Mirth from assembled company. Flustered, the announcer continued: ‘For the treasure hunt. And would you please ensure that they avoid the Garden of Remembrance. The square rectangular.’
We know how to have a good time in this village. Early rain provoked the sombre shaking of heads and the decision to scrap the celebration on the green. The church would have to do instead. And so it did, swiftly transformed into a scene of revelry, and something cunning done with the pews so that we could sit facing each other. Heralded by Morris men (mostly Morris women) a-dancing down the green, with our Pimms and beers in hand, we all entered the portals where Robert and I stepped up to get married three years ago, picking up our disposable packs of red or blue plate, ditto cutlery, and Union Jack napkin on the way. Flags to wave were already on the tables. You could say that it was the perfect lunch club venue – I can see the write-up now: ‘gracious interior with lofty ceiling, elegant stained glass windows and raised area for live music.’
With 300 tickets sold, overspill guests had to go downstairs in the Parish Rooms. But we got the better deal, with the amazing Gloucestershire Constabulary Band, playing up above. Who’d a thought it? All those policemen making the most incredible, harmonious sound together, everything from the Dr Who theme to the – wait for it, you’ll never guess – Land of Hope and Glory. They got about three standing ovations. If I see one of you on the beat, dear coppers, I will go straight up and kiss you!
Char ladies aka chaps from the choir dressed up conducted the band as the mood took them, drew the raffle and played merry pranks all afternoon, including stealing my flag when I wasn’t looking. Formerly reserved neighbours swung, danced, waved and sang with abandon. The children were having fun, too, till they were despatched to the graveyard.
Indeed, I didn’t think it would be so much fun. Oh, and the Coronation Chicken was pretty good too.