We spent a chilly evening warmed by a blazing grate and a bottle of red romantically reminiscing about our civil partnership ceremony in 2008. It was a splendid festival of family and friends in the Sky Lounge at the City Inn Hotel, Westminster. We tied the knot silhouetted against a picture postcard backdrop of the Palace and Abbey. With the simple words “The relationship between you is now recognised in Law” ringing in our ears, we embraced to an ocean of beaming smiles, rapturous applause and a chorus of cheers. Blighty has come a long way since the awful Thatcher years.
A champagne reception was followed by an old routemaster red bus tour of London Town from the Abbey to St Paul’s. We crossed Old Father Thames by London Bridge onwards through Borough towards ‘Horse’ in Waterloo, the gastropub venue for our reception and evening knees up. Tables were dressed French bistro style with crisp white linen and porcelain contrasted with a single stem tulip of vivid red. We dined at a top table for two. Speeches were informal and unrehearsed. There were flowers for the seniors, toys for the juniors and posh chocolates and bubbly for significant others.
Liam said it all with a song called ‘Second Time Around’ which he composed covertly over many weeks. Vocals were supplied by Sally Rivers, a top-notch singer of enormous depth and experience with a rich, soulful voice. Fortified by a vat of Dutch courage, Liam nervously accompanied Sally’s recording live on the piano. I listened intently from a distance. It made me thankful he chose me. It was a sweet triumph without a drunken bum note that brought the crowd to its feet and had us sobbing in the aisles.
If you fancy a listen, click here.
The evening shindig brought in a bigger audience. I pre-mixed the music with old favourites, dance classics and pop standards – No ‘YMCA,’ ‘Agadoo’ or ‘the Birdie Song.’ The evening jolly was joyously punctuated by a big screen showing of a camp compilation of cleverly cut snippets from famous musicals synchronised to a soundtrack of ‘I Just Wanna Dance.’
See how many musicals you can name but if you are offended by the word f*****g then you’d best not play it!
The evening was brought to a close by Petula Clark’s ‘The Show is Over Now,’ a fitting end to a momentous day.
Tomorrow’s post – The Honeymoon