Tag Archives: friends and family

A wedding story. Part 1

Well we did it, we got married!! Its taken me this long to stop and think and be able to put it down here. But if I’m honest, one of the things that’s stopped me writing till now is being unable to find the words.

We really did have the most wonderful day. I’d even go so far as to say it was perfect. Not that everything was exactly ideal, if it was the day would have been a lot longer, the sun would have shone a bit brighter and we’d have had more time to talk to everyone. But everything went perfectly, smoothly, and the whole thing was exactly what we’d hoped for. How can I even hope to describe it? I’ve tried, in more words than I thought, to describe the day from the beginning, as much for me to remember as for the curiosity of whoever’s reading..

The morning itself came cloudy and a bit grey (but brightened up later!). We were certain we wanted to be together the night before, and didn’t even consider not being. We went to sleep saying ‘ooh its tomorrow’ and woke up and whispered ‘we’re getting married today!!’ with little excited squeaks, which was the best start to the day. Then we had a lovely breakfast with four good friends, my two bridesmaids and their other halves, sharing croissants, jam and coffee and gently waking up. It was really nice to be with friends, people we could relax with, which made it feel so natural, even if still a little surreal.

We girls went off to the hairdressers, the boys went to pick up the flowers and then to their hotel. We had a lovely time having our hair done and nattering about this and that! When we got back we did make-up and had a giggle or two, before the photographer arrived, closely followed by my parents. Tea was made, sandwiches were brought out, and all was impressively calm. With a bit of laughter. I was enjoying it all already- thinking about the day ahead, but just loving spending time with the people around me. My dad making tea, mum holding the dress up while it had its photo taken! Then I decided it was time to put my dress on, so I did. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and just thought ‘yes, this is exactly right’. I make me sound so calm, inside I was just bouncing and beaming all at once, but so excited.

We travelled to the church all together in a taxi- I decided I wasn’t going to spend money on a big car that no one but us would see- which was pre-booked and all fine until we got in and the driver turned to me and said ‘where to?’ I nearly said ‘do I look like I have a map on me?!’ A quick consultation with a smart phone and the church postcode was retrieved and we were on our way! Leaving 45 mins I thought would be plenty of time to get into central London- it was, we were there in 25, 20 mins early! So we got to sit and wait and watch all the guests arriving from across the road which was lovely! About 10 mins before the service was due to start we pulled up outside again, extracted me from the car, and then it was nearly time.

I had a brief flutter of butterflies just as we were round the corner from the church, but by the time I was standing outside, I couldn’t think what there was to be nervous about- I knew I was marrying the right person, all our friends and family were there with us, I was looking forward to every bit of the day. Just so exciting, I was just drinking in every last bit of it!

Then I think I decided it was time to go in, so we got ourselves in order, and away we went! My mum first with Benjamin carrying his precious box with our rings in, then Pippa and Jeni, and then it was my turn, with my dad beside me. Not giving me away, just sharing it with me. Everyone at the back turning round and smiling, so much happiness and support in one church was just amazing, and then when we rounded the corner at the back of the aisle and Chris came into view, and I just beamed. Having watched a video of this bit I can see from my face the very moment our eyes met!

At the front of the church we nervously whispered hello and ‘you look lovely’ and so on, and then relaxed when Sue leaned over and said ‘you can hold hands you know!’ And then it began. The service was taken by Richard, and the sermon preached by James, Chris’ university chaplain, with Sue, the minister at Hinde Street, opening and closing and doing the official bit! The readings were given, and prayers written and read, by those we care about, and the whole thing just felt so personal to us, which we weren’t the only ones to appreciate. Instead of the ‘who gives this woman/man’ line, each set of parents made a promise to support us both in our marriage, symbolising our choice to marry each other, and our parents support of that.

Standing opposite Chris saying our vows, with Richard prompting us, just felt so relaxed that my only fear was taking it too lightly! We had a whole church watching, but right then, we could have been the only people there. After the ‘I know proclaim that they are husband and wife’ bit, Richard gave me a hug and shook Chris’ hand. We had a lovely and thoughtful sermon from James. The hymns were just right and were sung with gusto! And the whole service went by far too quickly, as weddings tend to. Before we knew it we were signing the register and having photos taken, and on our way out! At the back of the church madness descended as everyone wanted to say congratulations, and there was much hugging and hand shaking and merriment, until the ever-efficient ushers began herding encouraging people towards the big red Routemaster buses and we made our way to our own car- our chance to have some us time in the middle of the day. We settled in, smiled for a few more photos as the photographer tried to get some from the front passenger seat, and then we were off. Waving at everyone and grinning manically.

This was when I told Chris the taxi driver didn’t know where he was going and that I’d arrived 20 mins early, which he countered with telling me they’d left the rings behind the first time they left the hotel.. alls well that ends well!

