“Firstly, I would like to thank everyone for joining us today to celebrate our marriage and thanks to Lizzy’s sister and best friends for making sure Liz’s hen night was suitably naughty and everyone else who has helped do everything.
I also want to acknowledge the people who aren’t here. Liz’s mother, who I never got the chance to meet and her father who passed away in June. I didn’t get to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage, but Liz and myself were present when he spoke with us whilst recovering from a particularly traumatic operation, and despite being high as a kite on pain killers was somehow able to talk for a short while in a very lucid way giving Liz the thumbs up and telling her that she’d picked a good’un. It was a significant moment for us.
Up until then I’d often thought of asking Liz to marry me, but it was that particularly moment that switched on the green light in my mind and gave me the courage and conviction to pop the question.
So now, my lovely wife.
We are all unique, although some are a little more unique than others! Liz doesn’t fit into this category. She is her own category. Any of you who have experienced her performances on stage over the years will know exactly what I’m talking about.
Before we met, I’d been single for about a year and a half. Poor Liz on the other hand had been in the wilderness for 4 WHOLE …. DAYS.
She’s a woman of many virtues. Patience isn’t one of them.
We met at a friend’s party and it was the first evening in a very long time that I decided to make an effort and see who was out there. I didn’t know anyone apart from the hosts, so after attempting to ‘work’ my way round the room I gradually discovered that I’d spent ages chatting up all the married women. I started to concede that typically, things weren’t going that well and my chances were going from slim to zero.
And then, Liz turned up! We were introduced and soon got chatting, and just as things started getting interesting I typically managed to kick an entire bottle of red wine over the hosts cream rug, but we sorted it out together with a lot of salt and apologies.
A little while later I felt a nudge and those immortal words that will forever be indelibly etched onto my brain. “Do you want to come back to my place? I’ve got a pool”
There was only one answer to this question. Fast forward a half an hour later and I’m outside in a car park in my pants and a bottle of tequila in my hand staggering towards this enigmatic and mysterious swimming pool in, of course, the Peckham Pioneer Centre.
It’s 3am, mid February and I’m aware that these aren’t exactly what you would call optimum conditions for showcasing ones credentials! It was a very good job she wasn’t wearing her glasses.
So that was the first time we met and after managing only one date together things developed at warped speed.
I have to admit that in the early days despite being very attracted to Liz I wasn’t sure if I had what it took to handle her. I just couldn’t understand how there seemed to be about half a dozen people packed into this very petite frame. I secretly named her ‘The Circus’ and the circus had definitely arrived in my town.
My feelings of apprehension quickly evaporated on the night that Liz turned up at my flat in Forest Hill, 8 floors up in a tower block. She had a roast dinner on a plate in one hand and a bottle of champagne in another and apart from a coat the only other thing she was wearing was a big smile.
“Hello” she said. Wow I thought, X rated meals on wheels. That was when one half of my brain had a quick word with the other half.
“It’s never gonna get better than this mate!”
I knew then that she was definitely the one.
As I got to know Liz I revised my ‘circus’ idea and then thought of her more as a multi-faceted, very sparkly rare gem. It’s all there to see, nothings hidden, but there’s an awful lot going on. So apart from her gorgeousness and my obvious attraction to her I’ve written a list of some of her many facets,
Insightful, generous, warm, funny (very funny, very very funny), affectionate, intelligent, thoughtful, caring, courageous, unique, creative, supportive, fun (lots and lots of fun)
It’s no mean feat forging a successful relationship and intertwining your life with someone when you’ve had decades of experiences behind you, there’s history, there’s baggage, ex partners and there are children to consider. Thanks to our four kids, you’ve all been amazing!
Liz has been instrumental in creating an environment for all this to be possible, and it is her exceptional organizational skills, foresight, ability to listen, understand, know where the boundaries lie, and general way of looking at life that have made what could have been a potentially fractious and difficult situation, a positive, warm and harmonious one for all of us.
Like any couple, we have had our fair share of issues to deal with, and there has been some difficult and traumatic situations to overcome. We have always faced everything together, communicated with each other and looked for the real causes that underline these things. When your other half is a psychotherapist with over 20 years experience there is absolutely no chance of a handy carpet to sweep anything unpleasant under, no dark corners to hide in.
The positive result is that we have bonded closer together and have a relationship that grows deeper and stronger each and every day.
I have been asked a couple of times over the last year “why do you want to get married?” you could argue that it’s not really necessary, there’s no real need to do so. My answer to that question is that I simply can’t imagine not being married to Liz. She is the only one for me.
We’ve now got the honeymoon period to look forward to, it’s a good job I’m doing yoga once a week!”
I would now like you all to raise your glasses to my beautiful and extraordinary wife!