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August 10, 2006

Day #2 in Cornwall - the wedding


On Saturday we needed to make our way to Falmouth for the wedding ceremony. Amusingly our host at Polsue Manor was making a big fuss about the fact that we were on the wrong side of some inlet or the other - to be honest, when you've come from Crete, whether you are staying 10km or 30km from the actual wedding doesn't make much odds.

To get there we had to go over the King Harry Ferry. When we arrived at the queue we were gobsmacked. With trips every twenty minutes we knew it wasn't going to be far, but to be honest you felt you could leap over the inlet. The ferry was of a design I've never ridden on before - essentially a floating platform which ran along two sets of chains keeping it anchored to its route.


It also had a ridiculous mannequin of a cliched old Cornish sailor watching over the cars, which put me in mind of Dom Joly's Trigger happy TV sailor character.


The ceremony was at Pendennis Castle, which is 450 years old and was first built during Tudor times. It was still in use as a defensive position and gun battery during the Second World War


For the ceremony itself the inner room of the castle was candle-lit, and it was absolutely beautiful - if somewhat difficult to take photographs if, like me, you don't really know what you are doing

Once the wedding was over, we dashed off to get back to the ferry before the wedding hordes, and supped a quick pint at The New Inn again before heading for the reception. This was at the bride's parents house a little way outside of the village. One of the things I love about little country villages is that everybody seems to know everybody else's business. As the four of us strangers walked through the centre of Veryan, we were accosted by an old lady "Oh, you must be going to the wedding. Its an awful long walk you know".

Like the trip to Falmouth, all distance is relative, and it wasn't that far at all. The reception was in a marquee in a field next to their massive garden (complete with duck pond with real ducks and an electrified fence), and it is the first wedding I've been to which required the hiring of portaloos.

Another thing they had at the reception was a memory book, and everybody was photographed with a Polaroid camera, then stuck their picture in the book with a message. This, of course, provided plenty of mileage for quips along the lines of "I've never posed for a Polaroid with my clothes on before".


We really enjoyed ourselves, and were just about the last people to leave, after someone had stolen our taxi which we had booked the previous day. My left-brain was quite seething about that, and all set to make a fuss, when my right-brain pointed out that this turn of events meant I could drink more beer, so it wasn't so bad after all.


In one particulalry cruel twist, the caterers packed up at midnight, leaving behind stacks of free alcohol including a whole barrel full of bottles of beer - but they left no beer opening implement. I'm not sure I've ever cut a more pitiful figure as I did then, all suited up, pathetically trying to prise open a bottle of beer with a stray fork I had found lying around!


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Hehe, I remember the King Harry Ferry well from holidays in Cornwall as a kid. Of course, it seemed like quite a long way across then...

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