Monday, 11 August 2008

Two Weddings and a Festival

Forgive us the hiatus. We've just spent the best part of a month back home in the UK and have been too busy catching up with friends and family, partying or plain lethargic to update the travel blog. And to be fair, we haven't been on our travels as such, unless you count Cornwall, Bristol and Gloucestershire.

To summarise: we stayed with the fabulous Joe and S (the things that woman can do with a fresh, plump zucchini...) for a few days in Bristol before joining in the celebrations for our friends, Dan and Helen (aka The Rargs) as they joined the swelling ranks of The Marrieds. It was a lovely do, with a tear-jerkingly ecstatic eulogy to the bride by the extravagantly moustachioed groom and possibly the least inappropriate live wedding music ever. Needless to say, we loved it and joined in the chorus of Men Diamler's "Life Is Such A Terrible Thing" with great gusto.

We were just about to fall into bed after the Rargs' nuptials when Joe and S tumbled home from my ex's wedding, which had taken place nearby, along with my sister and brother-in-law and pals, Emma and Pete and Liz and Al. We watched a glorious sunrise before we finally passed out.

The next few days was spent in Cirencester at Berry mansions as we were royally pampered by Theo's parents while Sheena had her innards removed, cleaned up and replaced at a nearby garage. Late night Champagne and chocolates (plus occasionally truculent games of Scrabble, Bananagrams and Rummikub) kept us entertained, along with trips into Cirencester and visits to Grandma.

Then, along came WOMAD. The weather forecast predicted lots of heavy showers, but thankfully, the Met Office had messed up and we had a hot and sunny festival weekend at Charlton Park, full of great music and colour, with plenty of time to hang out with our respective sisters and friends. Nortech Collective, Shantel and the Bocovino Club Orkester, Babylon Circus and Bassoukou Kouyate were our highlights. We all came away somewhat tanned as well, most gratifying.

We stayed in Bristol for another few days - this time with Liz and Al - before setting off for Cornwall. Our arrival in Friday coincided with my Dad's birthday so we spent the evening with him, my brother and his girlfriend in the Star And Garter (after calling on Matt and Sarah for a cuppa at their place). The next day we had lunch with Wigs at The Chain Locker, then met Neil and Vicki (the latter very damp from a stint of gig racing) for evening drinks in The Oddfellows.

Next, it was down to my sister and the Rainbow Tribe in St Hilary where I spent part of the week helping sort out Bex's bathroom; odd-sock sack; clean washing mountain and old shoe pile, while battling a severe streptococcus sore throat. Ouch.

On the Friday we all trooped over to Black Torrington in Devon, home of the Page/Presswell collective, ready for Ann-Marie and Alex's wedding. The rain was virtually unrelenting all day, but with the help of various tents and the village hall, most of the planned activities went ahead, spirits remained high and everything, including the barn dance and Am's moving rendition of "Amazed", went smoothly, if not a little damply.

Next morning we set off for London, via a farewell lunch with the Berry clan in Bristol, eventually arriving at Ayesha's house in Dulwich. We had enjoyed a bit of friendship-renewal over pink wine, (we met Ayesha at the Rocket Festival in Spain) before settling down for our last night's kip in the UK for - well, we don't really know when we'll be back again.

As I write, we are in the queue for the P&O ferry at Dover, somewhat relieved at having narrowly escaped disaster after realising Theo had accidentally booked us on the Calais-Dover crossing, rather than the other way round.
"Do you want me to transfer the ticket?" asked the man at the P&O desk, "The next sailing from Dover is at 12.40 and it'll cost you...five pounds."

I hope any other problems we encounter on the next leg of the trip will solved as swiftly, cheaply and easily as that one. Shame the cash machine on Dover High Street ate my bank card just before we set off for the ferry. You would not believe the saga we've experienced trying to open an account with The Nationwide. I won't go into the details, it's not very interesting. Suffice to say, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Hey ho, next stop Calais, then on to Bruges.

No comments:

Post a Comment