When my daughter Claire and son-in-law Steven decided to marry, they chose the extraordinarily beautiful Lake District as the location for their wedding ceremony. Steven hired a hotel – the Langdale Chase – by the shores of Lake Windermere for the ceremony.
It was an unforgettable weekend and such a proud moment for me as I escorted Claire down the staircase to be married to Steven in the wood-panelled room below with its huge log-burning fireplace, and family and guests gathered around. We were all happy and fulfilled by being together for such a meaningful occasion in a stunning setting.
The poem is included in a wedding photograph of Claire and Steven on the lake edge.
For me there was the additional pleasure of being in a part of the world where I had spent so much of my youth in the mountains, on school hiking expeditions and a month at an Outward Bound school – a remarkable experience. The Langdale and Eskdale valleys have a special place in my memory. The Langdale valley was our base for school expeditions and Eskdale is the location of the Outward Bound school.
From the hotel you can see the hulk of the Langdale pikes on the horizon. It was from that valley that Ann and I carried our son Andrew up The Band and across Bowfell towards Scafell Pike when he was still a baby. I have asked him to take my grandson Alfie on a similar journey. My mountain walking days, sadly, are over – the knees just won’t take the strain any more.