Around 4.30 yesterday afternoon a black storm swept in from the south-east, a mass of turbulent cloud seeded with fierce winds and hailstones. Trees were uprooted, traffic lights knocked out, vegetation shredded by the slashing hail and rivers of mud washed down the flooded streets.

It was, to recall a curiously heavy-footed term from my Eng Lit days, an ‘objective correlative,’ if you like, for some elements of drama at home – let me allude only obliquely to the kinds of last-minute jitters that may precede a wedding. A more serious anxiety over the course of the day lay with weather much further afield – the snowstorms which had closed down Heathrow had left Rob’s sister Cynthia, due to fly out from the States via London, out of contact and somewhere in limbo. Only late in the evening, after we had picked up Bob and Alida, Rob’s Chicago cousin and her husband, from the airport and brought them home for food, drink and a good yack (boy, can those Polish girls talk!) was Rob able to track Cynthia down, at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. The poor woman had been waiting in lines much of the day and was still wait-listed for a flight to London.

Cynthia is Rob’s witness at the wedding, and is supposed to be carrying my wedding ring for Rob. She also has with her Rob’s wedding dress and shoes. But we had to go to bed uncertain whether Cynthia would be able to make it out in time….

This morning the day dawned bright and warm and sunny. There was mail from Rob’s brother, Jim, in Detroit: Cynthia had made it onto a flight to London, and would be arriving Tuesday morning, the day of the wedding, via Paris.

We are keeping our fingers crossed, but it looks like she might make it, after all. She will be wrecked, but she will be here. Just in case her luggage has other plans, however (you may recall my previous experience with Air France and luggage, for which, incidentally, I have still to be refunded) Rob will go with Alida this afternoon to buy another dress for the wedding.

‘It’s a whole new day,’ Rob said to me, with some tenderness, as she prepared to head out the door to get her nails done. ‘Everything starts from here.’

‘You’ve got yourself a deal,’ I said. Enough of all this weather!

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