One Wedding and a Final Reel – Plus Four Best Men, Some Super Stripes and Lawns a-Plenty

So. Totally fabulous wedding at the weekend. Still recovering so forgive me if I meander a little today. The long and short of it is that one of my many cousins, ‘ten-feet-tall Tim’ decided to finally make a vaguely honest woman of his long-suffering fiancé Zenya (lovely girl, smashing teeth, odd sense of humour) and set about creating what can only be called a massively memorable matrimonial experience.

Set amongst the rolling hills of rural Dorset, far from the maddening crowds of tourists, and about a swinging sabre’s length away from the Birthplace of Thomas Hardy, in what can only be described as a gated holiday community for the pleasantly idle, we all piled down and had the most glorious afternoon, evening and then I- don’t-remember-much-else festivity.

Organised as a kind of mini-festival with very jolly lights, bunting, decorations, benches, straw bales and marvellous food vans selling everything  from goat curry to jerk chicken to pizza, with a marquee for speeches, games, music, dancing and a full-on bar, it was a truly joyful occasion full of everyone from maiden aunts to chocolate smeared children. Bearing in mind it was opposite a forest resembling the hundred acre wood, wouldn’t have been at all surprised to see Rabbit and all his friends and relations there.

Quieter than president Trump’s inauguration ceremony

I mention this, partly as I had such a jolly time, with lovely friends and family and a delightful and happy bride and groom (and that isn’t always the case let’s face it) with the groom taking the unusual step of having four best men, which made the speeches interesting, it was more like a comedy sketch, but also partly because the place was so gosh-darned beautiful.

Peaceful, quiet gardens laid out in all sorts of ways and lawns that have absolutely been cut well by good quality rear-roller lawnmowers and very definitely been aerated and scarified as they had that lush green colour, even after our lack of rain recently and felt wonderful underfoot without being spongy.

This place also features a couple of superb lawn tennis courts and what a lovely way to escape from the constant prosecco and chat, to whack a few balls down the line and then return for more indulgence.

And are the courts striped? of course they are. Every decent patch of grass in the place was sporting more stripes than an Everton mint. We’ve been talking a lot about striping recently and the grounds-people at this place have clearly been reading the latest gardening fashion tips ‘cos stripes were a-go-go.

So my dear friend and pro gardener, Brody, who seemed to have a pint of lager permanently stapled to his hands all afternoon, spent a lot of time looking at the grass and making slightly worrying drooling noises as he eyed up the lawnmowers in the shed; a couple of seriously good Allett cylinder models and a regular fleet of Hayter rear-rollers.

The entertainment never stopped, in the tent we had some seriously good bands, a very hot and crowd-friendly young musician called Rob Green and it all finished with a Caleigh band, which was where my evening stops as far as my memory is concerned.

Dance like no-one is watching…and hope no-one has posted photos on social media!

I was busy trying to keep up with the serious dancers (I can cut a rug with the best of them but generally Irish dancing is not my thing) when they announced the last number and suddenly broke into a very fast reel. I decided to go for it (dance like no-one is watching as my old friend Ruth always says) and started to spin on my heels like a particularly mad top and that’s the last thing I remember until being awoken about 11 am by my lovely friend B with a large glass of Virgin Mary. Lifesaver. It seems I had spun so much I ended up staggering rather lopsidedly out of the marquee and fell asleep suddenly on one of the straw bales, from whence the lovely groom ‘ten-feet-tall Tim’ carried me to my room.

Oh well. I wish Tim and Zenya the best for their honeymoon and marriage and do remember to visit Thomas Hardy’s cottage sometime, there are gorgeous walks and wonderful woods and beautiful bluebells, it’s quite magical and it’s well worth a look.   See ya. Holly.


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