One beautiful Saturday morning – the 8th of April in 2017 –  the occasion of my nephew’s wedding to Rachel in South Wales, I was conscious of a slight air of unexpected panic from the groom.

The suit didn’t fit.

I knew that he’d more than likely sort it out without too much ado and he was already on the way to dashing down to the local M & S to find a replica, the suppliers not being able to provide a replacement until 12.30, but I decided to say a short prayer for a successful outcome, all the same.

Sure enough, within the hour Ben returned with a very dapper suit from ‘Next’ and one really couldn’t see any great difference from the suits of the groomsmen. So far so good….

We experienced the most beautiful ceremony with, no less, a Welsh male voice choir ( thanks to Rachel’s musical input) who, by the way, looked as magical as you would expect – as did her Mum!

Welsh being in both sides of the family, the hymn ‘Guide Me O Though Great Redeemer’ was mandatory ( family services wouldn’t be the same without it ) and, the beautiful ‘All Things Bright And Beautiful’. I was already in Heaven with all this wonderful music, when we were treated to readings by Ben’s Dad from Romans ( Love in Action ) and Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare, which was beautifully read by two of Rachel’s friends ( one in Italian, representative of  her days as a teacher in Rome).

The Vicar had a sense of humour and had managed to somehow incorporate  the word ‘Soberly’ into the service – this was not lost on the attending congregants who were well aware of Ben ( and Rachel’s, I think ) good and keen taste in real ales. Ben was perfectly clear in speaking the words of the service and Rachel elucidated them beautifully.

After a most moving ceremony, we flocked outside into the glorious Welsh sunshine where we experienced the warmth of new family and friends. The day just kept getting better and better. A few people took photos and made general chit chat whilst we took it in turns to speak with the bride and groom before we would move onto the impressive ‘Hensol Castle’ for the wedding breakfast.

Whereupon the party was disturbed by a frantic courier planting a large cardboard parcel, at the feet of my nephew, asking him to sign for receipt of said box.

Mild confusion spread among the polite faces when somebody suddenly exclaimed,

‘Oh my goodness, it’s the suit!’

So, having signed the marriage register, the groom now had to sign for said suit.

Personally, I thought it was far more entertaining than the usual stag night stories that abound and have no doubt that it will go down in family folklore for many years to come. At this point, I said my prayer of thanks because it quickly became apparent that this was one of the many wonderful  things for which people were gong to remember the day.

On our arrival at the castle, we were treated to aperitifs and some Bubbly (some of us might have been  consuming a little more than others at this point) whist enjoying the sound of a quartet as the photographs were done on those stunning grounds. I really was beginning to feel like a queen, so well to which we were tended.

One of the poignant moments, of course, was the announcement at the start of the wedding breakfast to be upstanding for the newly weds, Mr & Mrs Hughes. Upon the arrival of whom, the most almighty roar and applause broke out. Rugby crowds had nothing on this lot, believe me! A moment I wish I’d been recording the sound, if not the scene.

You can’t have a Welsh wedding without leeks in the soup and Welsh lamb, of course , and this was followed by a delightful chocolate tart with accompaniment, not forgetting the flowing wine and Bubbly for the  toasts. The best man got his own back on the groom with an excellent speech that sported an array of photographs. Not having heard the speech at the previous wedding, I have no idea who made the better  one. I also enjoyed the bride’s father’s speech and the groom’s, mainly because neither of them takes themselves in the least bit seriously.

A rather nice touch was the showing of the Grand National and a slip for each of us with a nominal bet- fortuitous, as I had completely forgotten to place one in all the excitement. This immediately gave rise to somebody going round with a jar to collect a pound bet off everyone for a sweep to guess how long the speeches would last.

We danced to a ‘Swing Band’ and Disco in the evening (though it’s probably not called a disco these days) and I think everyone got up to dance at some point – it was a great do! Though my dancing is about as bad as my golf game, I loved it and was more than happy to make a fool of myself on the dance floor. My confidence was increased from taking the expert advice on what to wear, given by Ben, Rachel and a small handful of friends a week or so before at a sort of  ‘Clothes Showcase’. Even some of the bride and groom’s friends got me up to dance with them at one point which was jolly sporting of them, I thought. Then the bride’s mum joined in saying that she hardly ever danced, then set about following the youngsters in their expert moves perfectly well.

