Well, after a couple of hectic months planning and a day when the whole thing was off, Catherine and Flo finally got married.
As expected, my Mother made travelling a nightmare. I had booked the flights for all 11 of us and we were meeting up at East Midlands Airport, together with another 3 guests.
No one wanted to risk getting caught in traffic, so we all arrived at about 3.30pm and the check-in didn't open for our flight until 5pm. That wasn't a problem, time to relax, have food and drinks and catch up with family that we only see every few months.
My Mother had other ideas! "Lets go and check in now"
We can't do that Mum, we have to do it ourselves on those computers, it's very easy but they are still checking in the Prague flight, which goes before us"
I got one of those, you don't know what you are talking about looks but I will go along with you ....for a while.
We had coffees and beers and snacks and it was now half past four.
Mum wants to go down to the check in area, so off we all trundle. Sure enough, that pesky computer is still only showing the Prague flight. But...says Mum, "we can check in now, it's only half an hour early, so it won't matter"
I explain that if it hasn't been put onto the computer yet, there is no way we can do it.
If she was a child I would say she was now becoming petulant. I am becoming red in the face, as she has been like a dripping tap for the last hour or more, going on about checking in. I am obviously such a fool that it is a wonder I have managed to do all these bookings and arrange assistance to and from the Aircraft. This is obviously what she is thinking and is expecting to find any minute that I haven't really booked anything at all.
I had to go and cool off and went outside for some fresh air, then I looked after Abi's baby, while she went out for a cigarette.
When I arrived back, the booking had just opened and Mum had made my sister deal with it, as I obviously can't be trusted. Well the luggage labels came out fine for all of us but it said it had printed the Boarding Passes, only it hadn't. She's sent Mike over to the Easijet desk, which was about 200 hundred yards away and there was a queue and my sister is jigging up and down on the spot, looking like she is about to wet herself.When Mum is getting into panic mode, it stops anyone within 20 feet from thinking clearly. Luckily I had been able to avoid the build up to this particular crisis, so still had a few brain cells firing.
I spotted an Easijet employee a few feet away, looking into one of the other computer terminals. I told her we didn't have our Boarding Passes. She replied" Just tell them when you hand over your luggage, they will print them there for you"
I won't tell you about the nonsense in the queue involving the wheelchair, a few stragglers from the Prague flight on a Stag weekend and my stepfather. They were no problem at all, it was just that they had the temerity to join the queue, in the middle of our party!! I think at that moment both my sister and I were seriously thinking of leaving her behind.
There were several other traumas but no problems at all.
We arrived in Cologne to snow. We drove to Bad Laasphe and there was more snow. It's a lovely little town partway up some mountains.
Prices were very reasonable, only 33 euros pp per night. That included breakfast, which was as much as you could eat and we had a lovely hotel room with a huge balcony. The cleanliness was amazing and the room was cleaned while we were eating breakfast. How they made the bathroom look like it had never ever been used in the time we were eating, I can't imagine. I could spend four hours on ours and it wouldn't be so clean, dry and smearfree!
After breakfast I went with Catherine to arrange flowers on the tables at the Reception. At lunchtime we met Flo's mother and stepfather for the first time. They were both very pleasant and friendly.
The afternoon was spent getting ready and doing Catherine's hair, during which time it snowed and was still doing so on the walk round to the Rathaus. Typical Englishwoman, I had my brolly. Catherine and Flo went by car.
The words of the Registrar were all translated for us by Flo's Mum, who did a wonderful job and the advice given by the Registrar was the best 'sermon' I have ever heard at a wedding.
We walked to the Reception, as it was only a short distance. By now it was 6pm, still light but getting dusk and the lights were coming on around the town. It was truly magical.
The food was wonderful at the Reception, How they did it for the equivilant of £10 a head is a mystery. There was melon in Parma Ham, smoked salmon and other nibbley things for starters, bowls of salad, then hot food was:- Beef in tomato and herbs, fish in a mustard sauce, pork in a delicious sauce, spaghetti carbonara, spaghetti bolognese, a vegetarian pasta dish, potatoes au gratin, cauilflower au gratin and rice. Followed by Tiramasu or cherry ice cream. All of which was home made.
The plates were those large flat pizza plates and I have to say I filled mine!!! And ate it. No, not the plate!
Catherine looked beautiful, like a fairy princess and the snow just made the whole thing magical.
All too soon it was over. Catherine & Flo stayed in our hotel on their wedding night, so it was lovely to be able to have breakfast with them on Saturday morning. Then we all met up for coffee before the flight home. Except for Abi, that is, who was still drunk and threw up all day long. Thankfully they weren't flying back with us.
Catherine went to see her doctor on Monday and had another scan, which confirmed she is carrying the girl she wanted.
Tuesday they flew to Venice and I think they will return today. She sent me a text in the week to say it was sunny and everything was OK.
I hope to have a month or two to catch up on my own life now, before I fly out again for the birth of my grandaughter.
If you would like to see some more photos, here is a link to a Wedding Blog I did.