Sunday 22 March 2009

Cluck, cluck, cluck, squawk, thud

Two huge disappointments today. The first occurred when Mrs H and I pitched up at church for the fourth-Sunday-in-the-month “traditional” morning service, and she drew my attention to a small, hairy figure scuttling towards the door clutching a red, electric guitar. At least it got me to say “Oh God” in a genuinely heartfelt way before we got stuck in(to) 75 minutes of twanging instruments, crooning guitarists, “Shine, Jesus, shine” and lisping but at least largely mercifully inaudible readings and playlets from the “Young Christians”.

Bloody Mothering Sunday. I should have known that they would fiddle round with the usual schedule for that. At least there were lots of mothers present (including my allegedly Muslim but Catholic-educated mother-in-law) who seemed to enjoy themselves. So that’s all right, then. Towards the end the grey-haired priestess in charge invited anyone with a mother present to come to the front and collect a small bag of heart-shaped chocolates. I held Mrs H down until all the kiddies had made the journey, but felt obliged to let her go when a man of at least 85 tottered down the aisle to join the queue. I looked about for his mother, with the intention of putting in a call to the Guinness Book of Records, but failed to spot her. The legendary Rick the Vic sat the performance out, taking to the pulpit only to read some banns and issue the characteristically helpful reminder that the clocks would be going back next Sunday. Would that he were right. Ideally by at least 50 years.

The other disappointment was more predictable. You will note a distinct absence from this posting of the promised official wedding pictures. I did not take the call, but the man I have to come think of as the Poultrygeist rang last night, sounding I imagine like a naughty schoolboy, to report that he was having trouble sticking them in the promised album. I’d have issued some pithy advice about getting his finger out and buying a Pritt Stick, but Mrs H was naturally much more understanding. Clearly in reality a large consignment of chickens had turned up unexpectedly from somewhere, and it is a recognized fact that the buggers won’t strangle themselves.

We tried ringing him on our way home from church, to see if we could just pick up the pictures on a disc. Apparently this would have been no problem if he had been sitting in his studio with his Pritt Stick as he should have been, but he was out helping someone with their car. I cracked the old joke about their big hen probably having gone, but I don’t think Mrs H got it. So I made some more random remarks about unreliable suppliers, and she ignored me. As she usually does.

After that we had my in-laws around for a traditional Iranian Mothering Sunday lunch of marinated pork kebabs. As Mrs H’s father memorably observed to an astonished Rick the Vic after our wedding rehearsal, while tucking into my packet of scratchings in the pub across the road from the church, “We are not very serious Muslims”.

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