The livestock appear to cope well, spending much of the time seeking shelter from the midday sun under the shade of the ancient oak trees, of which we are blessed with many.
On the other hand it is quite perfect for weddings, and last weekend Ote Hall ‘rocked’ both Saturday and Sunday as we hosted two very different marriages.
Having witnessed a steady stream of vintage tractors, agricultural traction engines, a steam roller, and trailers heaving with hay bales for seating arriving, it was obviously a very different kind of wedding. Our Class combine and grain store were bedecked with fairly lights, and Molly the donkey’s field was taken over by an encampment of guests. Jerry and Sue’s wedding was certain to be original.
The marriage ceremony and lunch in the gardens were extra special with many familiar faces, and it duly conformed to Ote Hall tradition. However, once the newly married Mr and Mrs Hillman-Smith and guests made their way down to the farm yard aboard John Hill’s trailer drawn by his Nuffield 345, things turned decidedly agricultural.
The couple’s marriage was blessed by the vicar at the entrance to our elegant grain store. Father Christopher managed to pull off a very location appropriate ceremony, witnessed by around 200 family and friends, mostly from the farming community and with a fair contingent of paramedic and firefighters.
The celebrations extended into the evening with food, gaiety and dancing to the excellent band Atropine Conspiracy, all of whom are full time paramedics.
There were many photo opportunities including the bride and groom being hoisted into the skies aboard the Merlo’s fully extended telescopic boom, giving them a bird’s eye view of the proceedings.
Sunday was equally joyous as quests arrived from far and wide including Australia, where Emily the bride originated from. She is a ballerina formerly with Birmingham Royal Ballet and currently to be seen in the Phantom of the Opera.
The day was hot but perfect and Ote Hall rocked to the band, and numbers from the ‘Jersey Boys’ singing their hearts out, as the groom Dayle, a the lead singer in the musical story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the 1960s band, and other members of the caste, entertained guests and probably half of Sussex! Apologies to my neighbours if they were disturbed.
It is a sad day when the lawlessness now at epidemic proportion spills beyond our coastline. It is bad enough that homes, farms and rural communities are targeted, as well as the plague of moped riders in our towns and cities where crime levels have escalated. The news that a fisherman hauling in his catch three miles off the Cornish coast, was threatened at knife point by a couple of thugs in a motor boat, is truly outrageous.
Stuart Pengelly a local fisherman who earns his living fishing off shore, was inspecting his nets near Slapton Sands at 5.30 last Sunday when he came across two men in an inflatable boat with a fast outboard motor, who were cutting his nets and thieving his haul of Dover sole and plaice.
Mr Pengelly lost his catch worth around £300, and his nets which cost him in excess of £500 to replace.
The government are talking about decreasing prison sentences in order to reduce the numbers within our prisons. Perhaps they should learn lessons from governments in South America who reduced their criminal population by flying them out to sea and dropping them off into shark infested waters. Now that sharks are heading in our direction due to the current warm weather, perhaps this would a more appropriate solution!