Handbell Wedding Two
We got there so disgracefully early* that Niall made us ring her in. I could be reading proofs! I said. (Of course I brought them with me. Weddings always run late.**) Niall is the reincarnation of Genghis Khan and Simon Legree.***
Then I read proofs.†
Then we went and hung around the church door until people started coming out, and then we rang some more. And some more. And some more. And more.†† And . . .
And then I went and accosted some harmless-looking lady with a nice face and asked if she’d be so kind as to take a few photos. And I asked a good one. Not only did she do it but she didn’t cut our heads off.
The six leads. Yup. That’s Colin. Niall you know.
This is the only record anywhere of people smiling while ringing handbells in public. It may get us booted out of the Guild. Handbells are serious.
I have no idea what we were smiling about. It’s probably just terror. (Even Niall admitted to being shattered afterward. It’s very stressful, ringing handbells for a wedding, he said at tower practise tonight, isn’t it? I considered murdering him in cold blood, but I was too tired. Yes, I said. It is.)
Also note pink shoes. And biggest feet in the universe (sigh). And my hair slide has pink rhinestones on it, although they don’t show up very well.
Look at that blur as that bell comes down. That’s a hellhound-speed blur, that is. Handbells go . . . like the clappers, one might almost say.
The lady in yellow in the background is the one who failed to pay us.
More blur. We’re hot.
The three leads.
See, it really is a wedding. There’s the bride. (Well, a bride, anyway.)
Just off the photo to the left is a perfectly good bell tower. Except that it doesn’t have any bells in it. It should. It’s a big low square tower with louvers. What have they done with the bells?
The gentleman slightly to the right of centre is . . . holding a video camera. He turned out to be the best man, and attached to the harmless lady with the nice face that I had nabbed for my photographer. And he says he videoed us and will send me a copy.
* * *
* I was totally weirded out first by hearing the Old Eden bells being got up for the wedding there today that Niall and I couldn’t ring at because we were going to be ringing handbells—hellhounds and I were walking right past the church at the time, and if I could have thought of a good place to tie them up I’d’ve gone in and taken a little of the strain: as it was I shuffled on, feeling deeply guilty. And second . . . Niall and I could perfectly well have rung at Old Eden first, which we had originally considered. I suppose if we had there would have been a fifty-six-car pile up on the motorway^ between us and our handbell fate. Oh well. And I would probably have been putting my skirt on in the car—I used to be fairly good at this kind of wriggle, but it’s not exactly a graceful procedure, and Colin has enough to tease me about.
^ Caused by a eighteen-wheeler carrying feather pillows jackknifing across six lanes and burying the countryside four inches deep in goosedown.
** Ha ha ha ha ha. Every ringer who was a part of the Wedding That Ran Early last week will be telling stories about it for the rest of their lives. And coming to ring all other weddings even earlier. Which is the real killer. I’m going to start bringing my computer. Tomorrow, for example. I have another beastly wedding to ring tomorrow.
*** I’m not sure strictly speaking he can be the reincarnation of Simon Legree, but it’s close enough.
† Ungleblarg it, why didn’t SPINDLE’S END make me wealthy and famous? It should have. Then SUNSHINE could have merely made me the third wealthiest woman in the world, after JK Rowling and Queen Elizabeth.
†† And we didn’t even get paid. Niall and I are going to stake out the tea shop. She won’t get away.
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