After a days travelling from Stockholm to London to Philadelphia, we woke in Caren’s sister, Carol’s house. A magnificent 100 year old stone house, with more than enough rooms for the five children who normally live here. Of course, the entire Deem clan was here for what we had thought was a small family dinner, but what turned into a full on reception.
We spent last night showing photos to everyone and trying to explain cricket to bemused onlookers (though it must be said that Aussie Rules and Rugby Union garnered more interest … something about fit men running into each other must be universal!). Then, this morning we went of to Jimmy’s (one of Carol and Marc’s kids) ice hockey practice for a couple of hours. Very entertaining. It was for 10-12 year olds, but of course there is quite a big size difference in those ages, so some of the bigger kids were having a great time thumping into the little kids. Jimmy did a great job in defence, and stood up admirably to some larger kids. It was a lot easier to follow than the professional games, mainly because we could actually see the puck.
After getting back and warming up, we had to get ready for the photographer, who was there not only to photograph us, but to mark the occasion of a complete family reunion. Several changes of clothes later (into wedding outfits … out of wedding outfits … back into them for more shots) that was all done, and it was onto the reception.
We had been banned from the dining room for the day, and when the curtains were finally opened a magnificently decorated room, a table set for 16, white roses all around and a two tier wedding cake was there to greet us. Far more than we had ever imagined, it was a little overwhelming seeing the trouble that everyone had gone to. Having had a wedding in a hotel in sweden that was organised by someone else, and to then come to a reception in which all the work had been done by someone else, it was kind of like we were getting it easy. Which of course, we were.
The reception followed a fairly familiar format, with only minor differences to Australia. Not so big on speeches, and a tradition with little bells. (When someone rings the bell, the bride and groom have to kiss … which sounds lovely, but it gets a little tedious when the seven to ten year olds in the room keep ringing the bell constantly.
Many courses of magnificent food, perfectly matched with some great wines, followed: Prawn (Shrimp) Cocktail, Mushroom Soup, Poached Pear and Walnut Salad, Beef Fillet, Cheeses (including the orange American Cheddar … 64 slices of american cheese … mmmmmmm) and then the wedding cake for dessert. The wedding cake was a sponge cake. Apparently fruit cakes aren’t de rigeur, and are a bit of a jokey novelty at christmas time.
All in all a marvellous day, and our grateful thanks to Mary (Caren’s mom), Carol and Kathy (Caren’s other sister) for the work and effort they put in. Also thanks to Marc and Greg … (and to Beth’s boyfriend for helping cart the tables in, which I’m told where quite awkward and heavy.)