Wedding – but no reception


Saturday afternoon. I went to pick some blackberries. Drove up a stony lane to the grassy field that serves as a car park for a typical Norfolk church. Flint faced, square tower, yew trees, windswept hilltop overlooking the grey North Sea and Europe’s largest gas terminal.

There was one other car parked in the meadow. A shiny BMW.  And a man standing in very smart suit with a red buttonhole and matching pocket handkerchief. He looked up expectantly from his phone as I swept around the corner.

He seemed a bit crestfallen when I got out of the car in my blackberry-picking clothes and fished a walking stick, heavy gloves and a couple of plastic boxes out of the boot. I think that he was expecting bridesmaids.

He turned back to his phone. But this was a not-spot where neither Blackberry nor Apple could show even a single bar.

It was just after 2pm. I hoped that the wedding didn’t start until 3 and he would have time to realise he was in the wrong place. There were at least two other bleak churches on hilltops within a five-mile radius. He turned back to his shiny car and his futile phone.

I went off to pick fruit and watch the deer watching me across the stubble.

When I returned ninety minutes later with purple hands and scratches there were no cars. And no wedding in progress.

I hoped that he was just the Best Man. Not the Groom.

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