Archive for August, 2017

Sarah and Lee’s Wedding

Posted in Uncategorized on August 25, 2017 by David Palmer

During the build up to Sarah and Lee’s wedding the big concern was what the weather was going to do? The long-term forecast predicted the week of the ceremony to be very damp, but indicated that Wednesday may be the best day. And so it turned out to be. Monday and Tuesday saw heavy showers throughout the day and so was Thursday and Friday, but wonderful Wednesday was perfect! Sunshine, blue sky and puffy white clouds, great for photos and a reception in a marquee.

Saturday: Charlotte stayed over at Sarah’s and helped prepare things.

Sunday: Sue drove over to Tenbury Wells to collect Sheila. She was staying with us for the wedding. Charlotte and Sarah spent the day at Eden Hall on a Pamper day. I took the opportunity of a reasonable weather forecast to paint the balcony decking.

Monday:  Sue and Sheila take Ellis and Lucas to Corby to enjoy Muddy Mondays (play scheme).

Tuesday: Sarah dropped Mia off for us to look after until she came back from honeymoon, Charlotte arrived and they both set off to The Blue Bell, Easton on the Hill to prepare the marquee with Lee. They stayed that night with the bridesmaids at a lovely cottage in Braunston in Rutland . Lee had separate accommodation with the best man and friends.

Wedding Day: I took Mia to a neighbour of Charlotte’ s as they were looking after her until Thursday. I then drove back to Harborough followed by Suraj and two very smart page boys, Lucas and Ellis.

After changing into my suit, Suraj drove me over to the cottage in Braunston  while Sue took Sheila and the boys to Normanton Church on Rutland Water. On arriving at the cottage we were met by the photographer and waited while Sarah got dressed in readiness for the coming ceremony. The girls had been attended to by a hairdresser and stylist earlier that morning and the they all looked stunning, but when Sarah revealed herself in her wedding dress I was lost for words. I felt so proud that I was going to walk up the aisle with a very beautiful young lady.

The photographer took a lot photos of the girls in what was quite an idyllic rural scene.

Suraj left with the bridesmaids for the church and Sarah and I had a short wait before the wedding limousine arrived to take the proud father and bride to the church.

Most of the guests were already seated when our car swept down along the south shore of the lake and stopped a discrete 100m away. Things have changed since Sue and I exchanged vows. We had to wait for the registrar to interview Sarah, this has to be done just prior to entering the church and it was done inside the car. I believe that it is to confirm that the person on the previously submitted paperwork IS the person actually here today. I guess this is to prevent illegal immigration. The minor delay was useful as it gave an opportunity for a few late comers to enter the church.

As we stood outside the church on the promontory reaching out into the lake, I couldn’t help think that there was a theme going on here between my daughters. Both had chosen to be married just a few steps away from water! The Tenbury Wells church where Sue and I married, is next to the river Teme, I do wonder.

Though listening intently to the words of the ceremony I couldn’t help be distracted by the little white-sailed yachts, scudding past our windows, framed as in a scene  painted by Enrique Simonet. 

With the formalities completed, we all came under the direction of the photographer, who arranged our quite substantial party into a variety of groups and poses with the very picturesque church in the back ground. With every possible combination of family and friends exhausted, supplemented by even more natural, ‘I didn’t know I was being photographed’  being taken, we left for the reception.

The party from Nottingham had arrived at the church by coach, Sue, Sheila and I passed this on the way to the reception, beating it to one of the last parking spaces in the pub car park. We were presented with drinks on arrival and  no sooner had we sat down to chat to friends and  relations when savoury chicken on a stick was offered. A variety of games had been made available in the adjoining field for the children and these proved popular, keeping them occupied and quiet. After half an hour of mingling, thankful that the cover of the marquee was not needed on a lovely warm and sunny afternoon, we took our seats inside at the behest of the Master of Ceremonies, resplendent in his red outfit.

As usual the top table attended to the buffet first followed by each table as instructed by the MC. At the appropriate time the father of the bride was invited to address the wedding guests. I had prepared a few brief points to cover before the usual toast to the bride and groom however, the  speech contrived to around 25 minutes, supplemented with quite a few additions that popped into my head. I am afraid I have to blame the demon drink, it is well-known for lubricating the tongue! Following an excellent (and appropriate length) response by the groom we were then entertained by the best man.

The cutting of the cake was unusual in that it was made entirely of differing layers of cheese and the knife was sabre, provided by the MC. Highly novel and very good fun.

With the formalities completed, the mixing and entertainment began. All, no matter what age, visited the Photo-booth and left their inhibitions outside as they dressed up and took up a variety of risky body positions. No doubt the earlier toasts contributed to many of these public displays of hilarity. Other entertainment was a singer/musician with a fine voice who had appeared on the X Factor and one of Sarah’s work colleagues who did a spot as a stand-up comic. The evening continued with the arrival of the obligatory DJ. The joining of two families can sometimes be a fraught with difficulty, but thanks to Sarah and Lee, this wedding had been planned down to the finest of detail, they had created a lovely atmosphere that just put a smile on everyone’s lips and the only tears shed were for those that could no longer be with us and who had thoughtfully been remembered in small but appropriate ways.

