In Koh Racha, on the verandah of our little villa in the gardens, we have a house toad. We first spy him hopping across the verandah one evening on his way out for a night on the tiles. The following morning, he is back on the verandah, snuggled down by the side of the day bed, against the wall. We worry he might be ill. We try to see if he is still alive by touching him with leaves. He moves a little. Ms Atherton is worried he will die in the intense heat so she pours a little water on him. He gives her a look. That evening he is gone again and the following morning he is back in his little place. Clearly we have a house toad. And very cute he is, too.
The day of the wedding finally arrives. It has taken me ages to write this part of the blog but there has been a lot going on. Subject of several more blogs in the making. The day is fine and there is a lovely gazebo set up. You don’t know how long it took me to google the word ‘gazebo’. My memory is so bad for words now. I had to ask Mr Mason for the word when two political parties take office together earlier on. Coalition. I was writing (again) to my MP. But I digress. At the appointed time, Mr Mason goes off to do his father-of-the-bride duties. We see the groom, groomsmen and best man in a villa just along from ours. A golf buggy comes to collect me and, luckily, I can climb up into it without needing the help of 10 Thai men. I am taken to the part of the beach where the wedding is to be held (no point taking me anywhere else) and Mr Mason jnr, Ms Atherton and I all sit down. Apparently on the wrong side. I still think the bride’s family sit on the left but I am able to see, being at the front, so it doesn’t matter. People on the rest of the beach stand around taking photographs. There is one man in speedos who stands rather unfortunately behind a large, waist-height palm making him look naked and pervy.
Eventually a golf buggy adorned with flowers and fabric arrives and Mr and Ms Mason tumble out of it, together with the photographers and we can get started. What can I say about a wedding? It is very emotional. The bride looks beautiful and the groom scrubs up well, too. We all blub. The celebrant is a friend who has taken the role very seriously (in a good way) and does a fabulous job, as do all the friends who give readings. Then it is over and they are married. OK, they got married in Bangkok some weeks ago but that was just the formal part with 2 strangers acting as witnesses. THIS wedding, with friends and family around is the important one and if you ask Mr and Mrs Safaie jnr the date of their formal wedding, they do not remember it. At some point the newly-married Mr and Mrs Safaie jnr are taken away in the golf buggy behind which someone has tied several cans. So traditional.
We have drinks and canapes under the trees then we go for dinner during which several embarrassing and touching speeches are made. On the table are place cards, handmade by the bride and each containing an individual and personal inscription. At some point during dinner we are given a large arrangement of flowers and leaves each secured on some oasis. There is a candle and a joss stick, too, and we endeavour in the wind which has risen, to light them and send them out on the sea for the festival of Loy Krathong. The sea is rather too choppy at this point and the arrangements keep coming back to the beach but one makes it out past the boats, to much cheering. The hotel have made a series of pits in the sand on the beach and put oil in them which they have lit. It is extremely pretty. There is also a fire dancer who throws fiery things around him with gay abandon and also breathes fire. His son who looks to be in his early teens also has a part in the show and we just hope no-one gets burnt. Just as we catch our breath, the fireworks start and they are magnificent.
We head back to eat the wedding cake which has bobble head represenations of the bride and groom on. We all have a little more champagne and do more toasting before heading off to a space under the trees where chairs and tables have been placed as well as the bar. The music starts and Mr and Mrs Safaie jnr dance together, their first dance as man and wife. Then it is the turn of the bride to dance with her father. She has chosen a track by the Kingsmen, Louie Louie which, if you have never heard it is something you should remedy. Click on the link and enjoy. They really strut their stuff, those two, and when they have finished dancing people keep asking them how long they rehearsed for. Of course, the answer is that they did no rehearsing at all. They are just in tune with each other.
How much more is there to say? The zumba class Mrs Safaie jnr attends did a surprise dance, all wearing masks of Mr Safaie in various guises (as Ali G, for example), the wine flowed, Ms Atherton caught the bride’s bouquet (so another wedding next year, methinks) and the best man ripped his trousers when someone’s sister rugby-tackled him, much to his surprise. All in all, a proper wedding.
Oh, did you want photos? OK, just a few. Next time I’ll tell you all about how we met Elvis.