This was my first full day spent in Harpenden since we moved in over two weeks ago. I wasn't doing a gig and I didn't need to go into town. Even though there was a lot of admin and work to get done it was the most relaxing day I've had for several weeks.
So far the flat has just been a place to lay down my head on those rare occasions that I wasn't staying in a Premier Inn somewhere in the UK and I hadn't really got much sense of where it was or of the town we have made our adoptive home for the next few months. But today we went into town to have some lunch and do a supermarket shop and later I would walk from the flat to the nearest post box and I got a real sense that we are living in the countryside. It was quiet and I could hear birds singing and I liked it.
We're going to be living in London for a little while to come (I have to get my money's worth out of the work we're getting done to the house) but another sign (if one were needed) of my increasing middle age is my delight at being out of town. But maybe I just felt delighted that I wasn't driving for six hours to go from south Wales to the Lake District. It's hard to know.
We had lots of wedding stuff to sort out. I only have a month of being a single man left now - sure I may have the opportunity to be a divorcee or a widow at some point in the future, but these things are not the same as being a single, never married man. There are lots of things that need sorting out, but one by one we're ticking them off. We sorted out a DJ and flowers today, as well as some honeymoon arrangements (we've only got a couple of days as I am back on tour the Wednesday after our nuptials) and we also looked over the vows. As we're getting married in a registry office, we're allowed to say pretty much whatever we like - as long as, weirdly enough, it has no religious content - and whilst there's some things that legally have to be in there, we can write most of the stuff anew. It's an amazing power to give to a comedian, because I want to fill the service with romantic and not so romantic subversion. There's an old Fist of Fun sketch in which the wedding service is parodied with different vows cynically explaining the "truth" of wedlock and the groom has to say "I am but a rat in a trap" which I was very tempted to add into my actual wedding vows. Remarkably my brilliant fiancee didn't seem to mind and was almost encouraging me (this is why I am marrying her, kids, she's super cool), though I am not sure she was up for saying the bride's lines from that skit, which mainly revolved around being a whore as I recall.
But as fun as it is to think about funny things that we could do and say or inappropriate readings (I suggested today that one of my friends could read the lyrics to "What is Love, Anyway?" by Howard Jones) ultimately I think I want to play it pretty straight. I want us to have fun and laugh and enjoy ourselves, but anything too undermining might get some laughter but would also probably ruin the whole thing. As amusing as it is to think of the worst possible thing you could say or have read (like the doo doo dah by the Police). I still think that if I have any kids I want to call them Red, Rufus, Ruby and Scarlett, because that will be hilarious (I think I could have got some of these past my missus without her realising why I was doing it) and I think Ruby Herring particularly would be a really cool name for the right person. It's a slow burning joke and one that many people wouldn't spot at all and if you were a together and cool person who could pull it off it might be a good way to overcome the uncoolness of the name Herring. But if you're an uncool person, which given the genes I would be contributing to this said and non-existent person, chances are they'd be a nerd who would just cry herself (or definitely himself) to sleep at all the nicknames they were being called. Being a literal Red Herring might sound like it'd be kind of cool, but like me explaining why I am an ensnared rodent in my wedding vows is funny as an idea, it's probably less cool in reality.
I'm still going to try and slip it through though, if we ever decide to have some sexcrement of our own. And if all else fails Ruby Herring could become a stripper or a porn star - though maybe the fish association isn't such a good one in those professions.
There's a time and a place for comedy and for most of mine I think the place is inside my head, unsaid. But if enjoying living in Harpenden wasn't enough of a sign that I am becoming a grown up then the fact that I am not going to give my children joke names probably seals the deal. The me of five years ago would be appalled by my conformity.