Late in the evening, Ashton made a couple of journeys to the William Cecil Hotel in nearby Stamford to take the Rothwells, Sheila, Sue, Jamie and I to rooms for the night. Glowing with a mixture of pride and alcohol I slept well.

Married Life: Lee and Sarah Price spent their first night in wedlock at the cottage in Braunston that Sarah and the bridesmaids had used the night before. They spent most of the next day in something called a ‘Duvet’ day?

At the William Cecil we all, except Jamie and Ashton who had left very early as they had to go to work, met for breakfast. Afterwards Suraj and I took a taxi back to the Bluebell to help clear up and collect the unused food items, while the rest of our party went window shopping in Stamford. Packing everything we could into Suraj’s car, he followed me in Sue’s car, back to Stamford to pick up the rest of our party and travel back to Harborough. I picked up Mia later in the day. I think she was glad to see me.

At 6am the following day Lee and Sarah arrived at Willow Bank in time for me drive them to Manchester Airport in time to meet one of her bridesmaids (Abby) who just happened to be flying to the USA with her family. I believe they met up in the departure lounge for breakfast. I travelled on to Salford and spent a pleasant three and a half hours with Uncle Stan. For a 95yr old his mind is still very sharp, though his eyesight is now poor. He is having a cataract operation to hopefully improve his vision on August 28th. On my return journey I was caught stationary on the motorway in a thunderstorm. Coincidentally, Sarah and Lee’s plane was also stranded on the runway by the same storm for an hour.

The rest of the week was spent entertaining Sheila, Ellis and Lucas, thankfully the weather was reasonable and allowed the boys be outside as much as inside on their ipads. Sue took Sheila back to Tenbury Wells on Sunday and on the Tuesday we (including Mia) and the boys returned Sarah’s wedding dress hoop to the bridal shop in Sileby and then checked on the house in Braunston, everything seemed fine. On our return to Harborough we stopped for ice-creams and a walk in Knighton Park.

It was Sue’s birthday on the 23rd. She went to see a film at the Odeon Kettering in the afternoon and in the evening we had a meal at Casa Nostra, a new Italian restaurant in Harborough.

Other News

The Rothwells have booked a week away in Normandy next week.

Sarah and Lee had a great time in South Korea (avoided starting any wars) and have now moved on to Vietnam.

At the weekend Jamie is  hosting his first training seminar at the Hilton Hotel Liverpool on how to use his Binary Destroyer software. Next week he is purchasing an Aston Martin.

 

A very changeable July

Posted in Uncategorized on August 13, 2017 by David Palmer

While Jamie was enjoying the sun and heat of Tenerife with his friend Bill, back in the UK we were being treated to a typical British summer. A few promising days somehow got mixed into a miserable cavalcade of showers, cool temperatures and wind. At least the garden and allotments enjoyed the regular dousing and responded with rapidly maturing vegetables and fruit well before their usual time. Sue took charge of picking the raspberries, goose berries and currants and then had to move on to bottling beetroot in readiness for the winter. The greenhouse kicked into overdrive and the tomatoes and cucumbers joined the throng. It is lucky that Charlotte and Ellis love cucumber and devour them like bags of sweets!

On the 18th Sue took a day off from picking and bottling to attend Lucas’s and Ellis’s sports day. It was a rare hot and sunny day, just right for children to run around and have fun. I find the non-competitive sports days favoured by Rothwell school as rather pointless and quite annoying, so did not attend.

The following day, Pip (Sue’s sister) arrived by train from Buckfastleigh in Devon. Unfortunately, she brought the rain with her! First, Sue took her to visit Sarah, Mia and Lee and they managed a delightful excursion to Bradgate Park where they managed a tour of the ruins of Lady Jane Grey’s house.

On the 20th July they caught the bus into Leicester and visited the Richard 3rd exhibition, the Cathedral and the Guildhall. They followed this up with a visit to Charlotte’s on the 21st.

Pip returned home on the 22nd. Jamie arrived back with a heavy sun tan and a spare tyre from his ‘All Inclusive’ jaunt.

It was our wedding anniversary on the 24th and we celebrated it with Lucas and Ellis with a lunch of fish and chips in Stamford. We did a trial run to Normanton Church on Rutland water to check out times and parking in readiness for Sarah’s wedding. Next, we visited the reception venue before checking out the hotel in Stamford where we will be staying after the celebrations. On the way back to Harborough we detoured to the marina and found the yacht that Sarah and Lee have recently bought. The boys loved climbing all over it and can’t wait for their first sail on her.

boat

The next day Sue took the boys on an organised coach trip to Knebworth. Again, the weather smiled on them and they had lovely day, visiting the house, dinosaur trail, maze and sculpture trail. It was a very full day and they were all exhausted when they returned. They all slept well that night!

