Posts Tagged ‘wedding’

Returning to the UK for a mere seven days was always going to involve a gruelling schedule. Bruce was well aware of that.

Two 24-hour flights in the space of a week, friends clumped into suitable groups dictated by location and allocated hour-long audiences with El Prodigal, the need to remain outwardly joyous in front of parents despite the effects of jetlag, a shopping list of goodies to bring back for Fran – and the small matter of his sister’s wedding.

By laughing in the face of sleep, jetlag was overcome pretty quickly (although extreme fatigue meant three pints was enough to leave him paralytic). Friends seemed understanding about the all-too-brief catch up sessions. The shops at Heathrow Airport got him out of trouble with the shopping list.

Planning ahead

But, if there was one thing he wished he’d thought of beforehand, it would have been to take the lead of the various speech-makers on the wedding day. Namely, have some pre-printed cards to hand.

There’s only so many times one can face answering the same questions over and over again. Instead, one should return prepared with a pocket full of cards saying things such as:

“Yes, we’re enjoying it.”

“No. We don’t spend much time at the beach because it’s the middle of winter.’

“Yes. We’ve made friends.”

“We don’t know how long we’ll stay. Maybe forever, maybe a few years.”

“It’s an easy place to have a good life.” (By day five, the standard response, followed by a swift attempt to walk away)

“Not really. The only time I’ve missed the UK was during Glastonbury. Bastards had sunshine this year.”

Perhaps print all the standard responses on one card and leave them in a tray on the table wherever you are. That way:

  1. You’ll save a lot of breath
  2. People will be forced to think of something original to ask
  3. You won’t reach breaking point and snap in the face of an aunt of whom you’re actually very fond

Alternatively, save even more time and effort and just have one card printed:

Maybe a please wouldn't go amiss...


and be done with it.

The wedding was lovely, mind you.

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I'll have a seat at the rear, thanks

I'll have a seat at the rear, thanks

Six months after he boarded the already-defunct Oasis airline’s flight from Gatwick for Hong Kong, Bruce’s overwraught mother has just about got a hold on her separation anxieties. Her daughter’s impending marriage has focused attention enough elsewhere that the frequency with which tears are shed over Bruce and Fran’s Antipodean adventure has dropped to fewer than every 24 hours.

However, as his brief return for said marriage has drawn closer, emotions have been running high again, not so much over Bruce’s visit as the thought of him leaving again…

Furthermore, Fran – normally able to control her waterworks unless her buttons are being pushed by a particularly awful straight-to-DVD / middle-of-the-afternoon-TV-schedule drama about a child with cancer / family going through divorce / cute animals dying – has been suffering post-traumatic disorder since her hospital experience.

Post-op is never an easy time

Post-op is never an easy time

If the smells, noises and sights on the ward weren’t enough, the day her legs started swelling up to a size that would have had Nora Batty and Bella Emberg turning green with envy certainly pushed her over the edge.

Convinced it was a deep vein thrombosis, rather than the fluid pumped into her for her keyhole surgery rushing to her legs thanks to gravity, she spent that night in drug-abetted horror waiting to die and convinced she would never see Bruce again.

It’s not funny – quite the opposite – and, having confronted her own mortality for the first time and come away from the experience a changed person, Fran remains emotionally fragile.

So, as she prepared to say goodbye to Bruce for nine days for the first time in years, the last thing she – or his mother – needed was for a Qantas jumbo jet to fall apart in midair.

As fans of Rainman will know, the airline’s got a good safety record. But when Bruce is a few days away from boarding QF30 from London to Melbourne, the last thing they need is QF30 falling from the sky.

Oh well, at least lightning never strikes twice. Just ask Roy Sullivan.

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