Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day (cleanskies) wrote,
Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day

a phonecall to wroxton

On the list of approved civl ceremony venues in Oxfordshire, I find Wroxton and its follies, home of the famed dyed pigeons. It's past Banbury, but I had to call (its website is unforthcoming about mundanities like availabilities and booking fees).

The woman on the other end of the line makes some abrupt noises and tells me that I'll have to talk to Brenda. She drops me into some classical music, which sinks slowly into a sound like the wind whistling through a long-deserted passageway. This gives way to weird, underwater noises, before the tinkly piano returns in brief, fitful bursts. Brenda picks up the phone. "Well, what were you thinking of?" she asks. I make what I feel is a fairly uncontroversially matrimonial suggestion. Well, we don't really do that any more, she says, although we do do some weddings, of course.

I'm confused.

Well, why don't you tell me what you can offer? I ask. No, she can't tell me. Well, they do have a Doric Temple and people do get married there, of course, but I'll have to phone a man named Matthew Hart, who lives down in the village. He organises it all, apparently. The conversation fizzles on, occasionally scattering a little information. They used to do receptions, but it got to be too much. They don't know of any local hotels. I'll really have to talk to Mr Hart. He's the one who deals with all of that.

I make my excuses, hang up and wonder if the strange end of Oxfordshire is a bit too strange for me. She's left me the number of Mr Hart. But I can't shake the feeling that if I call it, a soft, Oxfordshire-accented voice will reply, "Hello, you're through to Summerisle wedding planners. Now, would you like pigeons, crows or buzzards as sacrifices for the ceremony?"

In other news: Tim would like the wedding cake to look like this, although apparently it's not crucial that the pieces rotate.
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