The 2nd & 3rd; I nearly did a cry.
The 2nd of June. Such a long day of driving. We got up, packed the car and set off to pick up Taid from New Street. Unfortunately, the assistance people at Llandudno forgot about him so they didn't put him on his train, and they had to put him on the next one. That meant he had to change at Shrewsbury, not Crewe, and he got to us forty minutes later than he should have. Not very impressive.
Once we'd got him in the car, we then drove to the excellent service station in Gloucester, the one where they have a farm shop. We had some food, then I went to wander round the farm shop. I got a cinnamon swirl from the Richard Bertinet bakery, and two chocolate brownies - one classic chocolate for me, and one salted peanut brittle for Christine.
Back in the car! I spent my whole journey listening to the Do You Like Scary Podcasts? podcast about Scream (the tv series), trying to catch up to where I've watched. I had to stop when we got near Taid's hotel, because then I had to start looking at Google maps to work out where we needed to go. It was very stressful because poor signal meant I couldn't accurately see where we were, so we made a couple of wrong turns and it took a bit longer than it should have. Still, we got there in the end! Then we had to pick up Christine from the station here and get to the Tesco in Newton Abbot by 6 to pick up our order from the click and collect. We got there with two minutes to spare! Phew.
Then all we had to do was get to the house. Thankfully, that did not take very long, just the roads at the end were a bit narrow and windy. Great fun in a people carrier. Now we have had fish and chips for dinner, as is traditional, and will be doing our best to get a good sleep before tomorrow's wedding festivities!
The 3rd of June.
I highly recommend being ill directly before a wedding. Everyone is so much more delighted to see you! Well done me for attending.
I had a pretty reasonable sleep, only woken by the bright morning light about 5 but I was able to ignore it. I got up and dressed into my wedding outfit straight away - it's hard enough to get dressed once, I'm not going to put one set of clothes on to get changed a few hours later. I had some breakfast and Mommy went get me a coffee (thankfully there is a shop that sells a decent flat white nearby), then I had to put make up on for the first time in about a month. Thankfully, it was not too uncomfortable for my eyes, although they were not loving it. So many eye drops.
We arrived at the church about half an hour early and it was entertaining trying to get the wheelchair in. The hardest bit was the gravel outside - the wheels did not cope well. I had to be pushed for a while. Actually inside the church, it was fine, I just drove it down the aisle and parked it, then sat in a pew with Mommy and Christine, and Daddy sat behind.
The ceremony was very traditional, and it involved the Eucharist in which I obviously did not partake. We sung some songs, including a curious rendition of One More Step Along The Way I Go - the organist didn't seem to know the rhythm, so the end of every verse was unknown territory. When we came out, a guard of honour had been created with oars (John's family row, Maddie's sail) so we all waited for them to come out so they could be covered in confetti (which blended into my hair very well), then we all got in our cars to go to Exeter Castle for the reception.
There was much milling about at this point, the way people do at weddings while waiting for the food to start. I decided against having any Pimms, I thought it would be wise to stick with one type of alcohol if I was going to drink. Just wine for me. We had a brief rain shower, and the Red Arrows did a fly past (not for us but a nice surprise all the same), then it was time to go and eat! It was past 3 o'clock by this point, so we were all quite hungry. Christine and I were on a table with two of John's cousins, a family friend of Maddie's, another friend of Maddie's, and three of John's friends from medical school/university. It was a good group! There were two short speeches before we ate, from Maddie's stepdad and her mum, then it was time for deep-fried camembert. So good, but so viscous. I felt like my mouth was stuck together, but for delicious reasons so who cares? The main course was brought out on boards - chicken with stuffing, plus bowls of vegetables, so we had to serve ourselves. Our method involved getting someone to stab you a bit of chicken, and the vegetables got passed around. The parsnips were excellent. The dessert was wedding cake, and very good it was too. Then John did his speech and it was very sweet - I nearly did a cry, but managed to hold them in. Giles, the best man's speech followed, which was very funny, although not long enough (we had a sweepstake running on our table and my guess was way off).
After that, we all congregated outside for more photos before the evening festivities. There was a room for dancing, the bar, and a chill out room, plus an outside terrace. I started out in the dancing room, although purely as an observer - I can barely walk, so dancing is very much out of the question. There was a big old Ceilidh which was very entertaining but looked knackering, then John and Maddie had their first dance. Once other people started joining in, I went outside and sat in the remaining sun with Sophie and we mainly talked about cats and babies until it got cold, and I went back inside to find the dancing room empty and most people in the bar. I found a chair at the side and texted Mommy to find out how much longer we were going to stay because I was pooped. Thankfully, they agreed that it was time we ought to head off, particularly as we had to take Taid back to his hotel, so I said my goodbyes to the happy couple and went back to the car for some oxygen. We made the right choice, because by the time we got back to the house, I was ready to sleep. Well, eat some toast, then have sleep.