August already – how did that happen? Silly question. As some of you may have noticed, I took a break from Facebook for 10 days or so. An experiment in several ways, but mostly an attempt to be true to my principles, and boycott the dastardly thing. I detest its organisational structure, its business model, its total lack of any kind of ethics or morality and most of all its ability to suck us into dependence on it. Instead of posting every second thought and experience as it happened, and spending hours reading what people I barely know are saying and thinking, I decided to create a photo journal for these 10 days, and share that with people I do actually know and care about. I’ll put a link on Facebook as well, because there are people who come into that category who still only communicate via Facebook. I’m hoping that will change, but not ‘holding my breath’. So there I was, sitting on the train, about to cross the border from Scotland back into England. The big adventure of Roderick and Arwen’s wedding had been and gone, and so had my mini-break on the Isle of Tiree with my sister-in-law Mabel Macarthur. Rather than writing up my blog/journal at reasonable intervals, of course I left it till the adventure was almost over! Then, having made a start, Virgin West Coast Train’s wifi crashed, and I was left to ‘consider my options’. I’ve been back in Liverpool amost a week now; marvellous how life takes over. But I’ll have a go at re-tracing my steps in an attempt to share the adventure with you all. This is Part 1, The Wedding. First off, before I left, I set up the self-watering system for my houseplants. The next morning I found a huge puddle on the floor, as you can see the lengths of string are drooping between the bottle of water and the plants, hence proving the drip principle does work, but it’s more effective if the water actually drips into the pot! I also spent the evening packing and baking, making Lamingtons to help out with the snacks for the guests after the wedding ceremony. This is an Aussie favourite, squares of plain sponge cake dipped (or in my case soaked) in chocolate icing and rolled in chocolate. I also made some Anzac biscuits and my first ever successful batch of shortbread. Roddy and I drove up to the Lake District together in his lovely hire car on Thursday afternoon, arriving just in time to enjoy a single malt on the terrace of the Cragwood Country House Hotel, overlooking Lake Windermere, on a gorgeous clear blue skied evening, with Adele and Gerry Grodstein from New Jersey. (My elder son Iain’s in-laws). On Friday morning we met up with Arwen and her family (who’d come in from the Isle of Wight, Home Counties and New Zealand) for the rehearsal. Iain had arrived (from Seattle) with his wife Jessie and the grandchildren Owen and Natalie the night before, and the twisty, windy roads up the lake to the church managed to lose them. Meantime, in my efforts to connect with them – no phone reception where the church is – I had an adventure climbing up the hill behind the village trying to get some ‘3’ bars on my phone, where I was rescued by a very kind couple who pointed out that this was Vodafone territory, and let me call Iain on their landline. They also treated me to a history lesson about the origins of the church, the glacier traces in the hill behind their house, and the local farmers’ concerns about the drought. That sorted, Roddy found me some lunch and a taxi to take me to Oxenholme station to collect my sister-in-law, Roddy and Iain’s Aunt Mabel, travelling down from the Isle of Tiree. Next up, the boat trip on the lake. Roddy and Arwen had booked a boat to take us all for an hour’s run on the water, with Prosecco and juice and snacks galore, and much laughter. Back on land, we enjoyed a lovely bar meal in the hotel, (did I mention, they’d booked the whole hotel for the weekend!), took a stroll in the grounds as the light was fading – around 10.30 in the evening. And then, a really comfy bed, and a great night’s sleep for me, before the big day dawned.