This is entirely fiction. Completely. Utterly. Except for any true bits
June 13th: Visit the chosen venue. Palladium columns at entrance, fresco pained on ceiling in reception. The place oozes class and old money, clearly kept afloat by new money: viz, mine. Have to sit down. Offered glass of water.
Discussion with venue manager over numbers they can accommodate. Many smiles when the words ‘easily 200’ are bandied about. Have to sit again. Offered tea and biscuit ‘for the sugar’.
Catering can be provided from their own chef or they can arrange for a Michelin starred winner to be employed. If that route is chosen, a percentage uplift will be needed as a sort of chefage – like a corkage only vastly bigger. Decide it is easier if I simply stay seated. A flunky appears and offers to carry the seat ‘in case I need it again.’ Whiskey is proferred.
Find First Born in earnest discussion with First Of Her Name, while venue manager stands to one side trying not to look like a lottery winner. I don’t ask but she instantly overshares. ‘They are debating whether to allow the chef to chose the wines. Apparently he is famous for his flights.’ I overshare that I may have lost mobility as my leg function appears to have ceased. My request for ‘significant opiates’ ignored.
Flunky calls me an Uber and takes me to local pub. Phone rings. First Of Her Name asking my whereabouts. In background Flunky suggests I say we have ‘taken flight’.
I do what has enabled our 29 years of marriage to endure: I lie. Convincingly. First Of Her Name is not fooled. ‘Get back here. Now. Or you’ll be giving First Born away by video-link from rehab.’