Tuesday, 3 September 2013

A Celebration of Love and Unity

We received our invite to lovely Nick and Holly’s August celebration some time back and both smiled with excitement at what the weekend would entail. I loved the concept of what Nick and Holly were doing and how the invite explained the love and unity celebration was about them two and their love, but also the love and unity we all share as friends and how the weekend was a way of celebrating that all together as one community and one heart. As the months went by we received trickles of information and emails of organisation and a view of the weekend started to be born and the beauty it was to hold.

We arrived at the beautiful Featherstone Castle on the Friday afternoon, Sam and I had gone to the Cumberland earlier that week so had met a few of N&H friends prior to the weekend which was really lovely as since moving away I feel there are so many wonderful people I don’t know. An element of my love with my friends is getting them to meet one another and see the brilliance in each other to become friends together, I knew this would the case with all of N&H friends,  so I was really excited to spend a weekend with hopefully what would become new friends and fond memories. When we arrived there was a number of people outside, enjoying the sunshine and revelling in the weekends activities to come, it was great introducing, talking and finding out who was who and how everyone knew N&H, I enjoyed telling my stories of my memories of being young with Nick then meeting  again at WHQ, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride at our friendship and how over the years we have both grown into happier, more grounded people and both lucky enough to have two fantastic curlie’s by our side! 

There was a huge sense of community that felt so strong and reminded me of a good friend who has grown up in such a beautiful close community, her parents and their friends bought a terrace of mining houses after the mines closed and have all brought their children up on South Terrace, all the children are close friends and are now of all ages but the community has stayed strong and together. When I visit I have always talked of wanting to have a close knit group of friends that offer this support and friendship that feels so connected and supportive. I felt a great sense of that with N&H and their friends and it just felt great to be part of all this and see the community they have in the North East. 

Friday evening was spent socialising and eating amazing dahl, we then went to the blue room which was set out as I would describe a huge love bed with mattress, comfy sofa’s, blankets and warmth. We all gathered in, got snug and listened to the array of love and unity dedications from N&H friends and family, it was great listening to the way people dedicated their feelings and words and see the love and happiness in the room. 

Around 9pm Nick Hennessey story telling time started and wow, the room was blown away by his beauty and passion for telling the most amazing stories, the silence in the room was moving and you could tell everyone was entranced by his musical talent and endearing voice. The next few hours were just incredible and such a perfect way to start the weekend learning about the border reivers, nasty zaars and huntsman, so enchanting and beautiful it was incredible to hear the sounds of the harp and beats of the drum. 

The rest of the evening was spent playing ping pong (the most intense silly ping pong playing I have been part of it), drinking red wine, exploring the castle and dancing. As we walked back to our campsite, that night we were excited at what was to come the following day as if this is what the Friday night entailed we knew there would be a whole lot more delight and enchantment tomorrow. 

We woke Saturday morning with a spring in our step, we dressed, and put on our bindi’s and arranged our flowers in our hair ready for another day of smiles and adventures. When we arrived people had started to congregate outside the front of the castle ready for the procession, everyone was holding something to hang on the tree and I could feel a buzz of excitement in the air. Holly came down first and looked as stunning as ever, in a flowing natural looking dress and an amazing flower garland circling her curls she looked incredibly beautiful and at one. Nick arrived with a round of applause dressed in perfect Nick style; it was so beautiful to see the smiles of everyone, the love and unity crafts and the excitement of the beautiful Brown-Greenwood unity that was in full flow. 

We started the celebration by walking in a procession around part of the grounds of Featherstone Castle, standing back and watching the procession was so beautiful, the smiles and merriment of everyone followed through the procession and it was joyous to see everyone interacting with one another and new friendships forming. There was music and talking as the procession went along, enjoying circling the great trees and walking near the river that flows along the bottom of the castle, we ended the procession walk by entering the back gardens of Featherstone and walked to a beautiful striking tree where we hung our crafts of love and unity. Everyone had put so much effort into their craft and standing back and watching everyone was a picturesque and wonderful moment, it made my heart feel so happy the wonder of friendship and the strength of the friends and family celebrating the love of two wonderful people. 

We then all gathered together for the ceremony and stood in a circle listening to different readings from close friends, songs of importance and Nick and Holly’s commitment to each other, the love that shone through them both was enticing to watch and I felt so lucky to be part of their commitment of forever together. 

We spent the next few hours relaxing in the garden, flying kites, drinking elderflower pimm’s, taking (a lot) of photos and embracing in the afternoon of relaxed niceness and mesmerising fun. 

Lunch time came and we feasted on an array of delicious food throughout the afternoon and drank copious amounts of tasty wine, Sam being over excited at their being an ale pump in the craft room. It was blissful listening to the speeches that took place and the commitment of friends and family and the kind words they wished to share of their love and closeness to Nick and Holly. When hearing Joss’s speech it really moved me as I really feel there has been a solidarity in mine, Joss and Nick’s friendship and I feel we have all changed and grew but have remained so close, my move to London left so many close people behind but the friendship between has stayed strong if not stronger and I know they will be two friends who will always be part of my life. I just feel so blessed we have all found amazing husbands, wife’s, fiancées who are just as amazing and the fun we all have together as one group is so lucky, happy days with happy friends. 

Nick and Holly surprised us all with a bhangra dancer; everyone joined in, laughed, sweated and smiled trying to keep up with the dancer’s moves and rhythm. After all the dancing a dip was required and after much debating I participated in my first skinny dipping fun (and freezed my bits off in the cold lake), both myself and Holly lasted five minutes whilst the others enjoyed games, swimming, nakedness and a whole lot of laughter. 

Our evening meal was served and a delicious vegetarian chill was enjoyed, we danced till the early hours to the sounds of Diddly Squat with the night ending with a rave up in the ping pong room downstairs. We finally sulked off to bed at around 4am and positioned our head torches for the mile walk back to our campsite, tired, drunken, smiling and full of joy we walked and talked all the way home, remembering parts of the day, what stuck out in our own minds and smiled at the happiness the day had given us all.

No comments:

Post a Comment