19th to 27th June 2004
After our proper wedding ceremony on 19th June 2004, a few people hadn't quite got the message that we were not - well, formally at least - partying into the night, but families in particular were starting to drift away once we'd done the speeches and cake, so we were able to get away at about five o'clock as we'd hoped. We hit the weather driving up to Banbury, I seem to recall, and had a bit of trouble finding our hotel, but we got there in the end and although a Premier Lodge mightn't have been the most auspicious venue for our first night of wedded bliss, it did the job and the food was good both for supper and breakfast. Sunday we drove up to Carlisle, stopping to stretch our legs at one of my favourite spots near Crummock Water, and then early Monday evening we finally arrived at our self catering cottage on Skye.
The cottage was small, basic but comfortable, and there was a selection of wine awaiting us on our arrival - conveniently including a chilled bottle of bubbly - and it made a fine base for the next few days. I won't bore you with all the details, but we visited quite a few places during our stay, though with Katy's health as it was and remains we mainly did the "lazy tourist" thing and drove around, taking only fairly modest strolls here and there. The highlights - at least as far as going out was concerned - were probably visiting the Talisker distillery, where our landlady happened to work, having an excellent curry in Portree, meeting some "hairy coos", and going on a seal-spotting boat trip. But there were plenty of other nice secluded bays and so on that we found on our travels, and the odd ruined castle, and given the distances we had to drive to do all that - not that far as the crow flies, but the Cuillins really do not help! - we were kept plenty busy during the daytimes, and thankfully Katy was able to share the driving, as was the case for our journeys to and from Skye.
We pondered taking our time driving back south, but decided in the end we'd go for it and just stop at Carlisle again - which had proved to be a perfectly decent hotel - and enjoy a few days settling in back at home before I needed to return to work. So we got back to Farnham Sunday evening, leaving three clear days. Of course, unwrapping presents and opening cards took a good chunk of that time, but as we'd hoped, we were able to get up to London on the Tuesday, with the highlight of that being a trip on the London Eye. We also went to the Tate Britain gallery, but although we now feel more educated we were a little disappointed. I think we preferred the art in the OXO Building galleries - and would certainly consider returning there if needing to brighten our new home!
These are mainly of Skye, though the first three are from our long journey up, as we stopped off in the Lake District and by Loch Lomond. Still a few location captions to be added, and some of those already present may be inaccurate; any help welcomed!