Cherry and Ian celebrated fifty years of married life with their family and friends at the Aegeas Bowl in Southampton at the Robin Smith Room. Getting down there was in pretty miserable weather, but this did not deter the spirits of anyone attending; and, as if in equal celebration, the weather day after was simply glorious.
In many instances the last time I had met many of the guests was only a decade less, but in most cases the years simply melted away as we were able to recall memories from those earlier times.
I met up with Diane and Tony in the lobby of the Holiday Inn who had already introduced herself to Judith and her husband who were now all ensconced and chatting in armchairs just beyond the foyer.
It was not long before Lizzy, Tim, Catherine and Jonah and Holly and Poppy joined us. I was hoping to reeky where we going to be for the celebrations which were to be in the Robin Smith Suite at the Aegeas Bowl within the same complex as our two hotels; the Hilton and Holiday Inn. Since no one was free to join me I made the journey by myself which meant later I led the way for our group in confidence. It did allow me the bonus of getting some night shots of the arena. The result is a series of scene-setting shots prior to the main event.
Once I had met up with Cherry, it was warming to hear that she was very pleased I had come armed with a camera, as she had toyed with the idea of actually asking – maybe she was unaware that my camera is to all intents an extension of my right hand, and finally may have to be surgically removed!
It was a very joyous occasion with much laughter, reminiscing and storytelling; I found myself expanding on some of the 'Memory' bag snippets to Poppy at the dinner table, but in a couple of instances I needed reminding as recall was not instantaneous – surprise, surprise!
I enjoy taking shots in poor ambient lighting without additional flash so that I preserve the atmosphere that prevails, and also because flashes popping off can be completely disruptive to the moment and to the event, but it can have its pitfalls, so I do have to apologise to a guest at one of the tables due to my failure at the time to have her in the picture – more especially as we had been in conversation during the evening.
I hope that the shots I have taken are a reflection of the proceedings, and on this occasion I hope I have not spoiled the chronology by headlining a few images out of context in order to give a feeling of how much went into the preparations for the evening by Mandy and Jo. They had undoubtedly ensured the success of the wonderful evening.
I took a walk the morning after because although I hardly touched any alcohol, I stayed up late and managed to sleep through my alarm set for 8 o'clock to be woken at five to eleven, and hastily get myself out of the room, whilst Lizzy kindly grabbed me some breakfast. I needed to calm myself and also charge my phone enough to use it both to phone an aunt I had planned to visit and use its SatNav to reach the village where she lived, hence the shots of autumn colours and finally my aunt and her husband.