The reception and evening party

What a lovely venue in a lovely location for a lovely occasion! The reception and evening do were held at a golf club overlooking the Yorkshire moors: it looked a beautiful but wild place and we joked that you had to be fit to play there.

I have posted pictures on my flikkr account, so click on the link if you want to see them.  The photos here are from Bryn.

Charlotte, as I said, looked stunning and James was looking every bit the handsome groom. They appear to be deeply in love and it is so wonderful to see them joined together and looking so happy on their special day.  The only time I saw either of them looking even slightly less than happy was when they were about to take their first dance.  Unfortunately Wendy and Chris (father and mother of the bride) had popped home to do the milking and had not yet returned.  Charlotte was understandably desperate to have them there for the dance (which they  were eventually).  Apart from that every time I looked across at either of them they were either smiling or beaming.

Charlotte and James have a daughter who is almost two, and she is a delightful child, and she looked lovely and was very good all day.

The bride aa mummy

The bride as mummy

If I had a good opinion of the groom before hand, I had an even better one by the end of the day, he is a caring and helpful person who does his best for even his old aunty when something goes wrong!  I hope and pray that they will always be as happy and as loving as they are today – they are truly a lovely couple, and very dear to my heart.

Siblings and our offspring.

Charlotte is the daughter of my sister Wendy who I think is the best sister a girl could want.

My wonderful sister

My wonderful sister

I am immensely impressed by many of her attributes, and it is no surprise to me that Charlotte has turned out to be such a lovely girl, having such a good mum and dad.  (Chris and my beloved are similar in their characters.  Both are not gregarious like we girls are.)   Her brother James (it is confusing that both her new husband and her brother are called James) is a wonderful lad too.

I have a brother called Philip who is a couple of years younger than me.  He looks more and more like my dad as he ages.  He has been married three times now, and widowed once and I hope that he and his present wife continue to be happy together.  Julie and I are getting to know each other, and I like her.

Philip has three children and Julie has a daughter too, called Vicky who I haven’t met (I think!)  Philip’s son Jason is married to Claire who I hadn’t met before and who I instantly took to.  Jason has grown into a nice bloke.

Philip’s first daughter Sarah came to the evening do, by which time his second daughter, Gemma  had already with left her son  Keiran, who is a few months older than Lydia.  I haven’t spoken to Gemma much for a long time, not for any reason except that we are both busy.  Sarah has two children: Jade  and Morpheus, who is also the son of her partner Steve.  I have been lucky to always get on with Sarah – I guess we are both ‘wild child’ren at heart.  Sarah always impressed me as being a far better mother than any one would have expected, and I am strangely proud of her for this, thought I don’t have any right to be.  Whilst I don’t know Morpheus, I am impressed with Jade – such a serious and intelligent young lady and so very pretty, she is the eldest of my great-nieces and great nephews.

Most of those mentioned sat together much of the day, as did my mother and Bryn, my dearest beloved.

Mum had offered to lend me a handbag, which I didn’t need so she used it.  It was identical to the one I had bought, so all day we kept picking each other’s handbag up.


My new shoes didn’t hurt, I didn’t see anyone get drunk, there were no obvious rows or even slights, it was windy but not freezing, the children got slightly cranky rather than naughty, it spotted rather than rained, and I think pretty much everyone had a good time.  Old hurts and imagined slights were put aside and it seemed that love was in the air.  Hubby has several pictures of loving kindness between generations.

I ate too much and was definately dehydrated by the time I got back home gasping for a cuppa and very tired.  It was a very long day with only one cup of tea all the time we were out. It was the worst cup of tea in the universe – how can tea taste and smell fishy? I had sufficient alcohol to enjoy but not enough to make me silly.

The Wedding

Charlotte and James smile for the camera

Charlotte and James smile for the camera

My partner knows that I am not the most punctual person so told me that we needed to leave for the wedding at ten, but knowing that we would be on time if we left at a quarter past.  I was ready to go before ten so we set off before ten.   We had arranged to pick my son up en route, but of course we were early there so we had to pick him up as he was walking to our planned rendezvous.

As we arrived we drove past a car, and I glanced over and thought, “Oh, good,  Dad is already here”.   I was instantly hit by the thought that since dad died many years ago, it must be my brother.  He does look like  our dad these days.

I had attended the baptism of Charlotte and James’ daughter at church where the wedding was to take place, so was familiar with the type of ceremony.  I can’t say it appealed to me as a Quaker, and I was sharing the experience with a philosophical Taoist/Buddhist and a Pagan.  As the service progressed I realised that one of the songs was sung to the tune Morning has broken’ and was now ‘come to a wedding’.  It didn’t feel much like a hymn.

‘I vow to thee my country’ which is sung to a melody from Jupiter,  Holsts’ Planet suite had been re-written to something about the love between the  couple.    I didn’t feel happy with singing the words so hummed to a lovely tune. The other hymn was All things bright an beautiful.

If I found the christening ceremony unsatisfactory  – a serious lack of silence – I found the wedding ceremony difficult.  Not only was there no silence, but there felt to be no serious important message.  It felt to be all fluff.  This is a solemn promise to be there for one another for the rest of their lives, an undertaking from the congregation that they will uphold this young couple in their promises.  Instead it seemed just a marking of their love – important yes, but surely marriage is more than love, it is about commitment and promises made (in this case) in front of God.

It felt a rushed preliminary to the reception, a perfunctory part of the deal.  I didn’t feel that this was the fault of the family, but a failing of the church. It was made worse by the fact that the reading from Corinthians was one that I know well because Oswin used to read it occasionally.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”

It felt wrong to me – this was like a clanging cymbal without the depth of spirituality, with mention of God pushed aside.

It is possible that I may be mistaken in this, though, and that the wedding service meant a huge amount to others, and that it was just me who felt a lack of the presence of God in the church.


Charlotte looked beautiful as she hurried to the front of the church: I found tears in my eyes as I saw her.  My heart was full as I heard the young people say their vows.

The wedding outfit.

I went into town last Saturday to find suitable clothes to wear for Charlotte and James’ wedding.  I had no real idea what I wanted, but a vague idea that it would probably be a floaty, summery dress with a matching or co-ordinating jacket.  I had a look at the M&S website and also the BHS one.  I did see something I really liked, but the site said that it was out of stock in my size.

So I went into St Annes and parked up on the crescent where my beloved said he had seen a clothes shop with nice clothes in.  Hubby had given me what he considered enough money; I had a budget, but if I needed more I could ring him.

There are three clothes shops on the crescent so it was not obvious which one, but i soon found myself in one that did clothes in my size (and up to a 26 too, which is several sizes larger).  I asked the assistant for help – told her I was off to a wedding and needed clothes!  She instantly picked out a silver top which I wasn’t keen on, a close fitted black dress (surely not!), a large-patterned jacket which instantly appealed  and a lace cardigan that I really liked.  Surprisingly the dress was a size too big but a samller one looked really good on, esepecially when teamed with the cardigan, though it looked great with the  jacket too.  I was sold, but then thought that the dress would be too big in a few month’s time.  Disheartened, I tried on the silver top, and that was a revelation, it looked really good on.  I popped on a black skirt, but really I have three in my wardrobe at home – I cannot justify another.  So I bought the silver top and decided to take the jacket as well.

Then there was a need for shoes- preferably high heeled silver shoes – the main problem being that I cannot wear heals.  I managed to find a pair of wedge heel sandals.  They are very high and I feared that by the end of the day I would be crippled.  My mum suggested that I go to hers and borrrow her new silver handbag to complete the ensamble.  As it happened I found a silver handbag in a sale on the Sunday.