Holidays


Well, kind of holidays, in as much as I was off work. Originally this time away was planned as a trip to Ireland as we were invited to the wedding of my friends, Aidy and Lana (that is Aidy of my blogroll). Tragically, my Granny died the week before last, and her funeral was scheduled for last Thursday. We both wanted to go to the funeral, to pay our respects and be with my family, so we decided to not stay on in Ireland after the wedding, as we had planned, but come back to England and then stay in Lincolnshire for a couple of nights.

Quite a long time ago, we decided we would take the car to Dublin, and so I knew there was going to be a lot of driving for this, and with the added distance to Peterborough and Lincolnshire, it was quite a tour in the end. Thankfully there was very little in the way of bad traffic for the long journeys, which is not something I can say for Dublin, which seemed to be the championship of traffic-jams.

While in Dublin we visited the Guinness Storehouse, along with a number of the other wedding guests. It was very interesting, though quite different to the other brewery tours I have been on where you get to see the actual equipment and real fermenting beer. I am sure at Guinness, despite the romance they create in the exhibits, the brewing is very industrial and probably clean and clinical. From the top of the Storehouse you get an excellent view of Dublin, a full 360 degree panorama. I enjoyed this, more than Hannah did anyway. After this we all headed into Dublin for lunch at the very non-Irish Waggamama’s.

Hannah was singing at the wedding (her first public engagement since Ella’s birth). She was due to have a rehearsal with the church organist, the minister’s wife, just before the wedding rehearsal, and we had to get there from the lunch at Waggamana’s. The traffic of Dublin conspired against us, and we arrived 40 minutes late. Fortunately Hannah and the organist had some time together before the wedding rehearsal took place (minus two bridesmaids who were also trapped in the Dublin traffic blackhole).

A very pleasant evening was then spent back at the hotel, when I had a great chance to yak away with my mates. Hannah was very lovely and took Ella off to bed, and allowed me to stay up. It was great to catch up with Rich and Katie, who we haven’t seen since they moved from Southampton to Raleigh. We also met Dylan, the little boy of Dan and Cat (mentioned months ago on the blog). With quite a number of new parents, some expectant ones, and others who’ll take part in it in the future, there was quite a bit of baby talk.

The wedding itself was great. A lovely ceremony, great venue, plenty of food, and good entertainment. I went easy on the beer because we were due off early in the morning and I’d had a heavy night previously. It was fantastic to see Aidy and Lana tie the knot, and we all wish them the very best for their life together.

En-route to Granny’s funeral, we stayed the night with Hannah’s Auntie Sue and Uncle Rod, who had their daughter, Jo, staying too. This was their first chance to meet Ella, and they were all duly smitten, despite a strop from Ella during dinner. It was great to see them again, and see Rod’s continued and most staggering recovery from his huge accident.

Then it was Granny’s funeral. A sad occasion, of course. I had a reading to do, and Hannah sang ‘My Way’ for the recessional. It was a fitting song for Granny, as she always had a clear mind for what she wanted, and usually had it that way. The minister summed up Granny’s death very well in saying she had gone out like a light. She was a very busy woman, despite being 86, and had a more active social life than I have ever had. We are all sad to see her go, anexistance have loved for Ella to have met her Great-Granny. She will be missed in many ways.

I think it wacquaintencethe people at the funeral to have Ella there, as she affirmed the existance of new life. This was also the first chance for her Uncle Hamish and Auntie Christine to make a brief acquaintence with her. Hopefully we’ll get a longer period out with them soon. She also got to meet my Auntie Nan, Chris’s Mum, which was lovely, as her other Great-grandmother.

After the funeral, we stayed in Boston. Not in Massechusetts, but Lincolnshire. We stayed in a pleasant B&B, with a most enormous bed. We visited Skegness and Mablethorpe, where Hannah had spent many childhood holidays. On our last day, I got to visit a working windmill in Boston, which was very impressive. Good to see down-to-earth technology doing straightforward work with no fuss, unlike a lot in the software engineering world. I say I visited it because Hannah remained in the teashop with Ella. The windmill did give the second excellent panorma of the visit, this time of Boston.

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