How can you not enjoy a wedding? It was a great occasion in August for two lovely people. Their family and friends all gathered to witness them make their vows. The venue: Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where Laura is a fellow. The ceremony was followed by an amazing vegan reception and then dancing. It seemed everyone enjoyed themselves. Our granddaughter Emily fulfilled a lifelong ambition to be a bridesmaid, grandson Alex was a page boy. Their dad, Wes, was best man. Joan baked and decorated the cake and Deborah delivered a reading in the ceremony. So everyone had a job apart from the groom’s dad who just made himself useful and at times was left holding the baby. Anna (the baby) won everyone’s hearts without even trying.
Two more weddings of the year
There were two other family weddings this year, both in May. First my niece Robyn was married to Marcus. The wedding was in a glamorous barn in the Cotswolds – we had a great time. Robyn and Marcus live in in London. Robyn is Mark and Helena’s daughter. The second was for our nieces son, Jake, who married Rhiana in Royal Wootton Bassett. Jake is the grandson of Joan’s sister, Ann. At his wedding I was the official photographer while everyone else had a great time!
Barrie ran three half marathons to satisfy his recent obsession with running. The first, in Coventry, was cancelled because of the Beast from the East. So rather than disappoint all the sponsors who’s donated to charity he ran the same distance near York a couple of weeks later.
The next was the Great North Run in September from Newcastle to the Coast at South Shields and finally in October, and most challenging of all, The Langdale Half Marathon in the Lake District, climbing over 1700 feet along the roads around and through his birthplace of Elterwater. Both of these challenges were with his brother, Mark. The Langdale run was so good they’ve already booked in for next year.
As if three marathons and the consequent training were not enough, Barrie also participated in a cycling challenge to raise money for his housing charity, Restore. The team of riders cycled 100 miles in a single day on a heart shaped route. It started from the Heart of Yorkshire at the West Front of York Minster and back between 8am and 7pm. The team raised over £4,000 for the charity.
Our annual sibling meals went ahead again this year in January and October plus the three yearly Stephenson Cousin’s reunion in July.
The cousins event in Ambleside brought its usual nostalgia with stories and photographs of bygone days. There were pictures of Barrie’s father he had never seen before, as a 12 year old with his mother (Sarah) and aunt in Ambleside in 1932
Whilst there Barrie and his sister, Ruth, recreated a snapshot of them as small children taken in Borran’s Park at Waterhead in 1953. 65 years have elapsed between the pictures. They’ve aged well don’t you think?
The Ashmore’s October get together was in the small Lincolnshire village of South Witham where Janet and Charlie now live. We discovered a great place to stay with enough rooms and cottages to swallow a number of families. A quirky place called Halliday’s Folly in Greetham nearby in the tiny county of Rutland. Highly recommended for a family weekend.
We embarked on our first cruise in June – and possibly our last. We joined friends for a river cruise on the Seine from Paris to the English Cannel at Honfleur. Being with friends was great but the regimented restrictions of the cruise didn’t suit our free spirits. There wasn’t enough time off the boat for us to explore and roam. All the same it was relaxing and the weather was great.
Later in the year we enjoyed ten days in Madeira with a couple of weekends in between in the Lakes.