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A Wedding in West Cumbria

July 2007
Lunch in the café
Today we went over to Ravenglass. One of my pleasures when we go to Ravenglass (west coast of Cumbria, see is to have lunch in the café on the station of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. The food is not what you’d call classy, in fact I always have the same thing: meat lasagne, chips and salad, and with the salad there’s always a tinned-pineapple ring, which I never eat, though Sam and Zoe were with us today and they fought over it, to go with the baked potato with cheese and coleslaw chosen by Zoe, and the baked potato with tinned tuna in mayonnaise and baked beans for Sam. That’s the food you can get in the station café. It’s not everywhere you can buy such vomit-promising nosh, and long may it survive.
The wedding breakfast – two-handed style
While eating my orange-coloured lunch, I enjoy overlooking the station platform where all manner of pot-bellied and limping people, dressed in the depth of fashion, come and go from and to rides on the steam trains. Today, as we’ve witnessed before, there was a wedding that had a ride on the railway as part of its schedule. The previous wedding we’d watched from our vantage point was notable mainly for the photographer who was dressed in a bright green tie and bright green shoes, which together with his lack of a chin made him look like a frog.
But today’s wedding was perhaps even more extraordinary. Two antique red buses brought the wedding guests, looking uncomfortable in their unfamiliar strapless dresses and sparkling high-heeled shoes, down from Muncaster Castle, where the wedding ceremony had evidently been held (I talk about the Muncaster Estate elsewhere; owned by the Gordon-Duff-Penningtons, yes indeed, triple-barrelled surname, for whom I feel rather sorry in many ways, but more of that on another page), the guests then boarded the carriages of the little train for a ride up the line. Nothing unusual in that. What was most unusual, however, was that each of the guests was handed a brown paper carrier bag containing a packed lunch, which consisted – for the bride and groom were sitting together in an open carriage right in front of us so we could see this – of two white baps with a filling that we couldn’t determine but seemed to be rather buttery. Both bride and groom ate and enjoyed their baps two-handed, that is, they each took a bap in both hands and chomped, massively. And then when they’d finished, and without wiping their mouths, they gave each other a kiss. Bleah!


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