I am delighted to say that a further shopping trip with the 8 year old and we managed to get her a pink dress, cardigan and shoes that suited her much better and that she will get more wear out of. I had already purchased socks for her communion and decided she could wear them to the wedding and if they survived she could wear them to her communion and if not I would buy another pair. £5.99 for socks! don't get me wrong, lovely fancy socks, with a diamante on each lacey drop, but £5.99. For socks. The socks did survive the wedding, they came back white and came out of the washing machine white and in good condition. Great, I thought. Not so great when I noticed one sock only had one diamante left and the other had 3. I had wondered what the noise was as I pulled clothes from the washing machine, a dropping sound on the tiles but with no visual evidence. I have since found at least 8 while tidying. My mum suggested I should have hand washed them - smart arse.
Now I'm not sure what your idea of a good wedding would be but let me tell you mine. You get dressed up, you watch the happy couple tie the knot with a little tear in your eye, you have a wee drink, in the middle of the day, scandalous. You eat, laugh at the the speeches and then get the party started and drink a wee drop more, laugh a big bit more and dance the night away. Simple but most enjoyable.
The wedding was 9 miles outside of Dumfries on the Sunday at 2pm. We left on the Saturday and had booked into a Travelodge, most of the family had. A leisurely journey, only an hour and a half, arriving at 3.30. The Travelodge had no eating/drinking facilities so we took the short journey across the road to the Premier Inn. It was very sociable and quite exciting. Now I hope I don't confuse you in my telling of this story as my hubby has 6 sisters and 2 brothers all of whom are married, bar one, who stays at home with her mother. The wedding was the oldest sister's son. So we had our family, the other side of the grooms family and the brides family all congregating in the Premier Inn, there certainly was a buzz about the place. They were arranging an 'en mass' booking for dinner at 7pm, but we decided the kids couldn't wait that long and we went back to the Travelodge to unpack. We had a great set up, my favourite SIL next door, her kids are 15, 11 & 10 the youngest being the closest in age to my 2 and practically inseparable and my MIL & SIL in the room directly opposite, we had these automatic closing doors, which we held open with hangers and you knew if the door was held open it was a family member or at least someone going to the wedding, we were all sick of knock, knock, knock. The kids had a ball, dotting from room to room, we had at least 15 rooms booked. My favourite SIL, MIL & SIL had all eaten late afternoon so we sneaked over into a quiet corner in the Premier Inn and had our dinner, just the 4 of us. On our return to the Travelodge my MIL & SIL informed us they would watch the kids and we could go out for a drink! Whoooo Hooooo a night out. All rooms in the Travelodge have a double bed and a couch and pull out bed, so my MIL took the 2 girls in her room and my SIL took the 2 boys in our room. This time we walked across to the Premier Inn, landed a booth with a SIL, BIL, niece and her fiance. Make mine a Vodka and fresh orange, I haven't drunk vodka for over a year and a half, in fact apart from the odd Baileys and 3 Smirnoff Ice at New Year I haven't drunk at all. The rest of the masses were having dinner so we had a nice chat and a laugh and a bit of a bitch about the 'brother and SIL' that I don't talk to. As the masses finished their meals, the men gradually made their way to the bar and the women squeezed up in the booth, at one point I was surrounded by 5 SIL's, 4 nieces and 3 nephews and take a moment just to look round them all laughing and joking. It's not all rosy in the family, mainly triggered by the actions of the brother and SIL. But blood is thicker than water and they have something I will never experience, an unseen bond, related to each other, 8 siblings. I am quickly drawn out of my thoughts by another drink. I had a great night, sauntering back to the Travelodge with the SIL's, the men trailing behind as usual. The kids were still awake when we returned, my daughter deciding she wanted to sleep in our room, so we turfed out the nephew back to his room and my niece, she stayed quite happily with her granny & auntie.
The fact that the kids were still wakened, started to grate, they need routine, they need a good nights sleep or else they will be miserable, it's a long day tomorrow. But I gave myself a good talking too, it's only one weekend, it'll not do them any harm, get over it. I think the vodka helped.
The next morning and it was all go, we went to the Little Chef for breakfast, nice big cooked breakfast. The bus was collecting is at 1.20 so this was the only food we would get until dinner. This also sets my OCD into overdrive, no lunch, the kids can't go without lunch, but again I control it, telling them to fill their stomachs to the max. I don't think the Little Chef knew what had hit them, at least 30 people hitting them for breakfast at the one time, plus the other guests, who must have wondered what was going on, laughing, joking, shouting, did I ever mention shouting. I think it might be a big family thing, nobody talks, they all shout, quite possible trying to be heard, a small voice in a large crowd. The breakfast was extortionate, we decided Morrison's cafe would be ideal on the Monday morning.
We then got suited and booted so to speak and off we went in the bus, a pleasant journey, we entered the gates of the castle and took the mile long driveway to the castle, all breathing in as the bus went through 2 very narrow sets of brick pillars. The castle is a medieval castle and so everything inside was dark wood panelling, suits of armour strategically placed, I apologised to one for bumping into it only to see as I turned around it was in fact a tin man. The grounds were beautiful and plentiful, the kids went immediately to explore outside, starting with the dungeons! I noted how cold it was as the door opened. We were given menus to choose our meal right there and then, a beautiful menu and a kids menu, the kids were even eating in a separate room, watched over by my beautiful niece and her joined-at-the-hip-friend. We were then informed the marriage ceremony would take place at 3pm, nearly 45 minutes later. Apparently we had to be there at 2pm so that everyone would have placed their food order before the ceremony. I knew at that point this was going to be a long day. Vodka and fresh orange for me, I requested.