Husbands/boyfriends, when was the last time your wife/girlfriend looked at you like that? They say a picture paints a thousand words. Well, judge for yourselves and tell me that this isn’t the perfect Kodak moment of a happy couple totally besotted with each other. If only someone can bottle up that look, and put it up for sale on the shelves in Harvey Nichols as Love Potion No 1, I’d certainly buy a case, or 50 …
It is now 5 days since my return from Waiman and Emily’s beautiful and exquisitely presented wedding in the Far East, and yes though my body is back in Blighty – sizzling in the uncharacteristic heatwave that has settled on us like a 24-tog duvet on a hot sticky night – a bit of me never left Hong Kong and is still loitering with intent … somewhere between Wan Chai and Kowloon.
I’ve been thinking about what makes a perfect wedding over a good one and have reached this conclusion: timing. Timing is absolutely key and this goes back to the moment when Waiman and Emily discovered within themselves the strength in character and commitment to each other, ironically at the time of his mother’s death, quickly followed by the sudden passing of her father (they were on vacation on South Island in New Zealand when news of his illness came through). As Waiman himself recognises, when you build a relationship based on foundations as solid as these, it is easy to see how they managed to pull off (seemingly with little effort), the complex planning and perfect execution of both the church wedding and banquet – two very special events that will remain in our hearts and minds for a long time to come.
There is also an element of serendipity in timing for their guests: when friends and family find a way of flying in from the UK, the Netherlands, Canada, Switzerland, Taiwan, France, Japan, Singapore, Thailand etc, you soon realise that you have the ingredients for a very memorable occasion. I am sure each and every one could have found plausible reasons not to attend, but we all made the effort (and for some of us it was a good time to be away from our home environment) and so we were all duly rewarded. Right from the moment we landed, and then punctuated with moments of great camaraderie, for example, the chartered antique tram ride from Sheung Wan to North Point, pulling all-nighters in Insomnia (and sometimes with burger breaks!), chatting up Filipino tarts at the appropriately named From Dusk Til Dawn (I assume y’all have seen the film!), a spot of dirty dancing with a granny (which incidentally cost me a Dior handbag), the congee breakfasts (with and without cockroach!), eating deep-fried octopus mouths in Mui Kee Cookfood stall in Tsim Sha Tsui, being rained in at the Bulldog in Lan Kwai Fong (it bucketed for about 6 hours!), the curious but effective Swiss technique of hailing taxis, the delicious Dim Sum at the Tao Heung Super 88 restaurant and being educated by a 3 year old girl about the different species of garoupa, midnight dashes to the Peak and having our taxi chased away by the Police, a very brief visit to the Bottoms-Up bar of James Bond The Man with the Golden Gun fame (now lap dancing joint) – up to the moment our planes took off when we put our heads down to reflect on new friendships made, and oh yes, catch up on lost sleep 😉
So thank you Waiman and Emily – for showing us all a great time, but most importantly for reminding me the true meaning of love and devotion. Life-timers like Harry and I need a good kicking from time to time to rekindle the fire that we have with our loved ones. I went to Hong Kong to attend a wedding, and returned having left behind a small piece of my heart in that wonderful, wonderful city… which I fully intend to collect. One day. Soon.