"Do you think Nicola would hate it if we did a hen party thing for her at the end of the parliamentary session?". This was the question put to me by Aileen Campbell MSP (pictured second from left if you discount my arm).
"Yes, she'll hate it" I replied "but she will LOVE hating it".
And so on the last Thursday of parliament, Aileen and I ended up tiptoeing round parliament with bottles, balloons, a fairy wand and L plates.
Nicola thought she had a meeting with me at 5.15. She looked at me quizzically. I smiled. She said something like "well, not that it's not lovely to see you Anne but what do you actually want?". Ignoring her cheek I went on to explain that I thought it was important we have a chat about her impending wedding. She laughed nervously and I think my stuttering and giggling might have given the game away.
"Actually" I said, running to the door "there's someone else who can give you better advice" and suddenly the room was full of female researchers and MSPs, corks were popping, the L plates were on and Elaine C Smith was singing the Liz Lochhead Glaswegian version of Stand by Your Man!!!
Don't ask me what Elaine C Smith was doing there. She wasn't part of the plan, we passed her in the corridor and before she knew it she was hiding round the corner from Nicola's office waiting to surprise her too!
It was a great idea of Aileen's and Nicola did indeed love hating every minute of it.
I am really looking forward to the wedding reception tomorrow. Peter makes Nicola very happy, he is her rock but not in a boring way, he makes her laugh, he takes care of her, he advises her and he loves her. And when you're doing the job Nicola does, you need that. And what is he getting? Well, Nicola is Peter's world, she's everything to him. she respects his opinion more than anybody elses, and she loves him.
And in the words of Liz Lochhead if ever they are "on their uppers" she would indeed "eat spam herself and buy popeseye tae feed her man" - although he'd probably have to cook it himself!
So whatever happens in each of their lives as long as they've got each other they'll be fine. Tomorrow is just them telling the world how they feel and I wish them every happiness.
IT'S A CHORE BEING A POLITICIAN AND HAVING TO PUT THIS "DISCLAIMER" ON BUT NOBODY GOT DRUNK, WE DIDN'T BUY CHEAP STUFF, THE PARTY LASTED HALF AN HOUR, NOBODY ENJOYED THEMSELVES TOO MUCH AND WE ALL WENT BACK TO WORK AFTERWARDS :-)