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Dr John Hawkins

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The Day Before the Weddng

Posted on 2015/08/11 07:59:29 (August 2015).

[Friday 7th August 2015]
Being best man, I was required to travel up the day before Al and Charlotte's wedding to attend the rehearsal. Erika, Chie, and Chie's parents went off to Portsmouth for the day today, leaving me with an extra hour or two in the morning to pack, finish off my speech, print it out, and practice it a couple of times.

I got a train out of Liverpool Street around 2pm, which delivered me to Sudbury just before 3:30. From there I headed over to pick up my hire car - a Mitsubishi Outlander, the pluggable Hybrid version. It took a while to figure out how to actually get it to move, and then as I hadn't yet figured out how to use the SatNav I got a bit lost en route to Edwardstone, the little village where the wedding was to be held. So it was about 5 when I finally arrived.

I'd discovered that the gatehouse of the original Edwardstone Hall (the ceremony was in the church on the Edwardstone estate) was now rented out as a holiday cottage, and pleasingly it was still available for this weekend, so I'd chosen to stay there. The location couldn't be better - right between the church and where the reception would be held. I rather took to it straight away, it was compact but it had everything, and was full of character.

Not really sure why it was necessary for me to be present for the rehearsal, since I had so little to do at the ceremony (just stand up when nodded at by the vicar and hand over the rings) , but nonetheless it was a privilege to be there, since it was just the bridge and groom and immediate wedding party there.

After that we went over to Charlotte's parents house for dinner, for which there was a long wait as a result of Al's family being late - which I understand is a bit of a running joke.

I made my excuses and snuck out towards the end of the evening, on the pretence that I'd be going to practice my speech, whereas in fact I was really keen to poke my nose in at the village pub, the White Horse, which I'd read about and sounded excellent. It was a slightly unnerving walk there - along pitch black country lanes, but I'm glad I made the trek because it was excellent - they had an impressive selection of ciders for this part of the world, as well as a microbrewery on site, and the landlord and his wife were lovely people form Sheffield, with whom I discussed my nerves at delivering a speech the next day, and they helped to put my mind at rest.

Headed back to the gatehouse at closing time, with a takeaway box of cider for a nightcap, back along the dark country lanes, poised to dive into the hedge should a car come along.

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