And that’s where it ends, doesn’t it? It’s the culmination, the peak of feminine endeavour. And yet, it’s not the end of the story. Pretty fortunately really as otherwise no one would ever achieve the dizzying excitement of their paper wedding anniversary!
We’re now 3 weeks in. We’re still re-living bits of the day but having spent the entire drive up to York, just going over and over it, we’re kind of short of things to repeat. Although I still love the bit when I was dragged out of my pre-wedding nerves in the car over to the ceremony by my godmother asking my niece what her favourite bit of school was; “Lunch” my niece firmly replied. Like aunt, like niece....
Does it feel different? Well, it does a bit. It’s not as if, after 17 years, we were in a flimsy relationship but somehow it feels even more solid and secure. Which is of course, lovely. I’m warding off the post-wedding blues by focussing on Christmas, but I suspect my usual post-Christmas blues will be positively navy in colour. That is when I’m going to start booking our honeymoon proper though, to try and lighten the gloom.
So, the mini-moon. It was good in parts (like the curate’s egg). The York Hotel de Vin was lovely – although we’d signed up to a deal which was supposed to upgrade us to the best room available, we were in a basic room I suspect. But it was perfectly nice. What made it lovely was the staff – they were like people who worked for a standalone hotel in which they had a stake. They were so friendly that we were quite disarmed. From the free bottle of fizz they sent up within minutes of our arrival, to the very knowledgeable and enthusiastic sommelier to the waiting staff that were absolutely happy for us to go and watch Homeland between main course and pudding to the lovely front desk staff, we felt really privileged to have such warm and friendly service. How can we do anything but go back? Luckily, we liked York enough to want to go back anyway.
It made Northumberland a bit of a rude shock: we arrived at our cottage in the pitch black to find it cold and unwelcoming. We spent ages firstly finding boiler instructions and then trying to coax it into life. Eventually we discovered that the gas bottles in a shed to the rear of the property had run out. Not the welcome we’d become all-too used to. When P finally threatened to put the log basket on the fire to keep warm, things finally started to happen. But I’d picked the village as it had a good pub and a restaurant so we could just walk to dinner. Both were closed. In fact, Northumberland was generally closed. We couldn’t find a single castle or place to visit that was open. The scenery was glorious though and we’ll have to go back when it’s open for business. We won’t stay in that cottage or with the badly named Grace Darling holidays at all though – they were very graceless in my dealings with them and not darling at all! It’s unusual to find a small, local firm as resolutely disinterested in engaging.
Overall, I’m glad it wasn’t the honeymoon proper. But the key lesson learnt is not to break my heart over things not going perfectly for the main event. No matter how much I plan and hope and dream, the honeymoon won’t necessarily be perfect. I have a real perfectionist problem, P hates it as he has to deal with my disappointment and self-castigation when it doesn’t work out. Hard to see how it would be possible to not have a fantastic time in this case though!
Unless I can’t fit into any evening frocks on the liner. Really need to stop eating as if it’s Christmas. Oh I wish it could be Christmas every daaaaaayyy....