Monday, 8 August 2011

Wedding Bells

We just got back from the wedding of our dearest friends Iain and Rachel. It was a small intimate affair where they paid for the exclusive use of Caer Beris Manor in Wales—a gorgeous Edwardian building with stunning grounds filled with  trees and gardens and lots of places for spiders to hide (we spent many happy hours strolling the grounds with our catch and release cup looking for spiders. We saw many different sorts including several wolf spiders with egg sacs) and there was a bouncy suspension bridge that was perfect for playing Poohsticks! Click here to see this gorgeous place: If you click on “take a tour” then you can actually see our room! It is the pink one with the 4 poster canopy bed. It was lovely—and the carpet was the exact shade of my wedding dress so it felt especially romantic. It is well worth clicking on the all the links to view the grounds and the place. It was stunning and perfect to have everyone there for a whole weekend.

Now how do you get to Wales, you might ask? Well Iain and Rachel think of everything. Rachel’s dad is a coach driver so we loaded up a big ole coach and picked people up along the way and drove there. We were the first to be picked up—I mean you can’t ask for more than front door service, can you? And then we stopped off to get family and friends (including all the flowers and the auntie who arranged them) plus the tuxes and wedding dress etc. We arrived mid afternoon and had a lovely relaxed time until the evening BBQ.

Ah, but Spidergrrl, what can you eat a BBQ you might ask? And well you should. We had been a tad bit worried about how it would go food wise. We filled the suitcase half full of clothes and half full of food. Just in case. There is a line in AR Gurney’s play The Dining Room where the grumpy old man says “I went to Europe once. Didn’t like it. I filled a trunk with shredded wheat and when it ran out I came home.” But we needn’t have worried—Matt the chef was amazing and cooked us separate gourmet food at every meal. When everyone else was chowing down on dead animals at the BBQ we had peppers stuffed with saffron rice and vegetables. In our house we always secretly call stuffed peppers by the very un-vegan but damn funny name of monkey heads. But trust me—no monkeys were harmed in the making of these delicious dishes. It was nice because we could just hang out, chat with people and get to know everyone.

Saturday, Spiderman and I strolled into town and pottered around charity shops and went to a craft fayre at a church and spent time in an old cemetery. We came away with the most *amazing* embossed, illuminated framed painting of Hans Christian Andersen dreaming of all his stories—we have identified around 43 stories references so far. Best £5 spent ever. This will be worth a post in itself to talk you through all the story references. Then back for the 2:00 wedding!

The wedding itself was so very Iain and Rachel—a beautiful civil ceremony overlooking the grounds with several readings from quirky Edward Monkton about a dinosaur and the other lovely dinosaur who won his heart to AA Milne. I was reading the Milne—a poem called And Us Too which ends :
So wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
"What would I do?" I said to Pooh,
"If it wasn't for you," and Pooh said: "True,
It isn't much fun for One, but Two,
Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. "That's how it is," says Pooh.

Then there was a shed load of photos (in between the Welsh rain) followed by a slap up sit down meal. Again we were not disappointed with our meal. We had steamed veg in a peanut sauce as a starter and then roasted veg and wild mushroom risotto as our main course and then fruit salad in an orange sauce for pudding.

Then there was the DISCO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At this point Spiderman went to hide in our room like the cat cowering under the sofa when you bring out the hoover but I boogied like the Tasmanian Devil until midnight completely sober, which is more than I can say for the rest of the dancers. But I had a fabbity fab time dancing my heart out until I smelled like a goat (as did everyone else by the end) to the awesome live band. I think what makes us such a good couple is we are perfectly happy to let the other do what they need. It would be cruel to insist that he come to a noisy place and be expected to dance or at the least sit there while I did. It would be equally unfair if he said he wanted me to watch the Mummy II with him and I felt guilty and left the party to watch a crappy film when I wanted to dance. So I occasionally popped up to say hello (and put on more deodorant) and he occasionally popped down to the bar for a coke to shout HELLO to me over the music. Perfect for us both.

The next morning we packed the coach and went back home, dropping Iain and Rachel off in Flitwick train station so they could go on their honeymoon.

It was a wonderful weekend, in a posh place with gourmet food, nature walks and spider spotting, making new friends, charity shopping and nabbing of a bargain painting and sharing the happiest day in the lives of people we love. Couldn’t ask for more.


  1. Heather, I am so very happy for your friends, and that you had such a wonderful time!

  2. loved the longer verbal description over the phone yesterday-----thanks for the links in here. So glad you had a great time, little dancing queen.