My parents laid on the party at the White House as a combined hen and stag night for SB and fiancé AG. The date was chosen to take advantage of the ceilidh on the beach, a short walk along the machair from Darlington Road. The guests arrived and made a start on the copious amounts of beer while tucking into a buffet of quiches, salads, cold meats and Scotch eggs. The plan was that once everyone had had plenty to eat, we would usher the party out of the house and along the shoreline to the beach.
I was rather concerned that so many strangers were in the house. Amongst them were several large men in their twenties in full highland dress, some of whom sported 1980s goth-style studded dog collars round their necks. TPR got terribly excited when he realised that one was a former member of the Iguanas, a 1970s punk band.
Something else that worried me was the state of several family members. For example, SB, the stressed-out bride-to-be, had the complexion of a dollop of guacamole, my mother-in-law wore her hair in a shocking 1970s jet black poodle-perm, and even SM had ruined her natural beauty by applying multiple layers of foundation to her usual fresh face. Some people were also unsuitably dressed, all decked up as if this party was the wedding itself. Only JR had understood that this was meant to be a low-key precursor to the main festivities in September and dressed appropriately in a pink cotton outfit from White Stuff. I too was in a pink sundress with tan suede leather boots.
The fashion star of the show, however, was (predictably) top designer MSB. She wore a long pink silk-bodiced party dress topped with an enormous hat, which was also pink, and the diameter of a hula hoop. She was so elegant that everyone either wanted to photograph her, or be photographed with her. LF and I discussed marathon running as we watched the MSB show.
Meanwhile I wondered what SB and AG would make of the strange wedding present that one of the guests was carefully wrapping up to take upstairs to the safety of my bedroom: a set of fragile television valves from the 1950s.