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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Royal Wedding Fun in Didsbury; Even Cynical Husbands Enjoy Themselves

At first, you would be forgiven for thinking that, in this household at least, Friday 29th April 2011 was just any old day. Mr Liz duly brought me a nice cup of tea in bed and rushed downstairs to commandeer the tellybox so that he might pretend to be some kind of fierce sandal-wearing warrior on the trail of some dragon, or bad man, or monkey, or something. I lay in bed, and read an intellectual book about vampires. And then, I remembered.

Seconds later, Mr Liz had been forcibly removed from televisual control, and found himself watching, aghast, as a parade of overdressed toffs and celebrities began to shimmy across the screen. A stream of text messages - "Oh my God! Posh is wearing NAVY" - announced that my fellow wedding-watcher was on her way, armed with pink wine and good shoes. Normal service resumed - Mr Liz driven out of his own living room by presence of wildly over-excited, squawking women - we sat back to enjoy the following schedule:

10am: watching the guests arrive, commenting chiefly on Tara's nose, Posh's teepee and Elton's girth. Perusal of Grazia during dull moments or those featuring Fearne Cotton.

11am: the ceremony. We like the dress, but note that Pippa's maid of honour outfit is remarkably similar to my own wedding dress although, presumably, not purchased from Monsoon. We have a cup of tea and plan to watch the whole ceremony.

11.15: some religious people start doing long readings so we open the pink wine and embark on a sterling sofa picnic - olives, pork pies, crisps, pate and crackers. Somehow, the food and the drink complement each other so perfectly that no-one really notices that the sun is not even approaching the yard-arm. We enjoy how Kate keeps her face looking interested throughout the duration of the ceremony while William is repeatedly caught on camera looking bored - presumably because he doesn't have any pink wine to take the edge off it all.

1.30: I predict that Wills and Kate will kiss twice on the balcony, and am correct. We also enjoy the tiny bridemaid refusing to remove her hands from over her ears or the look of total disgust from her face.

2pm: time to actually leave the house. The long and arduous walk to Didsbury is broken up with a pitstop in the beautiful Airy Fairy Cake Boutique on School Lane, where Laura sells us cupcakes that have pictures of Kate and William on. I should probably mention that at this point I am sporting my wedding tiara, which I have been looking for an excuse to wear for the last seven years; I am under the impression that I look a little like a bride, or a princess, or possibly both.

3.30pm: drinks at The Didsbury. We sit outside and drink Prosecco, and have by this stage been joined by two boys who claim to have no interest whatsoever in the wedding, and yet find they can manage to sit outside a pub drinking beer.

5pm: drinks at The Sanctuary. This place is much improved since its Varsity days, and was very sportingly offering jugs of Pimms for £7.99 a go. We sit in a lovely squashy old sofa and find to our horror that the boys are now embracing the spirit of the occasion and wish to share our Pimms. Cunning friend contrives to pour large quantities of ice-cubes into their waiting glasses rather than much actual Pimms, thus reminding me of one of the key reasons I spend so much time with her.

7pm: it would seem that people who eat their lunch at 11.15 are quite terrifyingly hungry by the early evening, and are forced to accept that eating the cucumber slices from the Pimms jug is no longer sufficient. We choose The Laughing Buddha, a Chinese restaurant that we have never tried before, and are most impressed - we order Banquet C and plough our way through assorted deep-fried starters, hot and sour soup, crispy duck and four main courses (one of which - the Mongolian Lamb - had to be packaged up for taking home lest we actually burst on the premises.) The food is consistently good, and I give it a score of 7.8, docking points largely because the duck was a tiny bit dry, and they gave too much food to people who clearly couldn't say no.

9.30: we walk home our separate ways, and I am in bed at a profoundly sensible hour. If it wasn't likely to bankrupt both the country and me personally, I would suggest one of these Royal Wedding larks at least once a year, possibly more often depending on availability of appropriate personnel.

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