As I sit here, staring at my computer screen, suddenly I'm overcome with immense fear. Not because time is slipping speedily away from me and I have deadlines to meet. Nor am I overly concerned about entering a room above a pub later this evening, full of people expecting me to fill their lives with joy and frivolity (well for 20 minutes, at least).
No, dear reader, none of the above occupies my mind at this precise moment. In fact, not even news of an asteroid, hurtling towards my home, leaving me with less than 3.8 seconds to gather all my possessions, clothes and loved ones, before being crushed under 10,000 tons of rock, could make me feel any worse.
The reason for my current depression is a phone call I have just received from my mother. She has informed me, in her beautiful, soft Jamaican accent, that Dana, my youngest sister is planning to get married on 1 August.
Not that I have a problem with her husband-to-be. Far from it, Paul is a very, very, very nice man and I'm sure he'll make her a good partner in their life together. What I'm worried about are the days leading up to this union.
Allow me to explain. When regular people organise a wedding and invite 100 guests, 100 guests turn up. When my family invite 100 people, 397 turn up. And they all come armed with the same story: "What do you mean, they can't come in? These are my cousins, his wife and their six children from Manchester. What am I supposed to do? Leave them at home? "
This may sound a little extreme, but my family have worked out that a wedding is the only place on God's green earth where you can consume pounds 50- worth of food and drink for only pounds 1.99-worth of present. These people know a bargain when they see one. They walk in and say: "Here's your oven gloves, now where's the menu?"
Add this to the endless days and nights of trying to sit all the original guests at the appropriate tables (and locating benches for the others), coupled with the arguments, fighting, disappointments, back-stabbing, crying, buying, frying and on-going character assassinations (and that's just the page boys!).
I think I'll head off to Bosnia for some peace and quiet.Reuse content