Stuart & Siân grew up in a Buckinghamshire village with a remarkably pleasant social dynamic to it, one that continues to this day. Next to the gates of the village church sits a rota – populated with dozens of different names – for mowing the grass in the church grounds; no sign of a very small few holding on to tradition but one of a community still living up to the spirit of that term (Stuart, as it happens, mowed the grass in the days leading up to his and Siân’s wedding). Across the road and a few paces down, then just a couple more, the village pub serves as a hub for that same spirit of community, equally as welcoming to strangers as it is to those that cross its threshold on a regular basis. Down the road a little further and around a corner, the village cricket ground serves not only for the playing of cricket but also for all manner of community celebrations.
I found the village (and its denizens) so pleasant that I’ll not make specific mention of where it is just in case certain elements of the outside world stumble across this blog post, recall its existence and decide afresh to plonk a third airport for London on top of the place.
Along a friendly side street off the diminutive main road running through the village, Siân lived a little closer to one end, Stuart at the other, their two homes but a couple of literal stone throws apart. I feel quite certain that the distance could be spanned by just a couple of stone throws but I didn’t test my hypothesis out. It wouldn’t have looked good. Back to the story at hand, one might say that Stuart & Siân were childhood sweethearts but to be more precise, they were into their later teens when they became that much more aware of each other and together they’ve been ever since. They now live and work in London but they carry that spirit of village life in their hearts and manifest it in their demeanour, day to day.
I was happy to have the opportunity to meet with them at their London home some months before their wedding, to enjoy the wide slice of sky that they’d managed to find as a view from their window, the uplifting sense of openness along the nearby walk that they frequently enjoy and that I shared with them on that occasion, and the particularly warm, cosy and welcoming pub at the end of that walk, one that might as much have been in a village as in a city so large. I really enjoyed my time spent with them then and all the more again come the day of their wedding. This is the story of that day, of Stuart & Siân’s wedding… View full post »