The sophisticated man’s guide to calming those old pre-wedding nerves

Tonight, a special guest post. As top intellectual, media guru, community organiser and all-round Renaissance Man Austen Ivereigh prepares to celebrate his nuptuals, we join Dr Ivereigh as he finalises arrangements and prepares for his stag night. Take it away, Austen:

This is, for me, a hectic and stressful yet strangely exhilarating time. With the papal visit just weeks away, I have had to dedicate 110% to organising Catholic Voices: training the Voices in modern media techniques, giving them in-depth briefings on the questions they are likely to be asked, and making frequent appearances on News 24 to deliver devastating put-downs to ill-informed critics of the Church. (These can all handily be found on Jack Valero’s YouTube channel.) Yet I have also had to dedicate 110% to my beloved, and making sure that we have the perfect wedding. The superhuman exertions involved would have broken a lesser man.

It is of course absolutely wonderful to have had the use of our parish church in Pimlico for the happy day, and my profoundest thanks go to Canon Pat Browne for being so very obliging. Organising the guest list, with so many distinguished individuals invited, has been something of a headache, I don’t mind telling you. I had hoped that my new best friend David Cameron would come, but he informed me that he had some boring business appointment in America to go to. That was a dreadful disappointment.

But most people I’ve asked have been terribly keen. I remember calling my friend Boris Johnson to remind him that he hadn’t RSVPed to his invitation. “How the hell did you get this number?” boomed Boris in his inimitable light-hearted fashion. “Hi Boris,” I said, “I’m just calling to remind you that the wedding is happening this coming Saturday.” “You don’t say?” quipped good old Boris, “Let me check my diary for 2015.” What a joker good old Boris is! One of my closest friends, you know.

And Bruce Kent, too, proved to be a real joker. “Why are you inviting me?” he said, “I mean, we hardly know each other.” “Oh come on Brucie,” I reframed, “we go way back, remember? And you’ll lend so much tone to proceedings.” “Well,” joshed Bruce, “I suppose I might. I don’t have anything else on that day.” Bruce’s japery had me practically rolling around the floor, I can tell you!

And of course, I’ll be looking forward to seeing all my good friends from Citizens UK, my good friends from the Diocese of Westminster, my good friends from the Society of Jesus and my good friends from the Tablet. It makes one feel like a benevolent spider at the heart of a warm and cuddly web.

The stag night, at least, looks like being a little less dramatic. Of course, a sophisticated boulevardier like myself doesn’t need any minding, but it makes me feel better that I’m being guided in these matters by the maestro, who graciously allowed me to take notes on the whiteboard as he was telling me how these things are done in Barcelona. So, before Jack and I go out to hit the tequilas, there’s just a little primping and reframing to be done.

I’ve spent the afternoon relaxing with my favourite Isabel Allende novel, and am now getting into the zone with some groovy music on the hi-fi. I was going to go for Boney M, but on Jack’s advice I’ve chosen to reframe that as Julio Iglesias. And Jack was spot on: just listening to Julio’s golden tones makes me feel ready for action.

And now to get myself outfitted. Rather than wearing one of the matching tracksuits my beloved and I like to wear, I’ve decided on a special dress tracksuit in burgundy velour. Two – no, three – cigars in the top pocket, just in case. My platform shoes are shined especially. A generous splash of the old Hai Karate. And Jack has advised me to go bare-chested save for a big gold crucifix. Jack says it drives the chicas wild.

Rest assured, I won’t be too bad as I say goodbye to the single life. I do have a position to uphold, after all. Although, if I do need to go to Confession, at least I can feel confident that Canon Pat Browne will be terribly understanding. I can confess whatever I remember through my hangover, and he’ll give me a sympathetic pat on the back and a decade of the Rosary. Maybe a bracing cup of tea.

Soon, though, all this singleton frivolity will be behind me, and I shall have the respectable married estate to look forward to. It is with some trepidation and yet anticipation that I embark on this adventure… but no, you’re not going to get my wedding speech out of me. And shame on you for trying! But my thanks to you for your interest and your moral support. Cheerio, and see you on YouTube!

12 Comments

  1. leftfooter said,

    July 24, 2010 at 12:53 am

    So where’s my invitation?

  2. Garibaldy said,

    July 24, 2010 at 12:59 am

    What are the chances of a comedy blog on this story?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/24/catholic-church-gay-priests-exposed

    • shane said,

      July 24, 2010 at 3:07 am

      = reason #1050451 for a new Inquisition.

      But how very very typical of Novus Ordo priests, most of whom are about as straight as a roundabout. Lord save the Church from this Lavender Mafia.

