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Thread: A Midsummer's Song of the Paddle Wedding

  1. #1
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    Default A Midsummer's Song of the Paddle Wedding

    And so it came to pass, that on the longest day of the summer of the year of our lord 2013, a small group of people met to celebrate the marriage of two people...


    In the depths of winter, on a dark and damp evening in Hampshire, two people first met by the ancient walls of a castle. They had been brought together by a shared love, that of the canoe, and the folk of the Song of the Paddle are entirely to blame. On that evening, they had shared food and conversation with a happy bunch of Hallowe'en paddlers, and there their story began. Somewhere in the background of this photo they shared a firebox.






    Now we move forward to this very morning, and a car park in the ancient town of Bishop's Stortford. As I waited by my car, a vehicle arrived dressed for the occasion.









    The cars were unloaded, and their burdens were laid out on the lush grass, bedecked with flowers.















    By now, perhaps some of you have recognised a certain blue canoe, and worked out the identity of bride and groom. I can now reveal Jon and Karen, in their full wedding regalia, known in these parts as JonDavy and Rana. I believe they may well be the first couple to marry having been brought together through this very website.









    I was honoured to have been invited as I had been there at the start, and possibly as a blog was always going to be part of the plan! Also present was Ash, talking here with the bride-to-be as we tried to find a way through the nettles to the River Stort, the paddling of which would take us direct to the wedding ceremony itself.






    It was not the easiest of get-ins and a dip was not something any of us wanted. Fortunately, only one bouquet went for a swim...






    I was to take Karen to her marriage, the prettiest bow passenger I have been fortunate enough to carry.






    Meanwhile, the groom would follow, solo for one final time!









    Whilst Ash wandered alongside us, we paddled gently upstream.






    Our voyage was not a lengthy one, and soon the half-timbered shape of the registry office was ahead of us.






    However, our happy couple were not quite ready, and first they wished to sail to the end of the world and back. Well, to the end of the navigation and beyond anyway.









    In the green-swathed park beyond the bridge, we turned around, and our couple were headed for their destiny.









    Fortunately the get out was easier than the put in, and soon we were ashore.






    It was no coincidence that the place of marriage was right next to a waterway, and Mr and Mrs Paddle joined the excited couple.






    Inside, the bride and groom were taken off to be grilled, tested and processed, whilst the rest of our small party, now joined by Chris and Kate were shown to the lovely room in this ancient old building.






    For some strange reason, I had been entrusted with the rings!






    Obviously, Mr and Mrs Paddle were included in the ceremony, whilst outside the window our floating carriages waited patiently.









    Mr Davy looked just a little nervous as he waited for the door to open, and his bride to enter...









    ...but she hadn't run off with the canoe (sensibly Jon had locked it), and soon entered on Chris's arm.






    The ceremony was relaxed and lovely, as vows were given...






    ....my starring moment came upon me, the handing over of the rings...






    ...which were duly slipped into place.






    And then they were married.






    The official register was signed by the couple and us as witnesses, and all became serious and legal!






    So the bride waved her wellies to bring the moment back down to earth!






    And the happy couple left together as a married couple.






    After passing under a guard of paddles (sorry, no photos as at that moment I was holding one of the paddles!), we returned to our waiting craft.









    Now for the celebrations...









    ...interrupted only by the odd, amused, towpath users...












    After some bubbly had been despatched from tin mugs, it was time to return downstream, the first voyage for our love birds as married couple.









    What a lovely way to depart from your wedding!












    It was a pleasant and happy trip back downstream, past some of the old buildings of the town.












    ...but the pub was calling, so it wasn't long before the end of our voyage.









    Flowers were offered to the river in thanks.












    And no canoe trip would be complete without a portage!






    We retired to a local hostelry.









    After an excellent meal, where I was too busy to take photos, the cake was revealed. And what a cake it was, made by the bride herself.












    Delicious too!


    And so ends this tale of happiness. I was very pleased to be invited on such a special day, and what a fantastic, fun way to start a life together.


    Here's to the bride and groom, Karen and Jon!
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

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    what a lovely ceremony and lovely settings best wishes too them both
    Wandering hearts meet on the trails of life

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    How fabulous is that! Congratulations!
    Better drowned than duffers
    If not duffers wont drown

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    Now that just has to be the blog of 2013 ... brilliant ... many congrats and best wishes to Karen & Jon.
    DCUK
    Can't ytpe or roopf read

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    Many congratulations to the happy couple. It looked a lovely day!

