One wedding, no funerals, loads of beer and pasties

3 07 2013

It’s the final day of our visit to the Sceptred Isle (er, I think that’s a synonym for Britain – apologies if it’s actually Salt Spring or the Isle of Wight or some such) and it’s time to pause for breath and review what we’ve got up to over the past three weeks. It’s been a holiday full of fun and frolics, starting with our rental car at Gatwick Airport. Son-in-law TJ and I looked somewhat doubtfully at the Peugeot 506 which was advertised as a seven seater. As there were only six of us, including two year old Eli and four month old Miles, we’d assumed there would be room to spare. “It’s a compact”, said TJ as we crammed the last of our suitcases into the back, leaving just enough room for Scottish Wife to scramble in through the hatchback. “It’s all we’ve got”, said daughter Kate and off we went. I’ll draw a veil over what should have been an easy 90 minute trip up the M25 and M11 to our destination, but turned into a three hour odyssey through south east London. Still, at least I can say I’ve been to Bromley. Twice. We arrived at the in-laws late Thursday afternoon, which gave us about 36 hours to get over jet lag and prepare for the wedding of our lovely niece Bethany and her nearly-as-lovely fiancé James:

Mr and Mrs Rawlinson exchanging vows at All Saints Church, Rayne

Mr and Mrs Rawlinson exchanging vows at All Saints Church, Rayne. Despite appearances, Boris Johnson (Mayor of London) was not officiating. It was actually Reverend Julie, who had many of us in tears with her beautiful sermon.

The weather on the great day was perfect – right up until the moment the guests arrived in the Walkers’ back yard for the reception, at which point the rain came lashing down, soon to be accompanied by thunder and lightning. Fortunately, we were protected by the biggest, coolest marquee I’ve ever been in outside a circus:

Inside the marquee. Yup, that's a genuine, full grown greengage tree under the big top! It was one mother of a marquee...

Inside the big top, before the decorations really got under way. Yup, that’s a genuine, full grown greengage tree! It was one mother of a marquee…

...and a few hours later, the wedding party is in full swing

…and a few hours later, the wedding party is in full swing

It was an epic day, made all the more dramatic by the sudden change in weather. The Walker family certainly know how to throw a party, er wedding. (Do you actually ‘throw’ weddings?) There was, of course, eating, drinking, speechifying and dancing aplenty, all of which went on until the wee hours.

Two days later we were off down to Cornwall, staying in rented cottages in the picturesque village of Lerryn:

Rental car in front of rental cottage, Lerryn, Cornwall

Rental car in front of rental cottage, Lerryn, Cornwall. 7 seater. Seriously.

Low tide on the Lerryn estuary

Low tide on the Lerryn estuary

Back in the day, Scottish Wife and her sister Sue spent every summer of their childhood in Cornwall (travelling down by train from Glasgow) and their love of England’s most southerly county is infectious. The weather was, shall we say, typical of a British summer. One day was spent relaxing on the beach at Perranporth, another walking the cliffs from Tintagel to Trebarwith Strand. The former took place in bright, warm sunshine; the latter in pouring rain. Both days were great!

Grumps (yours truly) and grandson Miles, both showing their best sides. Gull Rock (off Trebarwith) in the background.

Grumps (yours truly) and grandson Miles, both showing their best sides. Gull Rock (off Trebarwith Strand) in the background. Not quite raining yet, although  Miles seems to  be anticipating a bit of precipitation.

One hour, one visit to the pub, two pints and one pasty later...

One hour, one visit to the pub, two pints, one pasty and one downpour later. Note the ice cream cone in Kate’s hand – you can’t have a summer without Cornish ice cream.

Eli: "I'm all rainy, Grumps!" Me: "Yeah. I know, Eli. Great, innit?"

Eli: “I’m all rainy, Grumps!”
Me: “Yeah. I know, Eli. Great, innit?”

The following day, the Brookers and Fishers visited the stunning Eden Project, only eight miles from our rental cottage, but at least a thirty minute drive through the ridiculously narrow and winding Cornish lanes. You haven’t lived (or, indeed, had a true near death experience) until you’ve travelled the highways and byways of Cornwall!

Julie in the rainforest biome at the Eden project

Julie in the rainforest biome at the Eden Project. (Many, many thanks to Ben Davies and his Cornish supervisor Pauline for providing the tickets!)

The variety of plants was stunning and we were shocked when we realised we’d been there five hours, without a peep of protest from the boys. Eli loved the tractor train at ‘the project’, as he called it, but three days later we were in Corfe Castle, Dorset and he got to see the real thing:

Eli and the self-styled 'Slim Controller'. I persuaded Eli to ask this gentleman if he was Sir Topham Hat (of Thomas the Tank Engine fame). He denied it, but did introduce us to his friend the Portly Porter.

