And now I have been married for a little over a week. Only yesterday evening I had a solid sense that everything was back to normal: sitting in the lounge, my now husband playing his sax, sipping a glass of sparkling wine and reading Nigel Slater’s Tender Volume 1, a wedding gift in the form of a book voucher which I redeemed yesterday at Exclusive Books. I could at last see us easing back into our usual quiet evenings, not taken up by list making and last minute doubts about certain wedding details worked out weeks ago, or worrying about whether the peonies are going to be just at the right stage of being open on Saturday morning. I sound now even to myself like a bit of a perfectionist. I did not realise how much mental energy I have spent on getting everything organised.
But it was worth it. Despite the unexpected and unpredictable which marked the day. It stormed, so that ten minutes before the first guests arrived, everything had to be rearranged and brought inside and under roof from the garden. The power failed: the music which I was supposed to be walked “down the isle” to could not be played(on a keyboard by a jazz pianist friend: Abdullah Ibrahim’s The Wedding). Later he did play it, when the power came on about an hour and a half later. All the speeches were made without a sound system, I could not sing the song that I planned to sing right after my speech(though I did sing it later), a friend of ours collapsed during my speech and we all feared the worst: ten minutes later though he had recovered assisted by my uncle who is a doctor.
But: it was beautiful. Masses of white flowers. The candles had to be lit as the power failed and with skies storm-darkened, creating a wonderful romantic atmosphere. Our friend who conducted the chuppah ceremony did it with just the right combination of solemnity and quirkiness, even dare I say it: sacredness, at some point playing a gong to create a wonderful vibration in our bodies and hearts, connecting all present.
People have remarked that there was a tangible sense of beauty and harmony and love. And that the mishaps served to enhance that sense of connection and preciousness. I loved my wedding. But I have to admit, I am relieved that it is over.
On Wednesday past, our registry gifts from Yuppiechef arrived. I felt like a child on Christmas morning, opening the box and taking out the kitchen gifts. I knew what had been bought,(they send you an email on the morning of the wedding) but it was still delightful to hold each item in my hands: a beautiful big chef’s pan, shining stainless steel; a 60 cm long fish kettle, ditto; a solid deep frying pan, ditto; crystal chardonnay glasses; the fat red volume “Silver Spoon” Italian recipes; and a handful of other gifts. Also, in a suitcase from a new brother in law from Toronto, a gift of three Global knives from my new mother in law.
Of course I have already used some of the kitchenware: A whole yellowtail poached in the fish kettle in a fragrant fumé on Friday; broccoli steamed to just emerald in the new Le Creuset steamer, tossed later with olive oil, garlic, chilli and melted anchovies; last night baby gem squash caramelised in the new frying pan, with rib eye steak done to perfection in an old ribbed grill pan, and a mix of mushrooms steam fried in a new small saucepan..and the knives I have used every day.
Today I will potter around in my vegetable garden. I feel quite inspired by Nigel Slater’s book. I too, am not aiming for self-sufficiency, but rather the deep pleasure and satisfaction of growing some vegetables and herbs, having sun warmed tomatoes on the vine, having the intense fragrance of bruised tomato leaves on my fingers, picking salad greens five minutes before dinner, or lunch today which will be another panzanella I think, with roast chicken, or maybe just a very modest Salad Niçoise: all the greens from the garden of this wedded woman.