Wednesday, 15 August 2012


We have been out of circulation recently.

Last Wednesday, we set out as the vanguard of the Waddell Clan’s outing to North Wales and Chester, for Gregor and Sarah’s wedding.

We took over 2 holiday houses near Wrexham for a week. Ruairidh and Lucy had arrived on the Tuesday from Zambia, and caught up with Gregor overnight in Chester before moving to be with us. Fiona had already flown home to Australia. Their second baby is due on 19 September.

Keith, Ida and Mubita left Edinburgh and went through to Catriona’s and Kirsten’s to pick up some of their katundu. They would be travelling down the next day with Stuart and baby Iona and what with prams and other infant impedimenta, their boot would be packed tight.

We continued comfortably down the M6, then M52, and finally to the North Wales Expressway to Rossett. We took a short break at a service station outside Lancaster, where Keith was bombed by a gob of guano from a low flying bird of the air. This we took as a good augury for the forthcoming nuptials!

We met up with Sarah, Gregor, Ruairidh and Lucy, and had a convivial family supper at a local inn that evening.

On Thursday, we got ready for the Glasgow contingent who arrived in the afternoon. Another expedition that afternoon was taking Lucy and Mubita shopping for shoes without the benefit of reins, or the pushchair, which was still to arrive from Dubai. Ida suffered a similar misfortune with her luggage both on the way to Washington and on the way back. So it is not just on the Jo’burg – Livingstone run these things happen.

On Friday, Gregor had the day off, so he came to join us for his last day and night of bachelorhood. It was good spending time in the Church, Northgate in Chester, seeing the creative and artistic way Sarah and Gregor had decorated the sanctuary. We helped to decorate and prepare the hall for the reception. That evening we organized a braai for both families.

On the Saturday, the maids of honour withdrew to Chester to visit the hairdressers and to dress, while the groomsmen and lady arrived at our house to get ready. Ruairidh was best man and Kathy and Anthony, both from Auchencruive student days, were together with Sarah’s sister’s husband, Paul, and the others. It was a kilted affair, reflecting the groom’s Scottish extraction. Other than a thunderstorm over lunchtime and the non-arrival of the groom’s family taxi, the wedding was a relaxed and laid-back event. The Church was full of family, friends and their children, including the confetti elves; Mubita, Leo, Nancy and Lucy.

The service was made especially personal and memorable through the warm message delivered by Brian, the vows led by Dave, the readings by Sally and Keith, and the prayer offered by Laurence and Bethan. This was followed by canapés and champagne while the photos were underway. The Bride and Groom then arrived at the reception for the vegetarian buffet. An English Country Dance Band provided the music for the ceilidh, held in the Church building, after the meal. The cake was cut and served during the interval. The last dance took place, the bride and groom left and those remaining returned the seating in the sanctuary to order for the Sunday Service.

We had a good family time on Sunday, with various comings and goings. After breakfast, Stuart, Kirsten, Iona and Catriona all left for Glasgow. We had Mum and Dad around for lunch, and Gregor and Sarah for supper. The newly-weds left on honeymoon on Monday. We drove Ruairidh and Lucy to Manchester airport on Tuesday evening. They are now safely back in Australia. We arrived back in Edinburgh, a week after leaving.

On Friday we had an interesting lunchtime spot at St John’s Episcopal Church, as part of the Festival of Spirituality and Peace. As part of the World Church in Action, we were invited to take part in a conversation about our work in health and education at Mwandi, sharing about our faith and how this was connected to social justice, development and peace. The Convener of the World Mission Africa & Caribbean Committee, Rev Dr Russell Barr, chaired the discussion. We appreciated seeing some friendly faces from World Mission as well.

On Sunday we were invited back to Callendar Kirk. We took part in the service and had the opportunity to let the congregation see how important teamwork was in our work, and the commitment it required to work together with others at Mwandi, in the Church, the hospital, schools and wider community. We were able to show a PowerPoint simultaneously, to reinforce this. It was good to meet up with old friends there afterwards, and enjoy some special fellowship over lunch.

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