      Pope St. Pius V:

      That horrible crime, on account of which corrupt and obscene cities were destroyed by fire through divine condemnation, causes us most bitter sorrow and shocks our mind, impelling us to repress such a crime with the greatest possible zeal.

      Quite opportunely the Fifth Lateran Council issued this decree: “Let any member of the clergy caught in that vice against nature, given that the wrath of God falls over the sons of perfidy, be removed from the clerical order or forced to do penance in a monastery” (chap. 4, X, V, 31).

      So that the contagion of such a grave offense may not advance with greater audacity by taking advantage of impunity, which is the greatest incitement to sin, and so as to more severely punish the clerics who are guilty of this nefarious crime and who are not frightened by the death of their souls, we determine that they should be handed over to the severity of the secular authority, which enforces civil law.

      Therefore, wishing to pursue with greater rigor than we have exerted since the beginning of our pontificate, we establish that any priest or member of the clergy, either secular or regular, who commits such an execrable crime, by force of the present law be deprived of every clerical privilege, of every post, dignity and ecclesiastical benefit, and having been degraded by an ecclesiastical judge, let him be immediately delivered to the secular authority to be put to death, as mandated by law as the fitting punishment for laymen who have sunk into this abyss.

      (Constitutionn Horrendum illud scelus, August 30, 1568, in Bullarium Romanum, Rome: Typographia Reverendae Camerae Apostolicae, Mainardi, 1738, chap. 3, p. 33)

      • Mark P said,

        July 24, 2010 at 9:26 pm

        Nothing like the gays to get the unpleasant amongst us to display their unpleasantness. In a way they peform a valuable public service.

      • shane said,

        July 24, 2010 at 9:44 pm

        I don’t have any problem with people who suffer from homosexual inclinations (quite the opposite), but they have no place in the Catholic priesthood.

      • BenSix said,

        July 25, 2010 at 12:00 am

        I don’t have any problem with people who suffer from homosexual inclinations…

        If they’re suffering, dear, they’re hiding it well.

      • shane said,

        July 25, 2010 at 12:20 am

        Sorry if my comment above was too general. I was scandalized by the Guardian article but I do distinguish between homosexual inclination and homosexual practice.

        The very liberal Father Andrew Greeley, an Irish-American Catholic sociologist, has written for a long time on the ‘Lavender Mafia’ who have dominated the Catholic priesthood since the 60s. Few things infuriate me more than priests who violate their vow of chastity (which for a priest is a serious sacrilege), but to do it so obstinately and feel no shame is utterly reprehensible. An inquisition can not come soon enough!

      • WorldbyStorm said,

        July 25, 2010 at 8:59 am

        Do you genuinely believe this is an issue which arose in the 1960s, Shane?

        I find that hard to believe.

      • magistra said,

        July 26, 2010 at 6:34 am

        Shane, you quote a previous Pope as saying that gay priests should be executed (now, you may quibble that it’s not the church itself doing the executing, but it’s certainly approving and enabling it). Do you think Pius V was right or wrong to say that gay priests should be executed? That’s a simple yes-no question, because I want to check just what your views are. And what of the rest of you traditional Catholics commentating here?

      • Liadnan said,

        July 27, 2010 at 11:28 am

        @magistra: Trads and fellow travellers are a pretty broad spectrum in the Catholic church (and, as with Anglicans, there are more than a few gays among them, including, rumour has it, some notable examples and others who make no secret of it): I think it’s only a tiny fraction of a fraction of the frothing fringe who would say Pius V was right about that.

  3. Res Miranda said,

    July 24, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    There will be a wailing and gnashing of teeth amongst the disappointed demoiselles of Pimlico, as “Dr” Ivereigh quits the hurly-burly of the chaise-longue. Still, it’s a nice day for a white wedding, even if the groom is rather shop-soiled and the bride somewhat past her sell-by date. So let’s raise a glass of Cremisan to toast the happy couple and wish that their union may be long and fruitful.
    I did try to choose a tasteful gift from their list at John Lewis, but mysteriously, it’s been deactivated, so I shall be sponsoring a Cafod latrine in Africa in their names instead.

    https://www.johnlewisgiftlist.com/giftint/findagiftlist

    I was disappointed to hear that they will not be honeymooning in the Holy Land courtesy of 5th Gospel Retreats, but pleased that their unknown destination requires the purchase of his’n’hers safari suits – so flattering to the mature figure.
    And I am sure that on their return the blushing bride is looking forward to getting to know her charming mother-in-law better: they have so much in common, both being highly-qualified accountants.

  4. Res Miranda said,

    July 24, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    And here’s a sneak preview of the bride and groom preparing for their big day:


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