My parents had their Diamond Wedding this weekend. Officially it was 2nd September, but this weekend the family all descended on the Chippenham area. I have two brothers, each with two married children, and as there are two great grandchildren in the mix that meant 17 of us in total. (My two were not able to be there – Ben is somewhere in the Black Sea area and Nick was also working.)
One the Saturday we hired a narrow boat for the day. As it only took 10, we did it in shifts – Jon’s lot in the morning and Tim’s in the afternoon! As it turned out, Tim, Jon, Mum, Dad and I stayed on all day.
Once we were through the lock at Bradford-on-Avon, the first thing we saw was the Maid of Fibre long boat tied up. Unfortunately there was no one about – it was all locked up – but it was nice to see some pictures of yarn all over the superstructure….
We went west so that we could go over the aqueduct. That was fun – but because of the parapets of the bridge you couldn’t actually see what you were crossing over. The countryside was very chocolate-box, though, with plenty of herons (as well as shoals of cyclists everywhere).
We had lunch along that way, then returned to the lock for the change-over. In the afternoon we went up the other way, with Dad taking the tiller for awhile, something he very much enjoyed. It was a tiring day for both Mum and Dad, but they enjoyed it and coped very well.
In the evening we had a meal at a pub next to the lock. We had our own room, and were able to give Mum and Dad their presents, including a jigsaw of the pair of them in their courting days and an album of pictures from then to the present.
On the Sunday we all went along to their local church, where some of the grandchildren sang, and Tim preached, then back to Tim’s house for a lunch for their friends. I took the official group shots in the garden between the showers.
As well as the other food, there was a beautifully iced cake:
I left on Monday morning to come up to Inverness, to catch up on stuff before teaching next weekend near Aberdeen….