So we’re all trying to put ourselves together again from an awesome awesome weekend up North at Al & M-C’s wedding. Ah, what fabulous beauty, and touching base and having a rocking time with the rocking people.
Tink and I fly up to Joburg on Thursday night, to spend some time with the Ooh-God. We study maps. Mostly. Devising the best route to the farm. And we may talk a little kak. But just a little.
Friday: pick up Danelle from airport. Get stuck in traffic up North to Pretoria. Fun. 4 people who love being stuck in traffic. Much verbal abuse later finally sees us hit the arse-end of Pretoria. There are some hectic pockets of humanity out there, people. And a lot live around Windfall/Watergate shopping centre. I can’t remember the name properly. My mind has blanked it out. Shopping at the world’s worst inbred bottle store, fortune smiles and gives us a free case of beer that the inbred dumb-ass misses in our trolley. Yes, she misses the case of beer in our trolley. Oh well, makes up for the horrendous prices they charge up there. Why do people always think Cape Town’s so expensive?
Arrive at farm. Meet the ebullient Christine (AKA “Lefty”, though we never got to see the much promised bosom…). And T – Al’s mom who makes my day by remembering time she met me – silver boots, fishnet stockings, and tiny shorts. And that’s me, mind you. Sigh. Drop stuff in rooms and spend a while throwing a new-fangled frisbee thingy, drinking beer, standing on thorns, and waiting for everyone else to get there. Beautiful farm – “Jimmy’s Place”. Awesome thatch roof house, grass, patio…and lake with bilharzia. We speculate who’s gonna end up in the lake first with bilharzia. The smart money’s on Bunny. We might still not be disappointed.
Finally everyone’s there, and the legal part of the wedding happens. Al does a little dance. I get the photo of the weekend. Much happiness. Much premature popping of champagne corks. People start to realise how many photographers are there. It’s the damn paparazzi, people! Much earnest “camera talk” and comparisons…most of which sail over me head. Awesome curry for dinner. Al & M-C have been apprehensive about any pre-party partying. The guests go right on ahead anyway. Start to realise that, as with all weddings, people start fulfilling certain roles, or functions. We’re definitely the lunatic fringe. The hooligan element. But hey – every party needs it. Evening commences with dancing around in the little bar area. One of the weekend’s seminal tunes gets on heavy rotation. You know what I’m talking about. “Wat pomp, julle?” Bunny seems to take a liking to the zef rave-hip-hop crew from Cape Town. We sense trouble…
Saturday: wake up to the first experience of Bunny’s shockingly unsexy underpants (er, we’re sharing rooms, case you missed that). Mild to severe hangovers permeate the room. We consider acquiescing to the request to not drink before the ceremony. We give in. Of course. Tequila and Jaegermeister for breakfast. Champions indeed. People start dolling up. The ladies look amazing. They guys…well, pretty good too I guess. If you like kilts (me and Bunny) or the Hilton Weiner country collection the Ooh-God is sporting. Hands up who’s ever seen him in so much white?
Walk through the hot farmlands to the site with cans of coke and vodka. (Did I mention hooligan?) Bunny sees a windmill and comes up with the pun of the weekend – “Windpomp, julle!” It’s gonna stick. And be repeated. A lot.
Reach the site, this awesome clearing where 2 rivers meet. Circles drawn on the ground. Symbolic and ritual elements in their place. Some guests slightly nervy about what this ceremony might entail. I get “smudged” up my kilt. Look it up if you don’t know. And then they arrive. Ahhhhh…how flippen awesome!
One very beautiful and moving ceremony later, and we’re wiping tears, blowing snotty noses, hugging the newly wed, popping more champagne, and basically grooving in the style of love.
The afternoon proceeds with lunch, speeches (where Bunny makes a great one, and nearly earns forgiveness for his undies), more grooving, Tom sings beautifully and we’re all crying again, loads of photos, a split forearm fighting with the Ooh-God with bamboo canes, and the sun slowly descends on much happiness and expectation.
Night favours us with her charms. A kick-ass electrical storm breaks out over the lake. Some of us do the wild hooligan thing and invoke the storm gods. Bunny loses his shirt in the lake…and hence we suspect that bilharzia. Party starts winding up. Music turns up. Drinks flow. Dance floor gets going somewhat. And. Then. It. Starts. To. Rain. Now you know me, I’m not really one for that 3 day music festival lose your mind on a plain somewhere just out of town. But this communal fever just infects the wedding party and for the best part of 2 hours, people are literally going off in the pouring rain. It’s a beeg wet dripping heave of love and feeling. Incredibly mind-spankingly beautiful.
Much later we start realising it’s pretty flippen wet and getting slightly cold, and besides the rain is now bucketing down. I nearly manage to bash the back of my head in slipping on the stone floor. Things get hazy. Things get crazy (I’m sure). Someone brings out a fire extinguisher and…er…we create a little atmosphere. There’s nearly a fight. Of course. Between the photographers. Of course. Time disappears and mu-u-u-u-uch later the thumping house beat that has found its way onto the sound system eventually drags some people reluctantly to bed. Or somewhere else for a while.
Sunday: a damp, yet smiling version of self. We’re treated to the second day of unsexy rods. But no matter. In the warm heyday glow of post-wedding sunshine we can take it. Groove on those vibes. Beer and tequila for breakfast, cos nothing else gonna cut it. Lark around by the lakeside. Talk a lot of kak. Hangovers start lifting and a vague feeling of humanity returns. Feel kinda crap about the fire extinguisher. Fess up to Bruce, and it seems OK. Even though he moves a little bit away from us. People start leaving. We drink to keep that feeling of sadness for the end of it all at bay. We sorta succeed. Goodbyes, good wishes, thank Danelle for being designated driver, roar surprisingly easily through traffic en route to O.R. Tambo. Pass Tom and Bunny and Bron and Cath and hurl as much highway verbal abuse as we can to (a) give the wedding hooliganism one last stomping, and (b) ‘cos Tom doesn’t have to work Monday – the bastid! The Keg is witness to our post-wedding-pre-real life-comedown last stand. We give it horns before finally our flight is called. And finally, late Sunday, limp back home to Cape Town, only a few mere hours before work. It’s hot and heavy and our minds are full and our hearts are full and we collapse as best we can wherever we can.
Al & Claire – you guys rock! What a sublime sublime experience. Thank you for sharing it with us, and may your lives together be even more so sublime. It was enormously gorgeous and beautiful.
Beeg beeg hoolie-love from Slaapstad…