My daughter got married on the island of Santorini last month. It was not quite what I expected. What's wrong with the cathedral, I said or the chapel in St Andrews? When she was at university there I had visions of a misty autumn day and the long wide beaches. Santorini is famous for its black sand and volcanic rock, its hot summers and its superb sunsets.
There's nothing wrong with the sunsets in Stanhope, I said, where I have my caravan. Only a couple of weeks ago we had a bright red mackerel sky. You could have been married at the Abbey in Blanchland for less than three hundred pounds.
She didn't take any notice. So twenty of us ended up on the Greek Island of Santorini. It'll be as hot as hell, I said, there'll be mosquitoes and I'm bound to be ill. It is almost a joke among my friends that every time I leave the country I' m ill but of course I had missed the most essential point, that this was not about me. We do tend to put ourselves in the centre of everything. I suppose it's natural. No wonder some people go abroad and then ring their mothers to say they are married, much easier than having the old girl along, being grumpy and embarrassing.