Sunday, March 27, 2005

Wedding in the Bush

Wedding in the Bush Posted by Hello

So yesterday my friend from work Gert finally tied the knot with the lovely Belinda.

It was an afternoon wedding in the area of Mulgoa in the Napean Valley. The wedding ceremony and reception were held in an old (by Australian standards) pioneer's house that had been converted to a wedding function centre. It was overlooking a stand of eucalypt trees and a few paddocks of horses. A kind of rural sort of setting.

Looming rain clouds held off, it did look like it was going to pour down for a while but the clouds decided to head north and rain on someone else's wedding.

Other friends from work who one is used to seeing in dirty, grease stained clothes turned up in suits and ties. Wiseacring included "Danny looks like he's going to court." etc. The neckties didn't last too long, once the ceremony was over, jackets came off, neckties were removed and sleeves rolled up. A discussion of neckties revealed that most of us wear them for funerals, weddings and one revealed he wore one to court(he's a hot rodder and gets in trouble from time to time).

The ladies looked resplendent in their finery, there were difficulties as high heels dug into the moist turf where the ceremony was held. There were a lot of people with digital cameras, doing the click and aim think from a distance whilst looking at the little LED screen at the back. It was quite funny to watch about ten people with their cameras all at once doing the digital camera gaze thing.

The bride and groom had a simple 15 minute ceremony. She looked lovely and he "scrubbed up well". Gert's kids from a pervious marriage acted as page-boy and flower girl.

The reception was good. A standard Aussie reception deal.... beer and wine was standard, spirits cost extra. The food was OK, usual pub fare. Speeches were short and the music was OK. Nutbush City Limits saw most of the guest getting up to do the Madison, I wonder if this will still be the case in another 30 years? I absconded from the dancing.

Most of my table was smokers, so we spent most of the time outside, as is convention now downunder. Here we mainly teased each other mercilessly, finding that small chink in the armour and "working on it". No one is exempt and the attention goes from one to another in no particular order. A good "master of wiseacring" as I put it, can deflect this, use self depreciation even further, change the subject, detect the changing of a subject or draw attention to someone else. A "bite" is always played upon and everyone seems to leave a bit more down to earth. The best laughter sometimes is at oneself and ones failings and foibles.

I had a great conversation with Gert's father who was a fitter at one of the large edible oil companies in Sydney. He was retrenched from there as part of a rationalization of the maintenance department. He received a 35 year golden handshake on the Friday and commenced work again on the Monday as a contractor on a marginally lower rate. The company in question which thought the maintenance department was an unecessary expense, soon found out that it was actually an essential asset after time. The factory ground to a halt.

As with most rationalizations, the skill and knowledge base is decimated. He was saying that in one week they had 36 maintenance personel drift in and out due to the casual nature of the job. Pay them peanuts and you get monkeys, well paid fitters tend to reflect the quality of their work. Add to this most of these casual fitters and electricians would be fixing things they had never seen before, a guy who had been ther 35 years would know exactly how to fix it, what spare parts and tools to bring etc.

I've seen this rationalist thinking in a variety of factories in Sydney. What is a short term gain ends up being a long term liability. This seems to be a regular occurence in the western world.

Off my soapbox and back to the wedding.......The whole deal was over by 7pm with the groom and bride going home to have a few more drinks. There was no immediate honeymoon, that'll happen next week when they go Tasmania.

In short it was a good day.


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