Above: Mark & Claire signing the register, with the brides mother & father in the background.
Below: The best man (me) speach.
Ladies & gentlemen, girls & boys ... and lets not forget the groom!
When Mark asked me to be Best Man, I was as excited as a terribly excited person who has a really good reason for being terribly excited. And Mark would have been forgiven for saying to me “Am I jumping the gun, Edward, or are the words 'I have a cunning plan' marching with ill-deserved confidence in the direction of this conversation?”
After many deleting many drafts of my not so cunning plans to humiliate Mark in this speech, I decided that discretion was the better part of valour so I will tell you a little bit about the happy couple.
I remember the first time I met Claire. It was before they started going out together and we all had an enjoyable time on the beach at St.Andrews. Just a few short months later, when Mark told us about him and Claire, I was able to tell my mother – you’ll like her. And so it proved.
Some of the things I like about Claire are that she is loyal, intelligent and a little bit kooky – but in a good way! I have come to enjoy Claire’s sense of humour – she has a ready wit - although when I get food thrown at me I realise that the feeling isn’t always mutual! Seriously though, I am proud to count her as a friend and not just a sister in law, and so it is with pleasure, that I welcome Claire to the Green family.
Alas, I cannot help but think that we will be putting a blot on the Davis family history, in the form of a Green Mark!
This particular blot happens to be my brother. And to show that this big brother isn’t here to constantly look over his shoulder or to pull the last few hairs out of his head, I would like to say that he would make a brilliant Mr Kiplings Apple Pie. That is to say he is exceedingly good at everything he does. He is thoughtful to the extreme, hard working, thorough and thoroughly bonkers!
So it isn’t hard to see why Claire likes him!
I find that it is occasions such as these that prompt one to consider relationships. Most of you will probably identify with what I am saying, and it was this that led me to think about why Mark and Claire have come so far. Of course, it is only natural for us to compare what we see in others with our own experiences and ideals. For my part, I think that one of the cornerstones for any relationship is friendship.
So I did a little research on the subject. I won’t bore you with the dictionary definition, but what I did come across, was the following quote by Edward Munkton:
“The friends can connect in a mysterious way without even speaking ... Perhaps they have amazing magical powers ... Perhaps they are both just peculiar in the head!”
Well, I can attest to the fact that both of them are VERY peculiar in the head! But as you are probably thinking right now, it takes one to know one. And you would be spot on. To demonstrate, I shall try to explain my thought process during the rest of my lecture ... sorry, slip of the tongue, I meant to say short speech!
So as I was sat there, scratching my head trying to stimulate a brain cell into action, when I got caught in a brain loop and began saying the word friendship over and over in my mind. Slowly, the light became brighter and I began dividing the word up into Friend and Ship.
Naturally enough, I started thinking about a theoretical friend who owned a ship and if you were to travel on that ship, you would probably trust that they would look after their ship and not, for example, leave gaping holes in the bottom of the ship. Therefore I reasoned that to make a journey on a friend ship, there had to be trust involved.
Mark and Claire clearly trust each other and therefore have a good foundation upon which to build a life together. You follow my reason so far?
So, having floated the idea of a friend ship, my mind drifted to the next logical step – how do you stay afloat? I could pontificate on about how good communication and the art of compromise are at the heart of a good relationship – but Mark & Claire are, more than likely, aware of this. So I ask myself, how can I give them the benefit of my years of experience and wisdom? So I floundered around for ages only to realise that I had none of my own worth sharing.
And when I’m left with nothing worth saying, I turn to humour to put things in context. In this case, the classic wit of Edmund Blackadder & friends:
Should you find yourselves in “the stickiest situation since sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun” I recommend that “If nothing else works, a total pigheaded unwillingness to look facts in the face will see you through!!”
I look about me and I see a lot of people who care deeply about you both and I’m sure that I speak for everyone, not just myself, when I say you will be able to rely on any one of us to help at anytime, and not just
in a crisis. Even me – if what you want is unhelpful comments and acerbic wit!
Having got the advice and most of the jesting out of the way, I would like to return to sincerity and advise you not to rely on Edmund Blackadder for anything other than a good laugh. I love you both dearly and that I wish you both all the happiness in the world.
RIGHT! Just to see if everyone is listening and awake, and as I have taken up so many precious words for this speech, I would like to shorten the toast to the bride and groom, so please join me in toasting THE BROOM!
Above: Using the candles and moon on a long exposure, I tried capturing the theme for the day!