And so I found my way to Oxford on Saturday to a party at the house of my sister Naomi to celebrate the 25th Wedding Anniversary of my father and step mother and also my father’s 75th birthday next week. My father and step mother are actually second cousins and eons ago when she was an undergraduate at Oxford and he a post graduate he took her to the Opera as a cousin-friendly gesture. 26 years ago they met for the first time in 20 years at the wedding of another mutual cousin. He took her to the opera again and within nine months they were getting married in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.
It was a lovely sunny and warm March day. Ireland won a six nations match that day and I mentioned that in my best man’s speech. After 25 years of global warming we gathered to celebrate that day as the snow fell heavily in Oxford. It was my father and Helen’s oldest friends (a group he refers to as the Coffin Dodgers) plus my sisters (and husbands) and my step sisters and brother, young Tom. I am middle Tom. My father is big Tom.
I was banned from mentioning certain subjects in a gathering where I suspect myself and step sister Flea (pictured below) were the only non-Guardian readers.
It was a deluded lefty hothouse. And so I bit my lip and did not say to everyone how many inches of global warming was falling in the garden or raise any other controversial issues like, er… everything I believe in. And so conversation was largely about non-controversial matters such as the new slide-rule that brother in law Nils had bought himself as a present and which seemed to fascinate him and young Tom. Given that it was poor Nils who received for Christmas a year’s membership of the Labour party from his wife (my sister Naomi) I guess a slide rule is a notch up on the excitement scale.
I am too young to have used such a device but apparently you can get instruction manuals very easily…on the internet and it is odd to think of folks using such a device in the pre-calculator age but also that the only way a new generation can understand how such a device works is by using the same technology that killed it off in the first place.
So no fights and a lovely day. Happy anniversary to my father and his uber deluded leftie but otherwise utterly commendable wife Helen.