Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Happy Day

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Day Three: After the Party.

So, the party. The shoes, you will be pleased to hear, were what my friend Margaret calls a Hit. I was so pleased that I threw caution to the winds and drank too many Cosmopolitans. There were many relatives and old friends. There were cabaret acts. There was even dancing. The younger niece made a speech which made us both laugh and cry.

Today, we gathered for a family lunch to do the post-mortem. We had a big table right in the middle of Carluccio's, which was packed to the gunnels. Everything was quite calm and decorous; we were all behaving well. Then the older niece arrived with news. The Man in the Hat has asked her to MARRY HIM. At which point we all burst into tears and started hugging each other. The waiter only just escaped. The other diners stared in some surprise. This was certainly not the famous British reserve. (I blame our Irish blood.) Anyway, the main thing is that we now have The Man in the Hat forever. So it was a high day and a holiday, and now I am quite exhausted and must have my rest. For some reason though I felt this good news should be shared, since The Older Niece and The MITH have featured regularly on the blog, and such a banner day must be formally marked. There is nothing like two beaming faces of the newly betrothed to warm the cockles of even the most jaded heart, especially that of this old aunt.

PS. In celebration, I treated myself to cab home instead of taking the bus. I had one of those old, unreconstructed Cockney cabbies. He had been doing the job for forty-five years, he told me. He began to talk, as fabled cabbies do. He spoke of: Saudia Arabia, emancipation for women, Ancient Greece, Alexander the Great, the current turmoil in the Middle East, prostitutes in the 18th century, and how you can't beat bricks and mortar for a good investment. It was both entertaining and highly restful; I needed do nothing but nod and smile. Occasionally, I said: REALLY? in a shocked/interested/I did not know that kind of voice.

As he dropped me in Old Compton Street he said: 'Nice talking to you. You're intelligent, I can tell.' This made me laugh quite a lot, since I had not said more than five words, but I'll take any compliment going, and I have a soft spot in my heart for the dear old London cabs. 'Yes,' he said, nodding, as I gave him an extra big tip, 'a jewel in a sad world'. Now there's a line. If I had known I could get that by just nodding and smiling, I would not have spent the last forty-four years talking my head off. Perhaps I should practise more enigmatic silence from now on. It would go against muscle memory, but who knows what one may achieve? I have always admired those international women of mystery who can speak volumes with just one quizzically raised eyebrow.

PPS Thanks as always for the lovely comments. I am writing all this on the run and so rudely not replying this week. But you know I read and keenly appreciate them all. Normal service will resume on Saturday. I should not confess this, but I am slightly missing the dog pictures.

Really am stopping now, before I make any other absurd revelations.


  1. Oh what lovely news. Buy another pair of frivolous red shoes for the wedding?

    The cabbie sounds marvellous. That's quite the line!

  2. This post has cheered me up (day 3 of the swollen and sore throat) and made me smile enormously :)
    HUGE *congratulations* to the older niece and the man in the hat!!!! I have little pictures in my head of these people - and the MITH is all smiles 'neath a huge HAT in my cartoon mind :D
    So happy to hear you so happy - It was the talisman of the red shoes I have no doubt!

  3. Congratulations to OlderNiece and the Man In The Hat!
    Will she become Woman In The Hat or Mrs Man In The Hat or even Older Niece In The Hat? Now isn't that the sweetest thing to ponder in these messed up times.

  4. You are in London town! in fact you are around the corner from my desk.

    I got an old school taxi on Sunday evening and it was, as you say, very restful although very chatty. I adore them all (except the ones who won't drive me home because I live in the East).

    I am so happy for your niece! I don't know her of course but it's such hopeful news and must be one of the moments of your life

  5. You should have told us earlier and we could have all met up in Peter Jones for a coffee! Do give us more notice next time and you can have a blog coffee morning.

  6. You should have told us earlier and we could have all met up in Peter Jones for a coffee! Do give us more notice next time and you can have a blog coffee morning.

  7. No reply needed or expected - I just wanted to say that this post made me grin like a loon! Also loved Angela from yesterday. You seem to be having an entirely delightful trip! And I am so pleased for the Older Niece. I myself got married last summer, and while the wedding planning was the most stressful thing ever, the love part (both the love of the husband and the love of the families) was, and is, just so utterly wonderful. Congratulations to them both!

  8. Many congratulations to the Older Niece and the Man in The Hat - he sounds so enigmatic, and she so delightful! I wish them a long and happy marriage and so glad that you were there to hear the announcement, share the celebrations and then relay it to us all!

    I didn't like to mention the fact that I was missing th photos of their ladyships, but feel it is OK now that you have said so too! I am sure they are being well looked after in the manner to which they are accustomed (well, nearly) in your absence!

    Hope you enjoy the rest of your visit.

  9. Red shoes!
    A Wedding to look forward to...!
    Keep partying!

    I am so vicariously enjoying all the festivities...

    No comments necessary. Enjoy! Enjoy! ENJOY!!!

    Pat (in Belgium where it's still not sure whether it's almost spring or, ah me, more winter)

  10. I'm so glad they were a hit, I knew they would be! That's wonderful news about your niece.

    I wouldn't worry about the enigmatic silences, you're great just as you are xx

  11. Only good comes from red shoes.

  12. Congratulations to your niece and the man in the hat! What wonderful news to go with your lovely lunch!

  13. How wonderful for all of you to hear the HAPPY NEWS about the Older Niece and the MITH - Congratulations to them both!

    I share Kate's view on how wonderful and joyful it is, when you marry, to feel surrounded and enveloped by the love of your families.

    So lots to look forward to for all of you!!


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