I hinted in my last post about the slightly scary feeling that time has been speeding up. This time warp experience was confirmed in August when it was noticed that we have been married for fifty years. How can all that time have passed so quickly? Anyway it was time to celebrate. I believe in making celebrations last as long as possible so we started with a superb little dinner party at Two Fat Ladies at the Buttery in Glasgow – the food was exquisite, a bit different from gammon steak and pineapple half a century ago at our wedding reception.
A few days later was our main party at the Kingarth Hotel on Bute.
It was a great night filled with laughter, food, champagne and good friends.
As a wonderful gift to us, our two children, plus wife and partner, arranged a family weekend away crammed with very carefully chosen activities to fit with individual and collective tastes and interests.
We were booked into the Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey near Skipton – equidistant for the journeys for both the Scottish and English travellers. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon when we arrived and a joy to stroll down to the ruined abbey.
The late afternoon sunshine was pouring through the stained glass windows onto the ancient stonework.
The weather on Saturday was mixed but we managed to avoid the heaviest of the showers and enjoy the sunny spells. The day’s activities started with a visit to Ingrow Loco Museum & Workshop. An interesting little place absolutely crammed with steam trains and artefacts and jolly volunteers.
Of course the next step had to be a ride on a steam train – on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway from Ingrow to Haworth.
I think Jane was the most excited of us all, as, strangely, she had never been on a steam train before.
Our destination had also been carefully chosen – this one very specifically for me, a visit to the Bronte Parsonage Museum at Haworth.
The family were very kind and waited quite patiently while I went a lot more slowly than them, soaking up a perfect mixture of history and literature.
Back at the hotel this was the idyllic view from our room as we changed for dinner. Colin and Keith went out and watched for a bit – a change from a muddy shinty pitch.
Our meal in the hotel on Saturday night was an amazing ‘tasting menu’. Counting in various amuse bouche, it ran to about ten courses, all of them quite small quantities so that we did not feel stuffed. Similarly the accompanying different wines for each plateful were only a couple of mouthfuls so no one ended up legless. We are all interested in food and cooking so it was great fun.
Saturday was a whole day activity and a totally new experience for us – a trip to York Races. We had tickets for the County Stand and in advance had discussions about what to wear – did the ladies need hats a la Ladies Day at Ascot? Fortunately it was Family Day so the dress code was relaxed a bit. We all scrubbed up well, with the girls in frocks and high heels but no headgear, and the boys with smart casual jackets but no ties. It was quite a cool blustery day with a few showers which caused all the scantily clad young race goers to stick closely to the bars inside. Some of the outfits were astounding!
I enjoyed learning a new ‘skill’ and having betting explained to me but I found it all a bit tense, as if I was sitting a test all the time – there was not a lot of time to relax between races. It was fun but I am too mean to get carried away – I don’t like handing out money and getting nothing back! I preferred to watch the assorted people and the beautiful horses, and drink more champagne.
I would have been better off simply choosing my favourite colour than trying to work out odds, starting prices and all the other information available. It was fun and exciting at times but I am clearly not a natural punter.
Our Golden Wedding celebrations were all wonderful in their different ways. We are so blessed to be surrounded by such loving, caring, and thoughtful family and friends and to have had each other for such a long time no matter how fast or slow time passed.