Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Our adapted comic motif for the wedding and the wee honeymoon was the Dennis Waterman character from Little Britain saying “Organise the wedding, pay for the wedding…” We’re not the most organised of couples, and have a history of being hard-up, so it was remarkable that all went well.

We had 14 guests. Family and close friends. The dinner at the Bay Hotel was wonderful. People got a little bit drunk, and there was a perfect combination of awkwardness and conviviality. Really, I find myself hesitating to say, it was perfect. Oh except the Registrar provided a silly cushion for the rings, a polyester piece of upholstered foolishness, and one of the rings fell off it. AND nerves had made my ring finger swell to three times its proper size, so it was difficult to get the ring on.

It was an almost Perfect Day, and thanks to Lou Reed for providing the music.

And then a short honeymoon on Arran. Most of which, as Ian Dury once wrote, was private – and also very rude.

I’d been to Arran before, about 10 years ago, on a Lads’ Holiday, camping with a fella called Ken Taylor. We’d spent the preceding weeks talking about The Witch’s Tit and Goat Fell, and I’d thought we were going on a climbing holiday. Hmm. I’ve often observed a definite social distinction between people ‘who like their drink’, like me, and ‘people who like their drink a bit too much’. Like Ken. I wanted days on the hill, listening to the wind, and nights in the pub, listening to the crack. Ken wanted to be in pub from late morning on, crack or no.

I haven’t seen the eight and a half fingered blighter for years, but think that Ken would be disappointed in Arran’s changes. The Brodick Bar has become horribly Home Counties. Or maybe even Islington. Shite, anyhow. And another pub, once owned by a man called Brian, who was quite a hero of the Mountain Rescue, has become a private house. But the Ormidale’s still there, thank God. When I was planning my first holiday with Ken, in 1994 or thereabouts, a woman I worked with, a gorgeous soul called Margaret O’Brien, said that she’s been on holiday once to Arran, and there was a hotel there with a bar and a conservatory at the back and you could smoke dope in the conservatory.

“When was that, Margaret?”

“Oh, let me think… 1968!”

Well, one night, in 1995, I found that hotel, The Ormidale, and it still had a conservatory, loud music, and the odour of a certain herb.

The conservatory was shut for the winter on the honeymoon, by the way. And, for the record, I'm sure that any interesting scents were imagined, and Margaret was talking baloney...

Thanks to Loopyluuk for the congratulations.