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Wedding +10

Esquires, Ambleside

I'm writing this in Esquires coffee shop in Ambleside in the Lake District. Jill and I have been away on a child-free weekend (with my parents looking after the little tykes), staying at very nice hotel with a spa to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. It's been a while since we last got time together like this, and every time we do I end up thinking that we must do this more often. I guess the living 100 miles away from family takes its toll here. Anyway, perhaps I should make a resolution to try and do this every few months, as its great to be away as a couple.

Ambleside Salutation - pretty at night
The very nice hotel

Jill is at the hotel, pampering herself with a 'treatment', whilst I've been wandering through Ambleside, browsing at shops and generally chilling out. The hotel has been excellent (Best Western Ambleside Salutation), living up the recommendation from the Wetherby Methodist Church 'Bootbashers' society. Rooms were good, with a decent swimming pool, hot tubs and steam room.We didn't sample the food beyond breakfast, mainly as we had other places we wanted to be.

Zeffirellis at Ambleside
Zeffirellis - Perfection?

Friday night saw a lovely Italian meal at Zeffirelli's Jazz Bar, following by a showing of The Hobbit. That was great too, but we left with a headache from the 3D. I'm tempted to arrange another showing to see it in 2D, as I think that the film will look better. Although the shots were lovely, I can't help but think that some of them suffered from being 3D, as they moved too fast to allow the eye to linger and appreciate the spectacle. As a big Tolkien fan, I was more than happy with the way that the film had been treated, but I do wonder how they will manage to stretch it to another two films.

Lines from the past
Lots more on the set from Ambleside at Flickr

Saturday started lazily, with a breakfast nearly as late as we could achieve, and then we went for a wander around town. Bizarrely, we spent a good chunk of time wandering around the parish church grounds and graveyard. Like a muppet, I had forgotten to bring my camera, so I was using my iPhone. The light was just right for black and white, with not enough contrast for colour so I used the Hipstamatic app (my favourite iPhone camera app); I'm pretty pleased with the results, but I was reminded how power demanding the post-processing is, with nearly half my battery going.

Looking through #2
OK, some in colour too, deliberately to saturate blue & green. You can see more on the set from Ambleside at Flickr

It's funny how looking at all the grave inscriptions makes you feel more in touch with what has happened in a community. I guess it's the little things that it draws out, the human day-to-day triumphs and falls.

Jilly, 10 years on

We chilled out at the spa when we got back to the hotel, and celebrated back out our room with a very nice bottle of Champagne that my parents had given us. Then we headed out to Doi Imtanon (which sounds like a place in Middle Earth) Thai restaurant for dinner. The service was great, and I must confess that we probably over indulged in wine because we found a nice bottle of Shiraz-Cabernet from the same Vineyard (Wakefield, South Australia) that had supplied the wine for our wedding breakfast.

Wakefield Wine
Same vineyard and very close to the wine from our Wedding breakfast, glug.

Fortunately, I was much less delicate this morning than I expected, so am feeling quite chilled out. We were going to try and watch 'the life of Pi' this afternoon, but have decided against it so we aren't back too late, as reality intrudes again tomorrow with a return to work and school. It's been lovely getting time with Jill without other pressures, and I'm fortunate to have such a wonderful wife.