Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Winchester… so much to answer for

… as Morrissey didn't sing. If you've never been to Winchester, as I hadn't until this weekend, just imagine an England theme park. It's stunningly beautiful, ridiculously historic (formed capital of Wessex and England; Cnut's bones are in a chest on a shelf in the Cathedral) very clean and of course completely white. Not to say Tory to it's marrow. Captivating for a weekend, perhaps not entirely comfortable to live in if you're not very, very rich. Architecturally it's lovely - mostly flint walls, with a vernacular tradition of putting narrow red tiled roofs along them to protect the mortar from the rain.

I was there for the wedding of my friends Adam, whom I've know from university days, and Katie. The service was in a tiny church built above a gate in the ancient city walls, and the reception was in Winchester College, the medieval and very expensive private school - Eton's more intellectual rival, and a heartland of the military and civil Establishment. Anthony Trollope went there, as did Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas (Oscar Wilde's squeeze/nemesis) and of course British Union of Fascists would-be Fuhrer, Oswald Mosley. Though so also did Jack White, heroic socialist founder of the Irish Citizen Army. I assume both of them were very keen indeed on the CCF (Combined Cadet Force). Lots of posh Labour types, including Michael Foot and Seumas Milne, the firebrand revolutionary leftist and Irish republican. Oh, and Sir Humphrey Appleby. It's that kind of place.

Anyway, time to be utterly soppy and sentimental: some photographs of the happy couple and others at the rather lovely wedding which was temporarily ruined only by Your Truly getting up and reading Donne's 'The Good Morrow' in my angry-quacking-duck voice. Every man at the wedding seemed to be either a banker, or called Adam - apart from the groom, I spoke to two other Adams (didn't know them from…), and the joys of tax evasion were explained to me in some considerable detail. If you don't want to see pictures of happy married people, try the next couple of entries which are of Winchester Cathedral and environs.

The rest of the shots are here: click on these ones to enlarge.

Lovebirds. Aahhhh

Statue at Winchester College

Could you get any cuter than a little bridesmaid with her arm in a sling? Perhaps a puppy with a bandaged paw. 

'Push pineapple shake the tree'

The first dance was Ella Fitzgerald. Their 'special song' is Lana Del Rey's 'Video Games'. I'm well aware that this deserves and swift axe to the head but I let it pass as they got married that day. 

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