Good evening ladies and gentlemen, before I begin I’d just like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to those of you I haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet. My name is Toby and it is my very great privilege and pleasure to be Adam’s best man for today’s celebrations. It’s worth pointing out now that Adam was born before records began so I’ve tried my hardest to fill in the blanks where necessary.
Adam was born almost 200 years ago in a place now called Gloucester, which back in the seventies was still a little behind the modern world – simply saying that you came from the wrong village could see you put on a charge of being a wizard. And this idea of boundaries and identity really caught his young imagination.
So, like most young boys, Adam began to dream, and it was a dream that he dared not share with anyone. Some boys dream of becoming footballers, rockstars or the next prime minister…Adam, with his progressive outlook on life and deep seated suspicion of anyone not born pretty much in Gloucester dreamt that one day of a career in the FCO. What can I say ladies and gentlemen? He’s not dreaming any more.
There was one huge stumbling block in Adam’s plans to see the world and that was how to get there? Growing up in Gloucester Adam had done most of his getting about in horse drawn hay carts but he instinctively knew that this would never work for longer journeys. He’d often seen the big metal birds in the sky and the more he got to know about aeroplanes the less he liked the idea, but what was he to do? Luckily air travel was eventually rendered manageable by an old and trusted friend that could always reassure him that everything would be ok…Booze. However, flying plastered is now no longer as necessary as he’s finally coming to terms with the reality that air travel is not evil and there are no spells involved.
With a profound love of socializing, beer and people, Adam decided that the best route to working in foreign diplomatic relations was actually through the pub trade. Although a non conventional entry into this world, he did have his reasons: he believed he could hone his diplomatic skills whilst drinking gallons of subsidized beer. This assumption was to prove devastatingly accurate. With a very real and genuine fear of spending money, Adam found working in pubs a really unbeatable way of never having to buy a drink…and there has never been a better training ground for throwing people out of the country than first learning how to throw them out of pubs.
Now, it was about this time in Adam’s life that I got to know him as we both worked in pubs, and I could see that managing the Stag in Enfield was only a stepping stone in the journey to where he really wanted to be. With that deep fear of flying and an indifferent opinion towards anyone that doesn’t come from the same post code as him, he really couldn’t wait to get started on his career working in foreign lands. So, Adam began with a position in UK immigration where he was stunned to discover that Cornwall isn’t actually another country and he couldn’t legally prevent Welsh people from settling in Gloucester. Despite these setbacks he really took to the work and knew that he had set himself on the right career path.
However, working here was also to prove a life changing experience for Adam in a much more personal way. He was to meet somebody who would become a very special person in his life. For many years he’d fantasized about meeting a girl who’s name had a maximum scrabble points score of over 250. The day he met Lizzie Wyschna, who notches up a whopping 252 on the board, was to prove a seminal moment. Lizzie kindly overlooked the fact that his name was Burke and so we find ourselves here today.
Together their careers have gone from strength to strength and it wasn’t long before a foreign posting took them both to Paris where Adam could indulge himself in his love of all things French…which as it turns out, is not very much. However, unsurprisingly he excelled in his position working at the British Consulate in Paris and a crowning triumph to date was being appointed Deputy Consul there, of which he can be justly proud.
Work has now taken them to Istanbul and Adam is reveling both with the increased air travel courtesy of questionable internal carriers and the fact that there’s no way his host nation can beat England at rugby.
Seriously, as I said it’s been a pleasure and a privilege to be your best man today and Lizzie, I would just like to say you look absolutely sensational. I always thought Adam was batting above his average when he met you and now I think we can all see he is. I can also see just how happy you make each other and I’m just so pleased for my old friend that he found such a great girl to share his life with.
Adam, it seems like a lifetime ago since we both met and a lot has happened in the last 16 years, but you have always remained a great friend. Not only have we enjoyed many many great times together but I’ve also been lucky enough to have you in my corner during the tougher times, and for that I will be forever grateful. Even though we’re now living in different countries and don’t see so much of each other any more, I always look forward to the times we have together and hope for many more of them in the future.
All that remains is for me to wish you a long and happy life together, and all the luck in the world
Ladies and gentlemen
The bride and groom!
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