We stopped off at the top of the Ribble Link staircase to say goodbye to Dave & Kate on Bosley who were doing their crossing back down to Tarleton and the main system that day.
Braidbar Boat; less than two years old and absolutely gorgeous.
After wishing them good luck on their voyage we drove to Manchester, where Ann-Marie had an appointment at a hairdresser’s, then carried on to Heather’s house near Grantham. Heather started dancing with Bourne Borderers at the same time as Ann-Marie and has been one of our most favourite people ever since. In her typical generous style she’d allowed us to invade her house and abuse her kitchen for three days while we produced 170 odd cupcakes. And she took us on a tour of Grantham’s supermarkets. Twice. In the evening we went to Smiths in Bourne and met up with some of the other members of BB. It was lovely to see them all again and made us feel very warm and cosy inside.
Thursday. In the morning we made a dozen trial cupcakes, with different insides and different toppings, so that Frankie could decide which she wanted when she arrived later that day.
When Frankie arrived we immediately accosted her with cake. With hindsight, asking someone to taste-test a dozen big cupcakes when they’ve just driven for two hours was probably not the wisest plan we’ve ever had, but she did her best, bless her. In the end she chose the strawberry coolie mix with the Italian meringue topping.
Friday. Turning Heather’s kitchen into cupcake central was a piece of cake! (Did you see what we did there?) Using two ovens and four bun trays we soon had every available work surface covered in cooling confectionary. Dave did the mixing while Ann-Marie and Frankie took care of case separation and bun rotation. Seven batches later all the baking was done and we started on the toppings. Italian meringue takes a lot of whisking so the well-oiled machine slowed down a bit, but by 7:30pm we were all done, packed up and ready to go. We can’t thank Heather enough for her help and generosity. Friends like that are rare and precious. Hopefully she’ll eventually find something to do with 40 egg yolks.
We got to the Bateman’s Brewery Campsite in Wainfleet at about 9pm, which meant putting our new tent up in the dark. Another lesson in Hindsight. Many of the wedding guests were already there, some had arrived on Thursday, so there was a terrific welcome in the bar.
Saturday. Due partly to an excess of adrenalin, and partly to it being especially bright in our tent at 5am, we found ourselves wide awake. Trying to kill some time Dave practiced his speech
There are plenty of photos on facebook, so we won’t fill up your browser with lots more, but here are a few that we especially like.
We finally headed homeward on Monday, stopping off at Anne’s in Chesterfield on the way.
As a family gathering it was a resounding success, all Dave’s sisters were there, along with nearly all of their off-spring, as were Ann-Marie’s Mum & Dad and all of theirs.
One of the best things about the weekend, apart from our little girl getting married, is that Ann-Marie can now reveal to the world what has been occupying her every waking moment since New Year.
This is how it got dried after we washed it.
The weather forecast for Tuesday was a bit windy but dry, so we decided to take Legend back up through the locks and onto the main line again. Getting off the wall in the basin against the wind was a struggle, the locks on the Glasson branch were really hard work and the wind just made them harder and there was so much weed in the water that at one stage we lost all forward motion and Dave had to go down the weed hatch to clear the prop of this stringy stuff.