Monday, 8 July 2013

Three Scottish weddings and some benches

Previously, in Fribble-under-Par: 

Tamsin Pink is set to marry Root, son of Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly. A lavish wedding is planned for July 8th at Drizzly Manor. 

It will have a Scottish theme and plenty of hairy sporrans. Here are the McBrassicas in their pre-wedding finery.

Lord B. is not prepared to wear a kilt but Root, for once, looks rather splendid in his. 

Since Root's riotous stag evening, it has become clear to Tamsin that Root is a drunken layabout. 

Here are Root, Wyme the Crime and Root's Agro friends on his last night as a bachelor.

Meanwhile, the erstwhile Garçon Orange returned from France and declared his love for Tamsin. He did it rather publicly, on the roof of her house. 

And Mikey the Mariner, also known as The Little Sailor, came to Fribble looking for love. He finds himself enchanted by The Octopus Girl, due to both her ocean heritage and her inter-changeable limbs.

Then, unexpectedly, Tamsin finds herself with a baby. This is inconvenient as everything is in place for her marriage to Root.  

On the morning of the wedding, Lord Brassica takes Root and his dog Pru and goes over to Tamsin's house. 

Lord B wants to know if he's looking at a French satsuma or the future Seventh Earl of Drizzly.  

Is this Garçon's baby or Root's?

Tamsin says the stork brought it.

Ursula, our well-educated Unicorn-in-Residence, says that this can sometimes happen.

Storks apparently have a habit of leaving babies on benches.

Fribble women are quite delighted at the prospect of a wedding and a new baby in our community.

In the Duck and Dog Collar, the men sit on their benches and wonder if the wedding will go ahead. 

image from

What they really want to know is

On the clocktower bench The Fribble Agro, minus Root, hastily construct an opinion poll of passersby. 

The results are as follows:

        green  =   those with no opinion (mainly tourists)
        red     =   those who think the baby is Root's
        purple =   those who think the baby is Garcon's 
        blue    =   those who think the stork brought it

While Lord Brassica attempts to find out the origins of the baby, Lady Jessica Brassica is blissfully unaware. She spends the whole morning in the sauna trying to lose a tiny bit of weight so that she can squeeze into the dress made for her by Joop from Overbearing in Holland. 

The kilt, the bagpiper, the silver and pewter gifts and the highland accessories are all hired and ready to go.

photo by Sheila B.

After seeing the poll results, Lord Brassica decides to take a pragmatic approach, which is to say, he tells Root to buck himself up and keep a stiff upper lip. 

The message Lord B sends to the Fribble community is loud and clear:

image from

Lord Brassica organises childminders for the baby while Tamsin gets ready for her wedding. 

At two o'clock Lady B is out of the sauna and relaxing in her new dress.She 
has chosen white and gold, as upstaging the bride is not her concern.

Tamsin is in the tourbillion de filet that Joop made for her. She feels silly but Joop said it's the best he could do, given her very short legs and huge green feet.  

Tamsin seems oblivious to the fact that marrying Root will make her the Lady of the Manor. As the daughter-in-law of Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly, she and Root will inherit the splendid Drizzly Manor.

She's more excited about Castle Broccoli though, an enormous pile up in the Highlands of Scotland. 

The rest of us start getting ready for the wedding, mindful of the Scottish theme. A couple of stylish cats turned up in tartan.  

Some people look great in tartan.

But my husband, His Excellency, mutters something about knobbly knees. So, as usual, he is all in white. 

He brings along the splendid bench we are giving Root and Tamsin as a wedding present.

image by Janet Wells

Of course, eveyone is giving benches as wedding presents. 

Root's friends, the Fribble Agro gang, clubbed together and bought a sofa, which they thought was fitting for the prickly situation.

image from

Mr and Mrs Paragon wanted to give Root and Tamsin a helping hand but I'm wondering how this bench will look in Drizzly Manor. 

image by Sheila B.

However, none of our benches can compete with the Louis XIV banquette given by Lord and Lady Brassica.

image from Ateliers Allot Freres at

Some guests get out their Scottish finery. At quarter to three Lettie arrives in her kilt. Ach, she's a bonny wee lass! 

Uncle Hamish McTavert comes down on the night sleeper from Toblemory and arrives in time to chill out on a bench.

The little lads turn up in their hairy sporrans.

My imaginary friend Miggy takes up the Scottish theme of the wedding and comes dressed in a tartan rug. 

When you get to a certain size, I suppose that's the only option.

My imaginary husband Mungo is also well turned out for the wedding, though he doesn't seem to have picked up on the Scottish theme. 

Miggy suggests that Mungo's look is quite appropriate for the wilder streets of Glasgow. 

Cora and Dora Boran don their wedding hats for the occasion. Cora is in a bad mood; after one glass of raspberry Prosecco she smashes up a bench in front of the Brassica's summerhouse. 

