No kidding. I was offered a chance to handle the photography at a wedding, but had to turn it down. Here's the story.
I went to Tunbridge Wells today. I've been having problems finding tops to wear in the hospital bed. I like the ones that Marks & Spencer do, but in the last week there's been a run on size 18, the size I was looking for. Let me explain at once that I'm not at all a size 18 - my weigh-in yesterday showed that I was down to 82.3 kg (exactly 13 stone) - meaning that I'd now lost 1.2 stone in weight since Mr Thomas the surgeon asked me to slim down a bit. And full achievement of my 10 kg weight loss target is in my grasp if I stick to my regime over the coming weekend, which is the Last Chance Saloon so far as pre-op dieting is concerned! I reckon I'm down to size 14. But I'm looking for size 18 because I want nice roomy tops that won't feel constricting in any way. Cool ones with flimsy straps, so that I have bare shoulders. T shirts would bake me to death in a well-heated hospital room.
Well, I got the tops I wanted! And having got this 'essential' shopping out of the way, I pootled around TW to see what else caught my eye. I bought a couple of Evelyn Waugh novels to read, for instance: Vile Bodies and Brideshead Revisited. They'll go nicely with my well-read collection of short stories by Max Beerbohm (such as Enoch Soames, A V Laider and James Pethel), and a selection of Raymond Chandlers, including The Long Goodbye, The Big Sleep and The Lady in the Lake, all of which I was thinking of taking into the Nuffield next week. Enough there to pass the time with, although in reality I'll probably just fall asleep over them!
In and out of shops I went, all very pleasant, especially as the sun was out and it was very mild. If you want to know, I was being underdressed and leggy, wearing only a short black jacket, a mauve top, a black mini, black tights, and black shoes with a medium heel - although, as these were new and rubbing, I swapped them for black patent leather pumps while in Waterstone's - exchanging a confidential moment with another girl as I did so. The Cath Kidston shopping bag (the blue one with spots) has proved very handy for carrying changes of shoes, and scarves, and gloves, and umbrellas, and just shows that you don't need to cram eveything into one big unweildy bag. A pretty little bag, plus a stylish shopper in the crook of your arm, lets you take your whole life along!
I'd parked in the Pantiles car park - the Pantiles being the old part of TW with the chalybeate spring and the quaint white-painted covered arcades. On the way, pretty well opposite Hall's secondhand bookshop, I came to a shop called Country Stile (sic). This was selling high-quality goods for the country lady and gentleman - not merely country, but positively county - and in their window was a Dubarry leather bag in brown and tan leather of exactly the design I'd been looking for. I went in, and had a delightful half-hour with Connie and Tracey the two extremely nice ladies who, in a kind of intermingled transaction, served me and several other people simultaneously, including a little girl called Madelaine and her Mummy, while all the time assisted by a black dog called Pickle. I never saw a more friendly and docile dog. To cut a long story short, I bought the bag. In the process, I gave Connie one of my 'Lucy Melford' cards that say 'Art and Photography' on them, and give my phone and email details. I can't quite remember now why I did this, but it served some purpose at the time.
Well, an hour and half later I got home and the phone rang. It was Connie. Tracey was getting married soon, and would I like to do the wedding photography? They wanted someone they felt they could get on really well with. I was terribly pleased, and would have liked to oblige, but had to say no. I explained that I dabbled in landscape and art photography, and did not accept portrait and wedding commissions.
But it struck me afterwards that I had only to plan the thing out, cost it up, and ensure that the big Nikon was in feisty running order. I had Fiona to strike the right note. And what an excuse to get a whole new outfit! Oh well...
That wasn't the end of my card distributions for the day. On my way home, at the North Chailey road junction where the A272 meets the A275, I witnessed a crash right in front of my eyes. There was nothing to be done but stop, get out, and see the participants. Both were uninjured, although one looked very shaken. I said to her, in a kind way I hope, that she really ought to have a nice cup of tea asap. Fortunately another lady, another witness, was taking her in hand. I decided to say as little as possible except that I'd seen the impact, and if either party needed to contact me, here was my card. Then I walked back to Fiona and drove away. I don't think anything will come of it so far as I'm personally concerned, but if either insurance company tries to ring me in the next few days they'll not get much joy. Later on, when well post-op, I'll turn up at the Old Bailey if need be! Fragrantly, of course. Scent and demure minskirts always win the regard of judges. Don't they? I'm sure they do.