I drove up to the local supermarket at lunchtime to get a few groceries for the cookery kitchen. Almost all of the major retailers are all only five minutes away from the school. For me, SuperValu is often the one of choice, because of my confidence that most items will be in-stock.

Quish’s SuperValu have a particularly good baking ingredient section. I also know that I can get through the till service quickly, since the staff are helpful there and understand I’m usually in a hurry.

As I left the supermarket, the heavens opened and rain and hailstones bucketed down. Back at the school, I sat in the car, listening to the radio, hoping the rain would stop. I had about 15 minutes before I’d have to brave the elements, as the students would be waiting for class to begin.

Andrea Gilligan on Lunchtime Live was inviting listeners to have their say on wedding invitations and the list of complaints was endless – they’d have to buy a present and a new dress and all that goes with it; they’d have to travel and possibly stay over! One listener rang in to say, “If you have to travel to another country, you are not obliged to get a present.” I’m not so sure about that! My simple answer to all of these complainers is to decline the invitation and all problems are solved. No new dress necessary, no travel required, no hotel night away and no need to be part of the celebrations.

End of story!

It’s a good place to be

Meanwhile, I was musing in my own head that we’ll probably be invited to four weddings over the summer, and how I will relish each one. It’s a privilege to be invited to a wedding – it means you rank highly enough to make the wedding guestlist, and it’s a chance to spend quality time with extended family and close friends.

As for the dresses, I’ve two lovely ones from Philip and Colm’s weddings that could do with a second outing. Even so, I’d like nothing more than to look out for a new dress for a special occasion. I personally treat a wedding invitation as a mini-holiday. It’s a chance for Tim and I to get away for a night or two. All the guests are generally ?in great form, getting behind the happy couple and wishing the absolute best for their lives ahead. It’s a good place to be, with good humour and people chatting to exchange stories about their busy lives.

Another lady messaged the Lunchtime show to say her elderly mother lived near a church and, seeing the brides waiting to drive up, she’d often say, “Ah, would you look at her, all dressed up, and she only going for a housekeeping job!” Chuckling, I jumped out of the car, grabbed my umbrella and headed for the front door with my bag of groceries. Before I could even wave my fob, Tanya, one of the school secretaries, had the door open for me. Colleagues looking out for each other really does make such a difference to the mood of the workplace.

A wedding invitation arrives

After picking up Ricky from school, I got home to find Tim and Julie having a cup of tea. Tim announced: “We got a wedding invitation today! Guess who?” I answered, “Michelle Geaney,” being well-informed on Michelle and Ross’s planned nuptials. Eileen, Michelle’s mum, is one of my best friends. I’m living the wedding preparations with her as she did with me last year, and the year before. It’s a special time for families.

On a serious note, wedding guest lists are perused again and again by couples as they decide who they want to have with them on their special day. If you’re on that list, it’s a cause for celebration. If not, then so be it. There is always a budget constraint and couples will make their choices taking everything into consideration. It is certainly not a cause for umbrage.

As for the dresses, can anybody really remember if you wore the same dress to another wedding, or would they even care? So don’t fuss. If you really don’t want to go for whatever reason, then say no!