Monday, November 03, 2014

Wonderful wedding.

But it would have been a vividly memorable week without any wedding at all. In chronological order:

No keys. Greek Helen and I had, independently of each other, figured out where they must be. But they weren't there. She now thinks they must have got out of the house somehow – although she searched the outgoing rubbish during the original crisis. I still faintly hope that the house will eventually give them back.

Mungo has left Glenalmond, where he was lonely and unhappy. He is returning to Athens today and will presumably be back at the International School among his friends tomorrow, preparing for the International Baccalaureate instead of A-Levels. He has been devouring set texts in the intervening few days and I am sure will catch up quickly.

My brother-in-law – my sister's husband – had a stroke on Thursday. I think it has to be classified as a minor one. They were already in Yorkshire. He was taken to hospital, I've  forgotten where – Darlington? Durham? My sister (a doctor, remember) was impressed with the care he received. He was released the next day and allowed to go to the wedding. His speech is affected, and he tires easily.

He did fine at the wedding, with a rest in the middle of the afternoon, during the standy-around-with-canapes-and-champagne bit after the ceremony and before the “wedding breakfast”. They were to have gone to Athens today for a holiday with Helen (who was looking forward to cooking for them from her new Ottolenghi book, “Plenty More”). Instead they are in London with Rachel and will fly back to CT on Thursday if all continues well.

Roger is the youngest of Us Oldies – in descending order of age, my husband, 89 this month; his sister, already dead of colon cancer for 3 ½ years; me; my sister; and Roger, in his early 70's, active and fit, a gardener, a passionate cyclist, a saxophone player, life-long non-smoker, moderate drinker. There's no justice, but we already knew that.

That leaves the wedding, which was wonderful, as I've said. The Princess Shawl did me proud. Lucy had contrived a dress which looked like antique lace itself and the meld was perfect. The weather was beautiful and balmy. My gamble of not shelling out for a Suitable Coat paid off.

Hellie's right -- she couldn't possibly wear the Princess at her wedding next year. Too many people would remember. Something a bit smaller like the Unst Bridal Shawl will be just the ticket, I hope.

Lots of people took lots of photographs. I hope they will accumulate somewhere in the next few days. I took very few.

Here's a tidbit:

Thomas, in the Bridegroom's Speech – the one where it is obligatory to mention “my wife and I” – told us about studying Russian history. He found that Lenin – or was it Marx? – was censured for being uxorious. Thomas didn't know the word, and had to look it up. It didn't seem to him a thing for which a man needed to be censured, and before us all, on his wedding day, he claimed it for himself.

My husband and James got on fine, although blood sugars were very high last night.


  1. Wonderful to hear from you! I taught English in the International Baccalaureate for some years, and it certainly offers breadth, if not depth.
    re the keys - why not ask Rachel to give you another key fob, as a comforting talismanic object? In Edinburgh, even another stag's horn might be obtainable.

  2. Goodness Jean, so many highs and lows packed into such a short space of time. I had been wondering if Mungo had eventually settled in at Glenalmond. I personally feel that loneliness and unhappiness are too big a price to pay for exam qualifications at this stage. Any University worth its salt will spot his potential post-Baccalaureate. Awful for Roger, but as we know, there is no justice......

    I'm looking forward to more details of the Wedding (with photos of the Princess) and loved your little tidbit from the bridegroom's speech.

  3. Welcome back. So glad to hear that you had a good time.

    I am a University Admissions tutor and can reassure you that an IB is a well regarded qualification and no impediment to university entrance. We deal with applicants from across Europe (particularly because of the fees rules in place in Scotland), so IB plus all the other European school certificates can be considered.

    Sorry to hear about your brother-in-law's minor stroke - but glad it didn't stop him from attending.

  4. Anonymous12:14 PM

    Thanks for the update - so glad you enjoyed the wedding celebration!
    Very sorry to hear about your brother-in-law's stroke. I hope he continues to recover well.

  5. That is a lot to happen in a few days, but well done for getting through and for managing the wedding. Hopefully now the anxiety will get a little easier?

    I remember Conrad Russell the late historian had uxoriousness listed as one of his three interests in Who's Who!

  6. Ellen1:16 PM

    I have always believed that a wedding where nothing went wrong becomes quickly forgotten. It sounds as though this one will give you many memores to relive for a long time. Welcome back to us, your "followers".

  7. What an eventful time you had! Adding my wishes to your brother in law!s continued recovery. Hopefully his good living helped in thwarting a more serious attack.

    Those keys will turn up next summer in some spot that will make sense.

    No forward to the photos!

    All went well on the home front while you were away!

  8. Anonymous1:46 PM

    Goodness, such a week. So sorry about the stroke - yes, these things can seem almost arbitrary after about age 65. So glad you enjoyed the wonderful wedding.
    - Beth in Ontario

  9. With the wedding over have the anxieties calmed? Hope so....I also get anxious over trips and upcoming to-do's.

  10. Anonymous8:37 PM

    Sounds like a momentous week. Please give my stay well wishes to Roger. I so enjoyed his blog posts - then he abruptly stopped - was that 4 years ago? Janet

  11. What a week! And, as my nephews used to say "Keep hanging in there!"

  12. So glad that, all in all, things went well. Glad the stroke seems to be minor and he is recovering. It will be something to remember about the wedding weekend. When my son married on his farm this summer, besides the heat and humidity, there was an auto/truck accident at his drive just as we were ready to start. The wedding march was accompanied by the sound of the tow trucks beeping. But all else went well. Well, after the rings were retrieved from the house.
    If those pesky keys are going to be found, I think it will be when you least expect them, after you have given up. That always happens to me.

  13. Lynne in Florida3:43 AM

    Welcome home! I am so glad you were able to attend the wedding, and be with the extended family. It seems to have been a memorable occasion, for many reasons. Good health to Roger, study hard to Mungo, show up to the keys, and hugs to you, Jean.

  14. Anonymous5:53 PM

    Dear Jean,
    I hope your brother in law continues to make good progress. From experience I have seen wonderful recoveries from minor/major strokes and the brain seems to make new pathways.
    My husband had a minor stroke at the beginning of this year.
    Glad the Princess shawl had a lovely first airing... I remember when you started knitting it.
    The only shawl I ever knitted was for my first baby over fifty years ago.
    You , your husband and I met at that baby's and your daughter's graduation a good while ago!
    Remember how the sunlight fell from the coloured glass in the high windows of the senate hall as our daughters walked forward and the master took their hands in his.
    I no longer knit but love wools and yarns. and am blessed by having my socks hand knitted in the softest of yarns by Liz.
    I was just looking at some photos of Thomas as a baby the other day. Where have the years gone?
    I wish the couple every happiness.
    We are both blessed in our children and grandchildren.
    ps I do find S tAnthony a great help in finding lost things.