Polly And Tommy’s Wedding

August 14, 2010

Well, here we are, stuck in Civitavecchia (or something like that), once again waiting for the wind to swing round in our favour.  After getting back here on Tuesday afternoon, we had planned to depart south today but the winds are all dead on the nose and, when the forecast thunderstorms are added into the picture, we’ve decided to stay put for another day.  A bit frustrating but it can’t be helped; we learned the hard way last year that the business of trying to make ground into high(ish) winds just isn’t worth the hassle of trying.  Equally, motoring into them isn’t much fun either, so we’ll stay put today and leave bright eyed and bushy tailed first thing tomorrow.

What a time we’ve had since we last found time to post something on the blog!  We didn’t stop much for most of the time, wrapped up either in preparations for Tommy and Polly’s wedding, actually at the wedding or clearing up after the event.

The trip back to UK went well and I won’t bore you with the detail but we spent a happy (if late) evening with Jonno and Lucy in London before making our way down to Penryn in Cornwall the next day.  A rowing buddy of Polly’s, who is making her way round UK in a catamaran, lent us her house (so grateful to you Ali.)  We shared the house with Naomi and Ken and the grandchildren; it was a lovely place to stay, looking out over Falmouth Harbour, where we had set out from almost exactly a year ago!

An 'organised' bride and her Dad

Despite Polly being perhaps the most organised bride I’ve ever met, there was still a fair amount of stuff to be done before the big day.  I seemed to spend most of my time in the hire car, driving from one supermarket to another buying things for the reception whilst my wife and daughters floated round in a haze of pre-wedding bliss having their nails done and the like.  I do clearly remember being sent off to Falmouth with Tommy to get our hair cut and beards trimmed.  We parked up near to the main street and there was a barber.  Ah, thought I, no walk, just a pleasant wait reading the paper and back to get given another task.  Oh no.  Apparently, the barber we had been instructed to use was half way down the main street, so off we trudged and then waited for an age whilst a nice young man gave a weird hair do to a pimply youth; I nearly ran away in terror at the thought of what he might do to my hair – I mean, I might wind up with a hairstyle for Gods sake.  In the event, he did a competent job but charged me 3 times what I normally fork out.  However, the ladies were delighted with the results, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain too loudly.

The pace picked up the closer we got the day, with Saturday morning being a mad round of buying most of the ice in Asda, delivering it to the hall and then making sure I got back to Polly’s house, washed and attired in my suit in time to take her to the church.  I made the schoolboy error of arriving a little earlier than I needed to and entered a world for which the male of the species is not designed.  There was 1 Bride, 2 Bridesmaids, 1 Flower Girl and 1 Page Boy (poor Charlie) all rushing round in various stages of dress being chivvied by the mother of the bride.  I found a quiet corner, printed off a copy of my speech and waited for the dust to settle a little.  Eventually order started to emerge from the chaos and by the time the taxi for Polly and I had appeared it seemed that all of the distaff side of the event was ready to do battle.

The trip to the church didn’t take long and somehow Polly and I beat the bridesmaids to the church so we had time to kill.  My brother Mike was the photographer, so he managed to get in the pictures he wanted before the bridesmaids finally put in an appearance and I could escort my daughter down the aisle of the little church.  The service was lovely, conducted by a friendly vicar who made it very special and got everyone involved.

Gig Crews provide an arch for Mr and Mrs Tonkins!

After the service was over, Mike made good use of the time by doing all the group photos, as Polly and Tommy were to leave the church by boat and had to wait for the tide.  The churchyard is lovely, very old and full of wonderful trees.  The church itself is right down by the waterside at Mylor Harbour, with the harbour itself just across the road.  Once the tide had arrived, Polly and Tommy walked out of the church through an arch made of oars held by their mates from the rowing club before embarking in a small launch which took them, escorted by 2 pilot gigs, up the coast to the reception at Mylor Bridge, about 2 miles away.

Mr and Mrs Tonkins

Once we’d waved them off, the church car park resembled the start at Le Mans, with everyone dashing off to the village hall to be there before Polly and Tommy.  The reception which followed was great, with some lovely food, lots to drink and good company.  As we had to be out of the hall by midnight, the festivities drew to a comparatively early close, although some of the younger element carried on the motion in Falmouth.

The following day was a bit slow starting but I walked back to the hall to pick up the car to find the caterers already hard at work tiding up.  As time went on, more folks appeared to help and we had got the hall cleaned and tidy by midday, when Mr and Mrs Tonkins departed on their honeymoon.  A good number of us then decamped to the house where we were staying and had a leisurely lunch from the leftovers from the reception.

Monday saw us cleaning Ali’s house and moving Naomi’s family into the Tonkins house, where they were going to stay for a few days before going back to Ireland.  J & I left that afternoon to stay with friends near Bristol before making a fairly early start on the journey to Stansted.  

Holly, Pete, Toby and Pam in Rome

The flight was on time and we were met this end by Pete.  He and his family seemed to have had a good time and I am enormously grateful to them for having looked after Rampage in our absence.  Tuesday evening was spent updating one another on our respective activities during the preceding week but on Wednesday we disconnected the shore power, stowed the breakables and set off for a day’s sailing.

We managed to sail most of the time we were out, only resorting to the motor to for the last ½ mile or so back into the marina, but the day can’t be held to be a complete success.  Holly was afflicted by sea sickness and spent much of the day asleep below, whilst Pam and Pete, having avoided sun burn whilst they were on their own, succeeded in getting well burnt during our trip.  We rounded the day off with a meal at one of the marina restaurants before sitting round in the cockpit putting the world to rights.

A first for us - Rampage under sail. We did go back and pick up Pete and Toby eventually.

The following day saw us making use of Pete’s hire car to do a big shop before we saw the Lynch’s off just after lunch.  They had a good trip back to UK whilst we took a deep breath and started to turn ‘Rampage’ back into a cruising yacht.  We continued the process on Friday, aiming to leave on Saturday heading for Netunno, about 50 miles down the coast. 

That brings us back to the beginning of this piece, so I’ll leave you with the message that our cameras failed during the wedding, so pictures of that event will have to wait until Mike has finished sorting through the several hundred pictures that he took and puts them up on the internet.  Watch this space!


One comment

  1. Lovely to see Rampage under sail – hadn’t expected such a beautiful sail!
    What a wedding: a wonderful beginning to their lifetime together. Are you still smiling about it? I certainly am. Being amongst so many beamingly happy and loving people was a truly memorable experience.
    Hope you get the winds you need soon xxx

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