Melissa and Ben’s wedding was on the 7th of July, and the celebrations began with a pre wedding dinner on the 6th at the Stone Golf Club. It was a nice dinner with my family, the Hocknells and Ben’s parents who hadn’t met Grandma Lila before. We all had an early night in preparation for the big day.
Luckily despite the weeks of rain, the sun decided to come out for the wedding. We all got dressed up and headed over to pick up Grandma and get to Milwich (where the Hocknells live) an hour before the wedding at 3. TK, Keiren and I did our part helping out with directing cars and getting everyone parked since there were about 150 people coming – filling Milwich Church to capacity. The service went smoothly, and afterwards we all headed across the road to the Marquee by the house. Since the sun was out, most people milled around the tennis court having drinks (there was a lot of Pimms going around, as TK can vouch for after 5 and a half glasses in about the first 30 minutes!). The Marquee looked great as we all slowly headed in for dinner followed by the speeches, and then the band. The band was great fun, playing some old rock and roll, and a bit of jazz. We all got in to the dancing, including Grandma! My family eventually headed off and I decided to stay and just crash at the house for the night. It was a good decision because the rest of the night was good fun, and we even ended up singing karaoke around the piano in the wee hours of the morning!
The next day I got up relatively early and helped with some of the cleaning up and preparing for the party that day. I was actually feeling pretty good considering how little sleep I’d had, although I was grateful when mum and dad arrived at lunch with my clean clothes and toothbrush so that I could freshen up! The sun was out again so we set up croquet, tennis and giant jenga on the lawn. Everyone arrived around lunchtime and we had a nice afternoon eating in the marquee and enjoying all the summer games. As the afternoon progressed it was time for Mel and Ben to head off for their honeymoon in Devon, and for everyone else to slowly make their way home. I’d decided that it would be fun to see Pete and Rach’s new place in Lichfield, so after a quick shower at the hotel headed off to Lichfield with Rach. We met Pete at the apartment with takeaway Chinese for a quiet evening in on the couch watching ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’, which I enjoyed. Pete had managed to get some left over beer from the wedding so we enjoyed a few bottles and all slept very well. The rest of the family came round for lunch the next day before we headed back up to Stone, and then on to the Hocknells for a last dinner with them before I headed down to London. Debs and her children Alice and Alexander were also there and we all had a nice relaxing evening.
The next morning I headed down to London by train (It was Â£44 for a 90 minute journey!), picked up a bag of presents that we had forgotten in Mayfair, and then headed to Katie’s place in Essex, about 20 minutes on the train from London. After a quick shower and a rest it was back out to London for some dinner and drinks on the south bank by London bridge with Katie, Nicole, and Katie’s boyfriend Brett. I had a fun evening catching up, but we decided not to have a late one and headed home around 11. The next day was my final day in England, and I had a busy day planned. I spent the morning shopping around Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus and Regent St, then had lunch with Talenia, an old friend from Singapore at a cool Thai restaurant near Tottenham Court Rd, followed by more shopping on Carnaby St, a stroll past the Tate Modern, and the Dinner with Dominique and Vagi, friends I know from Wakeboarding in Sydney. After dinner I met Katie and some friends of her’s for drinks in Brentwood, Essex followed by more drinks at the local club. We didn’t ended up getting to bed till almost 4, so it wasn’t easy in the morning making the hour and a half tube journey to Heathrow! I somehow managed to get up at 6.30 and get to the airport on time – at least I was tired for the flight!!
All in all, it was a great trip, and I had so much fun catching up with all my family and friends.