Monday, December 28, 2015

7/8.8.69 - Alistair's wedding

7/8.8.69 [handwritten]
Dear Mum. Well, well ˗ this is the third day I’ve said to myself I must write properly to you ˗ I only posted a postcard today that I wrote last Monday ˗ but because we’ve spent so much time doing all sorts of things I’ve not had a minute really to spare. The weather has been constantly fabulous and I look more like a Red Indian than a Paleface.
Alistair’s wedding went off very well ˗ the reception was held at Woking, about 20-30 miles from London, at the house of Imogen’s parents, a large country house place with a magnificent flat garden with carefully looked-after shrubs and bushes, and far enough from Woking proper for it to be peaceful. The day, which started out as overcast, became very hot and sultry and all the younger men dispensed with their coats very quickly. I wore my old suit, but helped it on its weary way with a fabulous tie I bought a while back. This seemed to make me acceptable amongst all the superbly dressed people. Imogen’s family seem to be pretty well-off, and so, many of the relations were dressed in considerable finery. There was champagne flowing in all directions, and everybody was in high spirits until the heat quietened them down. Alistair had a gorgeous waistcoat on (he must have been very hot) that Imogen had made out of some furnishing material; it was all gold and bright and green. Imogen was in a white mini-skirt with gold trimmings and with her hair in a sort of Regency fashion. Alistair had composed an Epithalamium (a wedding piece they tell me) for the day based on the usual wedding march, and full of musical quotations, which was written for available forces ˗ mainly his Nottingham University friends ˗ which included David Syrus on piano, [plus] oboe, clarinet, bassoon, basset horn (his father-in-law) and several strings.
The reception broke up about 3.30 and David and I headed back to London, where because we had such a long time to fill in we went and saw A Night at the Opera (at the Station Cinema) ˗ me for the fourth or fifth time! [I must be exaggerating about this; I don’t know how I would have seen it this often.] Then on to Hastings, which is a combination of a seaside resort (unpleasant), a hilly town (pleasant), lots of parks (delightful), an old town (very quaint), and a gorgeous surrounding countryside. The beach, unfortunately, is another one of those pebble ones, although we did go out to Camber yesterday where it is all sand.

Mr Syrus is a dear old shoe shop owner of sixty-six, and Mrs S is from Sheffield, in the North, originally, and very easy-going, a good cook, very motherly (and though it’s perhaps a little hard on Mavis ˗ an efficient housekeeper without being unnecessarily tidy). Peter, David’s younger brother ˗ he’s twenty ˗ is another student musician, rather more practical than David (and a bit lazier ˗ but all young people are!) and very easy to get on with. Last, there’s Scamp ˗ their eight-year-old cat. Love, Mike.