Saturday, December 31, 2005

Deep in the heart of the family

I'm taking advantage of a rare quiet moment to make this entry. The past few days have been a blur of parties, with members of my family appearing and disappearing in a flurry of hugs and kind words.

Having recovered from my hangover, I was functional by the time of the wedding, where I was honoured by a request from the groom (Sean, my second cousin) to give one of the readings, an excerpt from Genesis concerning the creation of woman as a helpmate for man. I was deeply touched that Sean should think of me on such a big day for him and, despite some nerves (speaking to a Party Conference will never seem as terrifying again), I'm told that I did quite well.

Michelle (the bride, and a wonderful addition to our family) looked lovely and her dress was simply gorgeous - stop me if this is sounding like a Brides magazine write-up, won't you? - ornate but not fussy, in what looked like ivory rather than white. Sean wore a smart suit and the two of them looked incredibly happy and relaxed. Father Reuben, an old school friend of Sean's, officiated and gave a simple, if heartfelt, sermon.

The reception that followed was another fun affair, and I had a good time, talking to family and friends, occasionally visiting the dance floor (look, if I can jump off of a bridge in front of an audience who are staring at me, an occasional sashay onto the dancefloor can't hurt...).

Yesterday, I took our guest (Laurie, a friend of Clint and Kalina) into town to do some shopping. She had been given a couple of stores to look at, and I was able to find both of them (eventually). We rode the bus into town, as I thought that she should have a real Indian experience. The shopping itself went well, and I bought some useful things in the paper goods store, including some pretty but simple thank you cards (I want to make a greater effort towards the old-fashioned courtesies I value so highly) and two lovely books for use as private diaries. We managed to get a train back to Santacruz before hopping into an auto-rickshaw for the short journey to the hotel.

A quick shower and a change of clothes before crossing over to Juhu for another party, hosted by Richie and Vanessa. Richie is my father's cousin, and their children, Dylan and Arlene, have been one of the surprises of this trip. Dyles (as Kim encourages me to call him) stayed at my parent's place on the way home for the wedding - he's studying in Newcastle for a year - and it was nice to catch up with him after so many years. Arlene is the youngest of the cousins and so we take the phrase "she's the baby, you gotta love her" to heart. It was a somewhat more intimate affair, and there was time to talk politics, crack jokes and generally chill out. And that's something else I'll have to try and do more of in 2006...

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