Susan Morrison: Did I really vow to honour his opinions on our new bathroom?
It lands on my head every now and then, usually when I'm cleaning out a cupboard. It's a VHS tape, so we can't play it any more. The piece of paper stuck to the side is just about legible. It says 'wedding'.
It’s our wedding, as it happens. Back in the late-80s having your wedding get the full Hollywood treatment, or at least filmed by your cousin Scott with the kit borrowed from his pal Mikey, was a bit of a thing. I don’t really know why. Hardly anyone watched them.
Occasionally, I wonder if I should have it transferred over to DVD or something. There are times, you see, when I just want to check this vow business. For the life of me, I just can’t recall what it was I promised in the Leith Registry Office in 1988.
There was something about richer and poorer, I remember that. Still waiting on the richer bit. And then there was a sub-clause about sickness and health. I was sold a pup on that one, because at that point I was unaware of the noise he can make with a simple cold. Think Harrier Jump Jet. Now think louder. That’s it.
It’s the love-and-honour section of the treaty I’d like checking out. The “obey” bit was dropped. Let’s be honest, it was never going to fly. Obedience is not high on the desired list of characteristics for Sheffield blokes.
You can tell a Yorkshireman to do something, but that’s about as far as that conversation will go, since whatever it is you’ve told them to do is, in their opinion, wrong. They have a default position of contrariwise certainty.
Loving and honouring was definitely there, but not “coping whilst seething with exasperation”. Which is a shame, because that’s the bedrock for all marriages in the end, or perhaps it’s just cross-border Central Scotland/North England ones.
Exasperation is my current permanent setting, because we are planning the renovation of the bathroom. What I should say is, I am planning the renovation of the bathroom. This is not a joint enterprise.
In my mother’s view, domestic revamps should be done on a need-to-know basis, and she saw no reason for my father to know. Things were done with savage swiftness. Suites arrived and carpets were laid before my dad’s bemused visage.
I watched, and I learned. The less input the better.
However, the Yorkshireman spotted something was afoot when the plumber appeared, and promptly developed opinions.
This is now the cue for endless discussions about finishes, baths, plinths and taps. Pointless witterings about lino, when decisions have already been made.
Visits to bathroom showrooms with what sounds like a constipated Sea Lion behind me.
He kicks bath panels. I don’t know why. I think he has them confused with car tyres. He turns taps on. It is a model. There is no water. He finds this funny, and does it again. He shakes the basin mockup and announces it rickety. He does it again. He prises open the tops of cisterns. There is no water. He finds a joke about the absence of water funny and repeats it. Again.
To love, honour and silently seethe in showrooms.
Let them not eat wedding cake
Back in the 80s, when I worked for a major British telecoms company, there was one new bride who made every woman in the office sit through the entire gruesome experience of her wedding video.
She lured us into a room by telling us it was a training exercise. Then she locked the door, took away the bourbons and made us critique her mother-in-law’s choice of frock. I still wake up in a sweat thinking about cerise taffeta, shoulder pads and a cartwheel hat the size of a satellite dish. I think she could pick up Sky at certain angles.
The Fates dealt our office angel an unkind hand, though. The marriage hit the rocks before the bill for the purveyor was settled.
She deliberately drove over the top tier of the wedding cake in the car park. Several times.
We should have filmed that.
Quick, pass the Ribena!
Who can forget Kong trapped atop the Empire State, swiping away at flimsy fighter planes as they mercilessly fired into his luxuriant fur?
The monster must be destroyed, although from what I could see, all Kong did was knock down a couple of buildings and stomp on a car or two. It’s just a normal day in the planning department for any council. And I bet the cars were parked illegally.Nevertheless, King Kong was doomed. The bullets tore into his flesh and he fell, after thoughtfully putting his leading lady down. Ever the gentleman. No-one could accuse this big beast of groping.
And to think, all they really needed to incapacitate the mighty Kong was a supersize order of undiluted blackcurrant juice