Can it be a year since P and I tied the knot in hospital? I remember little of the occasion: in bed, attached to a drip, and half comatose, while a virulent infection was sapping away my lifeforce.
It was Friday, the 13th and our son, Rowan, and Nicky, his wife, plus our friend Cathryn were there to witness the event. They sat at my bedside, whilst the two registrars sat at the foot of the bed. It was all over in an instant, with P having to wake me from my drug-induced reveries to utter 'I do'.
Afterwards, Cathryn dashed to the off-licence and returned with two bottles of bubbly, and the lovely staff of Ward 31 produced a large chocolate cake. By this time, the antibiotics were starting to kick in and I was beginning to feel slightly more human so we tried to interest the nurses and the five other occupants of the ward to join in the merriment. But in the event, the nurses couldn't drink on duty (though a couple did have a piece of cake) and sadly the other patients were just too ill. The staff were all quite bemused as they said it was the only time someone had got married in bed. Usually, patients have been able to stagger down to the chapel if they opted for a ceremony in the hospital. Hmm, whilst I do like to be original, there is a limit!
So we decided to celebrate later on in the summer when I was home and feeling better. However, I never did feel well enough to face having a large party. Fast forward to a year later when, although I still had reservations about my energy levels, I could at least contemplate an afternoon gathering, as opposed to a party in the evening, by which time I knew I'd be good-for-nothing. Brainstorming with friend Maggie for a possible theme, the Equinox and a Mad Hatter's Tea Party came up. We both thought the Alice concept sounded good with Maggie suggesting everyone should wear a hat. Being a lifelong millinophile, I immediately took to this idea...
...So here it is. The wonderful celebration of our marriage which was definitely worth waiting for. The hats were indeed wonderful, but it was having family and friends gathered close that really made the day special. Unfortunately we were too busy having a great time to take many photos, but Felix took quite a few, so here's a selection, though certainly not a comprehensive one. Apologies to anyone whom I've omitted, if you have a pic of your hat that you'd like including, please send it and I'll insert it.THE WREATH
|Cathryn's gorgeous wreath on the front door|
|The wonderful cake, made by the vintage tea room and |
cakery, Cakes d'Licious, at the end of the road
|Cutting of the cake|
|Bunting in place... tada!|
|All done, let the party begin! Felix, Giulia and friend Justin were fantastic helping to get everything ready and|
Giulia was a whizz with the little ones during the party too
|I sabella and Ava, waitresses par excellence, did a fabulous job serving canapés and nibbles|
|Pre-party joke, something on my phone made us crease up|
|First guests, Maggie and Humph - I was completely bowled over|
by her home-made butterfly hat
|Felix and Giulia enjoying a quiet moment of fizz before |
most people arrived
|Closer look at Maggie's butterflies and my peacock feathers|
|Cathryn's superb swallow concoction - love the idea and the execution|
|Clare and Jerry looking fine and dandy in their momochrome outfits|
|Spaghetti Western look for Elliot'|
|Fascinator and flowers, for Sue and Martin|
|A bit of the Sitting Bull here for Josh, or could it be Hiawatha?|
|Two Peters who hadn't met before, though they obviously share a similar taste in hats|
|Party in full swing with Alice, James, Ben and Anne-Marie - |
sure Mr Dylan would have approved of her leopardskin pillbox hat!
|Justin turned his hand to anything and everything before the party,|
but sadly had to hold back on the bubbles to drive back to Bristol.
|Feiix with the lovely Pushpa|
|Our two neighbours, Geoffrey and Kate, catching up|
Although there were many musicians at the party, my special thanks go to Anthony on guitar, Crispin on mandolin, Maggie on accordian, and Billy on every type of percussion I can think of. I also loved getting my spoons out again! We didn't quite manage to raise the roof but we certainly nearly went through the floor 😀
|Maggie and Crispin hammering out a few jigs and reels|
|Maggie in the magenta hat, starting to dance an Irish jig|
|All good things come to an end - home time|
|Reunited! Chloe, happy again with Annabelle after she thought she'd been left behind 😅|
|P and I felt like the mice on his hat looked by the end of the party - exhausted but very happy!|
Thanks to everyone who came, you all made our first wedding anniversary a day to remember as one of the most special days ever. What more could we ask. Big hugs to you all,