I think I've just about recovered from the weekend at the Fort. I think everyone will agree that it was a fantastic couple of days. Here's what I can remember:
After waiting for Mel we eventually set off around 11:30am, and after a quick drive across the Thames we were there at the Fort in charming Chatham. We entered the tunnels and spent a good 20 minutes trying to get to the other end. Once we'd surfaced after what seemed hours, we spotted the familiar red coats and multi-coloured hose. After a few hellos and hugs, we went back to the car to see how much rubbish we really do take on these weekends.
The wedding blessing of Sarah and Neil was lovely, with all the candles flickering along the tunnels, the musket block that fired the salute as the happy couple emerged was fantastic. With that and the freezing wind howling around we followed some other odd looking people to the pub to warm up. Gradually more strange people arrived and the wine and conversation flowed effortlessly. A little while later, we struggled up the hill and gathered all our junk and proceeded to carry it down to the magazine to set up camp for the night.
The time was going so fast and we still had to change into the dresses. Not sure what time the feasting began, we ran round in circles like headless chickens being pulled into dresses and downed a cup or two of wine for good measure. Before I'd even got to the hall I'd ripped my dress down the back and had to be very careful with how I sat. At last we were ready, late as usual! We entered the hall where everyone was seated and ready to start, a few of us late ones managed to perch on the edge of a table and realised we had forgotten our plates and eating tools. I managed to grab a spoon off John, one of the guards and sat happily eating the veggie option. The food was amazing and Terri & Co deserve medals for making such a feast for so many animals. Everyone looked fab, Helen's dress was a gorgeous gold and Jo's bodice (on which she had hand-sewn hundreds of beads) looked stunning. Terri's dress was a lovely deep blue satin and little Sarah looked an angel. Steve and Margaret
looked wonderful, as did our Gos. After a while Jenni and I went back underground to sort out our bedding etc, we borrowed someone's massive air pump as ours had collapsed.
OK, so where are we now? After much faffing about we returned to the surface more than ready to face our friend the wine box. The evening seemed to gos o fast. The music and alcohol flowed merrily until around 4:30am. We all stumbled back underground when John, the guardsman, looked in on us and began to tell ghost stories of Hamish who looked after ladies in the tunnels, surprise! we still carried on drinking. One by one we all stumbled off to our beds. It wasn't until I heard the birds singing and the daylight coming through the the old windows that I realised the magic of the night had gone, all that was left was a huge headache and smudged mascara, I thought this was one of the most memorable weekends I've ever had. So glad we'd bought a camera.