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Published: June 20th 2012
As the sun sets
Welcome to North Ayrshire
As the plane landed at Glasgow airport, my thoughts were in turmoil.
A new adventure, and yet confrontation of the past, with a reunion of a lost love. Love of my niece - we lost touch 10 years ago - found again through FaceBook, and now with 2 children of her own, she is getting married to their father. A wedding seems like a special reason to come together once more.
The one hour flight with Easyjet from Bristol went by so quickly, just time for a drink and packet of crisps and we were preparing to land. Collected my rather large bag and found the Europcar desk, for the onward journey. I hired a lovely new Corsa with 600 miles on the clock.
At 6pm I left the airport behind, avoiding the M8 and onto A737, lovely winding, quiet, country road, which took me, within 45 minutes straight to Stevenston, where I stayed for four nights on a farm. It was a beautiful evening and even though I was quite tired, I had an urge to explore the area. Driving along the coast, spotting wind farms in the distance along the hills, and as the sun set,
the scenery was very pretty.
I soon realised, I'd sent the text of arrival to the wrong number, when I received the call from Susan, explaining how to get to her house, just a few minutes away. I met Brian, Nicole and Matthew for the first time, sitting in their living room with a cuppa, it all felt quite surreal. The years fell away and I was glad of coming a few days before the wedding day, to get reacquainted and have some quality time all together.
We had some days out, to Largs, very pretty place along the coast, and on the M8 to Edinburgh, which will look great when they have finished digging up the roads and have the splendid modern tram system installed. The magnificent castle was worth the visit, despite our only day of rain. One evening I visited Troon, had a walk along the sea front, up Ballast hill, and later called into the Scotts Inn for food, shared a drink and chat with two of the friendly locals.
The day before the wedding was stressful for Susan, the kilts hadn't been returned from their alterations, the Piper they had booked months
before, informed them he is now retired and wasn't going to play on their day. The cake arrived with bits missing.
I took 8 year old Nicole to the park for a while, she was happy to play with her friends, a day off school for the Jubilee celebration. Matthew (age 3) was not so easy to please, picking up on his mum's stress.
I moved hotel and staying the next two nights at the Lauriston, right beside the seaside. The wedding reception would be held there the next day, so no driving/taxi necessary.
My other Niece, Sam, arrived with her 2 girls, Summer and Brooke, and her best friend Danielle. Another reunion, I'd last seen Sam when Brooke was small, and she was expecting Summer, now 4 years. Time flies. We all had a lovely evening at Susan & Brian's house, sat out in the evening sun eating Chinese.
The sunshine continued for the wedding day, although a very chilly breeze which made standing around in flimsy dresses slightly uncomfortable, it was so wonderful that it remained dry for them.
The men wore their kilts and looked fabulous. Susan, the bride, she looked stunning,
and took my breath away. Nicole as flower girl looked so much like Susan did at her age, absolutely beautiful. The bridesmaids also looked gorgeous in purple.
The service in a beautiful church, St Cuthbert's, was quite short but as emotional as any wedding, bringing a little tear, as the vows were exchanged.
Back at the Lauriston and a wonderful reception. Dinner seemed to merge into the evening disco, though us women found time to change for the evening party.
I had a fabulous time in North Ayrshire, clocking up another 800 miles, exploring, in my little hire car, where everyone made me feel so welcome. A pretty place on the coast that gave me flashbacks of NZ.
Given the change in weather conditions that followed a week later, we were all so lucky. I look forward to my next visit.
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