Category Archives: Biography

My Best Man Speech: the script

I recently had the honour of being my brother Rob’s wedding to Henrietta…despite my nerves and having to follow Rob’s very good, but also very emotional, speech, it went down well.  Of course I stole some jokes when writing, but I did come up with a few of my own too.

Here it is in full (try and imagine where the laughs came):

Good afternoon everyone,

It’s good to know that after many years of sibling rivalry, my brother has at last realised who the best man is!

Firstly, I’d like to congratulate Rob on a truly great speech.

I always knew it would be difficult to follow one of your speeches and I was right…I couldn’t follow a word of it!

You can probably tell that I’m a bit nervous giving this speech.

I feel slightly better knowing that I’m not the only person in the room feeling apprehensive – but then she has just married my brother!

It is a real honour to be here, in such a prominent role, celebrating this special day between my brother and “now” sister-in-law.

I know I speak for us all when I say that you both look fantastic.

It is truly a pleasure to formally welcome Henrietta into our family.

So, Henrietta, welcome to my family…and by the way, you’re welcome to them!  I joke of course and I only say to formally welcome you because you have been a cherished part of our family pretty much since we met and this occasion is the icing on the cake.

When Rob asked me to be his best man, I first thought it was because he had no friends – experiencing the stag do and now looking around the room, I can see that’s clearly not true.

I must admit, I did take it as a fairly casual thing at first, but as I thought more about it, it became a much bigger deal for me.

I began to understand the emotions and the importance of the day for Rob and Henrietta and hoping that I would not let either of them down and that was a bit overwhelming.

I realised that, out of everyone Rob could have chosen to be his best man, he chose me and that is pretty special, so thank you Rob.

I know that you have both put in huge amounts of effort organising this whole event to enable us to share and celebrate this very special moment with you…

…so on behalf of everyone here, I thank you for that too!

[Initiate a round of applause]…it actually says here “initiate round of applause”, so I’m glad that worked.

In preparation for this speech, I did a bit of digging for anecdotes about Rob and 2 words kept cropping up…but I couldn’t possibly say them here…no, the 2 words were actually Pony Club:

The Pony Club started back in Rob’s Newark council days and was all about going to Southwell races, having a few bets, a lot of laughs and, of course, a lot of drinks.

After one race meet, the Pony Club were in a Pub in Southwell that had a giant Jenga game and one of the games was to play it blindfolded.

When it came to Rob’s turn, the others blindfolded him then proceeded to pack away the Jenga game leaving Rob grasping at thin air.

40 minutes he kept going! I think everyone else had moved onto another pub by the time he took his blindfold off.

But you have to admire his dedication…

Rob showed his dedication in a more productive way when he worked extremely hard to become a qualified accountant and I greatly admired him for that.

He was so dedicated to becoming the perfect accountant that he also became boring, nerdy and a bad dresser.

Of course, he already had a head start on some of those!

But, back to the Pony Club: Simon Curtis told me about a game they used to play called the Kit Kat challenge.

He said “It’s a bit gross, unhygienic and gets very messy – can you imagine what it is?”

Turns out its passing a Kit Kat finger from person to person using only your mouth – and not what I thought which was how many Kit Kat fingers you could shove up your…eh…ahem.

Anyway, the only thing I learned from the Kit Kat challenge is that I have a particularly disturbing imagination.

Which may be a family trait because during one of mine and Rob’s many nights out in Newark we’d had several drinks and were talking and setting the world to rights – I forget exactly about what.

But, I said to him “You know what? You can’t polish a turd”

And he replied “Ah, but you can roll it in glitter”

I mean, I love the guy, but I wouldn’t go to a craft fair with him.

I’m not sure if Rob helped out with the centre pieces, but you might want to be wary, just in case!

Rob’s stag do was hopefully a weekend he’ll remember forever:

I’ll remember that it took me half an hour to convince Rob that he’d read the event listing wrong and it was Dirt Buggies, not Dirty Buggers…

And that it took me another half an hour to convince him to put some clothes on!

One of my main concerns on the stag do was whether Rob would actually last the night and, if he did, that it wouldn’t be spent chundering in the toilets.  He’s got a bit of a reputation for this after a few drinks:

On another Pony Club do he missed all 3 courses of a meal while he made a long distance call on the porcelain telephone.

I, too, have experienced this disappearing act: most notably in a strip club where the only explicit and graphic content that Rob got to see that night was of his own stomach.

You may have seen some of the photos from the stag do: we all dressed up as Miami Vice, but to be honest in some of the pubs we were the best dressed people in there.

In fact, in one pub, I thought they were having an idiots and whores theme party – but it turns out that’s just Yates’s on a Saturday night.

My main abiding memory of that night is standing in an 80’s themed club watching Rob’s blond Don Johnson wig slowly moving around the rotating dance floor with Rob busting out his best moves beneath it.

He was grinning from ear to ear, so I trusted he was having a great time.

And that smile was only surpassed when he entered the kebab shop and his whole face lit up like it was Christmas morning!

Fair play and much kudos to Henrietta for taking Rob on: there’s the extremely cheesy music for a start:

I think he tried to keep it hidden at first, but Henrietta finally twigged when his first 3 valentine’s cards read: “You’ll never stop me from loving you”, “I’m never gonna give you up” and “I should be so lucky, lucky…lucky”.

With taste like that, it’s a bit of a surprise that Rob has been a hit on hospital radio – but, then it is sort of a captive audience!

Apparently Rob’s DJ style and music selections have had a massive impact on the coma ward – they have never been so busy!

Seriously though, Rob is an award winning DJ which we’re all really proud of and I’m sure his audiences appreciate Rob’s enthusiasm for music, no matter how dubious his taste might be.

