Last week to the wedding of my brother's daughter, at Brownsover Hall Hotel in Rugby. As a family we are spread the length and breadth of England, so the wedding involved a gathering of the clan, a rare event these days. My niece looked lovely and all went according to plan.
Like many weddings these days, the ceremony celebrated an established partnership, rather than the beginning of a shared life together. I always feel that this is a social change of some magnitude - and that it has happened quite quickly, within fifty years. Oddly, the traditions built up around weddings have not kept pace with the realities of people's lives - the rituals seem to me to be even more formulaic than they once were.
Then, my other niece, daughter of my elder sister, invited me to join her for lunch in Buckden. In this small Cambridgeshire village is Buckden Towers, once the seat of the Bishops of Lincoln. Here, Henry the Eighth confined Catherine of Aragon in 1533. Now, it is a retreat and study centre for priests.
After lunch, we visited an avid quilter and textile collector in the village. We spent a very enjoyable afternoon inspecting a huge and varied collection.
Finally, I am assembling my Farrow and Ball throw. The grey Rowan Cork has a velvety handle and a dense texture. Apparently, it does felt rather easily, although I am not planning on washing this any time soon. The last strips are just being knitted - there will be nine in all, and each is the length of a respectable scarf. All of the patterns are taken directly from the Barbara Walker "Treasury".