One particularly poignant moment was over the wedding breakfast when I caught a glimpse of the ring on Ben’s finger. I suddenly realised that he wasn’t the same person who’d got up that morning, but someone who had changed over the course of the day into another being. Indeed, some people say you become one when you marry. It might have been that it was such a wonderful day all round. Anyway, it was such a wonderful day and weekend so I’d like to thank everyone who made it possible.

Not forgetting the one to whom I made that little prayer, of course.


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Having had a traumatic last couple of weeks, thereabouts, with a scare on my eyesight, I thought it might be helpful to relate it here, in case anyone suffers the same symptoms. continue reading »

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Social This & That

9 February 2016

I’m on yet another Business Course run by The Business Growth Hub in Manchester. We’ve studied various social platforms and I’m now committed to using what I feel has been the most useful part of the course.


That is the ‘Social Media plan’ whereby you choose your platforms, Answer questions to find your strategy, Goal Setting and Calendar all built into a spreadsheet that produces its own Analytics page – so no getting out of the action!


I’ve told people galore about these courses but no one seems to want to come along 😉 : Must be something I said, so I’m writing this ‘blog about it instead.


The only problem is there are so many of these learning sessions and, with the amount of food and snacks that are included, I’m slowly becoming a ‘Learnaholic’ and…..


very fat.


Hmmm., I think the training is working already. I’m thinking here about telling The Business Growth Hub that they need someone to run a ‘Keep Slim At Your Computer Session’.


I’d better get on social networking and make it happen.





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I was summoned by Radio Manchester over to the Birch Service Station on the M62 yesterday morning first thing.

So there we were to the roar of the passing traffic at the Radio Manchester’s travelling reporter’s van cracking through the interview.
I would have liked more time with the lady caller but it went well, all the same – imho 😉

I even had a call from Radio 5 live waiting for me to go on their show but getting to my Greek lesson after the above interview meant that I didn’t get home in time.

Fun day all in all… for a change. 🙂


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school of motoring

Having got through the plane journey from The Hughes School of Motoring although, not entirely without hitch as, when having seated myself, a tendency towards OCD made me check ( for about the 50th time ) that my passport was still in the new bumbag, specially bought for the trip to Rome. These genius inventions might be fine for walking around the city, but fumbling to find the right compartment whilst awaiting take off on a Ryan Air Flight is not something to be recommended if, like me, the leg room issue is already beginning to cause anxiety. continue reading »

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I Was Lost in Rome

24 November 2014


I’ve just been lost in Rome. With The Vatican, bus tour and a short guide on foot (from my nephew) all done, I had to make my way over to where he was staying with Rachel. Only 1k, but having become  slightly worn by the wonderful food, wine and beers etc., my sense of direction was a little out.


continue reading »

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Problem is you can run out of time with so many suggestions and ideas, but think I got the basic message across. Had great fun doing this with Kevin, the reporter. He had to shut me up at one point, of course, because I had far too much to say ( as usual ).


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My claim to fame this last month is to have been blocked/deleted whatever from 2 people’s FB sites. Hardly a big deal because, as we know, FB friends do not necessarily equate to real friends ( although they could well do ).

On the first occasion, I was merely providing a few facts to some very incorrect reporting by the Press in connection with one of the numerous awards given out within the driving instruction industry by various organisations. The result of my honesty was to see my posting removed. There was also much castigating of those who seemed to want to know the continue reading »

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I was enjoying a lie in the other day when the phone rang and I was asked if I’d like to answer questions on the potential changes to driver training and testing. As somebody who always wanted to be a news reader, I decided this would be the nearest I would get to it, so naturally agreed.

This is the link and it is valid for about a week. Oddly enough, about half an hour after the interview, I received a call from Canalside Radio in Bollington, Macclesfield in Cheshire to give an interview with them as well!


Hmm, you never know, I might just get that newsreader job, after all. I’m 2 hours 5 minutes in.


Ps…it’s my first time on the radio, so please be sympathetic  😉



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My Wonderful Job

9 August 2013

What a wonderful job I have. Just had one of my pupils that has struggled with learning for various reasons and he’s passed third time. The family are absolutely over the moon. I was almost in tears…he’s booked Pass Plus as well . Having said that, I told him to text his mum on the way home, but he said “No, let them sweat…” – don’t you just love ’em? 😉

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