I'm a little slow sometimes but apparently Jan Akkerman is performing in public on his lute these days. He complains that keeping the thing in tune is hard work. It would be great to hear him live on lute. This appears to be Elspeth of Nottingham from the album Focus 3 (Sylvia was also on it).
Emblem of blasted hope and lost desire,
No finger ever traced thy yellow page
Save Time's. Thou hast not wrought to noble rage
The hearts thou wouldst have stirred. Not any fire
Save sad flames set to light a funeral pyre
Dost thou suggest. Nay, - impotent in age,
Unsought, thou holdst a corner of the stage
And ceasest even dumbly to aspire.
How different was the thought of him that writ.
What promised he to love of ease and wealth,
When men should read and kindle at his wit.
But here decay eats up the book by stealth,
While it, like some old maiden, solemnly,
Hugs its incongruous virginity!
The service was led by the minister, Meirion Thomas, and was largely in Welsh but with everything translated including the bilingual sermon on Revelation 19 from Steffan Jones (Aberystwyth). Even the groom spoke immaculate Welsh, despite wearing a kilt. There's the advantage of a missionary upbringing. One or two things in the service jarred with me but it was warm, evangelical and mainly God-centred. it was great to see two young people so keen to honour God.
A long but relaxed cake reception followed in the church buildings, closing with the cutting of the cake and speeches from the bride's father and the groom.
Guests for the main reception (160 of us) then took the short journey to Rougemont School where after an age taking photographs we finally sat down to eat. (I popped the kids in our party up to my sister's in Cwmbran just before). We had a lovely meal, another cake cutting and several speeches all audible and well done.
The final element was an electric ceilidh band Parsley Hay and dancing (which I brought the kids back for). The bride and groom left around 10.30 as did we.
So a long but very enjoyable day. A silvery undertone of sadness was also there for me as the church is right in the area where my mother grew up. It was slightly strange to meet one or two people (working very hard on the catering front mostly) who I don't keep up with but who I know from way back. As we were leaving, a couple spoke to me about the blog. It was gratifying to know that they pop in here from time to time. Nice to meet you!
Another wedding next Saturday but we will only attend part of that one. I'm sure weddings weren't as long when I was a boy.