Sunday, 1 October 2017

My son’s wedding

The preparation of my son’s wedding started more than a year ago when they announced their engagement. For us it was more an emotional preparation than real work, as Lorenzo and Layla did most of the planning and organization. Her mother helped as well so everything was in place when the day arrived. On our part, we had only to think about family and friends coming from Italy and about the bomboniere, an Italian thing we give to guests at celebrations, like for the first holy communion, confirmation, graduation, etc. We put confetti (sugared almonds) in it, fake flowers as decoration and a little silver or porcelain object as tradition. Layla chose all the different parts and I assembled them with the help of the Italian grandmothers. We also booked hotel rooms near Samlesbury Hall, where the wedding took place, for the Italians and spent two wonderful days all together.

The day of the wedding went very smoothly, it rained in the morning but when the ceremony started in the early afternoon it was dry and bright. Samlesbury Hall is an impressive 14th century manor in Lancashire, timber-framed outside and with exquisitely engraved wooden furniture inside. The wedding ceremony in the Great Hall was moving, when Lorenzo and Layla pronounced their vows they were so authentic and looked so happy and in love that I was really touched. Everything was simple, genuine and elegant at the same time, from Layla’s wedding dress to the flower arrangements, the speeches and the guests’ participation. The predominant colours were cream and lilac, that expressed well the overall mood.

After the ceremony we had the photos. At this point my daughter Valentina joined us dressed up for the occasion, thanks to the brave staff of Fullerton house school who took her from Doncaster. She was so happy to be there and stuck to us the entire time. In some way she understood it was a special event as she was keen to be near the bride and appear in the photos.

Before dinner we had the speeches starting from Layla’s father, who evoked Layla’s brilliant achievements and her determination; it was nice and funny. Then it was Lorenzo’s turn; he spoke about the first time they met at Keswick school and how they fell in love. My husband spoke after it and finally I read a poem I wrote specially for them. They are here below in English and in Italian.
What else can I say? It was a perfect, wonderful day. We enjoyed it and that is clear from the photos. We felt so proud of my son and my daughter in law, not only for the wedding but above all for who they are: two lovely earnest young people profoundly in love with each other.

Wedding speech for Layla and Lorenzo (father of the groom)
Let’s start from the beginning. It was a hot hot day the 4th July 1993, and I wasn’t there. I was on a trip with my university colleagues in the Netherlands as the baby was due at the end of the month. When I arrived in the evening, Carla was recovering from a Caesarean in a 40° C hospital room with no air conditioning and Lorenzo was sleeping peacefully. I was flabbergasted to see my copy in him, blond hair, blue eyes, big feet. A much better copy according to the grandparents, definitely the most beautiful baby of the ward.

I must say he learned quickly to cope with his dad, wearing me out playing beach tennis and answering my trick questions. For example one day I found a foam fishing net float on the beach and not knowing myself the name of the object, I asked my two year old son, who promptly said ‘milocco’, creating a new word on the spot. The thing became ‘milocco’ in the family jargon and I still don’t know what the exact name is in Italian.
Another undoubtable talent he showed since an early age was his capacity to memorize. He could learn by heart whole books of nursery rhymes after having heard them only two or three times (at the time he hadn’t learned to read yet) and was able to recite them with confidence from beginning to end. Hours of videos can prove it.
I can’t avoid mentioning his innate capacity of making friends. As soon as we reached a new holiday site, he had new friends in a blink of an eye, busy playing new games while his siblings stalked him close behind.
Growing up we shared more interests:
  • Mathematics
  • A tendency to choose petite, dark haired and brown eyed partners
  • A visceral innate love for sports, especially Italian football
I can’t forget all the times we watched together the Italian team playing at European or World championships at home, supporting the players in words (swear words) and actions (waving at random), shouting our unison roar of victory every time we scored. A passion we share from the bottom of our hearts.
Last but not least his best achievements is having met and married such a clever and pretty girl like Layla.

Discorso per le nozze di Layla e Lorenzo (padre dello sposo)
Cominciamo dall’inizio. Era un giorno molto caldo il 4 luglio 1993, e io non c’ero. Ero in Olanda in gita con i miei colleghi dell’università dato che la nascita del bambino sarebbe dovuta avvenire alla fine del mese. Quando arrivai la sera Carla si stava riprendendo dal cesareo in una stanza d’ospedale con 40 gradi e senza aria condizionata e Lorenzo stava dormendo pacificamente. Fui sbalordito nel vedere la mia copia in lui: capelli biondi, occhi azzurri, piedi grossi. Una copia molto migliore secondo i nonni, decisamente il bambino più bello del reparto.

Devo dire che ha imparato velocemente ad avere a che fare col suo papà sfinendomi a racchettoni sulla spiaggia e rispondendo alle mie domande trabocchetto. Ad esempio un giorno trovai un galleggiante per reti da pesca sulla spiaggia e non sapendo il nome dell’oggetto lo chiesi al mio figlio di due anni, che prontamente rispose ‘milocco’, creando una nuova parola all’impronta. Il coso fu chiamato milocco in famiglia e ancora oggi non so il suo esatto nome in italiano.
Un altro indubbio talento che ha evidenziato sin dalla più tenera età, è stata la sua capacità di memorizzare. Riusciva a imparare a memoria interi libri di filastrocche dopo averli ascoltati solo due o tre volte (a quel tempo non aveva ancora imparato a leggere) e li recitava senza batter ciglio dall’inizio alla fine. Ore di registrazione video lo possono provare.
Non posso fare a meno di citare la sua innata capacità di fare amicizia. Appena arrivavamo a una nuova destinazione per le vacanze, Lorenzo si faceva dei nuovi amici in un batter d’occhio, subito occupato in nuovi giochi e con i fratelli alle scalcagna.
Crescendo abbiamo condiviso alcuni interessi:
  •  La matematica
  •  Una tendenza a scegliere una partner bassina con capelli scuri e occhi scuri
  •  Una passione innata e viscerale per gli sport, specialmente il calcio italiano
Non mi posso dimenticare tutte le volte che abbiamo guardato insieme alla televisione le partite della squadra italiana che giocava ai campionati europei e mondiali, facevamo il tifo a parole (ovvero parolacce) e a gesti (gesticolando a casaccio), urlando all’unisono il nostro grido di vittoria ogni volta che segnavamo. Una passione che condividiamo dal profondo dei nostri cuori.
E infine il suo più  grande successo è l’aver incontrato e sposato una ragazza intelligente e carina come Layla.

On the occasion of Layla and Lorenzo’s wedding
Though life is a chance at sea
in rough and reckless winds
or calm enchanting waters,
may your boat be steady and hopeful
in all the weathers.

The prow on course
the sail upright
through marshes, breakers and shallows,
may the benign star that today shines
keep you warm in days to follow.

May your house be a harbour
full of new voices,
the rooms resounding deeply,
may the future make you proud
as you make us sunny now.

In occasione delle nozze di Layla e Lorenzo
Sebbene la vita sia una scommessa
giocata tra venti barbari in un mare incerto
o in acque tranquille ed ebbre,
la vostra barca proceda sicura e fiduciosa
in ogni clima.

La prora a dritta
la vela tesa
attraverso stagni, cavalloni e secche,
che la stella benigna che oggi splende
vi riscaldi nei giorni a venire.

La vostra casa sia un porto
per  voci nuove,
le stanze risuonino profonde,
possa il futuro rendervi orgogliosi
come noi siamo ora felici.

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