Q: What do you get when you cross a Train with a Harley?
A: Transports of delight, also known as a blissfully married couple.
We (Best Beloved, Bumblebee and I, sadly leaving the cats at home) travelled down to the Victorian alpine region of Bright and surrounds this weekend, to attend the delightful nuptuals of Lexicon Harlot and Tim Will-Type-For-Food, two of my favoritest bloggers.
This is not the first blog wedding I have attended, but it is the first where both parties are bloggers, and actually got to know each other through blogging, despite persistent rumours that they went to the same university at the same time and did all the same courses. University unischmersity, this was a clear instance of like minds meeting each other in a thoroughly contemporary way, and the world can only benefit from it.
The last bloggy wedding was quite surreal in all its fun and beauty, due to the swiftness of my travelling, but this time we drove, and took our time, and enjoyed the journey as much as the destination.
We left on Friday night after BB finished work (Just in case you're wondering, Mr Rudd, he works long hours for you but tries not to let his work interfere with his family life... yah boo sucks to you.) and we headed down the Barton Highway, merging with the Hume Highway, to a MYSTERY DESTINATION. I had asked BB to book something cheap and cheerful to break up the long drive, and he was being coy about telling me where we were going, which made the drive interesting.
We ended up here, at a farm stay accommodation smack bang on the freeway between the Snowy Mountains Highway turnoff and the Sturt Highway turnoff. It's far back enough from the road to be blissfully quiet, and there were fun things to do like patting enormous mud-wallowing pigs and tiny fluffy doe-eyed alpaca. It was monstrously hot, but there was air-con, and nice Ikea furniture including a king-size bed, so we were as happy as the pigs outside in their mud. Good call, BB!
Cabin. All our water was recycled to use on the garden, which was good to know
Next day, yesterday, the wedding day, we kept driving, and discovered how many fab antique and junk shops there are in Holbrook. The antique shop on the Melbourne side of the sunken submarine is one of the best I've ever been to, with reasonable prices and a really interesting emphasis on textiles, thanks to the owner's hankering to have been a textile designer but having apparently missed all the opportunities to do so. She had a few unopened vintage boxes of 'swan-bill hooks', which are apparently the hooks used for corsets, something that fascinated me but I didn't buy a box. Now I wish I had because they'd make great book fasteners. She also had beautiful needle cases and Victorian crochet and other sewing tools. I managed to find a bookbinding hammer head without a handle (I'm hoping Bernice reads this and thinks "I can make you a handle! me! me!" :))
Then we followed our very careful directions through the Yackandarah and Myrtleford and so forth until we arrived at Porepunkah, where the Ovens and Buckland Rivers intersect, and where we'd booked an unpowered tent site (months ago!), which was the ONLY scrap of accommodation for miles, since there was a huge Aust. Day bicycle event happening in the region. This had seemed like a bit of a bummer, but it turned out to be wonderful because we were given a site right next to the Buckland River, so that once we had the tent up, we could get our togs on and go down the embankment to sit in the river and still see our tent.
I sat almost in the centre of the river, on a comfortable stony riverbed, with the water running over and around my legs but not covering them. I was in the shade of trees, and next to me was a lilo run that had been made by generations of regular campers. Upstream was a larger, marginally deeper part of the river, then there was a loose rocky dam that had a central opening that then had long snaking rock 'walls' forming the lilo run. As I sat and enjoyed the sound and feel of the water, kids and adults were scooting down the run on lilos and other inflatable shapes. (If you don't know what a lilo is, it's an inflatable single mattress, with bed and pillow section included.)
As some of you from hot dry areas will appreciate, the sound and feel of running water is quite possibly the most luxurious thing in the world. I could happily spend a week sitting in that river, just listening to it. It looked like others were doing just that, setting themselves up in pockets of shade with camping chairs, their bums and feet dangling in the water, drinking beers from a floating esky and reading their books while the kids played. Now that is my idea of holiday heaven, and I now know what I want to do next summer. I felt richer than any millionaire, just enjoying the coolness and the silky burbling water.
It was very hard to leave the water, and if it wasn't for the prospect of a life-affirming event starting soon down the road, I would have stayed there all night. But we managed to dry ourselves off and put on our glad-rags, and we got to the wedding on time, cheered by the sight of myriad purple and green origami creatures festooning the front of the house.