Little April, age six, comes with her Parallel Selves, May and June. All the girls are wearing their pretty summer dresses, and hats strikingly similar to Cora and Dora's. 

So here we are at Drizzly Manor, our whole community assembled together to watch the wedding.

image from Infrogmation at 

At the back of the chapel there is some kerfuffle and it is announced that there will be a delay in the service, as well as a change of bride and groom. As you can imagine, this took some time and some of the guests got exhausted by it.

A bench is eventually assembled and Mariner Mikey and The Octopus Girl come forward. She is wearing a lacy white dress and has arranged her limbs in a way which is not normally seen at weddings. 

Tamsin and Root are their witnesses. This is quite convenient because Root and Tamsin are already dressed for a wedding. 

The music Mikey has chosen for their wedding march is in keeping with their common nautical background: The Octopus's Garden. A band member practices on a bench outside the chapel. 

image from Infrogmation at

All goes well with the wedding of Mikey and The Octopus Girl. Following their marriage though, Tamsin tells Root that she doesn't want to marry him. Even the lure of Castle Broccoli cannot persuade her to go through with it.

There is a gasp in the congregation and Root's mother, Lady Brassica, runs from the chapel. But Root doesn't seem to mind. 

In fact, he announces that he has found someone else to marry. 

Her name is Innocent.

image from John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, 1678

I could be mistaken but I think Innocent looks rather surprised when she is summoned to the altar to marry Root. 

image from

The wedding guests, mostly Drizzly and Fribbilians, settle down on their benches to enjoy another wedding.

The sea-faring benches from the Mariner wedding are cleared away hastily and a more traditional bench is brought back. 

Root and Innocent take their vows and Lady Brassica returns just as they are saying they Do. 

Lady B gets her first glimpse of her new daughter-in-law and falls into a faint.

Mungo lightens the mood by bringing in the piper and one of Miggy's large cakes. 

Once the dancing begins, everyone starts to loosen up, though some people are perplexed by The Octopus Girl and her weird take on The Gay Gordons. 

The dancing ensures that everyone has a good time, even though the pipers are in danger of backing themselves into Lord Brassica's pond.

The marquee tent is nicely decorated and Miggy's cake goes down a treat.

All in all, the two weddings go well and we end the day with two new couples:

1.     Mr. Mikey Mariner and his wife, Mrs. The Octopus Mariner

2.     Lord Root Brassica, future Sixth Earl of Drizzly, and his wife, Lady Innocent Brassica 

As the sun sets the Mariners disappear under a scallop while Root and Innocent head for a honeymoon in Paris.

No, sorry, I misunderstood. Their honeymoon is going to be in Basingstoke. But their actual wedding night is spent on the benches on Fribble Esplanade. Root isn't quite on the bench as he has drunk rather a lot of champagne at the reception. His new wife looks on innocently. 

And there's another couple down on the beach that evening. One is Pink, one is Orange. 

They are unmarried and breathe a sigh of relief. 


For the full story leading up to Root and Tamsin's wedding see previous posts such as how Root and Tamsin got together, their engagement, and the beginning of Tamsin's doubts about Root. For Mikey's raucous past, see   Innocent has no past. She appeared from nowhere. It's just one of those tricky plot things.

If you still haven't had enough weddings after this, find out how Mungo and I gambled on love in Las Vegas. Less adventurous but equally romantic, you can read about His Excellency and me at

Lord and Lady McBrassica and Root posed in front of Mungo's family's tartan. No, I'm not going to say what it is but I'm sure that tartan geeks will be able to identify it. Hint: the clan name starts with Mac . . . 

Root's stag evening was organised by Hood-D, his best man. Hood-D is one of the Fribble Agro gang, along with Biff, Root, and Sk8T. Police Constable Willy Wyme was also invited as he is a good friend of the Agro. The stag party spent the evening at the Dustpan and ipod dressed in ladies' clothes. Root wore his mother's lavender silk evening gown and Willy wore her infamous Doily Carte minidress. However, the Agro aren't as foolish as they look; they did an impressive job on my Bus Stops post:

The men on benches at The Duck and Dog Collar are actually a painting called Peasants Playing Cards by Adriaen Brouwer, a Flemish genre painter in Flanders and the Netherlands in the seventeenth century. Brouwer, born in 1605, spent much of his time in alehouses and his paintings depict scenes of debauchery, drunkeness and foolishness which he witnessed there. Rather like the Dustpan and ipod then. He was popular in his time but died penniless in 1638. Originally buried in a common grave in Antwerp, he was later buried in a churchyard at the instigation of other artists. The image of Peasants Playing Cards is in the public domain, seen at

Sheila B. took the photo of the McDonalds of Cyprus advertisement for kilts, bagpipers, silver and pewter, gifts, and highland accessories. Isn't it handy to have all this available on an island? OK, Cyprus isn't Paradise Island but obviously they still have their fair share of Scottish weddings. 