Bank holidays

In wanting to update everything about the sticky work situation, I have neglected to write about the lovely bank holiday weekend we had, and lovely it most certainly was. For a start, this was the first year I’ve been able to fully appreciate a four day weekend for what it is, being the first year I’ve been working full time either side! It just seemed to go on forever, despite being filled with enjoyable stuff!

I made it down to London late on Thursday night, and on Friday we spent the day with Chris’ older brother and family, chatting, eating, drinking and all that stuff. As well as a rather entertaining trip to the Natural History Museum at Tring. Think lots of stuffed animals and you’re about there. Very odd to see all sorts of animals we encountered in Kenya stuffed and behind glass. Friday evening saw us return to London to meet Never Conforming and her missus, have a nice dinner in the crypt at St Martin in the Fields, and then a trip out to Greenwich on Saturday. A good amount of time to chat and catch up on the various happenings in each of our lives, of which there seem to be many! Nice to have a few days to chew the fat when recently we’ve only had one or even just an evening.

Saturday evening some of us, along with some other friendly folkie types went to see our favourite Barnsley lass in a rather nice venue. Kate was on good form, but also well matched by the accompanying Red Skies string ensemble. Difficult to find a website for them, but suffice to say, if you get a chance, they’re worth a listen.

After Easter Sunday service at Hinde Street we headed out on our travels again, this time in the direction of Leamington Spa for Chris’ brother’s 21st birthday. One night staying in a student house reminded me just how long it was since I was one, and that single beds are definitely only made for one. On Monday, Joe’s actual birthday, we went out for a rather posh meal at a restaurant nearby. You can tell its posh when you have luncheon not lunch. But the place was quiet and sophisticated, the boys (mostly) wore jackets, and some had fun trying to decipher the menu! French speakers are handy to have around. The food was lovely, the setting very pretty, and the company wonderful. Some photos in the grounds while the sun was shining to show the gallivanting parents that their sons do scrub up well when pushed!

All in all, a jam packed but relaxed and easy weekend. A perfect introduction to the delights of double bank holidays!

A time for everything

And a season for every purpose under heaven. Thats the way the verse goes right?

Time is a funny thing. When you want it to pass quickly, like a school child waiting for the holidays, it can seem to last forever. Time drags, every minute lasting a lifetime, and it can feel like you’re never going to reach the end you’re waiting for. In the same way, when you want that day or even that hour to last forever, to be able to keep it, hold it in your hand and never let go, time slips through your fingers like grains of sand.

Well this may seem a little depressing (I think I’m allowed at the moment, I have a bit of time which I know will drag and which I want to be over in a blink). I think also there’s more to it than this. Maybe part of the benefit of blogging is it forces me to write these things down and then I think about them in different ways.

This weekend, like many this summer, was one of those in the second category, which I wanted to be able to hold on to, to make it last. If I could, I wouldn’t let go. But the good thing about that, is that even though the time itself has gone and I have to face the week (and the next) which follows, the memories of these good times are something that can’t slip away. I have them always, each time I close my eyes, whenever I want to think of them. This weekend, the one before, the good times we’ve had. Laughter, hugs, cooking meals and sharing milestones. And these things are what will get me through the time of the first category, which lasts forever and makes me feel so weary with its passing.

When time is slow, the memories of the good things keep me going through the tough times.

Lazing on a sunny afternoon…

I wasn’t working this weekend! For the first time in several weeks I had a whole weekend to play with :D:D:D So I’d planned a weekend in Bristol with Chris, with no plans! And it was mostly sunny as well, anyone would think it was summer 😉

I got down to Bristol Parkway (my favouritest station in the world ;)) later than I would have liked on Friday evening, but with no major delays, spent a nice evening doing not a lot, eating dinner and chatting about life the universe and everything. On Saturday, after a lazy morning we headed out to Cheddar for a lovely walk along the gorge with a stop off in Cheddar itself in the middle for (late) lunch in a nice pub. Then up the other side to complete the circle, although whoever thought lunch should be at the *bottom* of the hill was slightly misguided. And though a short ramble along either side of Cheddar Gorge can’t really be called a walk, it was nice to be outdoors again. And it meant I managed to educate/scare/bore/amuse Chris with my botanical geekery.. I think he’s learnt his lesson about taking me near anything plant-shaped for a while!

That evening was a birthday celebration, which involved a meal we didn’t know about till that afternoon, but which was nicely veggie friendly and rather yummy (with chopsticks a-plenty but no moving food this time!), and then drinking in various locations which meant I ended the evening completely knackered and quite a bit less sober than I’ve been in a while… but it was good fun, and nice to just relax for an evening. And we still managed to be up for church in the morning 🙂 Church was followed by a nice relaxed sunday lunch, sitting in the garden enjoying the sun, and flopping in front of a film before having to catch the train home.

All in all, a rather wonderful weekend, with some good quality ‘us’ time, spending time with the family and with friends, and just chilling out and enjoying the weather. But now I don’t want to have to go back to the ‘normal’ routine of things.. bring on the holidays!!!