After lunch the following day, Sue and I drove to North Wales and checked into the Bryn Howel Hotel near Llangollen. It is the place where we first met each other in 1972 and I guess it was quite appropriate that we stayed there near to the date of our wedding anniversary. It was a sunny but windy day and late in the afternoon we stretched our legs on a walk to the ruined castle above the town. We ate that night in the hotel.

castle

After a late breakfast we drove to the Crematorium just outside Wrexham. We attended the funeral of my cousin, Jeff Vaughan. We are the same age and often when the Palmers visited our Welsh relatives he was the one I used to play with as a little boy. He owned his own building company and for many years lived in Spain. I last saw him when he attended my mother’s funeral. He lost his battle with brain tumours.

After the funeral and tea we returned to Harborough. It was nice to see my Welsh relatives once again, but I guess it is the only on sad occasions such as this that they now gather together, and that in itself is also regrettable.

On a lighter note, the following Saturday Lee and Sarah came with Mia. It is their custom to visit the fireworks competition held at nearby Stanford Hall. Sue and I looked after Mia while they watched the displays in atrocious conditions. The rain hammered it down all night, I am surprised they managed to see anything at all! In the past they have camped overnight, but wisely this time they came back around midnight and took a disappointed Mia home.

The start of August was no different to July. Optimistically I bought an awning for the back patio (well, it is summer!), I mounted it on the wall above the dining room window and extends  by way of a winder. Jim came to give me a hand to mount it on its brackets as it is far too heavy for one person. Annoyingly it was far to windy to open it and give it a test. That had to wait for another four days!

On the 5th Jim and I attended the Foxton Cider and Sausage Festival. Though we were planning to cycle there, Sue had to take drive us in a thunderstorm.  The event obviously didn’t do as well as it would have done if the weather had been better, but everything has a silver lining. We got chatting to the guitarist/singer who had been booked to entertain the throng, but had to make do with us two and a few others. It turned out that he had once played with Deep Purple, though he we couldn’t cajole him into playing ‘Smoke on the Water’! We later got chatting to an Aussie, who turned out to be a professional house sitter. He and his wife travel the world. He is presently in nearby Welford. So far this year he has been to France Belgium, Greece and Italy. Now there is a thought.

On the 10th I was picked up at 6am and travelled with Sean, David Tomlinson and Rick to Snowdon. Rick had flown over from Texas (where he lives) to attend the funeral of his father. He was staying with Sean and they had decided to climb Snowdon and invited myself and Dave to accompany them. We had just had two days of rain, but the 10th was a gorgeously warm day.

We stopped in Llangollen for breakfast before driving to Pen-y-pass. As expected the parking at the start of our walking route was full and we had to drive on to a carpark in the village which was 3 miles away. There we caught a bus back. Under clear blue skies we set off along the Pyg Track, joining the human conveyor belt winding its way upwards.  We chatted to fellow walkers that we passed, cracking jokes and generally larking about until the steepness and rugged terrain silenced our antics. With many stops along this most difficult of routes up the mountain, we eventually reached the top of the zig-zags to find ourselves in cloud. Carrying on to the summit station and Trig point we took photos before visiting the centre for much-needed water and toilets.

m1

m2

The return journey was by way of the Miners Track. A longer but much easier route than our way up to the summit. We descended again in sunshine. Rather strangely, on our descent we passed 100’s (yes, 100’s) of Muslims. The men dressed in sensible shorts and T-shirts, but the women in full Burkas, with their eyes peeping out of slits. Weird.

Then, even more stranger we started coming across 100’s (yes, 100’s) of Jews. The men and boys sporting skull caps and ringlets, dressed in black coats, white shirts, black trousers and shiny shoes. The women were dressed in frocks with purple turban like hats. Weird. Both sects seemed to be having fun on their steep hike, but I do wonder if this was planned? Neither group seem to react/respond to the other and suppose that was a good thing? Many of those that we passed on their way up were never going to make it to the summit as their dress was inappropriate for the final stages. We came across large numbers of them sitting in their ethnic groups half way up alongside the path near the lakes. I guess these were the sensible ones.

It took us 6 hours to reach the summit and return.  We stopped for a very pleasant meal at a pub around an hour into our journey, before eventually reaching Harborough at 11.30pm.

A batch of home-brew beer that I had started 3 weeks ago was ready on the following day. It tasted quite pleasant, but nothing exceptional.

On Saturday I painted the balcony decking with some exorbitantly expensive paint before walking with Jim and his dogs to the pub in Harrington to recover.

On Sunday, Sue drove over Tenbury Wells to pick-up Sheila. She is staying with us for a few days and is also attending Sarah’s wedding on Wednesday.  I carried on painting the balcony.

The next blog will be all about Sarah and Lee’s wedding.