My trip in England went very well, with some wonderful locations and the chance to catch up with many a family member. My brother’s wedding was a small affair but it was done in style and it really did seem to bring everyone together in the family for those moments. Being in a family in which everyone doesn’t exactly always get along too well (though thankfully lives very far apart from each other!), this was no mean achievement. In fact, it wasn’t always exactly achieved… but the less said about that the better! As it is, I just try to focus on the good times together like walks and meals. I like a simple, peaceful life! In some ways I became a peace-maker as I really am not involved in the disputes and people seemed to get along fairly well when I was around.
For the wedding, along with suprise guest Alexis and my even more surprising assistant in the form of Bronte, I was taking the photos and for the first time was asked to make a speech. It must have caused quite an impression, as some of those present cried, including the bride! Anheli comes from Ecuador originally, but my brother met her in Milan. She looked beautiful, as also did the wife of one of his friends, Racquel, a Reiki teacher from Portugal, whom everyone agreed looked quite stunning and made me even more keen about my coming week there to stay at my Dad’s home! You could really see here how weddings bring people together. I met people I hadn’t seen for years and some of whom I could hardly remember, but there we were, talking together.
As well as the wedding, there was a funeral of sorts. My late grandfather had joined something called the ‘Neptune Society’, as had my grandmother, which believes in cremation and then a burial of the ashes at sea. Now I’m not sure this conforms to any known religious law, but nevertheless it is something I may well do too, as it has both a romantic appeal of being set free and is quite ecologically sound. Anyway, we had decided to put his ashes to rest on this trip, at a sight of scientific research in Bridgeport, which we felt was appropriate as Grandpa had always loved nature and conservation. So we took a trip down there and in the light rain had a brief family ceremony before his ashes were set off to travel on the seven seas. It was a striking place, with huge cliffs and fresh sea-air. Whilst my brother’s wedding gave the family new hope for the future, this gave us a feeling of peace and contentment. The cycle of life, birth, marriage and death had come around full circle… and for all the hopes and upsets, it is a good and Holy thing.
One thing about being in England in the summer is that you can see just how beautiful everything is- the buildings, the flowers, the people. all year around you can see the various levels of history there, but in spring and summer it really flowers. Traveling with a camera actually helps a lot, as you notice details that you might otherwise miss. One of the nicest walks was amongst the houses near my home in Camberwell at night, in which time the stained-glass windows built into the doors long ago are backlit by their hallway lights, creating a fairyland impression. Others nice ones were along the country road near Faulkland, the village we stayed in a cottage in near Bath, which featured cows, horses and guinea-foul, not to mention guinea-pigs, all getting together in a peaceful harmony. The city of Bath, where my brother lives and the wedding was held, is famous for it’s Italian-inspired Georgian architecture made from ‘Bath Stone’, which glows in the evening light, and is one of my favourite places to go in England. I was able to meet more of the locals this time, which was a nice experience as there are some friendly people there and they seem to lead a more relaxing life than those rushing through London.
Having said that though, London is probably slower paced than Tokyo, at least the London I get to see. Thanks to the iBook and wireless lan, I am able to put photos up on the internet in a jiffy. Many of the ones’ I’ve taken are from early morning walks, so I can see things in the crisp early light and also take my time without disturbing other family members. In fact, sometimes they even got up early to join me! To see the gallery so far, just click here-