    Where was the firebox reception though?
    To Canoe is to be moved!!!

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    Well, how lovely is that? It has to be the lead on my Facebook page too!! Almost brings a tear to the eye.
    Cheers, Chris.

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    Superb. I'm sure this is the first SotP wedding, unless anyone knows diffrent.

    Congratulations to Jon and Karen.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

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    Fantastic , Congrats Jon & Karen.
    Ratty (Russ)

    I know only that what is moral is you feel good after. What is immoral is what you feel bad after.
    Ernest Hemingway

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    Congratulations to the happy couple...a rather better weather than that first meeting at the castle!
    Here's to wishing you a marriage full of happiness...and maybe the odd bit of canoeing as welll.
    Cheers
    BMJ
    If I could only paddle like a doggie oughta paddle

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    You kept that quiet Jon, you old dog. Hearty congratulations to both of you and may you have many more paddling years ahead of you.
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    Congratulations Karen and Jon, wishing you many happy years together!

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    Absolutely superb a real day to remember
    Congratulations to Jon and Karen.
    And thanks to Mal for recording and sharing.

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    I knew flowers on canoes would catch-on

    Many congratulations to Jon and Karen........... Super blog Mal.

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    Congrats Karen and Jon, all the best.

    Ade

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    Congratulations to both of you!

    That is very special.


    "Your everlasting summer, you can see it fading fast. So you grab a piece of something that you think is gonna last."

    Crow Trip Log

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    Congratulations on your very special day!

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    Congratulations to you both, and well done Mel for your blog and contribution as it seems you were "official Photographer and Ring Bearer".
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

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    Congrats Jon and Karen

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    Congratulations Karen and Jon.

    May the sunlight sparkle on the water;
    The breeze be soft and always at your back.

    Fond Regards
    Hils

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    Many congratulations to Karen and Jon we wish you all the very best for your future tandem paddles.

    Nicely documented Mal, the happy couple are sure to treasure this blog above all others.

    Rob & Suzy

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    Wow! What a wonderful day

    Congratulations Karen & Jon. May all you paddles through life together be happy
    'There is no wealth but life itself.'

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    Absolutely splendid! Best of luck to both of you.

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    How Lovely.....All the best for the future!
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

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    Thanks to everyone for all the kind words and wishes.

    Seeing as it all started in the dark, on a canal, at Hallowe'en, and all because of SotP, it seemed the only way of doing it properly was with a blog, and who better than Mr Grey to do the blog. - from Jon

    And thanks again from me (Karen) - Mal had to be there because it's all his fault. "Who's that man with the beard and the nice canoe, who held the torch for me while I got my boat ready?" I asked, on that rainy Hallowe'en night. "That's Jon Davy", he said. And the rest is history - or bloggery, anyway.

    And yes, we're exceptionally chuffed with this blog! It'll be printed for the album... when we get around to an album...

    K & J x
    Selway Fisher Peterborough 15' - 21Kgs
    FU-BCU Level 2 (Owns a canoe and gets out there and enjoys themselves)

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    Wow! And to think people call canoes 'divorce boats'! That's got to be the best blog ever..... ever! Congratulations to the two of you!
    Juvanile delinkwit, vaguely faffing around with a pair of pliers. Du skal ikke tro at du er bedre end mig!

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    You two have really set the bar quite high with this wedding, not to mention one's style of paddling. I particularly like the way one cocks one's "Pinky" when paddling. Jolly good show old girl, what?

    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

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    Sorry to put a damper on things, but where were the airbags, helmets, kelly kettles, fireboxes, top hats, kilts and killer swans?

    Least you had PFDs.

    "Your everlasting summer, you can see it fading fast. So you grab a piece of something that you think is gonna last."

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    Congratulation Jon & Karen, all the very best for the future. Lovely blog Mal.
    Simms ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    Sorry to put a damper on things, but where were the airbags, helmets, kelly kettles, fireboxes, top hats, kilts and killer swans?

    Least you had PFDs.
    I was wearing them all. Except the PFD...
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    I was wearing them all. Except the PFD...
    I'd like to see that picture!

    Now if I'd been invited (not that I hold any grudge about that whatsoever, I was indisposed and out to lunch that day anyway), it would have gone something like this:

    IT IS an ancient Mariner,
    And he stoppeth one of three.
    'By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
    Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

    The Bridegroom's doors are opened wide,
    And I am next of kin;
    The guests are met, the feast is set:
    May'st hear the merry din.'