Keep Calm and Marry On is a print from a range of interesting prints in all different colours, available at

During the wedding festivities Lord Brassica arranged for his horse Tonks and dog Pru to mind the baby. Please rest assured that Tonks and Pru are extremely competent childminders: their recent Ofsted inspection found them Outstanding in all areas of child care. The only negative aspect of the report was a warning that, for safety reasons, Tonks should refrain from jumping on bouncy castles. Helf n' Safety gone mad if you ask me. 

The two tartan cats live with Miggy's mum; this is her bench. For some properly purrfect cat benches see

Some people certainly do justice to tartan and model Veronika is one of them. She was photographed in October 2005 by Jon Dymond, from London. Jon's wavelength is the following: Vibrant colours and tonal harmony. Beauty not belonging just to the handful who are considered beautiful. Urban architecture. Contrast and diversity. Hearing a soundtrack through an image. Artificial light sources. Collaboration rather than contracts. Sexyness not being defined by nakedness. Finding aesthetics in mundane locations. Oh and pretty pictures.

The bench His Excellency and I gave Tamsin and Root as a wedding present was photographed in the Dordogne by Janet Wells. You have to admit, this is a nice, practical bench which anyone would welcome as a wedding present. 

The Cactus Sofa was maybe designed for people who don't like guests. I did not manage to find the sofa's designer, though I found a different cactus sofa, the Canape Sofa, designed by Maurizio Galante at the Italian group Cerruti Baleri. I am unable to establish whether this is the same designer. The cactus sofa shown here appears on many blogs and websites, including which has a whole feature on cactus-based design. 

The Helping Hand bench was photographed in Cyprus by Sheila B. at the Cyprus School of Art. There are lovely romantic mosaics behind it which make it the perfect wedding gift I think. 

The red banquette is French as well. It's a "Sully" Louis XIV-style replica by Ateliers Allot Frères. But can you image Root and Tamsin on this bench? Don't bother to send answers on a postcard please.  I saw it on at

The three lovely little boys were pageboys at a family wedding. For those of you not in the know, the hairy sporran is worn because a kilt wearer does not have pockets; it's a form of purse. But it's also there to protect the wearer's modesty because, as is rumoured, Scotsmen do not wear underpants. There are three types of sporran: the informal daywear sporran, the semi-dress sporran, and the full dress Bonnie Prince Charlie job that is only worn at special occasions. Apparently the ultra-hairy Piper's Sporran is mostly worn by pipe bands. If you want the full sporran story, see   This website can tell you everything you need to know about all things north of the border.  

The photos of masked people on the bench were photographed by Infrogmation, who lives in New Orleans and has photographed all sorts of wonderful things from the Mardi Gras. This photo is from
The baritone horn player is from the Crewe Kosmic Debris parade and walking party at the Mardi Gras, New Orleans. Thanks to Infrogmation once again at

The kilted man sleeping on the bench was photographed by Bob Shand in Stirling in 2007. Bob lives in Scotland and is otherwise known as Bob The Lomond. He photographs glorious Scottish scenery and events and just occasionally he goes to other parts of the world and photographs there as well.

Innocent is from John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, 1678. It's hard to say just how innocent she is in the context of Root Brassica and Fribble-under-Par. At present she is an extremely shy girl who never says anything. It will be interesting to say how she grows into her future role as the Sixth Lady Brassica of Drizzly. 

The surprised Innocent is an image from  This is a fabulous organisation which has opened up a huge amount of textual material and images for a wide variety of uses, including blogs like Benchsite. Their statement reads: This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at The terms of the license are that I publish the statement. 

The marquee tent where the reception was held is not the same one they were trying to put up on a previous post. This one is nicely erected and decorated with colourful poms made by Chloe Bouffard in Ottawa. Chloe's pom shop is Pomtree, which can be see at

The Scottish dancers on the lakeside are not from Drizzly Manor. They're from Deseronto in Canada, near Toronto. The town is picturesquely situated on the Bay of Quinte. The photograph was taken by Lloyd Thompson for the Quinte Scanner in June 1971 and shows the Kingston Pipe Band at Deseronto's Centennial Park.

My imaginary husband Mungo comes from a Scottish family in that his dad is from the hard streets of Glasgow. Pipers and Caledonian dancers and yes, hairy sporran, feature at many of our family celebrations. Here are Mungo's Mum and Dad at their 69th wedding anniversary celebrations with a troupe of excellent Scottish dancers.

Oh yes, we have many Highland Flings in this family. The piper appeared for Mungo's Dad's 90th birthday party six years ago. Gosh, in another four years we'll need to book him again. I'm not sure how many of us will be highland flinging by then. 

This piper is properly dressed with a Piper's Sporran; it's very hairy, as you can see. Notice the tartan of his clan and his socks, for concealing a knife. Not that you are likely to need a knife at a wedding. Are you? Come to think of it, I have been to one or two weddings where a knife might have come in handy.

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