We set off at 7.15 am to cover the 15 miles or so to Chester. We’d never been to this particular venue before so I suggested Lady J used her sat-nag. Things did not go well. The Transylvanian voiced minx inside the box was having an off day.
When we go to Chester we start the journey by turning right and heading for the expressway. Ms Dracul asked us to turn left instead and head for the Coast Road.
Much to Julia’s chagrin I suggested she obey instructions as I had no idea which part of Chester the hotel was in. We were due to arrive by 8’am so the ladies could go to the hairdressers.
By 7.40 we had reached a point where the back road into Chester was close and I suggested we prepare, but no, the beguiling voice sent us left onto the motorway. As there is an alternate route into Chester I wasn’t worried until Vladina told Julia to go round the roundabout and take the third exit. Panic set in because there was a new roundabout ahead and the third exit took us onto the main motorway to Manchester. Strange mumblings came from Julia’s mouth as she took the road before I was able to shout “Ignore the wench, she’s playing with you.” We had got a few hundred yards when the voice with a throaty chuckle told us to “Turn round when possible”. We took the next exit( miles away) and out friend directed us back onto the opposite side of the motorway to retrace our steps. It’s now 8.15 and I’m having trouble keeping calm.
Back to where we were the disembodied idiot told us to turn right and approach the roundabout taking the third exit again. I knew it was wrong as I could see the Chester Road close by on the left but by now we were in her thrall. Right it was and the third exit loomed. Hoylake said the sign. We both knew that’s on the Wirral peninsula but we carried on until the fiend said “In one hundred yards you have reached your destination, you have reached your destination.” It was a lay-by near to a huge brick wall which somehow didn’t seem right. Reaching over Julia I gripped the sat-nag with the intention of throwing her out of the window but knowing the litter laws and the fact that police cars can hide behind an autumn leaf I just turned her off and suggested we turn the car round and I’d navigate. Ten minutes later at 8.30 we dew up at the hotel. Within 5 minutes I was esconced in our daughters room as they departed for hair-do’s and nail buffings.
All Wedding days have hiccups, so glad that ours were over I sat on the chaise longue and nodded off. Soon enough the distractions returned and I headed down to the bar for coffee. It wouldn’t take Julia long to change so she joined me for a cuppa and we laughed about the mornings events until it was time to get dressed. Back in the room the cameras were flashing as each new person appeared in their finery. Without noticing the time arrived for the bridesmaids and Julia to depart. Half an hour later the phone rang to say our car had arrived.A Rolls Royce no less.
The driver suggested taking a slightly longer route so we could pull up outside the church on the slide Yvonne would alight. We were pulling up outside the church when there was a lot of frantic waving for us to go round the block again. I saw sheer panic on Yvonne’s face for a moment that Ugo hadn’t turned up bu she knew that couldn’t be the case so rolled down her window. It transpired Ugo was patiently waiting our arrival but his mother journeying from London hadn’t arrived. Back up went the window and e set off to go round the block when Yvonne realised she didn’t have her bouquet. We dashed back to the hotel where I ran ( or limped) inside and shot upstairs shouting ” I couldn’t do it, I changed my mind” at the reception staff. The electronic key wouldn’t work. Back down, key registered and back up again for the flowers. Another dash back to the car to arrive at the church at 3.20 for the 3.00pm marriage. Word came that Mum was on the way so we’d give her till half past then we’d have to start. I used the time wisely, I stood beside the car and had a calming smoke.
At 3.30 we went in. Yvonne on my arm looking a dream. Mum hadn’t arrived but we couldn’t hold the queue up any longer or we”d be having joint weddings with the next couple. Even worse was he Best Man was now missing as he’s gone to find his mother and bring her. The ceremony was just drawing to and end as they appeared. ” Don’t worry Dad” said Yvonne, “It’s just African time, it’s much more relaxed than ours.”
It transpired that the car she was travelling i got lost and the best man went out to guide them in. For some strange reason they’d taken time to park their car and travel with the best man. Later as we went for the wedding breakfast there were spaces at the table as they’d decided to go and collect the car they’d abandoned. They arrived back just a we were finishing our main course and had to catch up.
The day itself was wonderful. The weather had saved it’s best for us and the wedding party all looked great in their assorted finery.I confess that Julia and I were both glad to change into easy flowing African outfits made for us when the dancing started.