Saturday, 21 August 2010

Official unofficial god parents

Once again I’m in Thaxted, sitting in my parents’ living room, surrounded by a lovely group of their friends. We talking about all manner of things. The Faraway Tree, The Sealed Knot, Arizona... At the moment, and for some bizarre reason, we’re trying to count the number of films we can think of which involve a character making clothing out of curtains. So far we’re at three. Gone with the Wind, The Sound of Music and Enchanted. If anyone else can think of one, I'd be happy to hear of it...

Today was a very pleasant occasion. It's astonishing to think that my parents have now been married for 40 years. What an incredible achievement. A great number of people from different stages of my parents’ lives gathered together in a gastro pub somewhere in Huntingdonshire... or Cambridgeshire as the government now insists on calling it. I found myself surrounded by teachers from my old school, various family friends, a number of unofficial godparents and my official unoffical god parent. Every face took me on an incredibly nostalgic sun-bleached journey. Some faces had aged. Many seemed not to have changed at all. Some were fatter. Some were thinner. Some seemed greyer. Many had really dodgy teeth, which I never remember from before! But the occasion was joyous.

I did my speech and it went well. People seemed to be genuinely moved, they laughed at all the jokes, and afterwards many people said how well they thought I’d done. I opted to go first in case brother Edward pulled off a blinder, and he obviously did incredibly well, but our speeches were like chalk and cheese, so there was no need for me to have worried. I hope my parents were proud of us both.

There was a slightly uncomfortable moment when some of my oldest friends had to leave before the pudding came, which offended me slightly because I’d only known that one of them had to go. It was something that perhaps should have been brought to my attention because the exodus made me feel rather embarrassed and worried for my parents. I tend to think if someone’s paying for your dinner, the least you can do is stay and eat your pudding, but I am equally aware that we live in a fast-paced society where people try and pack as much as they can into their weekends. I was touched that they came - and I know my parents were.

Pepys took delivery of his new velvet coat on this date 350 years ago and immediately locked it away. It would be 9 months before he actually wore it!

There were various conversations about the Navy’s finances, and various plans were made to try and get some more money from the government. But aside from this, it was just an ordinary day...

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