I raced back to Bandon from Ballymaloe, jumped into the interview suit, thanked Mary and Claire for risking their mental health by minding our four for two days and shot off with wife riding shotgun to Killarney. The Cork-Killarney road is now my most hated road in the country. 30 mph from Crookstown to a few miles outside Ballyvourney.
We arrived about 30 minutes before the meal was due to start. Caroline was looking fantastic. Not for nothing that she had most of the Class of 1990 UCD Elec Eng competing for her attention way back when. None of us are bitter that she married a teacher and part-time rock star, no not a bit, not a jot. Dave himself looked pretty damned delish - even to a confirmed heterosexual like myself.
This picture shows the bride in full flight.Take it from me that Dave looks just as good from the front.
We are now at that age where we only see batches of the old gang at weddings and special occasions. Caroline had gathered a fine selection of engineering misfits and their partners and we got on to our usual topics as if we had seen each other only yesterday.
As the wedding started so early, most people were well-on by the time we arrived. My awesome capability for alcohol meant that I had caught up after a pint.
I had been talking to Claire, Dee, Paul, Brian, Conor and Maria before I finally refocused to realise that the room we were in had one fantastic view. I only managed to get a picture of it on Monday in lashing rain but it is still pretty wonderful:
The meal was spot-on, the cake was fab and I loved the wine. I was too bloated to move after that.
First picture is of the final two contestants in the Bernard Manning Lookalike contest (with Paul there for scale):
The entertainment then began and the band turned out to be the best damned wedding band of all time. I am not bloody joking. The lead singer looked like Jennifer Ellison and absolutely nailed “River Deep, Mountain High”. I did not want them to stop. I forced Wifey up for a few dances but sadly my belly gave severe head injuries to several small children and the dance floor had to be evacuated.
We had a great old catch-up session and realised that the men are all still as immature as we were in Ios when we put laxatives in Tom’s cocktails and shaved Paul’s legs. The women folk are just lucky to have us :-)
Maria tells Conor-Dub that he was always her favourite Conor.
Eoin tells me that he has his hand on my wife’s ass. Catherine is clearly impressed.
Aoife says “pregnancy munchies me? I don’t think so. Hands off, they’re all mine”
Jill tries to give Conor a hug and convince him that he doesn’t need to lose weight. Her arms won’t fit around.
That picture causes Conor to go on the GI diet and give up drink until Christmas. Starting tomorow, I swear…….
D’Wife faded at around midnight and I started getting dopey around 1am. I looked around and Paul was asleep in a chair, Brian was gone (presumably to bed), Conor-Dub ditto, so I hit the sack. Turns out the boys were only re-charging their batteries and kept going until 5am! I missed the singing session and the DJ. I could say that they make me feel old but I’ve always loved my bed. My sources (Maria) tell me that Caroline and Dave also headed to bed around 5, but not before Caroline had asked Maria if she could borrow her “OK” magazine. Hot stuff in the wedding suite alright.
The following morning, we grabbed breakfast around 10am and they all started apearing just as breakfast ended. I felt grand, Conor-Dub looked like he was still drunk and Brian appeared not to have slept at all. So a successful wedding by all measures.
It looks like we are nearly out of weddings now. A few stragglers left (Mark, Mark, calling Mark). We could try and badger Quigs and Lolly but I don’t think they are for turning. So next thing will be the 40ths and then (oh, it pains me to even think it), the 20 year reunion.
So Caroline and Dave - well done, we’re chuffed you finally did the deed. Enjoy Prague and then enjoy Bishopstown even more.
The excess of booze means I took only a tiny few photos. They are all in the Flickr Photo Set of the Wedding here. If anyone has other pictures of the day that they want to share, feel free to mail them to me and I’ll add them to the set.
Tomorrow, the story of our Sunday in Killarney.
UPDATE 1: Maria has sent on a bunch of much higher quality pictures. They are in the Flickr photo-set now too.
[tags]“Caroline’s Wedding”, Killarney, Weddings [/tags]