I usually end up mumbling plenty of disjointed sentences to an unsuspecting audience. Anyways, the point is, my speech was hardly going to be the fitting tribute to my bride that she so very much deserved but what the hay. I thought I'll give this my best shot and just went down the personal route, and tried to put down in words something meaningful to my bride disregarding whatever anyone else might think.
I got typing and surprisingly when I focused on Norn Girl herself and not what people would think of my words, I had a speech written, typed up in large print, colour coordinated paragraphs surprisingly quickly - the last part a great tip recommended by my best man and I was all set for the reception. All I had to think about now was the wedding itself and making sure all our best laid plans went to schedule.
My cousin and his girlfriend returned not long after I had finished. They had taken in a Sunday whistle stop tour of Belfast which is admittedly not the greatest day to do so due to a lot of things being closed, but they had gone to the Ulster Museum and returned with a mixed report. Apparently abstract art has crept in but they liked the café. A trip in the near future is no doubt on the agenda to compare the old to new. (And here is that very trip we took to the Ulster Museum in February).
The day seemed to fly by and it was soon the evening and time for us to head to Carrickfergus. We were all heading to the Clarion Hotel that night, not to see Norn Girl but to collect the rest of my family and Norn Girls brother as he was staying with my side of the family later. My dad, as always, was being a star and became taxi driver for the lot of us. We were soon at the Clarion and waiting for my sister to appear from her room, late as usual! Most of the family headed off the in car but those of us brave enough braced the cold and made the short walk to Carrickfergus harbour and into the Brewers Fare for a meal.
The party were all rather noisy, especially down the bottom end of the table where the oldest generation of our family were having quite a few beverages and becoming rather vocal. Us younger folk tried our best to join in but most of us were going t-total for the day and so it was all rather civilized down our end. It was like some kind of random role reversal. The meal wasn't the greatest but it was ok for the price and was filling enough to get us through the evening and into the big day. Before long we had to get going and left those of the family staying at the hotel to enjoy a few more drinks and those of us staying at my place headed back with me to Belfast in a taxi.
When we got home, I started to get prepared. In some sort of nervous double checking mode, I was simultaneously trying to make a check list for the morning as well as playing pro evolution on the PS2 with Norn Girl younger brother. Thankfully the later helped my nerves as it was a great distraction. In our games of football on the games console, there are 2 ways to win. First is the regular way, by scoring more goals than the other team. The second is by getting the most players sent off which is surprisingly harder than you might think when you are trying to do it. The ultimate victory is to have 8 men left on the pitch with your best goalie playing up front and win the normal way too. This very rarely happens and didn't in these games. On this occasion it was a win each time for the side with most players left on the pitch so a draw overall. It was soon past midnight and we headed to bed. With a full house I was on the sofa for the night, so I got the pillows set up and threw the spare duvet over me and that was where I woke on my wedding day...
...To be continued...