Ficklish Blog

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Wedding Story

Once upon a time, a member of my immediate family announced the delightful news that she was engaged to her long-term partner, and they would be married in early March 2008 at a resort on the Sunshine Coast. The timing coincided neatly with my birthday and so my trip home (and the Festival celebrations) was planned so that I would be there for the happy event.

This wedding was special – not just because I was so particularly pleased for the couple in question, though that is certainly true – but because it gave me what will henceforth be known as the Most Dramatic Wedding Story Ever.

The story begins with Giant Hair. I’m not sure what it is about hairdressers, but every time I have my hair professionally blown dry, I end up several inches taller than I was before. The bride, E, had very kindly offered my mother and I the chance to have our hair and makeup done by the team of professional stylists she had engaged to come along to the resort to beautify the wedding party.

Mum and I rocked up to the bridal suite bright and early on the morning of the wedding. I’d been off playing a game of tennis with my brothers and wee nephew beforehand (am so sporty! Check me out!). While I had showered, I was still more than a bit bedraggled and the kindly hairdresser had quite a job on her hands to make me presentable.

Giant Hair was obviously the solution. Mum’s hair was finished before mine, and I swear that I have never laughed so hard at a hairdo in my life. It was positively Dynastyesque. She had a chance to return the favour soon afterwards as my finished ‘do also soared towards the heavens, much to the delight of the assembled crowd. We all bonded nicely over the Biggest Hair of All Time as we lounged about in the suite, chuckling and drinking coffee and having ourselves a lovely time as we watched E's gradual brideification. She was nervous, but happy, and we teased her good-naturedly and offered compliments and encouragement as hundreds of hairpins were pushed directly into her skull. It was about 10:30am, the wedding was scheduled for 3pm. Everything was going perfectly to plan.

All of a sudden, the happy, relaxed vibe was interrupted by a very loud noise coming from the master bedroom of the suite. It sounded like pressurised air, or as if someone had turned the shower on full power: FSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHH. Really, REALLY loud.

The dryers went off, the chatter ceased. We looked about at each other in puzzlement. Whatever could it be? One of the bridesmaids got up and trotted over towards the bedroom. She looked inside, and started screaming.


We ran over to join her. I swear to God, I have never seen anything like it before in my life. Black, foul-smelling water gushing everywhere, like a real-life special effect. Spurting fountains of filth, flooding the room at high pressure, streaming all over the bed, the floor, the walls, the suitcases. Everything.

The wedding dress was hanging in the middle of the room.

The bridesmaids ran into the geyser to grab the dress. As we stood in the hall, they carried it out, stinking and black and absolutely, utterly ruined.

Dumbstruck astonishment passed to panic in an instant. The fire alarms had gone off, and a recorded loudspeaker voice told us to evacuate. The bride was hyperventilating with distress, barely conscious from the shock. As we carried her down the fire escape, I remember thinking, ‘well, that’s it. If the hotel is on fire there can’t be a wedding’.

We got her down eight flights of stairs and out into the grounds of the hotel as the fire trucks pulled up. Bedlam descended, and the next half-hour was a blur of shouting and running about and everyone trying to work out what the fuck was going on.

As it turned out, there was no fire. The sprinklers had gone off in that one room only. A freak accident, that’s it. The water had been sitting in those pipes for decades, becoming rotten and foul - and then one single malfunction sent it spraying across the room at high pressure.

We took E. upstairs to our suite, and tried to calm her down. Kloss and the Father of the Bride (FOTB, aka my awesome stepdad) piled into a car and drove the stinking dress to the nearest town to a drycleaner. The cleaner took one look at the dress and told them that if they had 48 hours, maybe they could soak the fabric and revive it. Four hours? Not a chance.

After frenzied phone calls back and forth, the bride and bridesmaids were bundled into another car to go and meet Kloss and FOTB at a bridal shop. Kloss said later that when they swept into the shop, holding aloft the black, dead, dress, all the brides-to-be shopping with their mothers stopped and stared, hushed and shocked. He said you could see their faces fall and whiten as they thought: ‘Oh, god. That can happen?’

