Reidski and I were off to a wedding in Cambridge this weekend. We booked a hotel room some time ago knowing Cambridge was likely to be pretty busy over the bank holiday weekend. The bride to be was the daughter of one of my friends. My friend was all set to be the most glamorous mother of the bride ever - and certainly would have been just that if the groom (not) to be had n't called the wedding off less than a fortnight ago.
I think that unless any of us have ever been on the receiving end of the news that the person we planned to marry was pulling out days before the event we had been planning for two years, we can't really appreciate how devastating such news must be. The wedding dress that will now not be worn by my friend's daughter lies on the bed in her spare room - it won't fit in any of her wardrobes, I guess it will be appearing in an E-Bay sale near you soon. Sad, and the platitude about 'better now than later' probably doesn't help the jilted bride right now.
So it feels a little callous to say that nevertheless, we have just had a great stay in Cambridge, even if we did not get to dance to 'The Birdie Song.' We had a lovely time wandering aimlessly round the city. I did however break out into a cold sweat at one point when reminded of the time I thought it would be a good idea to take a punt out on the river. I blame the third glass of chardonnay I unwisely had with my lunch.
It was about three years ago and I was in Cambridge with my sister, daughter, niece and second son. It was - as it was this weekend - a lovely sunny day, and as we all know, 'There is nothing as nice, as messing around on the river.' And punting looks quite easy when you stand on a bridge and watch the punters punting by. Ha bloody ha.
The wine had given me a feeling of invincibility and although my sister did tentatively suggest we might be wise hiring someone to do the punting bit for us, I was having none of it and was convinced I was a natural. I wasn't. We kind of limped along the river in a zig zaggy manner rather than the gliding in the straight line with me posing elegantly at the helm as I had kind of imagined. An Italian family who were pretty much along side us all the way were equally inept and we kept colliding, but it was all 'jolly good fun' - except for my son who was hiding face down in the bottom of the punt in a vain attempt to pretend he wasn't with us. It all went horribly 'Pete Tong' when a third punt moving at speed collided with the Italians, who collided heavily with us, and I fell heavily on my arse with sunglasses knocked askew, and my skirt up round my ears with my knickers on show to all and sundry. Dignified it was not. We rowed back. If only we had managed to be half as cool as this lot were -
Playing Funky Music White Boy, all the way down the river on Saturday evening drawing rapturous applause as they went - and at least one display of very embarrassing dancing. NO! It wasn't me on this occasion :-)
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