I'm happy to take credit for introducing Ted and Lose to one another, only three months ago, shortly after Lose had arrived in the strange and vast city of Auckland to pursue her PhD research into Pacific history.
When I asked Ted why he had waited until his sixty-eighth year to get married, he was emphatic. "I just hadn't found the right woman!" he said. "It wasn't due to a lack of romantic feeling...I translated a bookload of love songs by Ibykos: how can I be unromantic?"
Last week's ceremony had the improvised and yet hermetic feel of a classic Ted Jenner poem. Friends and family of the bride and groom were informed of the event at almost the last minute; nevertheless, a surprising number attended. Some of Lose's relatives seem to have gone straight to Fua'amotu airport after getting her text, and taken the first plane to 'Atalanga. "You don't really have to formally invite Tongans to a wedding" Lose told me. "They turn up anyway!" It was good to catch up with some Tongan friends at the ceremony, but I was disconcerted when I realised I was the only person at the event wearing a tupenu and ta'ovala. "It's too cold for that stuff down here", Lose's brother told me. He was right.
In honour of this very romantic event, I'm posting the greatest love song ever written. Sorry Ibykos.
[Posted by Scott Hamilton]