a strap across the top rendered them pretty immovable. The groom stood over 13ft in his hat, so they were fairly popular with passing traffic, and everyone could find the party.

Annnnnd now my hand has had enough typing for one night. A week ago, our drive gate, which has an incredibly heavy, agricultural-spec, Harry-escape-proof latch, behaved very badly to me; imagine the re-enactment-carrot is my right hand:

and you will have an idea of why I still have no grip and aching bones. Gah.

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