All posts tagged 'wedding'

The truth is I can’t dance –in a barn or anywhere else!

by The Codgers' Club Saturday, March 9 2013

by David Jones

Men and dancing are unhappy bedfellows. For the purposes of this column, I do not include those males, some talented, others just celebs grateful for prime time publicity, who take part in Strictly Come Dancing. They’re all doing it for a reason.
In the real world, most men look like a human version of Pinocchio – with the strings attached – as they make fools of themselves on the dance floor.
But there’s worse to come for me. My wife has accepted an invitation to another barn dance. Will she never learn?
I will be accused once again of being a killjoy, but the harsh, inescapable truth is that I cannot dance, in a barn or anywhere else.
Try as I may, it is difficult to completely shut out dancing from my life. It’s everywhere. But, as you might imagine, I was not Strictly’s biggest fan. I can’t stand dancing, either doing it, or watching it. It is the creation of the devil, designed to heap embarrassment on those who have two left feet and look just plain ludicrous attempting anything other than the most sedate of slow waltzes.
By a quirk of fate, Codgers Cook and Jones both ended up as guests at the same wedding several weekends ago.
It’s quite a novelty being invited to a wedding these days. As the years roll on, the invitation is more likely to be to a funeral than a wedding. But weddings at some stage inevitably involve dancing, which funerals, thankfully, do not. Mr Cook, I noticed, did not venture on to the dance floor to strut his stuff as the band played a selection of rock and roll hits. I was not so lucky.
My good lady dragged me out on to the floor once or twice, where I proceeded to “dance” in the same awkward, mechanical way as most males when they are forced to prove in public what they already know – that dancing is not their thing.
However, I refused to budge from my seat when the band played the first few chords of Twist and Shout, for fear that even one gyration might permanently lock my right knee if my cartilage started playing up again.
At least I know when I am making a fool of myself, unlike the overweight, middle-aged man on the dance floor last Saturday who thought he was John Travolta.
My pathetic efforts at dancing will serve as a trial run for my ordeal to come.
It is at the barn dance in May that I will once again demonstrate beyond any doubt that I am arguably the world’s worst dancer.
I last attempted participation in a barn dance some two years ago. I still have nightmares about it. I was chastised by the caller, over a microphone and very loudly, for being the only person in the hall going in the opposite direction to everyone else. I eventually left the dance floor by popular demand after almost garroting the woman next to me as we attempted some intricate twirling routine.
No doubt I will be told to pull myself together this time and put in a bit of effort. Three or four pints might improve my dancing skills or at least deaden the pain, but I fear I shall be driving, so that option is out. It should be a good evening.

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Breast-feeding backlash has happy ending

by Nikki's world, with Nikki White Tuesday, November 27 2012

People power never ceases to amaze or inspire me, and none more so than a group of mums.

When human beings feel strongly about something, they’ll quickly band together and make their feelings known.

Many a planning development has been overturned, clubs saved from closure and open space protected thanks to protest.

It doesn’t always work but sometimes, just sometimes, others do listen.

So when a mum breast-feeding her child in a coffee shop was asked to move to the toilet, the outpouring of reaction came as no surprise.

Hundreds of complaints were posted on Facebook after the incident at the Rochester Coffee Company last week and the debate has continued on our website.

The company has since offered a “full and frank apology” to the mother. They said they “have always been a breast-feeding friendly company” and it was a momentary lapse of judgement.

It isn’t all the coffee shop’s fault. From their statement, it sounds as if staff were suggesting mum moved to a quieter spot in a bid to keep everyone happy, but ended up upsetting more than just the few customers who complained.

When and where to breast-feed always seems to raise huge debate when it shouldn’t. It’s natural, it shouldn’t be an issue and if you don’t like it, don’t look.

Most mums are as discreet as they can be – they don’t want people to notice what they’re doing – and those few who do don’t deserve your attention, so don’t give them the satisfaction.

Congratulations should go to manager Stephen Ruffle who as well as apologising has said that, as a goodwill gesture, 50p from every cup of coffee sold this week will be donated to charity. Good news.


For those of you who were wondering, my brother’s wedding went well.

I didn’t trip up the aisle, I didn’t stand on the bride’s dress, although I did have a mishap with the necklace she was planning to wear when it broke in my hands – I was mortified.

And if anyone has a video of a bridesmaid jumping up and down on the dance floor for several hours, it wasn’t me, honest...

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Winter is here - along with a stinking cold

by Nikki's world, with Nikki White Tuesday, November 6 2012

Winter is officially here.

I can always tell, not because of the date, the clocks going back or any long-celebrated tradition of saying goodbye to the sun.

Nope, my barometer is my health. Every year, without fail, as soon as winter arrives, I cop a sore throat, runny nose, raging temperature and a feeling in my head that can only be compared to someone squashing it between a huge pair of cushions – not exactly painful but definitely suffocating.

As I sit in our office overlooking the River Medway, it’s hard to imagine that a few weeks ago, I was sat (jealously) watching people sail up and down in the sunshine.

Today, I’m watching leaves and large twigs fly past horizontally, and listening to the wind whistle around the building. There’s nobody out on that river today unless they have to be.

While the weather is out of my control, I am merrily popping pills and Vitamin C in the vague hope I can ward off any more illness.

Last year, this blasted cold turned into a chest infection that laid me up for the best part of a fortnight and had me spluttering for nearly two months.

This time, it simply can’t happen. In a couple of weeks, I’m due to be walking up the aisle as a bridesmaid.

Now I did check three times that the bride and groom were sure they wanted a 41-year-old, rather than a three-year-old looking suitably adorable.

Apparently they weren’t after cute, they wanted to be surrounded by their nearest and dearest.

That’s fine, and having been wed twice before, I’ve plenty of knowledge on how to avoid any pitfalls. In high heels and the right frock, I can almost look elegant.

But if I’m coughing and sneezing into my bouquet on the big day, they may just have second thoughts and realise the three-year-old would have been a better option, and the tantrums easier to handle.

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Weddings bring out the fashion geek in me

by Nikki's world, with Nikki White Wednesday, February 29 2012

Spring has most definitely sprung, or at least it feels like it.

The first wedding of the year at our church always makes me feel that the warmer weather is on its way, and Saturday’s celebrations were no exception.

There’s something about a wedding that always encourages woman to wear a summer dress, whatever the weather.

Unless the temperature has plummeted below freezing, there seems to be an unwritten rule that you have to wear something strapless, or at least a creation that wouldn’t look out of place at a garden party in the middle of a heatwave.

Living opposite a church means I get the best view of the guests arriving. I pretend I’m cleaning the dining room, but really, I’m just watching out the window to see what everyone’s wearing.

It was a big affair – about 200 guests – and there was a steady stream of men in suits and women looking glamorous, but shivering, in their regulation sleeveless dresses, high heels and ornate headgear.

Me? I watched from the warmth of my home in my furry slippers with a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits on the go.

I love it. I get to see all the glamour, but never have to splash the cash and dress up.

If I had the courage, I’d slip in at the back of the church and sing along too.

It must be in my genes. My nan also loved a wedding, and often joined a congregation for a sing-song having no idea who the happy couple were.

I don’t think she went as far as posing in the family pictures, although I do wonder just how many photos I’ve appeared in.

There must be plenty of smiling guests who have snapped away from the lychgate, not realising that I’m grinning in the background, with my face pressed up against my dining room window.

So check your next batch of wedding photos. If there’s a mad woman in the background, it’s probably me.

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