So in Poland there are two words to denote the two events that comprise a wedding. There is the ceremony, which is called the ślub (shloop, from the word for "vows"), and the reception, which is called the wesele (veh-SEH-leh, from the word for "cheerful"). Polish weddings are as famous in Edinburgh as Italian weddings are in Toronto. In Toronto, you really want to be invited to the massive pot-latch that is the Italian-Canadian wedding. But in Edinburgh, one really wants to be invited to the traditional two-day Polish wedding jamboree in Poland.
I was a bit worried about how I was going to get from the bride's church, where the ślub will be, to the countryside location of the wesele. When I mentioned this, the bride metaphorically smacked herself in the forehead and wrote something along the lines of, "Oh, forgot to tell the foreigners what all Poles know: there is always a bus to take guests without cars from the church to the hall."
Well, that's all right then! Now all I have to do is figure out where I am going to sleep the nights before the wedding morning, and the night after the wedding night before my cheap flight home. (The wedding night is sorted; I shall be farmed out to a relative upon whom I will practice my Polish.) Happily the bride's town is not too far from Kraków, not too far from Warsaw, and not all that horribly far from Wrocław. (Well, actually, it is a bit of a hike from Wrocław.)
However, I have two months to sort that out. For the present, I am going to memorize whole scripts of Polish small talk and lose ten pounds by returning to the 5-2 diet, which I foolishly gave up on last year after amazing results that have now disappeared.
Here is the dress I think I will wear to the ślub. My mummy just finished making it for me. We bought a black crinoline for it today although B.A. thinks a crinoline is Too Much for church. He thinks a black mantilla will look splendid with it, but Mum and I are thinking we might make a hat.
Update: Calvinist Cath, who on the run-up to her 30th birthday was (if I remember correctly) feeling gloomily Single, and then was courted by post by a chap who spied her being all helpful and feminine--without a SCRAP of make-up--at the minister's dinner, and then got married in an intensely Calvinist service, has just given birth to a little boy. So congratulations to dear Cath and her husband. As Cath has been reading my blog since forever and a day, I feel that this is all a victory for Long Term Singles everywhere.