**This post is not in any way intended to make any statement about religion, it is a wonderful tale told with great fondness and admiration so please bear this in mind when reading**
This weekend my nephew Jedwards* was christened at the same church where me and Mr G got married.
One day whilst my sister had clearly taken leave of her senses, she asked me and Mr G to be Godparents (or "Grandparents" as I kept referring to it - whoops) so it was a very proud occasion for us.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday were all abnormally busy days for me, so subsequently three days without my usual "day off afternoon nap" meant that by the time I got home from work last night, I was ready for bed.
On Sunday morning my sister was up at 6:30am (a time of day I have not seen for years) and since I heard her tiptoeing around downstairs I thought I might as well get up and see if she needed any help.
It turned out she was getting all the baby's stuff organised for the day ahead. We were not scheduled to leave the house until 10:30am (which would ordinarily warrant a vague attempt by me at getting ready around 10am) but evidently there was lots to do. I was trusted with entertaining the baby whilst my sister got herself ready, so I managed to settle down with him on the sofa and showed him a special London edition of Murder, She Wrote that I had recorded a couple of weeks ago. If his first words are "Mrs Fletcher", I'll know he was paying attention.
The baby was allowed, nay encouraged, to go back to sleep after a couple of hours, but my sister had other plans for me. Namely, driving to Matalan to pick up a car full of helium balloons and almost kill us both as one popped right in my ear as I was driving along the A38.
Lessons learned from the morning:
- I am going to be a terrible mother who sleeps more than her own children.
- In spite of my good progress after the stress course, I'm still scared of everything, especially balloons.
Later that afternoon, the time of the christening had arrived and our family trekked up to the village church. On arrival, I spotted the vicar, who is something of a bohemian (and lovely) character, with what appeared to be a guitar case over his back.
"He's got his guitar!" I quipped excitedly at my sister, remembering some photos I had seen of another christening at this church.
My sister laughed nervously.
Baby Jedwards was good as gold (or "Good as Gode" as we say in Plymouth) and the service was certainly memorable.
At the start of the service, the vicar did indeed appear with an acoustic guitar, covered in the top corner with blue gaffer tape.
When it was time for the first hymn, the congregation sang Bread of Heaven, backed by the vicar on guitar.
For the next hymn, One More Step, he produced a range of percussion instruments and got all the kids out the front with the parents and godparents (/grandparents), clattering around out of time with tambourines, jingle bells, drums, etc and revealed that taped to the guitar with the blue gaffer tape was a HARMONICA, which he played at the same time!
And finally, he asked how our Swahili was, because in homage to the World Cup he had chosen an African hymn to finish with. So there, on that sunny Sunday afternoon, 50 of my sister & brother-in-law's nearest and dearest sang their little hearts out in Swahili with massive smiles on their faces, led by a vicar with a one-man band.
All that was missing was a foam hamburger as a prop.
Quite frankly it was incredible, everybody loved it and Mr G confessed he was mightily disappointed that we did not ask for the instruments on our wedding day. I have to say I'm inclined to agree. For my next wedding, that's what I'll request...
*Not his real name