Hannah and I were classmates at l'Institut de Francais in Villefranche, France five years ago, became friends and thanks to the social media(Facebook)which she encouraged me to join have kept in touch. That means I have followed her adventures with Philip(the groom)as she has followed mine.
So when she said that if I was in England at the time she would like me to come to their wedding I accepted the invitation and told her I would come as a lark. I booked a flight and arrived a couple of days before the event during which I went on the London Eye, visited the British Museum, The National Portrait Gallery, and got to see The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre. And I walked in the rain, visited pubs and Foyle's Bookshop. But this Blog is about a wedding like no other I had ever heard of.
Hannah had arranged for me to stay with a friend of her parents, June Kalb.....I am so glad she did since June and I had some very nice talks, drank tea and had some scones too. I had been met at Westminster train station by Chris, Hannah's brother, dropped off at June's and in half an hour was picked up and taken to an old pub for lunch with a number of H and P's friends. Of course they made me feel very welcome and then we all walked on footpaths to the Parish Church of St Mary The Virgin, Twyford. The church building is Victorian but the parish has been there 1000 years.
The service was very traditional, like Effie's and my own 64 years ago, but there were readings by friends and Chris's wife Hannah sang during the signing of the register. I was a little emotional and although Hannah had provided polka dot kleenex for Happy Tears I didn't need to use mine.
So a lovely service in a beautiful old church ended, we all threw confetti and then were bussed to a farmer's field for "bubbly" and "games". In the field there were bales of hay for seating, a table loaded with bottles of bubbly and we were given instructions and distinctive hats for each team. H and P had named team leaders, a member of each team made sure our glasses never reached empty and we were ready to participate. Well, I wasn't, but before long thanks to my teammates and the level of fun, soon was. And thankfully after lots of rain preceding the wedding day the weather was perfect. And the team I was on won. What fun!
And we then moved on to the barn for the reception and dinner. I had expected this to be a catered affair. It wasn't! H and P along with help from family and friends had worked preparing the field and setting up the barn. A whole pig was bar-be-cued, the bride's Mother made the desert and other treats came from friends. There was a band, speeches, dancing and a very good time was had by all.
The next day I went Hannah's parents' home for breakfast and stayed for lunch too. There were other out of towners, family and friends and H and P showed up too after working in the rain dismantling the set-up at the farm including hauling rain soaked bales of hay under cover. Mary and John Timms are very gracious hosts, Mary's food was delicious and I enjoyed being in such a friendly home.
Then I was taken to the train station, spent the night in London and got up before O6:00 to catch the plane home. Thus endeth a marvellous five days.