Last weekend for me was very busy and extremely emotional with three major changes in our family life. In no particular order of importance or maybe biggest to smallest.
Firstly, my stepdaughter was married; secondly, we got our puppy and finally we bought a sat nav. Yes, this all happened in a weekend and I cannot tell you what an amazing invention the sat nav is. What I don’t understand is why we didn’t get it sooner? It all started when my husband went a day earlier by train to help set up the wedding which was taking place on a farm in Kent not far from Ashford. He wasn’t staying on the farm but he was around 10 minutes drive at the local Premier Inn.
So he called me the Thursday night and said ‘Go to Halfords in the morning and get a sat nav, please don’t argue with me, just do it.’ Well, I couldn’t believe my ears as this is something that we have talked about for years but never really got round to doing. But his voice was insistent and perhaps slightly desperate in tone.
I thought about the important things planned for the Friday, nails, pedicure, hair shopping. Okay, I can squeeze in a trip to Halfords. (Just wanted to mention that yes, the false nails are still stuck on!) So, after picking up kids from school on Friday we set it up, put in the postcode and like magic (I still had to drive the car) an hour and a half later we were at our destination without once getting lost, shouting at each other or ringing a friend to guide us over the phone.
This was a revelation and I cannot believe we have spent so many years avoiding getting one. All those parties we were late for, the football matches we nearly missed, the events we got into just in time and the arguments. All these things could have been avoided. However there was one problem.
When I arrived at the location, I realised that I had left half of my wedding outfit at home. I’d left the trousers drying on the decking and my hat on top of the wardrobe. Also, I forgot things for the canapés, a load of empty tin cans for a kid’s game and a couple of cards people had given to me to forward onto the bride and groom. Great start to the wedding weekend. Personally I think it was all the excitement about getting into the car quickly to use the sat nav. Obviously if it was down to me I would have reprogrammed it and driven straight back to London but my husband made me see sense that this love affair with the new gadget was not worth another three hours in the car.
So, I reprogrammed my own brain instead and thought of a solution. I phoned my very trusting and kind (yes he reads my column) lodger who gathered all the said items from around the house and handed them to my brother who was coming up the next day. I have to say, on the morning of the wedding, after frantically making hundreds of canapés (yes I may be the stepmother but I am not a wicked one) the rest of my outfit arrived with minutes to spare before we had to leave for the wedding.
So we arrived at the farm and were directed through a field or two, with cute signs along the way telling us it wasn’t much further, (I have to add I did fall a couple of times off my platform shoes, luckily nobody saw me) to a little wooded area and lots of chairs.
There we sat waiting and things got a little bit delayed as we got word back via the best man’s walkie-talkie that the flower girl had diarrhoea and there was a bit of a mess to clean up. (Hope she didn’t try any of my canapés.)
After a while, it was simply magical to see the bridal party arrive on the back of a trailer pulled by a tractor. It was amazing. And yes, of course, the bride looked stunning and the father of the bride cried as he walked her towards her husband to be. The service was not religious but it was moving as the celebrant talked about the young couple and their lives. After the service we were taken to a nearby area called Fairy Land where drinks and amazing and extremely tasty canapés were served to the guests while the photos were taken. The kids played on the straw bales.
Then they got a lift up to the farm on the trailer, I was a tad bit jealous as by then my platforms were killing me but delighted when the empty trailer came back for the adults and those left behind or too lazy to walk, like me.
We arrived at the barn which was set up beautifully. I have to say that the bunting was pretty good. (Oh! did I mention that I made them?) There was beer in an old metal bath full of ice, a sweet/pick and mix area set up not only for the children but also the adults and yes, there were some lovely surprises for the guests throughout the evening. It was the best wedding I have ever been to and I’m sure it has all to do with the magical farm setting. The stunning bride didn’t stop smiling all day, nor did the proud father and I have to say that I was simply bursting with happiness for my beautiful stepdaughter as she shone so brightly on her wedding day and so pleased that our new sat nav made sure we got to this event on time!
The next day, we picked up Sparky, our new puppy and as I’m writing this article he is fast asleep in his bed, in fact he is sleeping a lot. I’m not sure if this is normal or not but will write all about him next week.