my father attends there is a lot of chatter as the elderly do their exercises. My father is one of only two men. The rest are women. My father claims it is the women who do the talking. I rather doubt it - but he likes to make this claim.
The Royal Wedding naturally came under discussion at Thursday's class and so did their own weddings.
My parents married in January 1947. Their wedding was a very simple affair in the local Presbyterian church with an afternoon tea of home-made sandwiches and cups of tea afterwards. It was only a little more elaborate than a registry office wedding at lunchtime with the groom dashing back to his regiment following it. It was typical of the weddings that took place among the members of "the PFA" (Presbyterian Fellowship Association) at the time.
My brother was married in the garden of a private house. It was an equally quiet and private affair during the Vietnam war. Nobody in our circle was in the mood for lavish celebrations.
My youngest sister married next. She had a traditional wedding but I was in the middle of university exams on the other side of the world and saw none of it. The marriage did not last.
My other sister married into the Greek-Cypriot community. Her parents-in-law both come from big families. All the aunts, uncles, cousins and others had to be invited. Our side of the family had only a small contingent present. The whole affair was made much cheaper by the fact her father-in-law and her new uncles-in-law did the catering themselves.
I did not marry. The quiet young diplomat I planned to marry was killed. We would have had a very quiet wedding. He would have had no family to invite.
I have been to other weddings and I have observed still more. Many of them are wildly lavish and expensive affairs. The marriages often last only a short while. My brother's children have had relatively simple affairs compared with many. My sister's children say they want to do the same when their turn comes.
My father and I caught a glimpse of the Royal Wedding last night. It was, on the surface, a lavish affair and yet we both agreed it could have been much more lavish than that. Much of what was done was what was expected of them. It was gift to the rest of us.