Eli and the self-styled ‘Slim Controller’. I persuaded Eli to ask this gentleman if he was Sir Topham Hat (of Thomas the Tank Engine fame). He denied it, but did introduce us to his friend the Portly Porter. (Not shown. Too big to fit in the picture).

The Swanage – Corfe Castle heritage railway is a six mile track maintained by around 400 volunteers. It has a regular timetable and will soon link up with the British Railway track, which at present ends at the nearby town of Wareham.

The Corfe - Swanage steam railway is maintained by 400 volunteers. Eli was in heaven!

Corfe Castle in the background. Cromwell’s Roundheads 1 King’s Cavaliers 0

A few days in Dorset with me Mum and siblings, nephews and nieces (none of whom, thankfully, were ejected from Splashdown water park this year) and it was back to Essex and the in laws for one last week. More food and drink – if I get weighed at check in at Gatwick tomorrow, there’s a serious risk of extra charges – a visit to the Turkish barber’s in Braintree and a wonderful day yesterday watching the cricket (Essex v England) at the County Ground, Chelmsford. Who could ask for more? Apart from a round of golf, that is, or another Cornish pasty…

Proper 'ansome, my lover!

Proper ‘ansome, my lover!

All da best! Dave B.

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16 responses

3 07 2013
G the SBer

sounds like good fun had by all.
see you on the links Friday. I’m sure that the usual collection of sand baggers will be in attendance.

3 07 2013
Bagger Dave

Looking forward to it, Glennie. Not a hint of golf in three weeks – I’m genuinely pining…

3 07 2013
Martin

Wonderful trip Dave…brought back lots of memories. And I’m drooling for an oggie!

3 07 2013
Bagger Dave

Top marks for your knowledge of Cornish dialect, Martin. You ain’t no grockle!

3 07 2013
Robinski

Glad to see you and your family are enjoying yourselves. Gotta go there someday. When you say pasties do you really mean pastries? In Canada pasties have a whole different meaning usually associated with tassles.

3 07 2013
Bagger Dave

Pastries?Tassles? I can see I’m going to have to restart those English lessons with you, Robinski. Pasties are meat pies with handles made of crusts that the tin miners used to eat in years gone by. They are the bees knees!

3 07 2013
John Carswell

Great blog! kate learn yuz how to place the pics innit? Pasties are the best, specially the curried chicken ones from Mousehole!

4 07 2013
Bagger Dave

And how many Canadians know how to pronounce Mousehole, John?

Cheers

Dave

5 07 2013
Len Doyle

Happy you and the family had a great trip David but its about time you looked after your Canadian Pairs tournament. Just kiddin, welcome home..Lennie

6 07 2013
Bagger Dave

Every year I tell you I owe you a beer for all your help, Lennie, and every year I forget. This year – I’ve forgotten again already…

8 07 2013
Pauline

Wot! no cream tea picture with proper Cornish clotted cream? Those pasties look sooooo great, I can’t believe you ate the lot and didn’t bring one back! And let’s get things right ‘ere shall we – you were emmits not grockels, darn tourists! Really pleased you had a good time, really miss home right now tho’!

8 07 2013
Bagger Dave

I thought it was emmits in Cornwall and grockles in Dorset. I’m losing it (again). I do have a cream tea related piccie, taken in Fowey, which i shall send you soon.

8 07 2013
Angela Vincent

Davis, as my comment is “awaiting moderation”, I thought I ought to moderate it moi-meme!

I am truly shocked and disappointed by your acceptance of the evolution (surely it can’t be ignorance?) of the English language!

Since when did bees not have an apostrophe before their knees?

La (the Luddite, but still a grammatical dinosaur!) xx

8 07 2013
Bagger Dave

Excellent point, La, although at least I have enough respect for the French language to use circumflexes where appropriate – as in moi-même, for instance.

8 07 2013
Angela Vincent

Point well made, Davis.

I was, of course, clearly aware of this, but sadly am unaware (hence “La The Luddite”) of how to access the aforementioned circonflexe on this machine. If I’m wearing spectacles and am in daylight, I can find those pesky blighters when I’m texting and “il va sans dire que je les utilise quand j’ecris (oui, sans accent – quelle horreur!) en “Word””.

Please, I beg of thee, oh Master, assail me of the knowledge wherein I can show my respect of the French language!

LaLa (the very much younger sis and a mere minion in comparison with Davis The Great very much older sibling!) xx

8 07 2013
Bagger Dave

Dear Sis,

1. Stop drinking the red wine.
2. Go to bed.
3 Use Alt 0234.

Davis

P.S. Assail or avail? Wherein or whereby? Enough already.

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