Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Ruby Wedding celebration

Four weekends ago, we headed up to York to celebrate my in-law’s Ruby Wedding anniversary.  Suzanne and Peter had invited their close friends and wider family to help them celebrate the occasion.  My parents headed down from Edinburgh for the weekend as they were invited too.

We were a little worried on the way up as the weather hadn’t been all that great and the forecast was for a cold and grey day.  I hurriedly unpacked all the summer clothes that I had originally packed and repacked for a colder day before leaving London.

We arrived close to midnight on the Thursday night, so went straight to bed on arrival.  The following day, we helped Suzanne and Peter get ready for the big day by preparing food and doing odd jobs.

On the Friday evening, a large marquee was erected in the back garden.  We were amazed at the speed with which it went up considering at that time the heavens opened and it was pouring with rain.

On Saturday, Suzanne’s family started to arrive.  It was lovely to meet them for the first time and get to know them a bit.  My parents also arrived that afternoon, so we spent a lovely evening as an extended family out at a local Chinese restaurant called Maxi’s.

This is Suzanne with two of her sisters.  Jase also got to meet one of his cousins for the first time.

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The girls are enjoying hugs with their other grandparents in this photo.

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The girls can be a bit fussy at times about their food when we go out to eat but fortunately they were both on best behaviour.  They both enjoyed their noodles and had some crispy duck and stir fried beef.  I thought both girls looked lovely in their little party dresses.

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This photo is of Jocey giving Aunty Madge a cuddle – I thought it was really lovely!

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The day of the anniversary party turned out thankfully to be dry.  The finishing touches were added to the marquee making it look fantastic.

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The guests started to arrive, including Suzanne’s brother and another sister that we had not met before.  It was fabulous seeing these long-lost siblings reunited at such a happy occasion.  Here they are at one of the family tables.

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Everyone helped themselves to drinks and before long a real party atmosphere was underway!  This is the magnificent marquee in their back garden.

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Lauren and Jocey also got to meet all their second cousins.  They played really well together (maybe because they were all girls!) and had a fantastic time.  Lauren especially loved playing with Alice, who is a similar age.  Here’s Lauren with Georgina (aged eight) and Alice (aged four), the children of Oliver (Jason’s cousin) and Caroline.  This was taken after they had finished playing balloon tennis with me in the living room.

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Little Lara (aged two) was also there with her parents Janet (Jason’s cousin) and David.  She was too little to join in the more boisterous play of the older girls but seemed to enjoy herself nevertheless.

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We all sat down to eat the fabulous hog roast before long.  The food was wonderful as the hog was done to perfection.  My only regret is that the caterers took away all the leftover hog roast, including an awful lot of excellent crackling.  When Jase went to get me seconds, he omitted to get any crackling for me and when I next looked, the hog had been packed away.  What a missed opportunity!!

We sat with Jase’s cousins Janet, Claire, Oliver, Jo and their partners.  There was a lot of talk about babies and children at our table.  We all had a great time  catching up; I especially enjoyed chatting with Caroline about our lives with two children.

The girls all had a little table to themselves adjacent to ours.  Initially, this was only meant for the three older girls but Jocey soon decided that she was not going to sit with Mummy and Daddy and would rather sit with Lauren, Georgina and Alice.  Extra chairs were quickly produced!

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Lauren and Georgina then began to look after the younger children, looking after them and being Mummy to them.  Lauren was feeding Jocey and Lara chocolate cake in this photo.  Good sharing!

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Both Peter and Suzanne had the opportunity to speak and talk about their time together and their happiness that they had their family and friends all around them to help them celebrate their special day. 

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The girls enjoyed themselves immensely and were very well behaved.  We were so proud of them.  As they got on so well with their second cousins, we promised Caroline and Oliver that we would make every effort to see them and their girls again in the near future.

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The grown ups were pretty tired out by the end after a day of entertaining the children but it had been a truly memorable day.  Here’s Dad catching forty winks on the sofa with Jocey and Octpu.

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All Peter and Suzanne’s hard work in organising the event led to everyone having an absolutely fantastic time, as well as raising a sizable sum for one of the local children’s hospices.  I am certain that everyone there will remember it fondly in the years to come.  Most importantly, they themselves were relaxed and had a wonderful time, despite all the work they had to put in behind the scenes!

The family photos from the day can be found here.

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