Sorry about that. Normal service will now resume.

I’ll admit the weather was a little sub-par, but apart from that, the Crosby-Macgowan wedding was pretty much perfect. We arrived at the marquee pitched on the Wilderstein lawn just as Miss Emily began playing Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 on her viola. We bumped into Mike and Cheryl and were thrilled when Paul appeared in the nick of time. Being Paul, he had tales of derring-do: he’d driven up from Atlanta in a 1991 BMW he’d bought from a charity wrecking yard. He’d had to replace the fuel tank because it had rusted through and when he parked it on a hill all the gas leaked out. He also lost a windscreen wiper blade, improvised with a t-shirt, and when that didn’t work, just stuck the wiper out so it gestured impotently in the rain. Paul always hugely enjoys these vehicular misadventures, which is lucky, because he seems to have rather a lot of them.

Tori was Best Woman and wore a splendid dress made from indigo and gold brocade. Kathryn appeared in a sumptuous wedding gown, all drifts of crimson and azure silk under white lace, with a lovely Victorian headpiece. The reading, from Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, was so beautiful and touching that I ran out yesterday to buy it for a friend. When the deed was done, Kathryn came dancing up the aisle with her brand new husband. I may have blubbed. The chronicles are unclear on this point. What is known is that I love a good wedding, me.

After the ceremony we got to explore the house, which was the home of FDR’s distant cousin and dear friend Daisy Suckley. It’s an exquisite Queen Anne mansion decorated in the aesthetic style by one of the Tiffanys. Many of the volunteers who maintain and preserve the place are descended from the Suckley’s cooks and butlers.

“People like the Suckleys, they just lived off the capital,” explained a docent. “Whereas our parents, who came from Europe and went into domestic service, saved their money and bought land of their own.”

There’s your social history of the modern West.

Lunch at the Cripple Creek Restaurant in nearby Rhinebeck was as glorious as you’d expect from Matthew and Kathryn, which is very glorious indeed. The wines were extraordinary, starting with the sparkling Hermitage, like dark fizzy blood. Later I was overcome by good cheer and had to be helped to bed, but Rach Honnery assures me she remembers everything and will tell me all about it, by and by.

On Sunday we took the scenic route back to Boston, arrived with an hour to spare for our flight and spent that entire hour in airport security. They frisked Claire for weapons and undressed me to my singlet. Maybe I looked disgruntled. On the six-hour flight to San Francisco, Claire stood on Jeremy’s tray table and hooted at the baby in the seat in front, much to the delight of everyone in earshot, I am sure. The infinitely gracious Robert Walsh picked up three very weary Chalmers-Fitzhardinges at the airport, and the cat Bebe failed to conceal her overjoyedness at having us home.

Last week we tried to catch up on everything – paying bills, debriefing friends, woogling the cat and so forth. In theory at least, we are all caught up now.

I want to go on another trip.

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