Sunday, July 24, 2011


Moira+I went to a truly magical wedding celebration party in Sunningwell, Oxfordshire yesterday. Blair and Hannah (our Hannah’s bestest friend) had got married on the shores of Loch Lomond a little while ago – with just half a dozen or so guests. They were keen to celebrate the occasion with their wider family and friends and “persuaded” Hannah’s lovely parents Sue+Tony to let them do so at their home. This doesn’t even BEGIN to tell the story, however…. S+T’s converted barn is one of perhaps half a dozen similar beautiful brick+timber clad homes and outbuildings that surround its own small, horse chestnut-treed green (quintessential English village scene!). S+T clearly get on very well with their very sociable neighbours because agreement was obtained to erect a large marquee plus several gazebos, masses of bunting, outdoor children games, portaloos etc – some gardens were used to accommodate tents (and some of the neighbours had even offered their spare bedrooms!) for overnight stays. As we entered the close (not quite the right word?), it felt as if we’d arrived on some expensive film set!
Here are just three of the many memories:
1. Hannah+Hannah (and Felix) were part of the amazing Thame Youth Theatre – from its origins in 1989. So it was lovely to meet up lots of their youth theatre friends again (lots of them were children of friends of ours) – and incredible to realise just how many of them had continued their involvement in theatre and music professionally.
2. Hannah (new bride Robertson) is a simply wonderful singer (bluesy, jazzy) and she sang three songs – accompanied by Rob Dearing on guitar. This started the entertainment off in great style (and generated a few tears from spectators in the process!).... and this high quality was continued throughout the evening. In addition to Hannah, the highlight for me was a young opera singer named Miranda (she’d been a neighbour of Blair+Hannah’s and they used to listen to her practising from their adjoining London flat!). When she hit the first note, it just took your breath away and the audience was immediately captivated (hairs on the back of your neck stuff!) and, once again, at the end, I could see a lot of people wiping their eyes in sheer joy.
3. Last month, some of you(!), may have read that I’d just discovered that a) Tom Porter, my inspirational college tutor, had died last year and that b) he+his wife had been neighbours of Sue+Tony. Well, last night, I actually met Tom’s wife Andree at the party and she seemed delighted to hear about my very fond memories of Tom from circa 1967. She took me off to show me their amazing house, including Tom’s study – and ended up giving me a copy of his final book “Will Alsop – The Noise”. All very emotional!
It was a simply wonderful occasion. S+T were brilliant, generous hosts.

Photo: regrettably and pathetically, I didn't take my camera! This picture was taken on a country walk last month and sums a happy English summer day - just like yesterday!

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