Saturday, 20 December 2008

Greenwich Wedding.

Just back from playing at a wedding in the elegant surroundings of the Greenwich Naval College. It's been a couple of weeks since my last one and amidst all my Nutcrackering, it has restored my faith in weddings a wee bit;playing at a considered and personal weddings makes it a joy.
It is one of the most impressive places in London,there is such a wonderful sense of space down by the river Thames, those stately grey buildings their stone edifice fighting their corner against the glittering towers of Canary Wharf. Each time I see this view I catch my breath,the modern framed by the historic. In fact so little has changed within that courtyard until you cast your eyes over the other side of the river and suddenly 200 years of time spring forward in an instant.

The wedding took place in the Admiral's House, a corner nearest the river in a mahogany panelled room, there were no floral decorations but everyone was given plump ivory rose buttonholes. Also her bouquet was dreamy,cascades of variegated ivy more big fat roses and jasmine- so lovely to have jasmine in wedding flowers.
As I started to perform the entrance music, four bridesmaids proceeded down each wearing a black dress in a variety of styles, the first in a glittering sequined sari and the last in a moulin rouge vintage style with birdcage veil and draped choker.
From my position at the front (I usually have the best seat in the house!) I could see the groom's face, and as the bride started her entrance, from the corner of my eye I could see the registrar ask him to turn round but as he shook his head no,I glanced up and his expression was full of emotion-I guess it was doing all he could to keep it together! Sent the tears rushing to my eyes as the memory of nervous anticipation rushed back.
The ceremony was short but very heartfelt. Two poems were read,not the more common poems that I can practically recite and often rattled off without care or thought. Each was beautifully read and chosen for their lightness of heart and with joyous celebration at their centre.The first reminded me to write a post that I have been meaning to write all week and the second by Thomas Hardy was new to me but contains elements of all the wonderful rustic celebration which give his novels such joy and spirit to contrast with all the fateful tragedy.

Great Things

Sweet cyder is a great thing,

A great thing to me,

Spinning down to Weymouth town

By Ridgway thirstily,

And maid and mistress summoning

Who tend the hostelry:

O cyder is a great thing,

A great thing to me!

The dance it is a great thing,

A great thing to me,

With candles lit and partners fit

For night-long revelry;

And going home when day-dawning

Peeps pale upon the lea:

O dancing is a great thing,

A great thing to me!

Love is, yea, a great thing,

A great thing to me,

When, having drawn across the lawn

In darkness silently,

A figure flits like one a-wing

Out from the nearest tree:

O love is, yes, a great thing,

A great thing to me!

Will these be always great things,

Great things to me? . . .

Let it befall that One will call,

"Soul, I have need of thee":

What then? Joy-jaunts, impassioned flings,

Love, and its ecstasy,

Will always have been great things,

Great things to me!

(pics from flickr)

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