Gray Matters walks down the track

'Beauty is still possible for those that pull an oar', just don't check out her hands

Last Saturday, Katie Gray (PANT, PA to Nicole’s Tudka, formerly PA to JK, Rowing Victoria Personal Assistant of the Year, 2008 and silver medallist in the Executive Director Support Category at the National Rowing Club Personal Assistant Awards, NRCPAA, 2008) got married. Katie and Ed Goodchild married on their property in the Yarra Valley, which many RRC members may be familiar with if subtle hints of weekend working bees were realised.
It was a fairly standard wedding really. The bride was covered in dirt until about 4 hours before the ceremony (by some estimates), chickens were squawking around everyone’s feet and despite suggestions she would arrive on horseback, the bride arrived in the old 4×4 (you may have seen it towing the RRC trailer up the Hume), no doubt driving, as apparently she’s the only one who can drive that thing.
Katie’s dress was stunning. Off-white (she swears she was wearing yellow and black underwear), long enough to cover the zootie tan across her mid thigh and perfectly cut to show off her lats in full glory, Katie was proof to rowers everywhere that beauty is still possible for those who pull an oar.
Ed was looking sharp. Manual labour and brisk walks after dinner had led to some weight loss, and a subtle suggestion from Katie three days earlier (“why are you building hurdles when you don’t have a suit yet?”), meant he scrubbed up extremely well on the big day. Might I also add that the look of pure joy on his face throughout the day certainly added to the picture.
The ceremony itself took place under the tree near the greenhouse, with an outdoor piano playing some lovely tunes.
Gray Matters
Check out the Limo

During the brief and delicious break between the ceremony and reception, Katie’s fellow B team members Sharon, Sarah, Joe and ring-in JK were in fine form. Practicing their camera poses (following a fat disaster at the previous B team wedding, Sharon’s), it was decided that Joe “had it” and JK “did not”. Nevertheless, JK found the one photo in 20 where she looked less fat than at Sharon’s wedding and sent it to Simon (man not boat), who had recently reverted to calling her “porker” like he used to, before she ran away from town.
Meanwhile, Sarah horrified Joe, but entertained the rest of us, with her ignorance regarding the events of the following morning’s BRW triathlon. “Umm… swim,… run,… ride?” and “You mean all three of us have to do all three events?!”. For concerned readers out there, do not worry. Sarah lived to tell the tale and apparently she now wants to run a marathon. Let’s hold her to this everyone.
The reception took place in the arena, under an impressive marquee. Katie’s brother, James, (think Katie, but taller, with shorter hair) flew in from the UK with his two-week-old baby to emcee the evening and much to the guests’ delight, Cunliffe & Waters catered the event. “Potato salad (eggy, bacony, creamy) the way it should be” featured on the menu alongside rare breed pig, oysters and steak. There was also a “Potato salad (vegan)”, presumably for those other guests whom we didn’t know how to talk to.
Readers of Katie’s weekly blog may have assumed by now that Katie was no blushing bride. Too right. In fact, one of the tables had placed bets as to whose speech would go for longer, Katie’s or Ed’s. You don’t need to look at Katie’s rowing history to know she’s a winner. She took the show, which she decided was her consolation “for being cheated at the Masters Rowing States last year by the starter, being beaten in the D grade netball grand final by a bunch of 13 year-olds driven there by their parents and for Isaac’s fear of the low hurdles, not the high ones, leading to a poor placing in a recent horse comp…..” (think of her e-mails, but aloud, and longer).
The B team were sharing a table with half Ed’s soccer team, who seemed transfixed every time Joe spoke. Observers were unable to confirm whether it was the stunning red dress she was wearing, or the fact that she piled her plate so high with food it nearly toppled over, then preceded to eat it all, followed by two desserts, all whilst barely taking a breath, that led the boys to such awe.
Sharon, just returned from a luxurious honeymoon cruise, looked as stunning as ever despite two weeks of constant gourmet food and only a boat to run around. Delighted to not be the centre of attention anymore following her own wedding just last month, Sharon kept a low profile (dance floor excluded) but managed to impress many ladies with the size of her heels, retrieved from manbag Graham for photos only.
Chief bridesmaid Sandra Mayes (Hore), stole the show with a speech about the time her and her husband, Aaron had gone on an overnight hike with Katie and Ed. In summary, Ed is the perfect man to take camping with you. He will ignore your attempts to educate him and thus will happily carry a frozen leg of lamb and 6-pack of beers on a 20km hike, then share it all with you whilst you bemoan your sensible-but-uninspiring choice of 2 minute noodles and tuna.
Speeches, as always, reveal many facts.  Apparently, on weekends, Ed goes to the bakery and brings Katie back croissants and maybe makes her a cappuccino and brings it all to her in bed, if memory serves me correctly. Lads, I think you can all learn something from this.
After much laughter and partying, but only a little bit of sleeping, Sarah and Joe got up at 4am to drive back to Melbourne for the BRW triathlon. Hardcore. I think some of Katie’s non-rowing friends may still have been dancing. The rest of us woke up just in time for bacon and eggs before checking out of our beautiful rented homestead, then headed back to Katie and Ed’s for croissants.
All in all, it was a beautiful wedding. Ed’s best man, all the way out from the UK commented that he had “never seen Ed look happier” and Katie was, as always, a delight. The welcoming couple that they are, Katie and Ed encouraged us all to come down and visit them on their property in the Yarra Valley. So go and visit them sometime. You will be most welcomed to enjoy the farm. With a shovel in hand.
Jenny Kozlovski (aka JK)