Sometimes you take in a situation and straight away you know that the plans are dog-meat.
A wedding had been planned, and at the end of a highly sociable evening, the soon-to-be-bridegroom had asked me to do a ukulele sing-along to entertain the guests after the reception meal. "Are you serious?" I'd asked. "If you really would like that, I'll sort out some songs and get it organised..." Oh yes, deadly serious, that would be really great, please...."
So yesterday, after the wedding, and in the lashing rain, after a catalogue of small but unpleasant mishaps to various family members, we all found the venue, a country pub recommended for its food, some miles away from Birmingham.
As we went in, it was soon pretty clear that the chances of having the sing-along were rather minimal.
Everything was running late, everyone was desperate for liquid sustenance and was queuing up at the bar, and getting everyone to their seats for the meal was going to like herding cats. And - being a fairly informal affair, the landlord needed everyone to be finished by 8.00pm as other diners were booked in at that time. Time for a sing-along? No way... also, the room was split in two, with the wedding party at one end, the bar in the middle, and the general public using the other side. All open-plan. Not really ideal... but at any rate, there was never going to be time. And the bridegroom had forgotten that he'd ever asked... yes, that's right! But even if he had remembered, we wouldn't have been able to fit it in.
So there, we go; "I took my harp to a party and nobody asked me to play!"
Well, of course it didn't matter. It was a lovely wedding, a really happy day, the bride was radiant and everyone had a great time in spite of the weather and the mishaps.
But there are lessons to be learned here, to be sure.
I've learned 'em...