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The Hen

One of the things I can't get past about weddings is the leaving people out thing. In retrospect, it would have suited me better to have a big picnic on a hillside and invite absolutely every friend to bring their own stuff. Of course, it being England there's no trusting the weather, and the moment venues and covers get involved, the money starts racking up and etiquette requires that certain people get invited onto a very limited list. Exclusivity bores and irritates me; I don't play favourites if I can help it, ever. This  has been a real blight on my fun, because of the impossibility of inviting everyone who matters.

I fretted about the Hen Night because of this. First, I do not quite get Hen Nights, second, of course Hens must be guests, or there's the chance of some chum thinking, 'How come I get to fork out on the Hen night, but aren't invited to the wedding?'  This stuff distresses me.  Thirdly the thought of  stretch limos, spas and strippers leaves me baffled. Somehow the Hen Night organisers understood all this without me saying a word.

The Hen weekend proved to be a sojourn in Hobbiton, among ox-eye daisies, willows and rivers, and very sweet old houses. Ours was a barn conversion, huge, clean,meadow surrounded, beautiful...the first enchantment was seen on our approach, when a hare sprang out into the grass, stared at us for a moment and went on her way, proof positive that this was witch country.  I haven't seen a hare in ages...come to think of it, I hadn't seen some of the wonderful friends for almost as long. It was a grand thing to catch up withevilwillow after what seems like many years, so fresh and bonny! Chums turned up, and cocktails appeared; some henny kit had to be worn, and a tequila fueled  Mr and Mrs Quiz thoroughly killed me.


Lamentable.

Next day, we went to Oxford, again, a place I haven't seen in over a decade, still as dreaming and gracious as ever.  A mad hatters teaparty,complete with teapots full of Pimms, saw us through the Botanical Gardens, and then we moved onto one of my favourite museums of all time, https://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/ . Back in the day the Pitt-Rivers was a place of wonders.  You would open  draws with labels like 'Fetishes and Talismans; West Africa,' and there would be loads of stuff you couldn't understand at all;  a clutch of feathers bound by some indeterminate braids,  a knobbly looking stick-knife and some beads, an animal skull... and that would be it; no explanation,  nothing.  It's brilliant now, enhanced by a little more information, with its witch-in-a-bottle and shrunken heads and superhero painted war shields.

By happy chance there was a festival celebrating nature in the grounds. Wonderful stalls were everywhere. I got to stroke live wolves, and though they were tame, they seemed very laid back and cheerful. I don't know about keeping such creatures at all - the people who showed them apparently keep them in their house as pets, and one of our number spoke later about the dubiousness of such practices.I hadn't considered the issues that could arise. But at the time,to see their eyes vivid and feel the playful nips against my wrists, and to touch them felt like one of the most wonderful privileges of my whole life.

On return, we had lovely food prepared by the two organising hens - who wouldn't let me do anything to help in any way - then the most perfectly ridiculous murder mystery and then, we sat around the fire, talking, drinking, dancing and laughing. Friends are awesome.

I have been very happy this weekend.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
caddyman
Jun. 6th, 2016 11:34 am (UTC)
Do what we did and have a big party after the event in the centre of Lunnun somehwere for all the chums there was no room for at the actual weeding.

(we were only allowed 8 people including us in the Registry Office).
smokingboot
Jun. 6th, 2016 11:38 am (UTC)
That's an excellent idea, I will chat to the Groom about it!
(Deleted comment)
smokingboot
Jun. 7th, 2016 07:26 am (UTC)
Yes, the more I think about this idea, the more sensible it seems.

Congratulations on your forthcoming nuptials!
yapman
Jun. 7th, 2016 04:48 pm (UTC)
I had people on my stag I didn't invite to the wedding. None of them seemed offended, they all talked to me later. I've been on stags and not to the wedding, as well, and was fine with it.

I mean, sure, there are some people who're bound to be offended, but one of the points of a stag/hen do is that it's a different type of event than a wedding. And some people prefer one over the other. Most people are aware that there are considerable constraints on numbers at weddings, plus there are some people you just can't not invite, because they're family, they invited you or whatever.
smokingboot
Jun. 7th, 2016 10:38 pm (UTC)
This is a different and interesting take on the matter... I should have asked for advice months back!
nyarbaggytep
Jun. 8th, 2016 10:06 pm (UTC)
Good.
smokingboot
Jun. 9th, 2016 12:46 pm (UTC)
Yes :-)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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