Monday, 9 May 2011

A Beautiful Day

Today has been quite simply one of the best days of my life. Why? Because I have been privileged enough to see two of my most special friends get Married. Jim Bell and Leigh Bennett have both known me a very long time. They have both seen me at my best, and at my worst - and their friendship has always been a constant in my life.


The day started like every other day this holiday so far - after a long period of darkness, it got light. I nipped out to the village shop to get coffee, toilet roll, and milk. I came back with coffee and toilet roll, but forgot the milk - because I didn't remember we needed it until I got back. We all had breakfast, and did a bit of communal laundry before setting off for Fort Augustus, where Jim and Leigh were getting Married. Their ceremony was at 1pm, but we left at 10am as it was a good hours journey (or a bad four hours journey), and we wanted to get there in plenty of time to be able to walk Jim & Leigh's dog Jack who is a nervous dog. The plan was to tire Jack out so that he would be no trouble to look after while Jim and Leigh tied the knot.

We arrived at Fort Augustus at just after 11am, and decided that we were all hungry. So we found a little place that did food. Unfortunately, it was so little we couldn't all fit in it - so we found a bigger place that we could all fit in. We sat in the garden of the food establishment, and had various burgers and cups of coffee. If you have never tried a various burger, I recommend it; you never know what you are going to get. it's like food Russian roulette.
Having eaten, we took a short walk to exercise Jack, and to find a local pub that the Jack looker-afterers (myself, Ben's son Cain, and Ben's brother Martin) could wait in while the short ceremony took place. We were very fortunate to find a pub that accepted dogs at the bar, so we went in. Typically, Jack said that he had left his wallet in his other coat (an excuse I'm sure), so I bought a round. I decided to throw caution to the wind, and bought myself my first ever pint of Guiness. Moments later, the wind threw caution back at me,  but I managed to duck out of the way. Unfortunately the caution hit a young couple smack in the face as they walked in through the door to the pub. The stopped in their tracks, looked around for a bit, and then decided to find another pub. Jack meanwhile was becoming more and more agitated. There was another dog in the pub, and Jack kept trying to get near it - presumably to beg a fiver off it in order to get a drink. Jim had no choice but to take Jack back to the car. When he returned, it was time for him and Leigh to go get married. they set off with Ben and Richard who were to be witnesses.

My First Guiness

About 10 minutes later, they returned a married couple. I'm not sure what happened, but there was obviously some mix up. Fortunately, Jim and Leigh also managed to get married (I'm sure Richard and Ben can get their marriage cancelled). We had a celebratory drink, and then went over to Loch Ness for a Boat Trip. The Boat Trip on Loch Ness is a favourite of mine, and having not been to Scotland for seven years, I was looking forward to it.

Loch Ness is 23 miles long, and 1 mile wide in most places. If you were to empty all of the water out of it, you could fit the entire population of the globe into the space THREE TIMES OVER. It's that big. An added bonus is that the skipper of the boat that takes us on the boat trip sounds exactly like Sean Connery playing James Bond when he talks over the PA system. Well, I think it is a bonus.

After Loch Ness, we came back to Fort William. After popping in to Morrison's for some provisions, we went to the Ossian restaurant for a Wedding day meal. it was very nice, and the perfect way to celebrate Jim and Leigh.
After the meal we came home - shocked at how late it was (it was 9pm already!).

And that brings me up to speed - the rest of the gang are upstairs watching "Airplane" on DVD. I've just finished my glass of wine, and the bottle is upstairs - so guess where I am headed.

Jim and Leigh's wedding, and wedding day might not sound like everyone's cup of tea. They wanted a low key affair, with just two witnesses, and they didn't want to disrupt the holiday. Not everyone they know has understood or will understand that - but that doesn't really matter. This was their day, done in the way they wanted it done.

I dedicate this rubbish blog to Jim and Leigh, and wish them a long life of love and happiness together. I feel very lucky to have been a part of this their special day.

(With any luck, they'll name their first seven children Larry - even the girls)

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