Speech 2

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, for those of you I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting my name is John and I have the honour and privilege of being Mark’s Best Man for this wonderful celebration.


Now for the benefit of our Dutch friends here today I should explain that the Best Man is somebody who is unceremoniously selected from the Groom’s friends, as the person most likely to be able to speak in sentences and also the one least likely to reveal any dark secrets…all I can say Mark is…you’re an appalling judge of character!


Over the next few minutes I thought would regale you with stories of accountancy, corporate finance and a meteoric career progression. I planned to talk about his industrial work ethic, his amazing parenting skills and Mark’s love of family and friends. That was the plan, but somehow the stories about the strippers, drinking binges and police arrests just seemed….so much more… powerful.


So exactly how do you summarise a QPR supporting, rum drinking, cutting edge fashionista, compulsive nose picker and coca cola obsessive? Easy, you do it with pictures. Today I have a series of snapshots throughout Mark’s life that neatly describe his character better than a thousand words….but I will also be saying a thousand words…


Mark is a resilient type of guy. The first picture was taken moments after he learned of the global financial meltdown. What we see here is a classic stoical reaction to bad news that typifies the alpha male: a beer and a silly hat and everything in his world is right again.


Mark is a confident guy, however, when you’re in Amsterdam and only 6 foot 5, there’s only one thing for it: find a sturdy looking friend and then once again become the tallest person at the party. It’s a recurring theme in his life just to be that tiny bit taller than everyone else…I have plenty of pictures of him standing on rocks too.


Now to most people this may look like yet another sunburnt English bloke on a beach, suffering from the effects of too much sun and beer. Actually ladies and gentlemen you’re very much mistaken, this is a high blood pressure reaction brought on by the sudden realization he has forgot to pack the yellow espadrilles.


We all have moments in our lives when we’re not sure who we are or what our lives really mean. This isn’t so much a guy from Burnham wearing a skirt as a massive cry for help…we hear you Mark, we hear you…


This is the sympathetic side of Mark. Us boys will never know what it’s like to be pregnant but Mark thought that the best way to empathise with Des when she was first expecting was to eat himself pregnant with a ‘food baby’. To make the experience truly authentic he would devour chocolate bars and cans of coke like they were going out of fashion. Mark’s pregnancy has lasted a world record 9 years.

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