I awake in my old room in E.B. on my old futon and stranger still, mum enters and kisses me on the forehead.
I shower quickly in their pressure-challenged unit and slip into comfortable clothes. No breakfast, no time. Christina picks me up at 7.30. We drive into the city, recalling her wedding day a year ago.
Christina is first. Darren cuts her hair short - as asked; it's a big change that leaves her speechless (quite a feat). Her hair piece, that I've borrowed, sits in a glass cabinet, rollers in, awaiting its attachment to the top of my head - like a patient pet.
My hair and my borrowed hair goes up quickly and easily. Darren does a great job and I look glamorous from the ears up. Below the neck I'm wearing a flannelette shirt and Levis cords.
We go for brunch at Degraves and I think of Craig. I've been thinking of him all day - tonight be will be my husband, not just my Hon. Christina and I both order eggs and I have a coffee - a meal that is to last me all day.
We arrive back in E.B. in time for lunch. Mick comes over and I ask after Craig. The two of them picked up the cake and delivered our bags to our hotel while I was getting my hair done. The others eat; I manage a cup of tea. Ingo drops off my beautiful purple flowers.
Christina and I adjourn to the bathroom to do our make-up, then we dress. I put on new jewellery, slip into firm underwear and tuck the hankie Brenda sent me into my bra (something borrowed). I look like a bride!
Suddenly the house is full of people and I emerge from the back of the house to oo-ing and ah-ing. I look good. I pin flowers onto relatives and we take photos by the lemon tree. Everyone is looking at me - I'm the nifi, the bride.
Then Warwick's car pulls up with Craig at the back. He is wearing a hat, his new pinstripe suit and a purple and gold tie. He looks adorable - quite 40s - it's all very exciting. Dad gets into the front seat, Craig and I get into the back and we're off.
Inside the Royal Mint building (now the Hellenic Museum) we're briefed by Rhonda our celebrant. We call in our witnesses - Shaun and Christina, and run through the ceremony. Afterwards people file in and continue to file in. The room is bulging. People catch my eye and smile - Petrina, Nag, Lou.
The ceremony begins and ends - it is brief but intense, condensed to the essential. We sign our marriage certificate - we're married!!! People cheer and file past to congratulate us - it's overwhelming...we head for the Block Arcade...magical. What a backdrop! The band set up in the domed area, where circular Greek dancing mirrors the shape of the space. It is so great to see so many friends - Brenda, Rex, Cath, Kieran and later Paul and Cate. The old faithfuls Cheryl, Peter, Andrea, Adrian, Petrina; the Haigs, the Gullys, Mark M. Also Jenny, Bethany, cousins, aunts and uncles.
I dance Greek with everyone and waltz with Craig, later Dad and even Thio Yianni. People chat and mingle. We cut the cake - it looks stunning, and I make a short and sweet speech.
A few tears with Mum, Dad and Christina as we say our good-byes. Everyone cheers as we dash off. Outside darling Warwick is waiting. It's only a short ride to the Magnolia Court Hotel in East Melbourne. Our suite looks great. I have a cup of tea and biscuits. I haven't eaten all day.
If you'd like to read what happens next - not what you might expect - follow this link.