When Rob told me he was seeing someone called Henry, I bet I’m not the only person in this room that though “I knew it!” But it was, of course, the lovely Henrietta.

So I lost that bet with my dad!

Actually, the fact that Rob is now married means I lost my other bet with him too!

How about double or quits he’s spewing before the night is out?!

Speaking of dad: I hope you both don’t mind, but I took a peak at some of your presents:

I know dad has got you a miniature set of aftershaves and perfumes called Ample.

Try to ignore where he’s scratched the “S” off the label.

As for later, I think Rob may be planning something special for the wedding dance.

I heard he phoned his local gym and asked them if they could teach him how to do the splits.

They said “how flexible are you?”

And Rob said “I can’t make Tuesdays”.

This wedding is the highlight of a very big year for both of them:

Rob is actually going to be 40 later this year.

And Henrietta has only just turned 30.

Let’s face it; had all this happened when Rob was 21, he’d have been signing a very different register today.

Seriously though Rob: I looked up to you when we were kids and I still look up to you now.

You’re one of my best friends and you are a good, kind-hearted man: I’m very lucky to have you as my big brother.

And, knowing you as I do, Henrietta clearly makes you very happy and I trust that you will make Henrietta just as happy too.

All of your joys will now be magnified by 2 because you will share them together.

And all of your trials and tribulations will be halved because you will solve them together.

So, if everyone will please stand.

Please raise your glasses to: THE BRIDE & GROOM!!


Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads…?

Hard to believe this was now so long ago…

Best Honour for Best Man

My best friend since the age of 11, Dean, got married to his fiance Sarah on Easter Sunday.  I had the great honour of being his best man.  I’d like to point out we were both 11 when we became friends…I think you have to make that clear when the word groom  is likely to follow soon after

What a day it was!  I was definitely more nervous than Dean as we travelled to the venue and I’m pretty sure I was closer to tears than him during the ceremony.  It was an emotionally charged day, as weddings are, the emotional impact was upped due to recent family circumstances, of which it is not my place to publish here, on both sides.

The ceremony itself seemed to be over in a flash.  I was keen not to look at anybody in case they were tearing up and it started me off – an unusual feeling for me, I must admit.  The only time I raised my head was when the word ring was said and I immediately stood up.  Thankfully, the registrar was talking about the wedding rings, so it was time for my cameo.  After a brief debate on which ring was which, my cameo went without any problems.

It’s fair to say that the photos took at least 3 times as long as the ceremony, but it’s important that the photos you get are decent, so it was no problem for the rest of us.  Especially as the bucks fizz flowed in the marquee.

A few people had asked me about the speech and I was careful to point out that it was not particularly funny, nor had I practised it.  I figured that these early excuses would stand me in good stead should I die on my arse.  As well as my best man duties, I was the master of ceremonies.  This basically meant that the organiser of the wedding function told me what to say before I said it verbatem into the mic for all to hear.  I thought having to make announcements would help my nerves…it didn’t.  I can’t be much of an actore either, as what I thought was my cool exterior prompted many people to offer me suppport.  It was much appreciated – particularly the pep talk given to me by the bride’s father before the speeches started.

When my speech was underway, I was following the bride’s father and the groom’s very well received speeches.  I was shaking and my first joke died a silent death.  Perhaps this drew some sympathy from the crowd as the rest of the speech seemed to get laughs in the right places.  My favourite joke from the speech had to be edited from an 18 certificate down to a PG and it went down well.  Here goes:

“When I was arranging Dean’s stag do, my housemate was arranging a hen do for the very same weekend. As part of the hen do, she had bought a 6ft inflatable penis for the hen to carry around. So where, she had to put up with a 6ft penis, Dean had to put up with a 5’8’’ tit.” [jab thumb towards self]

I’m sure you can imagine what I had originally thought of to say…

The speeches over, I could finally relax and I spent much of the night meeting new people and having a great time.

It took me quite some time to get over the whole weekend.  Coincidentally Dean and Sarah’s honeymoon is in the US and they return just in time to pass the baton to me.

I may well expand on the events of this day as a purely self indulgent exercise, as I want the memory to live on for a long time.  But I may include the other jokes I used (including  the one that died), so it’s worth a look, just in case.  I’ll also post some pics when possible…

Introducing Writer On The Storm

This is my first ever blog, so it’s an audacious move to include writer in the title, let alone contrive a pun on the Doors.

I’m no writer, I’m a Business Analyst in Nottingham, UK.

However, just before Christmas I handed in my notice at work.  This turned out to be great timing on my part, as it gave me something to talk to my friends and family about over Christmas, other than what presents I got.

I don’t want you to think I took the whole resignation thing lightly.  I had spent the best part of a year working out, with  help, what I really want to do with my life.  I’ll come to how this all got started once I get going.  The purpose of this post is to just have something on here.

I guess I’d better explain what I’m doing having this blog.  I handed in my notice at work because in April I begin my travels.  I’m flying to New York to start with, followed by Miami, then California and then down into Mexico.  After that, who knows?  I figure I’d better just see if I’m enjoying myself first.

Anyway, I’ll be blogging from now on about the whole thing…and not just the travel.  Now I’m not sure how my writer’s voice will develop, but I intend to be honest and entertaining and I certainly don’t intend to turn this into a travel blog only.  Anything that occurs to me will feature.

As time goes on, I’ll jazz up this site and include background on who I am, pics and some general stuff to make the whole thing a lot more entertaining.

Right now, I’m trying to discipline myself not to keep checking to see if anyone has read this page yet…I mean who will even know about it…yet…