Friends who could not be at this occasion have wondered what I said when my turn came in the speech-making. Good or bad, fair or foul, this was it.
Time & Date delivered: 1400, Saturday 5th May 2018
Location: Culcreuch Castle Hotel, Fintry, Scotland.
Bride & Groom: Kirsten Tipping & Martin Boyle.
I’m told that it’s a custom for the father of the bride
To give a speech; so here’s a guide
That in a brief poetic time
Gives one man’s thoughts – but then I’m
In the job of Dad to four
So why not listen then if you’re
Perhaps to face this daunting task
With girl unwed and yet to ask.
Or maybe you’re just feeling merry
From liquid gold of grape or berry.
Whatever – pin those lugholes back
A wisp of fun these words won’t lack.
So we are here because one day
Two parents met and later – hey!
Out popped a babe, it was a girl
In truth some years but what a whirl.
This girl is sister; two brothers first
From earlier years they both had burst
Upon the scene, so shocked were they
To find a sister on their lap lay.
So Kirsten came and what a joy
Then second came, again no boy.
But Kirsten loved her sibling new
And they still speak with love so Phew!
In fact so full of love was K
For this new babe she shopped away
And found a lovely fluffy thing
She gave to Sis the toy she’d bring.
But there is sting since father may
Throw out this toy in careless way.
This fluffy joy was yellow duck;
My horror thought “Oh, what the - flipping heck”.
But let’s go back to age of two
When Kirsten was so sweet and new.
Adults have matters that are fine
To undertake but cross the line ...
For children to completely do
Like clean and tidy just as new.
So when a carpet gets a sprinkle
From little girls who do a tinkle;
Parents with a deftest touch
Clean up quickly and, as much
As little girls can be like mother
Cleaning carpets is just no bother.
So seeing mother using water
To dilute sprinkles as she aught-er;
Kirsten, when upstairs a-playing
Wet her carpet, she thought laying
Water over said occasion
Would be perfect, no persuasion.
This was fine until the flow
Came through the ceiling down below.
Up dashed the parents moving fast
And found the bedroom more than splashed.
So out the window carpet goes
And in the garden water flows;
But father says to mother “Dear -
That carpet old is gone, no fear;
So we’ll get new and what we choose
That’s good job done, we win, not lose”.
Now on we move through early years
Through happy laughs and sometimes tears
To early school with play and books;
A pretty child with angel looks.
A caring careful child was she;
No tomboy this as we could see;
Her sister did that role embrace
With laughing smile in mucky face.
Example speaks of many a word.
A velvet dress – that’s right, you heard
On little girl a crazy choice
But Kirsten’s skill did give a voice ...
To mother who believed in her;
At party time this dress like fur
Did go out clean and then return
Without a mark or singe or burn.
So careful was this girl of ours
She played like child for hours and hours;
But miracles - she still had fun
But kept that dress from cake and bun.
She came home happy and the dress
So unmarked did she so impress;
This care and thought, she has it still;
And pass it on? Perhaps she will.
Returning to my little tale
Of Kirsten’s life, I never fail
To be as proud of little things
As bigger stuff that her life brings.
It is a fact that I quite like
That I came late to ride a bike
So helping children learn to ride
Is something that I view with pride.
It is a truth though for us all
That life can have a sudden fall;
So when a bike she came to try
She wasn’t quick to cycle by.
Some of you know we love to camp -
I mean holiday, dry or damp;
Not how I walk though sometimes run;
It’s canvas past, by van now done.
It was while camping with our friends;
The weather sun and rain it sends
Where Kirsten learned to ride a bike;
A picture in my head I like
To fondly wind through memory’s eye
As down a rutted path she’d fly
With only wheels at front and rear
No extra wheels to help her fear.
The freedom she had longed to find
Was now all hers with fear behind;
She’d now been launched for good and all
To feel the speed her soul enthral.
Then as first decade on this earth
Came past as memory of her birth;
Her parents, tired of several things
Sold house and moved where Burns’ Night brings
Grown adults speaking ancient rhyme
Addressing puddings like the time
When folk believed in faeries’ spells
And whisky came to sound of - Bells.
And so we came to Scottish land
In fact, to Crieff, though part unplanned;
My elder son was here, no less
And I one word to him address.
Back at the time when Kirsten still
Was unborn lump and like small hill;
My son suggested second name
For sister new – and so it came
That Kirsten has two Celtic words
To give her reference amongst the hordes.
The first a name that Scots do use;
The second, Welsh, for her to choose
Which branch of Celtic she prefers.
I think I know but choice is hers.
But Kirsten, Rhiannon do unfurl
Both lovely names for lovely girl.
Back then I go to early days
When Joka also with her plays;
This is no card trick, Joka barks
And adds to Rusty’s silly larks.
These were two Cavalier hounds
By name not nature - but then found
Each with their girl, they soon are sat
Prefer to lie and just get fat.
But we are mindful and the two
Get walks and runs - and not a few.
And Joka’s sweet, a little dim
But we all still remember him.
With hole in heart, this little mutt
Should linger less – and there’s a ‘but’
Amazing vets and all who hears
He carries on for fifteen years.
So here we are in Scotland’s heart
And education played its part
In making Kirsten what she is;
The ups and downs, the falls and fizz.
So after time in local school
To further place where nuns once rule.
Her father, unconvinced on God,
Reluctant, gives her choice the nod.
But Kirsten, with her spirits free
Sails through subjects one, two, three.
Gets perfect end as Standards come,
Then Higher and Higher advances some.
She heads for Law and Glasgow’s Green
Since in that place her future’s seen.
She studies well and is well read
Then Lawyer not, but then it’s said
That Lawyers are a shifty bunch
So try elsewhere and face the crunch
Of being happy first and then
Perhaps less dosh but better ken
That happy is a better place
Than being in a ruthless race
To get ahead at any cost;
Relax, slow down, love the most.
And this new way has brought us here
Because the man she now holds dear (and her husband)
Was met in selling food, cooked fine;
Her boss, no less, with skill in wine.
So now this speech is near its end
And down the road to love we wend.
The two folk here are now to go
Through thick and thin as one and so
I wish them all the best there is
And know they answer to the quiz
That they aren’t perfect, either one,
But love the other when’s said and done.
When times get tough and there’s a strain,
Remember sunshine follows rain.
You both have folk who love you well
So take it easy and don’t dwell
On life’s reverses and its pain;
Love is all and lets you gain
The lift that fixes problems when
You need it most, right there and then.
So that’s all folks, just let me say
That it’s a lie to “give away”
One’s daughter on the day she’s wed;
It costs a bomb, so that’s that said.