I would never have believed any event could drain me so completely. It's taken me a week to recover. Looking back, I have to admit I'm filled with the nagging thought of not having taken more time to talk with friends and relatives than I should have, but I guess the swirl of the occasion swept me along in a bit of a daze.
Sitting at the top table is a little strange in a way, because you are somewhat isolated from the other guests. I felt as if I was almost sitting on a committee! However, at least one of my relatives, Evie, was kind enough to come and keep me company for five minutes, bless her, when I suddenly found myself alone. This prompted my brother to admonish me for talking to beautiful girls as he passed by us on the way to the bar. Excellent! Sibling rivalry never dies. Thank you, Evie!
Everyone enjoyed themselves and that's the main thing. The sun shone and disco went well and certain family members became more than a little tipsy. My daughter had organised everything down to the smallest detail and I basically tried not to embarrass her and play my part as best I could, placing one clumsy foot in front of the other. I managed quite well until it came to the dancing, where unfortunately everyone agreed I danced like some demented epileptic. She put little surprises on the tables, packets of confetti, little bottles to blow bubbles, place names in edible cakes with the guests face, and a hand-made quiz based on eighties films. (I failed miserably)
It was a very proud, special moment for me to walk her down the aisle and, after the ceremony itself concluded and they had walked away into the garden, I admit to wiping away a private tear.
One serious regret is the decision not to take my own camera, the one and only time I have been without one at such an important occasion. There were so many shots that went missing, I won't make that mistake again. And as I've been banned by my daughter on releasing any of the official photographs until she has vetted every one of them, I'm having to rely on pictures from the guests. Thanks here again go to Evie who proved herself a photographer with a keen eye for those little details. Luckily she was armed with a snazzy little Leica lensed Lumix point-and-shoot camera.
And one more thing, I won't make the mistake of trying to read from a prepared, rehearsed speech. Argh, that speech was so wooden and I was far too nervous. Trying too hard I think. Next time, at my youngest's bash in a couple of years time, I'll just say how I feel rather than say what has been prepared, and embarrass the hell out of her and myself!
Evie, camera in hand, smile at the ready. (This is one of the shots I DID take, as in the end I couldn't resist grabbing a spare camera for a few minutes and shooting off a few candid shots of the guests).