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.

30 Responses

  1. You both look lovely. And, you are so much slimmer than you describe yourself. It sounds like a wonderful wedding. Would there be any other camel pictures?

    • Lovey, there’s a pair of 40DDs and a size 18 lurking under the shining ray of Pink, I assure you!
      I DO have a couple of camel close-ups, but mainly blurry & badly composed, and I would also have to scrub out bride & groom’s faces, not having their permission to plaster them over me website.

      What I WANTED to do, but was Foiled By Circumstance, is photograph the three camels (two old hands, one junior learning the wedding ropes) plodding down our drive after delivering B&G to reception. I was going to photoshop our house into something Bethlehem-y, and use the shot on our Christmas cards. Sadly, after making elaborate boxing-up preparations at the bottom of our hill, they A) decided the 40ft trailer that they were told was probably too big to fit in our drive, was too big to fit in our drive, and B) got a bit stressed when Young Freaked-Out camel bolted a wee bit. The camel train departed back cross-country the way they came. Bah!

  2. Very



  3. I neglected to heap praise on the bride and groom you made and to compliment you on the hat, to say nothing of the dress and shoes. I was just so taken by you and John and the camels.

  4. Ohhh you look so festive! I love your outfit (especially the ruffle at the bottom of the dress!) and hahahaaaa, the drunken self-portait slays me!

    I’m a bit puzzled by the third camel. Was it a spare in case one of the others balked at the hugeness of the bride’s skirt? The special camel-friend of one of the other two? Was the mother of the groom intending to give chase but discreetly bundled into a broom-closet? It looks lonely.

  5. Oh nevermind, just read the above. It’s a good thing it was riderless, then!

  6. Now that is a wedding! Camels! Hats! Giant hay bale bride and groom! You know how to do it up right!

    And in spite of whatever expressions you had on your faces, you both looked lovely otherwise.

  7. Jesus, Ann, you’re a comic genius. Snorting wheatgrass juice all over me keyboard here in merry California. Harry, in that hat!

  8. Looks like a fantastic wedding!

  9. I have been reading forever and never saying so …. you have driven me to commenting with this one. Brilliant! as they say in your country. Loved it, loved the wedding, loved your hat, your outfit, the hayroll bride and groom …. I could go on and on and on… is in the air. This was a perfect way to start my day. Thank you thank you and yes. one more time. thank you.

  10. That hat is all of the possible levels of the awesome.

  11. I didn’t think this post could get any more fabulous when I saw your pink hat, and the camels were already quite enough, but the hay bale bride and groom??????? Magnificent! This is the ultimate in happy wedding posts. But please do tell us that all of the Hairys have all of your finger and toes. The guillotine gate scares me. I think I might be equally frightened of your stampy foot routine too, come to think of it. John made the right choice, on a lot of levels.

    • I DO have all my fingers, but had the latch caught my phalanx and not my chunky metacarpal, I’d be looking at horribly shattered fingers. My hand was several inches LEFT of the carrot, and caught the maximum wallop-motion. Kinda… hurts still. And then I go and put several thousand over-powered electric fence volts through the SAME HAND earlier today. I could weep. In fact, I did.

      • What a very bad owie, as my 3-year old would say. Metacarpal crunching and electric shock zapping sounds miserable for manual laborers (people who type) like us.

  12. Ah! You look lovely, in your finery. (A bit like those public information posters, telling you how to queue for the bus, with all the faceless people in a neat line, at least one having to belong to a minority. This might be an Irish thing actually. Just nod. I’ll be quiet now.)

    The bale wedding couple is just so heart-warming. Think how many people you made smile! And you didn’t squash a single one.

  13. By gosh, that dress and hat combo is increasing your already high awesomeness factor into the stratosphere. I love it. And your faceless selves!

    And a wedding with camels sounds like my kind of do. What a pity about the driveway’s camel train incompatibility. Having driven on it myself, I am not at all surprised. But that card would have been all sorts of fabulous.

    Can you come and build 13 foot hay people on our verge? I can offer even more sparkly drinky stuff.

  14. You. Look. Awesome.

    And those straw characters are marvellous. Well done all.

  15. Oh, the fabulous! The fabulous! You rock!

    Camels! CAMELS!

    My dear, you look utterly charming in that hat. And the frock is delightful and even more so for having you in it. I wish I could’ve invited you to my wedding. Alas, we didn’t know each other then. *Is sunk in retroactive gloom*

    P.S. – Pleased that if a shirt was going to be demolished, it was the stripy-if-pricey rather than the lovely floral one. Sorry. Bad attitude. Oops.

  16. Personally, I have always wanted an occasion to justify just such a hat. Clearly I have been going to the wrong kind of wedding entirely because, also, camels!


  17. Love your outfit! Big hats rock. Only slightly disappointed at John’s instance of going stripy, it could almost be construed as him not being willing to take a blind bit of notice of what the internets advise.

    I hope you still have all your fingers.

  18. Great hat! And racing camels? Seriously? Only on your blog…

    Those bales are INCREDIBLE, and you could set up a business doing them for weddings. Your imagination knows no bounds.

    I’m going to report you for cruelty to carrots, though.

  19. I don’t understand why I could be your flamingo (and that was why I originally came over to read the post).

  20. Oh. Just got it. You meant YOU could be MY flamingo. Sorry. Bit slow this morning.

  21. You know, what is the point of leaving just three paltry comments on a blog, when you could make it FOUR?

  22. Ann — this post is so fab your internets shouldn’t ask for anything more, but….what about Harry’s birthday cake and other things up your fondant, er fundament a post or two ago?? I’m looking forward to a crumb or a pirate coin or two when you get the chance!

  23. […] Tanguerramama kindly reminds me that I also felt it necessary to sculpt a coin mould, and make fimo pirate treasure for party bags. I’ve never attempted fimo – or coin scupting before – and it was a sharpish learning curve. I reckon I could make a considerably better go of it next time – which will likely not be soon, whereupon I will forget everything I learned this time around. Always the way. […]

  24. […] may remember I constructed a straw bale Bride & Groom a wee while back. Or, more truthfully, I thought it up, scribbled diagrams on the back of envelopes […]

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