    He holds him with his skinny hand,
    'There was a canoe,' quoth he.
    'Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!'
    Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

    He holds him with his glittering eye--
    The Wedding-Guest stood still,
    And listens like a three years' child:
    The Mariner hath his will.

    The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
    He cannot choose but hear;
    And thus spake on that ancient man,
    The bright-eyed Mariner...



    "Your everlasting summer, you can see it fading fast. So you grab a piece of something that you think is gonna last."

    Crow Trip Log

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    Congratulations to you both and Good luck for the future

    The flowery bedecked canoes seemed very Rivendellesque, and with Mal as ringbearer should we now call him Frodo?
    There's a Bluebird in my heart

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    Many congrats to you both, superb day and superb blog.

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    Lovely.. Many happy congradulations!

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    Absolutely superb! Congratulations to you both, I wish you all the very best for the future

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    Congratulations Jon & Karen, what a brilliant wedding and nicely blogged as usual by Mal.
    So where's the honeymoon paddle going to be? I'm guessing Mal won't be blogging that one?
    Bootstrap
    There's no such thing as inclement weather - you're just incorrectly dressed

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    Congratulation Jon and Karen, wishing you the very best for the future.
    "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." A.E.

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    How did I miss this blogg? Jon and Karen Congratulations!
    Mal, top blogg

    "Thinking means not knowing"




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    What a wonderful blog. Congratulations to the happy couple. I love the attention to details like the buoyancy aids, especially the white one of Karen and the marcipan canoe on the wedding cake.

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    Congratulations to you both, I have actually got tears in my eyes reading this!

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidfletcher View Post
    Congratulations to you both, I have actually got tears in my eyes reading this!
    Pleased it wasn't just me.

    What a glorious story. All the best to the happy couple.

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    Wink

    Fantastic. Congratulations to you both.
    Fran

    Photobucket stole my sig



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    Congrats - and happy paddling!

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    Congratulations! I hope you have many, many happy years together. The flower bedecked canoe looked fantastic...particularly with the bride in it
    Rivers know this: There is no hurry, we shall get there some day.

    A.A. Milne

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    Many congratulations to the both of you. What a truly superb way to get married!! Excellent blog too - credit to Mal for that!

    Look forward to seeing you both at the big meet and raising a glass to your special day

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    Congratulations - super blog
    Sandy

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    Congratulations all the very best ...

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    That is awesome, what a great wedding! Congratulations!
    "It seems as if our children may someday read of the American wilderness - desert or any other kind - as we read of the lost Atlantis."
    -Edward Abbey

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    Congratulations from deepest France. All the best for the future together.
    MarkL
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    Canoe outfitting packages in the Massif Central


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    What a great story, wonderful blog, and a great day out. Heartfelt congratulations.
    Wilf
    Bacon sarnie anyone ?

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    Great Stuff..... Looks like a superb day! Congratulations.

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    Red face Back to life, back to reality... naah... not yet!

    You're all so lovely and having the messages continuing to pop up on here is happily prolonging the event - thank you!More photos coming soon, (hopefully some of that paddle guard section when Frodo was too busy holding a paddle to take pics) - unless you're all fed up to the back teeth of them - we're not, yet K & J

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    Unique and brilliant ! Wish you both many happy years together !!!!

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    Congratulation Jon & Karen, what a beautiful wedding.

    Did you get a pre-nup on who gets to keep that great canoe?
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
    Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudman View Post
    Did you get a pre-nup on who gets to keep that great canoe?
    Hopefully the ring bearer!
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Hopefully the ring bearer!
    Gollum or Frodo ... or do you share?
    DCUK
    Can't ytpe or roopf read

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    congratulations
    that's a really unique wedding, very nice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudman View Post
    Did you get a pre-nup on who gets to keep that great canoe?
    I think the maker ought to keep it - he's probably got it set to self-destruct if PWOC-ed (Paddled without owner's consent) Anyway - a pre-nup implies future disharmony. Not going to happen. I have to be nice to him always, so that he'll sometimes let me go in the great canoe...

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    Hopefully he will build another one in Pink, and we get another build blog

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steam Steve View Post
    Hopefully he will build another one in Pink, and we get another build blog
    Not in pink I won't, but build one I might.


    Jon.
    Selway Fisher Peterborough 15' - 21Kgs
    FU-BCU Level 2 (Owns a canoe and gets out there and enjoys themselves)

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