A Family Wedding
22 Oct to 27 Oct 07
We felt like old hands crossing through the Channel Tunnel on Monday 22 Oct 07. Despite a rainy cold morning we arrived at the check-in with our order number, passports and credit card ready (no easy thing when we were rugged against the cold and wet) and were through in seconds.
This time the trip across did not include an emergency alert like the last trip. We felt a little disappointed with the ease of it all and rolled out onto left hand side of the English motorway by mid morning. We found accommodation an hour later and started straight into a list of administrative tasks that needed attention. For the next three days we sourced bike spares, used internet time and dealt with a dozen other major and minor tasks needed to keep us on the road.
While visiting a local bike mechanic a guy came in on this tiny pee wee cruiser. 150cc of pure dynamite. He took one look at the BMW and wandered off scratching his head.
By Thursday we had our work done and were on our way up to Oxford for our daughter Sarah’s wedding. It rained all the way but we are getting used to such weather and breezed through the trip without too much discomfort.
Sarah had booked us into a very nice B&B near the centre of Oxford. After some of the places we have been staying in Jo looks pleased to see the king sized bed! There is enough room in the suite to practice some dance moves.
As expected, Oxford is full of students and bicycles….
…… and canals full of punts unused in the autumn chill.
An interesting find for Mike was this plaque commemorating Roger Bannister’s 1954 sub-4 minute mile.
On Friday 26th, our son Nick and John Green (father of the groom) turned up and moved into rooms in the same B&B. Long term readers will remember that we last saw Nick in Arcachon on France’s Atlantic coast and John Green in Camarthen in Wales. The four of us trundled off to a local pub for dinner and a quick catch up on all that had happened in the intervening weeks.
Two problems had arisen with my helmet over the preceding couple of weeks and both needed resolution. The first was that the intercom harness had packed it in and neither of the women in my life (Jo or Kylie) could be heard inside the helmet. Some may see this as a good thing, but after having the communications system for several years, we found life without it difficult.
The second was a problem with air blasting into the bottom of the helmet. This seemed to be caused by the luggage fit. This was not a huge problem when the temperature was warm, but in the cold weather my eyes were starting to become irritated.
I managed to get a replacement helmet set from a dealer and fitted it up. First problem solved.
For problem two I purchased an old nylon bag at a junk shop for 50p and cut out two flaps of material for the underside of the chin section of the helmet. Lengths of hook and loop tape (part of our spares kit) were sewn onto the overlap and the sections were super glued into the helmet.
Mike sews on some hook tape for a custom helmet mod while Nick tries to work out how to ask for accommodation in Spanish.
Saturday 27 October 2007 was the day of the wedding. After wearing nothing but riding suits and travel clothes for weeks, dressing up was a strange experience. As the photos show, however, we scrubbed up pretty well. As requested by the invitation, the ladies looked very glamorous and the men very dashing.
The hotel selected for the wedding was a beautiful venue for this intimate celebration attended by only close family and a few friends.
A few photos below provide a feel for this very special day.
Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons is a beautiful venue. The extensive gardens and magnificent buildings were an ideal site for a wedding or a very luxurious dirty weekend.
The gardens were wonderful, but the umbrellas were needed as the rain drifted in…
The groom, Mike Green, waits for something important to happen.
Mike and Sarah, now Mr and Mrs Green, sign on the dotted line at the end of the ceremony.
Jo and Sarah. I was amazed how few creases there were in our wedding outfits when we unpacked them from the bike …… well, almost!
Mike H gets a little guidance on how to stop the rear spinning-up on wet country lanes from Mike G.
Sarah, Helen, Jo and Natasha.
Pretending to cut the cake while the cameras flash.
The cake. Not for cutting by amateurs!
We had booked a return passage on the Channel tunnel train for the evening of 28 Oct, the day following the wedding, so there was little time to linger in Oxford. The newly wed couple was departing on their honeymoon on the same day and our son was returning to London.
There was no longer any reason to stay. We packed our gear, prepared this blog and got ready for the next stage of our journey.
Our plan is to head 2000 km south to Spain, the Valencia Moto GP and some warm weather. After that …..
Posted by Mike Hannan at 12:35 AM