The people at the bridal shop were amazing. They cleared the place out, and brought out all the dresses they had in E’s size. As she tried them on, they got their seamstress to come in. She picked a dress, they fitted it and made speedy alterations, pressed and wrapped it and sent her back to the hotel. All in under three hours. The makeup artists made a second call, coming back just as we got E into the new dress, just in time for photographs.

The ceremony was only delayed by 15 minutes.

It was incredible! The most remarkable wedding-day disaster, completely solved and overcome in the space of an afternoon - from panic and mayhem to smiling guests in their finery on a beautiful sunny day. What made it all the more brilliant was that any conceivable nervousness or tension had all completely dissipated and everyone was in the most amazing good mood for the entire night. Once a crisis of that magnitude had been suffered and resolved, everything was guaranteed to be perfect.

And it was! The ceremony was lovely, the party a blast. The bride and groom were in excellent spirits (the half a Valium might have helped, man, it’s so good to have a nurse for a mother!) and the bride was breathtakingly beautiful. A fabulous time was had by all.

And here are some pictures to prove it. Firstly, here’s Mum and FOTB. Please note, the hair remained enormous:

And here are my brothers (again):

And here is the happy couple, making it official:

Craziest wedding day ever. Thankfully, they all lived happily ever after.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Festival Pictures

So, in the interests of recording the Festival for posterity, I thought I'd throw a few ridiculous photographs of myself (and some others, apologies in advance) up here.

The Festival kickoff was at a lovely restaurant across the road from the Pickle. I managed to achieve a life-long dream at this dinner by getting to behave in the manner of a game show winner:

The blurriness really gives you a sense of the excitement!

I flew to Oz the next day, and soon after arriving I Officially Turned 30. Here is what I looked like on my 30th birthday:

That's Kapitan Kloss and TPC with me, they are not yet 30. Their time will come.

Here we are at a delightful family dinner hosted by my grandfather:

You'd never guess we were related. Matching chins!

The Kapitan was kind enough to throw me a birthday party the following evening (thanks, Kloss!). I drank many cocktails with lychee liqueur in them. Mmm, lychee liqueur. Once said cocktails had done their work, I insisted that we sing The Gambler:

It was important that everyone sang standing up.

The rest of my trip was utterly delightful, and included a road trip with J,The. Here is a photo of the road trip IN ACTION:

And here we are at Marulan, the Best Truck Stop In All The World:

It really is the Best Truck Stop In All The World. If you think you have one to beat it, please let me know and I will then explain to you the many ways in which you are very wrong.

While spring has (kinda sorta) arrived in London, it's still a long way from sunny here. So to drive myself crazy with the longing, here is a shot of me at Bondi:

How very pasty I have become.

The time then came to return to London. My sadness at leaving Oz was abated somewhat by a fabulous party at the Pickle the weekend after my return. My most excellent flatmate, Frankie (whoops, RVW), made me a birthday cake in the shape of a pickle:

The face was especially delicious.

And with that, we come to the Grand Finale of the Festival of jLo 2008: Westward Ho! The trip of a lifetime! I was so excited I decided to wear my best dressing gown all the way there:

This was taken in Weston-super-Mare. WHAT A TOWN.

I loved everything about Westward Ho!, but mostly the exclamation mark. It was displayed prominently in a number of places, much to my delight:

If you look closely, you will note that each of us is actually shouting 'HO!' as this picture was taken. Wouldn't you?

Our long weekend was full of rambling around the countryside, eating cream teas and sampling the local ales. We did so much of that last one that DJ Ill and I had trouble doing a simple high five:

Sadly, even the best weekends must come to an end. When we got back to London, there was snow:

What a dressing gown! What a Festival. My computer is slow these days, and this post has taken an entire large glass of wine to finish. I hope you are all having a lovely weekend.