The wedding was hosted by Alexis's parents in their amazing house up in the hills of Bright, with a view that provided a setting better than any chapel. I love a wedding that is simple and creative, and this was not a disappointment. I can't understand why people need to spend a quarter of a million dollars on an event that will stress them out if it's not perfect, when they can keep it simple and meaningful and enhance the love rather than stretch it.
Here are the simple and creative things that made this wedding amazing:
-- There were bagpipes, and a wonder-beagle who ensured that all were entertained (and that cleaning up afterwards didn't involve any food scraps).
-- there was real, meaningful poetry, actually written by the bride and groom! Serving suggestion only, should only be attempted if you feel confident with your word skillz. In this case they were poems that brought tears of joy to the eye, not tears of pain, and each poem reflected the aesthetic of the writer, so A's poem was seriously beautiful, and T's poem was comically touching.
There was also fun poetry, in the form of The Owl and The Pussy-Cat, which made the pigs from the night before mean more to us as a family, and also made us all hold hands as we listened, because Bumblebee read that aloud at our wedding.
-- there was handfasting as well as ring-exchanging, just in case no-one had taken the situation seriously enough. It was impressive.
-- As you can see above, there were no meringue-shaped expensive dresses nor hired suits. The bride rocked a green sari and magenta top hat, and the groom looked (fittingly) like he was taking a break from his vaudeville act and was due back on stage at any minute. Everyone else followed orders to dress "casually smart, for the weather".
-- There was a *killer* view, provided by Mother Nature, of forests and sky and house tops and clouds. It was a dreamy view, often hindering conversation during the evening.
-- There was a vegetarian feast of nibblies followed by a dessert fest. The cake was green, topped with two ceramic kissing beagles. Perfect!
-- Guests were given lolly-bags upon their leaving: hand-sewn, with Scrabble-piece brooches pinned to them. We got to choose our letters. I seem to have a collection of Scrabble jewellery now: I have a 'G' pendant set in resin within a silver spoon, and at Woodford I bought a 'C' wooden letter pendant. Now I am the proud owner of a 'Q' brooch, since the points might bring me luck next time I play Tim (or Byrd, both of whom flog me regularly).
Added extras at this splendiferous event:
-- catching up with Ms Lucy Tartan and her offsider Arty Fufkin, whose wedding was my first blog wedding experience.
Not a particularly flattering portrait of LT, but the best I could manage with my iphone and a glass of wine or three. Bumblebee is standing behind her.
LT looked amazing in her 1950s dance attire, complete with black & white saddle shoes and her new black glasses. It turns out that we have very similar eyesight, but my optometrist (when I was 7) insisted upon my needing glasses, and all her optometrists insisting until recently that she didn't have to unless she wanted them. And so she has only recently realised that trees have leaves, and clouds have texture rather than just mass.
-- Going down to the cellar and meeting Harriet and Beatrice, whose adventures I have avidly followed since their adoption by A. They are larger than kittens (but small compared to my two black beasts) and very fluffy. And gorgeous. Beatrice seemed much more relaxed than Harriet, who seemed eager to join the party/ torment Wilbur.
I am very grateful to have been asked to such a wonderful and special event. I cannot stress more fiercely how marvellous it is that two such singular people should find each other and recognise each other's qualities. I expect extreme happiness to radiate from their respective blogs, and mayhap they may even create a new merged blog in the spirit of their collaborative poetry performances. I wish them every happiness in their brave new world.
I went to sleep in the tent at Punkepore listening to the sound of the river. My only regret of the weekend is that I didn't take a photo of it, but I suspect the aural memory will stay with my all the stronger for the lack of visual stimulus.
Today we cruised back to the Hume Freeway via Beechworth, telling Bumblebee all about Ned Kelly and the gold rush, two things his woeful primary school didn't teach him anything about. We revisited a bookshop in Holbrook, and a junkshop in Yass, where I picked up some old pianola rolls for $3 each.
When we got home I called in upon Zoe, who was entertaining a posse of pals including Nabakov, Iconophilia and Pammy Faye. I only stayed a while, just to check that all was right with the world, and then came home to type this all up before I forget about it.
So all is right with the world, and life goes on, a little bit happier than it was before.
(Finally, I came home to find this link, which I hope will make everyone, except the vegetarian newly weds, even happier. Unless the thought of meat being used for something besides eating makes them happy. Snaps to Poppyletterpress for the pleasure, who ironically needs clients who spend a lot on their weddings!)