Oh, you want to hear more about the trip?!
As much as we all love going to England, we wouldn't ordinarily have left our nuclear-mushroom-cloud of a life in California just as the fiscal A-bomb was about to make landfall. However, my baby brother was getting married, and thanks to some generous financial assistance, we were able to buy that one extra plane ticket for the creature. Our child who no longer flies free. She already has a passport littered with immigration stamps, but now that she's old enough to require her own seat her traveling days may be limited to the Ventura Target, and that's only if gas prices don't keep rising.
We had to take her though, as not only did she have a fabulous dress to wear:
but she's the only recent offspring on both sides of the family, and therefore about as popular as a half-price sale in the Marks & Spencers knicker section.
As luck and fantastic friendship would have it though, we ended up sneaking in a second wedding a few days before my brother's big bash. My BFF from University, Sus, is getting married in May. She knows pretty much all my secrets, so I'm not going to publish *that picture* (plus, she's an incredibly famous actress darling, and there is such a thing as bad publicity - or bad hair). Sadly we can't make it over in May, because breaking it to an American employer that you're taking three weeks off in a single year is hard enough. Twice in one year, not going to happen. So we were truly gutted that we would miss her walking down the aisle with this fabulous man:
How Sus, who is half American, married a bloke from Yorkshire, and I, who can't leave THE NORTH without hyperventilating, married an American, has got to be one of the biggest, but most fantastic mix-ups of all time. If someone had told us 15 years ago in the College bar that was going to happen, we'd have wanted to be drinking what they were drinking.
Anyway, back to the story. In order for them to get married in a rose garden in Kent, they would have to get married in a registry office first (in England the place is legally consecrated for marriage, not the person). Here is where I will be forever grateful. Instead of going to the registry office the morning of their big wedding, they chose to get the legal bit over with a month earlier so that we could be present. When she first suggested this as an option I literally choked up. It was an incredible honour.
My Mum and Dad watched Anna overnight, and we headed down to London, to Haringey registry office where it was truly beautiful to see two very accomplished actors fluff their vows ever so slightly because they were overcome by the enormity of the moment. It was beautiful, classy, sweet and sincere. And then we went for ice-cream:
and they called everyone they knew and said 'we just got married' and the bloke at Thornton's gave them free chocolates because they'd only been married for fifteen minutes, and love ruled Haringey(?) High Street and all was right with the world.
.....to be continued.