This week, Shoogly Towers has mostly been recovering from the Wedding of the Year.
Well, when I say Shoogly Towers I actually mean the Shoogly nippers, myself and Mr E. Gamford stayed behind to tend to our three house dogs, poultry flock, pack of beagles, herd of Highland ponies and the two pet Llamas.
Aha! I knew that the mention of Llamas would wake you up – any regular readers will know that I am not over-fond of Llamas or Alpacas or anything of that ilk which puts me in mind of a sheep with a stretched neck.
And so to the Wedding of the Year, a wedding so brilliant that it would have had Kirstie Allsopp crying into her hand-embroidered hankie. It was so home-made, so vintage, and so amazingly cool that I just have to share.
I think it would have chimed with any smallholder or wannabe smallholder, as the principles were very similar – from the hedgerow home-brew to the home-made bunting. For a start, it wasn’t in a church in the middle of town, it was up a hill, with a reception in a community centre at the bottom. No air miles.
There was a definite recycling/re-using theme, from the old spade found dumped by the path which was then used to stick in the ground to hold a ‘wedding this way’ sign, to the ‘bridal bower’ at the top of the hill which was a borrowed gazebo decorated with ‘flags’ of sumptuous material and home-made bunting radiating out from it.
Once the very moving civil ceremony was over we all trooped down the hill to a jam-jar of one of a wide variety of home-made ciders, ranging from deep russets to hospital sample yellows. Delicious.
Then we went to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over the tables, each one with a different home-made fabric table cloth and assortment of candles and mementoes from the bride and groom’s home. Every single item told a story about them individually and as a couple. We had a lighthouse ornament and two cat candles on our table, so I’m not quite sure what that says about them – kindred spirits drawn in from the darkness by a beacon of love? Or any port in a storm for something the cat dragged in? I jest.
The tables were laden with an eclectic mix of bottles, all labelled, from ‘perfectly acceptable tap water’ in old whisky bottles to ‘rhubarb wine’ and ‘stove wine’ (I think it had fermented by the stove, rather than been made from one, in an Irn-Bru stylee), representing months and months of foraging and brewing.
A selection of glasses from half-pint mugs to horn beakers and sherry glasses meant those who like a good kick of the ball could have one, and those who get tiddly on more than a thimbleful could moderate. Not that I saw many of the latter at this wedding.
I sampled well and happily, just stopping short of ‘tattie wine’. Why? A) It was in a teeny tiny miniature bottle, pointing to the fact it was probably lethal, and B) It’s smell (definitely lethal).
Borders College catering students did a fab job on the food, with guests pitching in with tray bakes and cheeses for the board.
And the highlight for the Shoogly nippers? Playing the spoons on stage with ‘Uncle Bob’ Burgess and the Bogie Close Stompers. Bob, we will blame you if they grow up into Chas ‘n’ Dave.
Thank you, June and Kev. Slainte mhath!