Murray was too poorly to travel; in fact he was too poorly to see visitors, so we had lunch at a lovely cafe near the hospital and then headed north west to the Waitara Holiday Park that Dee and Murray, Kurt and Charlotte manage the lease of.
David's role was to video the service and the after-match function, so he went with them all to the rehearsal at the church on Friday evening - I went to bed ...
This was to be a DIY wedding in the main, with lots of help and contribution from their friends and church family. My role was to take jobs off Dee's list to lighten her load. That meant I went to collect the dinner rolls from the supermarket in New Plymouth, and I made a green salad to go with the beetroot and carrot salad that we were contributing to the wedding dinner.
I did have to buy a sun hat though, because the wedding after-match function was to be outside and the Taranaki sunshine is pretty intense! I finally found a hat (bargain $10 from Postie Plus) and called in to a florist on the way back to get the ribbon changed to a colour that went with my dress - yes, I was going to wear a DRESS!!
I took David to the church an hour before the service was to start, so he could get all his gear set up. The intention was to video the wedding using his camera and tripod, and also to livestream it using my phone so Murray could watch it in real time. When I got there at almost kick off time, I found David a bit stressed as there was nowhere he could tape the phone to for live streaming, So he was having to hold the phone in his hand while also driving the video camera. I was therefore put in charge of the livestreaming. Yay!! That meant I could be extra useful for David (I'm not usually allowed to touch the camera stuff because I am not properly trained ...) and I could do something lovely for Murray.
The show didn't get on the road on time, so that meant I had a few minutes to fill in on my live coverage. (I am planning a retirement career as a livestream commentator ...) So I chatted to Murray (well, I chatted and he listened) and showed him who was there. As Kurt hadn't seen his dad since Murray headed down to the hospital in PN to start the bastard chemo, I got Kurt to come over and speak to his dad just before Charlotte and the bridesmaids arrived.
Then I livestreamed the whole service for him. It was great (and very moving) to see on the bottom of the screen 'Murray Podevin is watching' ...
As you probably all know, David and I are atheists. Murray, Dee, Kurt and Charlotte are christians. I was a bit anxious about being in a church, but the service was really lovely. The sermon, while drawn from the bible, was actually about kindness and sticking with the relationship even in the tough times - universal truths regardless of faith or atheism. And the pastor knows Kurt and Charlotte well, so the ceremony was very personal to them, their own vows and their faith.
At the end of the service, there was lots of milling around and socialising in the dining room/kitchen area of the church, and there was afternoon tea there before the cake was cut. So I took the phone and got people to speak to Murray. It was very cool - it meant I could legitimately go and speak to everyone without anyone giving me beans for doing so - being given beans occasionally happens as, I cannot lie, I do almost always speak to everyone everywhere I go ...
When I spoke to Murray on the phone the next day, he said how neat it was that I'd got everyone to talk to him. I think it really lifted him and had him feel like he was part of it.
I also had another job, assigned to me earlier in the day. Before the after-match function started back at the motorcamp, I was to be the one who rounded up the bridal party and others who were required for group photos. Not a difficult job for a former teacher and project manager, so the assignment was appropriately allocated, methinks.
I wanted to use the whistle that Mum used to use to call us all for meals at the bach many years ago, but my mean little sister wouldn't let me. And people think I am the bossy one!
Carlos, the photographer, is a member of their church and an actor. He climbed the ladder and I rallied the troops using the list Charlotte and Dee had prepared. They are well organised too ...
|My wonderful sister Dee with Kurt and Charlotte.|
|The siblings and their partners: Kurt and Charlotte with Jonathan and Debs, and Nicola and Gerard. Jonathan was best man, Nic was maid of honour.|
|There's David in the foreground getting ready to video and livestream for Murray. No need for the sunhat as the afternoon was moving on and the extreme heat had gone out of the sun.|
|Before the after-match function begins. People getting in to position. David and I are in the background talking with Jonathan.|
|Nicola making her speech. She was very moving as well as funny, and managed the highest number of toasts in a single speech that I've ever heard.|
|Jonathan's best man speech. Moving and funny as well.|
Interesting about the former teacher thing. I chatted with Amy, a woman I had not met before - turns out she is a teacher too. She said she had me picked for being a teacher on the instant - I think it MAY have been because I organised the kids into where they could play while the dinner was being set out ... 'You can play from this line of trees to that roadway. Got it?'
The dinner was amazing. The day before, my niece Nicola's partner, Gerard, had spit roasted a hogget, and on the day of the wedding, he'd got up very early and driven 35 miles to pick up a pig (already butchered) and brought it back for spit roasting. Dee and Murray's oldest friends Wynn and Joss had worked with Gerard on the carving. A really excellent team effort.
|Roast pig on a spit ...|
The next morning, there was a big shared breakfast - and everyone seemed to be on top of their game. No apparent hangovers in evidence - a distinct difference from when we used to see all the kids (as they were then) at the bach ...
|Julie and Ripa's 3 week old wee boy|
|Kurt and Charlotte|
|Gerard, Nicola's partner|
|Glenn who was a groomsman. My cleaning companion the following day.|
On Monday, David got a bus back to Waikanae and I stayed on. Dee and I had a morning out together, returning the hired glasses and the hired suits, and taking Kurt and Charlotte's wee boy Ollie to the park for picnic and playing.
|Ollie on the slide at East End Beach|
|There is a really cool structure with sand underneath for kids (or a great aunt ...) to fill the scoop and then haul it upon the chain|
|... then pour it into the top of the blocked off tube. Then quickly down to turn the handle and release the sand. Excellent thinking, whoever designed that!|
|Ollie filling the scoop himself this time.|
Also on Monday Kurt and Charlotte went down to Palmerston North to spend the day and night with Murray; and so that Dee could head away on Tuesday, I stayed on to help Glenn with the cleaning of the camp facilities (I had the kitchen and guest lounge, he had the toilets and showers ...)
When I had a shower (after the cleaning and after I'd emptied the toilet cassette from the caravan), I noticed that one shower had already been used and the user had left soap suds and sand in the shower tray. Mmmm! GGGRRR!!! So I pulled out the cleaning hose and swished it out - no sand on my watch, thank you very much! I have been to the camp several times and always wanted to use that hose ...😜😝