Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Worra Lully Cuppill!

My wife showing her typical lack of  respect for authority
at Forbidden Planets 35th birthday celebrations.
I'm writing this at the end of an utterly fantastic bank holiday weekend which saw me promoting the 35th birthday of Forbidden Planet but one which more importantly saw two of my best friends in the world getting married and me fulfilling the great honour of being the grooms best man. Occasional guest writer Druid (better known as Tom White) and Frances Grainger have now become the symbiotic entity known as Tom and Frances Grainger-White (the artists formerly known as the Fran/Tom Menace) and I couldn't be happier for the pair of them.

It was an utterly wonderful weekend at a beautiful venue (Warwickshires incredible hidden gem of Wethele Manor) with wonderful scenery, wonderful food, wonderful drink (hic) and wonderful people - all gathered together for a wonderful event. It's always nice to catch up with old friends - but it's even better when you're together for such a special reason.

Nerves were slightly frayed when the photographer wasn't on site and the Bridal party were delayed by a traffic jam - two of our friends Gerry and Kevin valiantly offered to step into the fray to do photography and our friend Steven bravely offered up his services as a replacement Fran if the worst came to the worst - but everybody turned up in plenty of time and it turned out that Tom and I didn't know that Hannah, the photographer, was travelling with the bridal party all along.


It was a brilliant ceremony with the temperamental weather deciding to remain sunny, and a fantastic wedding breakfast of curried goods was absolutely perfect - the drinks were flowing, although I'll admit that other than a drop of Cava and a sip of Cobra I barely touched a drop - I was way too nervous about the speech especially after the phenomenal one delivered by Frans dad Harry after which there was barely a dry eye in the house ("Fran and Tom do crosswords. They don't do crossed words").

And then the speech - repeated here verbatim for your pleasure cricitism; 

The cake toppers that Tara and I made for the
wedding cake - kept as a complete surprise for Tom!
Good afternoon everybody.

For those who don’t know me, my name is David and I have the great honour of being Toms best man. For those of you who do know me - the previous statement still applies.

I couldn’t believe it when during a New Year party several years ago Tom asked me to be his best man. I’d like to point out – for the record, m’lud - that we were all in fancy dress at the time – he was dressed in a schoolboys uniform as Angus Young from AC/DC and I in a oversized papier mache head- so it’s quite possible that he asked the wrong person and has been too proud or embarrassed to subsequently correct his mistake. That said he was my best man at my wedding several years back, so this might just be petty revenge. And knowing how fiercely competitive Tom is, it must really have hurt him to hand over the Best Man title.

But Tom, mate. Don’t look on this as a best man’s speech, more of it as a right to reply.

In all honesty though, it’s such a great honour and a sign of our friendship and it genuinely means a great deal to be asked. But as they say, every silver lining has a cloud and for me - this speech is it. It’ll only be a short one though because of my throat - If I go on too long, Tom and Fran have threatened to cut it.

But firstly, on behalf of everyone here I would like to say congratulations to Tom and Frances and to thank you both for making us all feel very welcome and allowing us to be a part of your special day.

Thanks must also go to John & Pat and Harry & Barbara for such a wonderful day so far. On a day like today looking at this lovely building I can’t help but think about history, and especially how history repeats itself. I mean it must have only around 25 years ago Fran was going to bed with a dummy, yet here we are again...

But anyway, to the matter at hand, I’d like to tell you all about one of the best blokes I know, but tradition dictates I talk about Tom.

Now this is a story all about how 
Toms life got flipped-turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute,
Just sit right there
And I’ll tell you how he met and married Frances Graing-er.

I’m sure those of you who know Tom know – and have often remarked - how uncannily his life parallels that of the actor, producer and rap artist Will Smith with but a few subtle – but interesting - differences. Whereas Willard Christopher Smith Junior, to use his full name, was born and raised in West Philadelphia, Thomas Susan Norman Stanley Fletcher White, to use his full name, was born and raised elsewhere.

Will Smith has enjoyed great success in television, film and music and in April 2007 Newsweek called him the most powerful actor in Hollywood. He’s been nominated for four Golden Globe awards, two academy awards and has won four Grammy Awards.

Thomas White has done some buildings and some bridges and some water pipes and stuff.

And there the similarities end.

I met Tom 7 years back and the two of us have been great friends ever since. We found we had many interests in common – drinking, crappy monster movies, video games, multi-packs of crisps and exaggerating about numbers to name just 27.

Once a year Tom throws what is affectionately termed a “pie bash” where a large group of our friends gather together, the only rule being that every person there needs to have brought along a pie that they have made. It’s like Fight Club only with no – well, less - fighting and more of an emphasis on shortcrust. It was at one of these events where Tom and Fran first properly met - It could be said that their pies met across a crowded room.

I once asked Tom when he first knew he was in love with Fran. He told me that he knew from the very first moment she told him he was.

But sincerely, anyone here like me who has been lucky enough to spend time in their company knows what a great couple they are, perfectly complementing each other in many, many ways. Fran is both an excellent cook and baker, and Tom loves eating and being complementary about food. And now they’re a perfect couple, for better, for worse. Tom couldn’t have done any better, and Fran couldn’t have….


In closing I’d like to wish Tom and Frances all the happiness in the world. They are the most perfectly suited couple in every way and it is incredibly reassuring to know that two of my best friends in the world will be spending the rest of their lives happily together. It now gives me immense pleasure - not to mention relief - to say that all that remains for me to do is to ask you to charge your glasses, stand and join me in wishing Mr & Mrs Grainger-White a long, prosperous and happy life together.

"Take my wife."
Ladies and gentlemen please raise your glasses – to the new Mr. and Mrs. Grainger-White; Fran & Tom!

It seemed to go down quite well, despite my nervous rapid-fire delivery. They laughed at the bits I wanted them to laugh at, and all was well. And I've never drunk three glasses of white wine so quickly. I had catching up to do. And boy, did I catch up.

The rest of the day was awesome - the weather remained absolutely perfect although it would appear that Wethele Manor was also hosting some manner of Wasp convention that they hadn't warned us about - there were hundreds of the little buzzing Nazi wannabe-bee bastards, all paying particular interest in their awesome Wedding cake.

Beer and wine poured thick and fast, the awesome Jakamo played a blinder of a gig and my wife Tara ended the night with an excellent playlist of tunes and didn't even get slightly grumpy and play "Hang the DJ" when the venue owners threatened to cut short her set.

Overall, a fantastic weekend and a lovely day of celebrating the marriage of great friends. If any couple belong together, it's Tom and Fran. I wish them all the happiness in the world.

1 comment:

  1. hey- great speech. Lovely to see you. Nice to see those folks locked together for an eternity of happy times :-)


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