I was telling Rachelle about Kristy and Mark's wedding, proving the point that the Lawlor's can do lots on little. Mostly because we have to, and some of because we are a flippin' talented bunch.
Overlapping talents too. Not just one skill per person. Now lets see. We'll start with the chefs. My brother and my cousin. Wayne and Christopher. Slaving away in the kitchen turning broad beans and french bread into heavenly taste budding experiences. They are both very very good, though I don't think Wayne particularly likes to spend his holidays in the kitchen, he grumbles a bit but he does it. Kristy wanted a perfiterol (spelt the way i say it, but i don't know how to spell it but feel free to email me and give me the correct spelling) cake for her wedding. I think she imagined a towering delicate fragile delight to oo and ah over. Wayne wasn't sure about making one, although he had made them before, he knew they were tricky or time consuming or something (I wasn't really listening) but Aunty Pat suggested buying the pastry casings (at least I think she did, I wasnt really listening) and they could fill them [the casings] with custard and .. whatever else one fills the casings with.. the next day. Good Plan Stan, the day of the wedding and the boys were constructing the wedding cake.
It was less a 'delicate tower' and more a 'substantial apartment block'. But no doubt it was fabulous.. took two people to lift it but fabulous completely fabulous.. drizzled in chocolate and toffee. (apart from the fudge this ended up being the only food i had all day.. but thats later in the story). They slaved and slaved in the kitchen. Everyone in my family is a good cook. Well, my Grandfather and my Aunt, her husband and her brother, his wife and just everyone, all tiered all to certain degrees, good cooks, can contribute. And, although I can cook, I am very low on the talent rung. My job is to a) stay out of the kitchen and b) do as I am told. So, when my brother wants cream, I jump into my car and zoom into town (we live in the country - the Farm is in the country) and I buy cream and I come back and give it to him and he says he wants MORE cream I go and get more cream. It's how I help. So I do this. And everyone is on schedule (this story isn't about how the wedding was a disaster so all you ambulance chasers can go chase ambulances) and everything was right as rain and the day was fine and the garden was beautiful, and the film was fresh (did I mention I was to be the photographer?) and all was good.
So that's my talented cousin and brother. Now, my talented Aunt. Well, one of them. I have two extraordinary talented Aunts, I will tell you about Aunty Margaret first. She is very organised. She makes lists and she can delegate in a very nice fashion ie: firm and loving. She keeps her head about her when the rest of us are chooks in a yard. She can whip up a wedding cake/birthday cake/whatever at a moments notice and it looks like a professional has made it (my sister can do this too - see, overlapping talents). Aunty Margaret can arrange flowers. In the church she does a wonderful job (my sister and my Aunty Pat and Megan can do this too). My aunty Margaret can sing. Like, properly, like, an angel (she's alone on this, seven children and she's the only one that can hit a note).
My other Aunt, Pat (I used to call her Aunty Patty now I just call her Pat - Kristy's mother and my god mother). She can do everything. Cook, paint, flowers, gardens (her garden is just fantastic) oh, just, everything, she works really hard and hardly ever complains (i just moan all the time if you havent figured that out yet.) She was the Mother of the Bride. Quite nervous about hosting such an affair and of her eldest daughter marrying. You know how it must be.
Okay so who else. OH.. their little brother, my Uncle, Brian (if you have seen my album you know that he's the young boy in the rock pool) has the gift of great oratory. He is comfortable and damn good at speaking in public. He has a talent for tone and for timing. He can ad lib with ease and can have us laughing for joy and crying for sadness all at the same time, as demonstrated at my Nana's funeral. He speaks from the heart I think I have decided, that's one of the reasons he is so very good at it.
Okay, so .. we have a cake, we have food, we have a bride and groom, maid of honor and best man. Mother of the Bride and a photographer, a Master of Ceremonies. We need transport. Mrs Master-of-Ceremonies, or Jen as we call her for short, Brian's wife, drives the local school bus. Of everyone, she is the smallest of the small, a petite woman with a big red bus. Festooned (is that a word?) with bows and balloons to transport guests to the church for the vows. (the guests mostly stayed at the Farm, we hired caravans so people could stay. The Caravan Park on the Farm).
The wedding itself was held in a country church. One of those beautiful white churches with a red roof and an old church bell my cousin Ryan rang as the Happy Couple left as man and wife. It was a beautiful ceremony, touching and short. My Aunty Marg sang and made me cry it was so beautiful. I got some wonderful shots in the church.
The reception was to be held back at the Farm, in the garden. We had hired white tables and chairs and they were dotted around the green lawn. Clustered. The marquee would hold the food. There was fudge and rum balls on every table. A small tent was the bar, be-kegged and beered and wined and ready. My stepfather Chad was most helpful serving to those ferrying beverages to and fro. My mother red in one hand white in the other keeping people's drinks topped was chirpy and talkative flitting about. I was a maniac taking afterwedding photographs. By the time I had finished, it was dark.
Nick, Megan's love, had realised the need for light earlier in the day. There had been fairy lights hung in the trees but we needed more. So armed with wire and pliers and endless cans of beer, Nick fashioned candle holder thingies. I can't do them justice with describing them, but they were beautiful. Twisted and curled and candled. Some had old tins to hold smaller candles, with pinprick holes in the sides to twinkle light through. Once the first few drops of molten wax had fallen on a couple of guests and adjustments were made, they were perfect, and beautiful.. He's an import.. but talented enough that we've adopted him.
This is just a tiny splattering of how talented my extended family is. I didn't even mention Megan making her own Maid's dress and doing people's hair or the way she made the tents beautiful by twisting ivy over their poles and roofs. I didn't mention my sister making lots of beautiful food and designer nibbles. Or the way my young cousin Frances managed to charm everyone and help guide older relatives home in the dark whilst completely under the influence of too much wine. Or how my cousin Ryan has the gift of the written word but that has nothing to do with the wedding. Mostly because I have completely lost the thread of this story, but I want to leave you with this:
I come from an exceptionally talented, funny, wonderful family. We may never have much, but we have what we need.