Here we go:
It was an entirely surreal experience having an entire party of 120+ people at this very space and time there specifically for us, and dragged there at our impetus. I felt equally grand and equally humble and (crucially) equally so worried that everything would go wrong.
In these occasions you can’t really have any meaningful discussions. You literally spend (if you’re lucky) 2 minutes with each person saying “hello” and maybe another 2 minutes saying “goodbye”.
The whole event proceeds like a hurricane. It is over before you realise it.
And knowing that our guests would be giving us gifts of cold hard cash — I wanted to make this experience worth their while. So I prepared a speech.
Before “the speech” I was a mess. A FUCKING MESS. I went around the room willing people to feel my ears — they were burning up. I was running a temperature at least 101. I went to the toilet about 3 times in 1 hour. But then it was time.
And my speech was ALL JOKES. That was all it was. It was an “anti-speech”. It was designed to be at first quite ordinary and mundane. But at every point where it just might descend into gushing sentimentality — it veered in a new direction. And when it looked like being real or pedestrian, I tried to transform it into a quasi-farce.
I just wanted to get laughs and make everyone happy and feel that they had got their money’s worth. I felt so guilty having all these people here on our account and giving us presents as well.
So in the lead-up I laboured over this speech and rehearsed and rehearsed but I didn’t expect to get any laughs. Bizarrely I got the laughs and the biggest laugh came from an ad-lib which was amazing. Fucking amazing. Thanks to all those who got my jokes. I was especially glad that Conan (and Wintah) appreciated it.
After it all I got a few pats on the back which was equally amazing. Totally.
Shirts and Ryan and Dan
These are the randoms that came inside our party. I was like — “Um, I don’t think you’re meant to be here.” And then Claire came upon us and wanted a picture. Surreal.
Mary-Anne and Dee and Terry
And Shirts and Mary-Anne (and Dan)