Wednesday, 16 July 2008

I've been home...and watched my Pa get married!

Saturday July 12, 2008 St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney

My Dad, Ian, and my new step-Mum, Caroline (though I'm not allowed to call her that for reasons that are ours - mainly the lack of age difference!). My brother, Derek, was Best Man. My peedie brother, David, was Page Boy. I got to be Chief Bridesmaid (free frock...yay :-)) and the 2 little bridesmaids were Erin and Charley.

And then we have an integral part of any Orkney wedding...the Bride's Cog

And then I got to spend some time with my honey. He looked absolutely gorgeous and made a rather lovely speech. What a star! It was noted that he is well integrated into the family...

And here we have a couple of the speeches:

My DB and the toast to the bridesmaids

Ladies and gentlemen, Rev Max Fargus, Mr Heddle, and Wife.

I stand here today as one of the more surprised guests at the party.

My girlfriend, Maureen, is the chief bridesmaid and stepdaughter of the bride.

When I was invited to come along I thought I was coming for free dinner and a damn good ceilidh. Orkney weddings celebrations enjoy mythical status for those of us “from Sooth”.

That was until Ian phoned me with the interesting opening “Hello Derek, I hear you’re a great public speaker….” He’s a great judge of character obviously… and knew to start with flattery straight away!

And so here I stand to propose a toast to the bridesmaids! All princesses for the day!

They were, I think you’ll agree, particularly pretty and carried out their duties in an exemplary manner.

There are three of them:

Charley, the youngest, is 9 years old. She is artistic, loves the violin, dancing and horse riding. She looked stunning today, and I think she’s sure to break some hearts in the future.

In fact I’m sure I saw young David Heddle standing there earlier with both eyes and his mouth wide open!

Where are you young man? I think you’ll have to watch yourself there!

Erin is next, and she’s 11, and comes from Forres.

She hates worms, her brother, and being on boats, she picks her nose, can’t be quiet, and bites her nails.


She's very artistic, very funny and a quite tomboy. This wedding will be one of the few time she’s been seen her in a dress!

Well what can I say?

I hear she’s going off to star in her own TV series later in the year. She’s always had a theatrical streak and was once an Italian flea in a school play, and a French Camel.

She’s very helpful too, Maureen says that she just couldn’t have got into her outfit today without Erin to lace her up – I’m left speculating now about how she’ll get out of it later on!

Any way, If this is the first time Erin’s worn a dress, I hope it won’t be the last, she looked very pretty today - Another heartbreaker in the making I think you’ll agree.

Maureen Anne Heddle; Chief Bridesmaid, Head Princess for the day and Senior Heartbreaker.

I first met Maureen about five years ago when we worked together.

I thought she was very funny, and I clearly remember noticing what nice eyes she had, especially when she wore green eye shadow.

And then she left, and we didn’t see much that much of each other for a few years.

After a while I found myself unexpectedly single. Then after another while I started looking around again.

I decided that I’d made some bad choices, and this time I was going to find somebody from a country background like myself.

A quiet, country girl that could cook and sew and liked gardening and stuff like that.

And my friends said, “Well, that Maureen Heddle is back on the market, she’s from the country”

I said, “Can she cook?”.

They said, “Oh she’s a trained cook. In fact, there’s not much you can do in hotel she hasn’t tried.

She likes gardening, and although she doesn’t sew much, some of the things she can knit are very, very inventive indeed.

She’s very quiet (in a talkative sort of way), and you are always saying how much you haven’t noticed how nice her nice eyes look, especially with green eye shadow”

So here I am, she’s the bridesmaid and I’m proposing the toast. (Well, you hope you’ll get something with your eggs and ham don’t you?)

Maureen talks a lot about her family! Many of you will not have heard much of me, but believe me, I will have heard about you! The Orkney ones, the Sutherland ones, the Aberdeen ones, the Canadian ones…and both wee brothers!

She talks a lot about her dad, I know that she’s very fond of him and very proud of his success in the construction industry. I know he’s very proud of her successful business in the offshore oil industry too.

She’s fond of Caroline too, I can’t count the number times she said to me “I’m so happy, Caroline is just the most fabulous step-mother I could’ve ever hoped for”

Maureen has really looked forward to this day, she’s taken her duties very seriously and systematically - a wee hint here, a wee prompt there…actually quite a big hint or two here and there as well. I know that Ian and Caroline have appreciated all her efforts.

I think she looks fabulous today, If you look you’ll see what I mean about the eye shadow and the eyes

And so to the toast - Ladies and Gentlemen, They have been so glamorous and so helpful today - Please fill your glasses and drink a toast with me to the Bridesmaids. ”The Bridesmaids!”

And then there's the one my brother Derek did as the response to my Dad. It was a cracker (putting on an Orcadian accent, if you can do one, adds to the speech!)!


Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen

Bride and Groom

Firstly I'd like to thank Derek for his kind words about the bridesmaids.

I take it you all know I'm Ian's son, so I was told anyway, but I don't understand how he still has a full head of hair when my hair has left me at such a young age. Maybe he's wearing a wig, but then again it can't be that because why would he pick a grey wig!

Me and fither have worked together in our business since I left school. Well, work is maybe a bit strong. Actually we sit at our desk looking oot the window speaking about whoever is driving past, or dicussing important issues like "why the North Isles ferries stay tied up to the pier all day". But we do work well together and he's lucky to have me there to keep him right.

You will probably no ken that fither and Caroline had a lot of trouble deciding the seating plan. But fither gave the room layout some serious thought and did what any normal person would do. Make an autocad drawing of it! You see everyone of you has been meticulously dimensioned to the millimetre just like one of his steelwork drawings! So don't start moving around or fither will be away back to the office to change the drawing.

Oh and Caroline watch oot, because when I peering over his shoulder the other day I'm sure I saw another drawing of the honeymoon suite. It did look very impressive but then he was drawing in millimetres!

But seriously I am delighted to best man for me fither. He's always been there for me and I know he will always be there for Caroline. Congratulations to you both.

Just while I've been sitting here the night looking around all the family, friends and work colleagues, all eating and drinking, it's made me a bit emotional. I wondered why and then it dawned on's because I see my inheritance dwindling away.

I hope you have a good night. Thank you.

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