The Party

After the Rain

A long table was laid outdoors for the wedding feast. Just after the wedding there was a brief flurry of rain, which soaked the napkins on the dinner table, so there was an interlude while they were dried. After that the weather continued as fine as it had been ever since we arrived in Estonia. The table was laid at intervals with a bottle of red wine, a bottle of white and a bottle of vodka. The meal was a sort of sit-down buffet, excellent as all the food was at Leigo Farm. It included hot dishes like grilled pork and roast potatoes, as well as brawn, beetroot and potato salad and pickled herrings. At intervals during the meal, one or other of the guests would shout, 'Kibe! Kibe! Kibe!' - a complaint that the food was bitter, which meant that the bride and groom had to kiss each other until it turned sweet again. Afterwards, David and Katre had to hand over a signed certificate that they had carried out various other wedding customs on their behalf during the coach trip to the wedding. As well as the usual speeches, Mark made one in Estonian, which was greeted with great hilarity by the Estonians, who hadn't understood a word he said, and were relieved when he translated it into English. (He did, however, pronounce Klaire's name correctly throughout - the rest of us tended to pronounce it like the English name Claire - leading me to rhyme it, not quite accurately, with diary in a limerick I wrote for the guest book later.)

Mark and Klaire at the Party - Photo: Sean Knight

After the speeches came the dancing, at first very traditional. Creina was not impressed with my waltzing, pointing out that I had my hands the wrong way round, while I accused her of leading, which was the only technical fault I'd actually heard of. Soon we all left the floor (actually a platform) to the bridal couple, who were very impressive, Mark throwing Klaire all over the place. (They admitted later that they'd had a crash course.)

Robert at the Party - Photo: Sean Knight

I am not the best person to write about the events that followed, as Creina and I were exhausted after the journey and subsequent events, so went to bed early. From our room, we could of course hear the music going on - a lot of rock and roll, played by an Estonian group who sounded as if they had been brought up on Elvis from an early age - but it didn't keep us awake long.

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