As my next book is now finished and just awaiting final preparations for publication in April, I thought to put up a final short extract as part of this Blog. Its just a short piece from the Chapter on my second marriage to Colette in June 1979, which caused a bit of local controversy as the local Press billed it as a “Witchcraft wedding” – which it wasn’t really – as they depicted it – but I admit it may have been seen as a little ‘unconventional’. At least, it seemed to create a precedent for ‘unusual marriages’ which even my main critics were set to imitate in the not too distant future – some eight years later to be exact.
Anyway, I have re-produced the extract here, but there won’t be any more till the book is published -and that’s on K’s instructions!. I can see her point really this is not really some stray Internet book it will be a Listed copy for the public and, as such, I shouldn’t give too much away.
So what’s news apart from the book’s completion? Not that much really. Got another computer now and much of my ‘pressing work’ has now been finalised. Have more time to relax.
Della (an initial critic I met on another Internet Forum) have finally arranged dinner for next week. She has found a restaurant she wants to go to, or rather take me to, she says. So looking forward to that. I’ve already met her and she’s a little concise in her views on the whole subject concerning myself. But I have nothing to hide, so don’t really mind that. At least I can talk to her, and she listens. I know she listens as she is trying to understand something that is extremely important to her.
But here is the short extract. Anybody interested will be able to read the whole thing in April . . .
To Have and to Hold
I HAD NEVER seen Colette happier. We talked about the wedding and decided to make this as simple as possible. We didn’t relish a big Church affair; after all, as long as it was legal, it didn’t really matter. The date was set for June 21st 1979 at Wood Green Registry Office, with a small reception to be held at the flat that evening, with just a few selected people. In fact, we invited Kenny (whom I had introduced to Colette soon after meeting her) to be best man, but some unexpected domestic problem prevented him from being able to attend. Instead, another friend of mine, Mike Boyd, agreed to take his place.
Colette wore a long black dress for the occasion, which clung fairly tightly to her slim figure, and, as an extra element of surprise (for some anyway) she ordered a wedding cake coated with black icing. She also hung one of her paintings on the wall portraying a ‘green-faced devil’ breathing ‘fire and brimstone’ – a parody really to show people how much we believed in such nonsense! Colette certainly had a biting sense of humour; although it did serve to stop a couple of people, who made excuses not to eat any of the cake! But I agreed with her in principle . . . if people prefer to think the worst of you, then just present the ‘worst’ to them, and just laugh at any predictable reaction. In any event, this seemed to work in showing people that we just ‘couldn’t care less’ about some of the wild stories they may have heard about ‘devil worshippers’, ‘black witches’ and the like. Inviting people to judge us for themselves in the midst of all the frivolous ‘black symbolism’ seemed as good a way as any of showing that neither did we take such assumptions at all seriously.
This was perhaps demonstrated later in the evening, when several of the guests, who were involved in genuine Wicca, gathered in another room to witness a Wiccan Blessing of the wedding. It was basically a simple ceremony that involved mixing a small droplet of our blood, being anointed with oil, and taking some important vows to bind the sanctity of the Union of the Feminine and Masculine Principle.
The wedding over, in the days that followed I felt strangely elated. It was almost as if a sense of permanency had descended in the midst of all the chaos; a remote contrast to my earlier marriage in 1967.
But the Press, as usual, loved the implications of the story. Wedlock for Warlock headlined the North London Weekly Herald, and went on to state . . .
Dabblers in the occult and witchcraft took part in the weirdest wedding of the year last Thursday.
The ceremony took place at midnight on 21st of June at a small flat in Muswell Hill Road involving “white witch” David Farrant, and specialist in the occult, Australian born Colette Gee.
A gathering of more than a 100 believers witnessed the ritual conducted by a High Priest and High Priestess.
The couple were anointed with oil and in accordance with Wiccan (witchcraft) tradition were both nicked in the arm and had their blood mingled.
Earlier that day the marriage had been legalised at the Wood Green Civic Centre Registry Office. . . .
Weekly Herald , 28 June, 1979
The Hornsey Journal ran a similar story but I couldn’t resist noting in its headline . . . And the Bride wore Black (!)
Being married again was almost a relaxing experience, and presented an opportunity to relax in the comparative normalities of life. Of course, I still had to keep up my work with the Society, and Colette was still absorbed in her painting. But life still had its amusing moments . . .