Week 3 July 2009:
The first day in Nafford House, the bed and breakfast at Eckington started with a full English breakfast. This was the case for the six days we spent in this typical English village. Janet and John, the owners of the B & B, did us proud.
Later in the morning we travelled to Pershore where the hired wedding suits and shoes were picked up. Whilst there the groom, our son-in law and I had haircuts. This was the first time in at least 40 years that I have visited a hairdresser. Haircuts are usually done at home.
In the afternoon there was a wedding rehearsal in the village church. There is a female vicar at Eckington. What a pity we don’t have female vicars in many parts of Australia.
That night we had a beautiful dinner prepared by Margaret the bride’s mother. We had great dinners every night and met Rebecca’s, the bride, relatives and people from the village. The people were so warm and friendly.
The wedding marquee was erected today. It is a rather large affair as there will be about 100 guests.
The next day we looked around the beautiful gardens at Nafford House and Hilltop, the Rebecca’s parent’s home. The gardens are full of perennials as well as a range of buddleias and hydrangeas. The gardens sweep down to the Avon River and at one point there is a lock where the water level may be raised or lowered to let boats through. We were fortunate enough to see boats being manoeuvred through the lock. Only pleasure craft use the river now and on weekends and holidays there is often an aquatic traffic jam at the lock.
Nafford House is about 500 metres from Hilltop so we walked between both houses along a country lane. Lots of feral plum trees growing along the lane. One tree was covered in small red plums that were ripe so each day we gathered a handful of plums to eat as we walked.
The Wedding Day dawned fine and warm although there was a shower of rain in the afternoon. This was a splendid Day and everything went without a hitch. Our two daughters filled the roles of best man and groomsman. Our eldest daughter was also the MC at the reception.
At the reception the Richard, the bride’s father, and I were expected to play didgeridoos whilst the guests sang every verse of Waltzing Matilda. We both sang along using the didgeridoos as amplifiers.
On our last day, at Eckington, Margaret took us to visit Hidcote, a National Trust Garden. A beautiful garden with a dazzling array of flowering annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. There were a few Australian natives in a sheltered position that had not been identified so we were able to supply some names. There was nursery, in the garden, so we bought some plants for Richard and Margaret including a Eucalyptus gunnii, a Tasmanian native.
We also managed to fit in a local garden visit. This was another floral extravaganza. We were interested in the mounds of soil in their lawn. Moles had caused the damage.
On the last day, of the week, Margaret and Richard drove us to Pershore station. No trains were running, due to track work, so we travelled by bus to Oxford and then train to Paddington. We enjoyed the bus trip travelling through many villages and the beautiful Cotswold countryside.
On arrival in London we settled into our hotel room and planned what we would visit during our stay in the capital.