Last Christmas Debbie and I got tickets to see Brian Conley in the Savoy theatreMonmouth from Alex & Emily, which was a fantastic gift, but unknowing to them we’d already bought tickets as soon as we’d heard about him coming to Wales!
We’d all watched him as a family together in the early 90’s on TV’s the Brian Conley Show with characters such as Nick Frisbee and Larry the Loafer, Dangerous Brian and Septic Peg amongst our favourites.
As a result, I asked my old T.A. friend Quentin Clesham and his partner Hayley to come with us and enjoy the show last Thursday 24th March, with them staying overnight afterwards, before they went back home to Penarth the following morning.
They nearly missed the show’s start as Quentin’s work didn’t finish until 5.30pm, so instead of driving to Abergavenny and joining us in the car, they drove straight to Monmouth and funnily enough chose the same car park opposite Waitrose too!
The Savoy theatre is only tiny, the venue was packed and no-one was disappointed by Brian’s performance which was better than ever. He got a standing ovation at the end and his singing, comedy & reminisces was great entertainment.
The highlight for us was his false arm and violin rendition of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” with his rather long forefinger pointing out of his trouser fly! We all got back safely to Llanfoist after the show and retired to bed just after midnight.
We had to get up relatively early the following day as we were picking up Alex, Emily & Emma from the National Express stop in Newport and we needed to get preparations (including lots of shopping) done ready for their stay and I had to drop off James in town for work.
All went without a hitch in terms of driving to Newport and picking them up from the bus although preparations were helped by a delay in is arrival due to the Bank Holiday traffic and we quickly got back home ready for them all to settle in. Eventually I picked up James from work who showed off his new Blue Cross uniform given to him that day.
As part of the ongoing engagement celebrations Debbie & Emma had decorated a cake and we had a card, a balloon and some presents to hand out to the happy couple later that evening with a toast of Prosecco and Appletiser!
A big, but a very nice surprise came with the news that Alex wanted James to be his “best man” at next year’s wedding. After being taken aback for a second James was very proud to accept!
After a good night’s sleep I dropped James off at work again on Friday morning with plans for us all to meet him for lunch at our favourite Caffe Nero as well as doing a bit of shopping (& mooching of the indoor market) beforehand.
This included Emma upgrading her old EE mobile into an iPhone 5s – with dad in moral support – while “Mam”, Alex & Emily sat down behind reviewing other options while we were being served!
All too quickly we had to drop off the happy couple back in Newport in rather inclement weather but we did that without a hitch and they got back safely later that Saturday evening.
Today we had a request from Alex & Emily to have a “FaceTime” videoconference around 1.30pm and so Debbie proceeded to do her full makeup routine in order to look good for the occasion. I on the other hand had started to grow a beard (again) the day before, so made the command decision to go for the status quo!
The call to Debbie’s pink iPad Air duly came through after many abortive attempts our side to dial Alex’s and despite us guessing wrongly that the topic was all about them buying their new house, so we got an even nicer surprise when we saw Emily wearing a beautiful engagement ring!
After Debbie stopped crying and I managed to stop grinning like a Cheshire cat (not before displaying my own new gold chain of course) we got the full story of the proposal, the night before on the Albert Bridge, where Alex had booked two musicians (1 a cellist I believe) to serenade her after popping the question. Fortunately she said yes! 🙂
Truly a VIP indeed and we all sent our congratulations to the happy couple – with James & Emma reminding their big brother of how the three of them looked in a slightly older photograph -before he got engaged!