Rich & Em’s engagement party

Last night saw a very special family event, the engagement party of our son Richard and his partner Emily. The venue was a basement room of the Cinnamon Club near Westminster Abbey in central London.

Emily & Rich – a winning team

Since Rich works at the Institute for Public Policy Research and Em works at the Department of Trade & Industry, many of the bright young people there were from Left-leaning think tanks or the offices of Labour Cabinet Ministers or similarly political employers, so I had a great time mixing with them.
Rich made a really good speech, the text of which you’ll find below.

Rich’s speech
It’s great to see so many of you here tonight – thanks for coming.
Especially thanks to Emily’s mum [Claudia] and sister [Jessica] for coming all the way from Los Angeles and for my dad [Roger] and step mum [Vee] for coming all the way from Wembley which, on the Piccadilly Line, is almost as far.
There are some absent parents but, as is wedding tradition, I asked them to send ‘telegrams’. My best man Douglas can’t be here tonight to read them out because he is fighting the Liberals and the Nationalists north of the border in defence of the union. So I’ll read them out.
Emily’s dad [David] from Montreal says:
“We are delighted that you are taking this step but sad that we can’t be there to celebrate this special day. Of course, we look forward to reading all the details of the party on Roger’s blog!”
My mum [Carole] in Manchester offers what she describes as a statutory ’embarrass your son’ story and a statutory ‘wedding related story’:
“For the first few years, Rich’s secondary school reports said: ‘Richard brings lots of ideas into the classroom. We just wish he would learn to read and write.’We didn’t at that point predict a career in the media!
A new bridegroom was worried about what he and his new bride would talk about at breakfast each day. So he wrote himself a list of topics, one for each day. But Rich and Em won’t have that problem!”
I don’t write them – I just read them!
But it is true that Emily and I have a lot in common, but we also have a lot to argue about. That said, there’s no doubt in my mind who wears the trousers.
We also often think alike. On Monday, we went to see the new James Bond film “Casino Royale”. I don’t want to spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, but there is a moment when Bond turns to the girl and says ‘That is why I love you’.
And, at that moment in the movie, Emily and I – and probably every one who goes to see that film – turns to each other and says “She is so dead!”
Well that moment reminded me of our second or third date. We ended up back at her place … One thing led to another … I won’t embarrass her mother or my father with the details …
The next morning, I wake up first and, on my way to the kitchen, I stumbled across her passport which was on her bedside table. It was a British passport but, underneath it, was a Canadian passport and, underneath that, was an American passport. And I’m thinking to myself: who is this girl?
And at that point she starts to wake up. And that moment, although I didn’t say it out loud until later, my internal narrator announced that I love her.
And the metaphorical audience in the existential cinema of our lives turn to one another and say “He’s so dead!”
And they were right. Because every day since that day, she’s been killing me!


  • David Thomas

    Dear Roger
    Thanks for the post about Emily and Richard. Sounds like a great party (in both senses). Look forward to seeing you soon
    Best from Montreal
    David and Maria

  • Emily

    Hi, Roger. Wish Rich and Em all the best from me! Being engaged is a real treat!