We started our little trip with a wedding, the least possible wedding that was still attached to home by land that I have ever been to. This was somewhere one side of the Scottish border, and the reception was just the other side, which was quite a nice little idea. Getting there was actually OK, prebooked train tickets to London and then on to Carlisle were fine and not too expensive, I must remember to prebook all train journeys as far in advance as poss... We were booked into a guesthouse somewhere and were warned that it was in the middle of nowhere, with no nearby facilities, so we met up with some other wedding going friends and decided to stay in Carlisle as long as possible. We had lots of beer in a couple of pubs but struggled to find a restaurant, the only one we could find at all was an Italian, which was OK. At closing time our cab driver made a bit of a big deal about where we told him our guesthouse was, it was about a forty-five minutes away and not technically in any town, I had the fear a bit of being stuck there. Not sure why we weren't booked into Carlisle itself as this place was equidistant from the wedding too. Forty-five minutes, by taxi, several times, the miser in me was retreating deep into his innermost secret inside pockets, I'm glad we had so many people to share rides with.
The wedding itself was nice, ceremony was a bit long and religious, but the reception was quite special. It was in the grounds of the bride's house, yes "the grounds", not the garden, this was a grand affair. There was a massive marquee down a sloping mudslide of a track from the house, though with a bit of straw thrown down I managed to not ruin my shoes on the day. Apart from the marquee, the first thing I saw on riding this mud flume were several sheep, dead, gutted, skinned, fully prepared basically, and staked out over a huge fire. Was this some kind of crazy caveman feast? It was quite impressive actually, even to a vegan.
While waiting for this back to basics barbecue we were fattened on champagne and canapes, by the tonne, like we were some posh geese ready to be fois-grased. This was great, there really was a lot of food on offer. When it came time for the food, each table had a quarter of a sheep and an apron and carving implements dropped on one of the chairs at random. I didn't get one, but a vegetarian chum on another table was - he swapped. We herbivores had a good fill of roasted vegetables and things; I can't remember exactly what, that's the champagne for you. Speeches were a bit different but the entertainment came from the bride's brother's band who were ace, and also DJ's and an Elvis impersonator. I assume we went back to our guesthouse at some point.
Despite the best efforts of a welly lending chum, Clare's shoes went in the bin after the event - any excuse to buy more shoes.
I do have more pictures to come, and please stay tuned for Edinburgh and onward. I'll try and be less text-heavy.