Exactly a year ago tomorrow Mr B and I went to church to get married all over again. There was a moment of Pending Disaster when Mr B fell down a step on his way in - but, perhaps as a result of Divine Intervention, he
escaped relatively unscathed and we were able to proceed with the service as planned. Phew!
I was thinking about our narrow escape when I visited the church today
for a Flower Festival Extraordinaire. Several of my friends have been slaving away for weeks and months on flowery preparations. No, I wasn't one of them, flower arranging being definitely missing from my (short) list of Artistic Accomplishments. I have to
say that the flower arrangers were better off without me - their various displays were a veritable Feast For The Eyes.
I nearly didn't get there at all having
had an unexpectedly fraught day involving a mislaid prescription, the 111 service and an Out of Hours doctor. Because I did not want to load my stress onto Mr B (who, I reckoned, needed to be kept calm at all costs) I unloaded my troubles by frequent messages
to the Youngest of the Darling Daughters instead. Poor thing, she has come to believe that her mother is totally jinxed. I think it is high time I stopped giving her this impression - though, loyal to the core, she insists stoutly that this is what she is
Dear Jill, one of the Floral Party, asks how I am and I manage not to tell her the whole, sorry tale - we all know, don't we, that when anyone
asks us how we are, the correct answer is "Fine!" (Unless that person is the Youngest of the Darling Daughters, you are thinking. Am I right?) Is she pleased with the truly amazing response to the Flower Festival, I ask Jill. She nods, modestly, but
tells me that most of her fellow arrangers are already saying "Never again!" Ian, who is handing out explanatory leaflets on the door winks at me and says he will give them eight months to reconsider..
Wandering about the church, I am beyond impressed with the skill, imagination and nimble fingers of everybody involved. Whoever would have thought of that? I marvel to myself as I stand before each floral interpretation of
the main festivals of the Church year, from Advent, through Christmas, Passiontide, Easter, Harvest. The children of the Sunday School have taken over the Lady Chapel and decorated it to represent Mothering Sunday with home-made cards, bunches of flowers,
and a delicious looking Simnel cake, with one slice enticingly missing. There are contributions, too, from local schools, businesses and organisations. This is an All Inclusive Flower Festival.
At home, I take myself off into the garden to do a bit of tidying up. Tomorrow there will be a Family Gathering, an early celebration for my birthday, and I want my Little Piece of England to look as beautiful as possible.
The Middle of the Darling Daughters warns me to expect the usual mayhem when she arrives with her Trio and advises me to move everything most precious to me. Where, I respond swiftly, does she suggest I should move my Rascal and my Twinkles, who are far, far
more precious to me than any plant in a pot?
We plan to re-create the Magic Moment on our Golden Wedding Day last year, before we headed off to the church, when
we all sat outside in the sunshine and ate - fish and chips! I've found a local chippy that's open on a Sunday, the Eldest of the Darling Daughters has circulated a menu to save time when it comes to ordering, I have checked that I am well stocked up with
salt, vinegar and tomato ketchup. It will be a proper feast.
Thanks to the restful beauty of the Flower Festival, the calm that comes from time in the garden,
and the satisfaction of feeling generally well-prepared for tomorrow, ketchup and all, the stress of the morning has miraculously evaporated.
I do love a day that
ends up so very much better than it began.