Well that's that. The wedding has come and gone. Two years after my mum took her last breath, Dad has hitched up with someone else.
I've resolved not to be selfish about the whole thing. Dad is much happier than he would have been if he were to continue as a widower.
The wedding was a little like a duck paddling; well orchestrated from the outside, meanwhile panic ridden behind the scenes.
An hour before the ceremony, neither bride nor groom could be found. Being a true DIY man, the groom was still at the yacht club setting up his stereo and microphone. The bride was still having her hair done.
Charged with the responsibility of best man and photographer my day was guaranteed to be hectic. The wedding was held across the road from my parents' house in the park that has a view north over the Adelaide coastline.
The groom turned up with 20 minutes to spare and jumps in to his suit. The ribbons are yet to be put on the cars. The bride hasn't returned from the hairdressers yet.
With ten minutes to go, the groomsmen (including aforementioned 'close relative') are lined up in front of 130 or so well wishers.
The bride motored past with five minutes left to get changed.
I don't know how she did it in time (practice I suppose), but the bride was walking up the park being led by a kilt wearing bagpipe player and the bridesmaid. I took some photos and put the camera away to assume my other role.
The celebrant read all sorts of stuff about love, friendship and commitment. Most of my energy was focussed on smiling and looking positive. Then I remembered I was supposed to have the rings. Bummer.
Exit stage right to retrieve the rings as discretely as can be done in front of 100 or so onlookers.
More words about cherishing this that and the other, signing of a piece of paper and the guests were directed to the yacht club.
Resuming as photographer, I took more pictures as the bride went to the car. The car is an old 50's Mercedes that was made for wearing a white ribbon. At one stage it used to be my Mum's car.
I don't really believe all that spiritual reincarnate stuff, but it made me reflect for a moment when the bride caught her dress on the exhaust and smeared it with greasy soot.
The reception went well, most people were merry and even those of us who couldn't help thinking about mum kept the tears at bay.
The MC did her bit and eventually it was time to do my last bit, the speech.
Other than getting the shakes, I had the full attention and appreciation of the guests. Thankfully I think I hit the right note and my efforts paid off.
I was hoping I'd feel better after it was all over. It took about an hour to recover from the ordeal of public speaking.
Why is it that when there's a tab at the bar, it's the distant rellies and their friends who are the only ones seen ordering booze by the bottle or jug. In one case, towards the end of the show, four jugs were piled up near a likely bunch of lads on the balcony.
By 5 o'clock, the kids were getting ratty and I was too washed out to stick around for more. Mrs G dropped me back at my parents' house to change out of the suit and pick of the other car.
Unfortunately I'd left my car keys in the wedding car. After changing, I walked back to the reception, got my keys, and walked back to my car.
Today I woke up with a raw throat and a head full of snot. So I've dedicated today to moping in my own misery. I figure it's a good way to get it out of the system and start fresh tomorrow - with the assistance of some Panadol and Sudafed (scary that spell checker both recognised and capitalised those two brands of medicine) .