We arrived at Manchester International at 8:30 AM, walked through a skyway to the train station and boarded a train for Leeds. We felt alert after 5 or 6 hours sleep on the plane, and the transition was smooth, the train on time. We viewed Manchester through a train window and we saw construction cranes everywhere, intriguing modern buildings juxtaposed with dignified historic ones. Manchester looked like a city on the move.
After an hour, we changed trains at Leeds and 30 minutes later arrived in Harrogate, the site of the civil service also known as “Wedding 1” . “Wedding 2”, the Hindu ceremony, would be at Shrigley Hall south of Manchester two days later.
We rolled our luggage a half mile to the White Hart, where a room was ready for us, and soon thereafter walked through Harrogate’s much-loved Valley Gardens to The Sun Pavilion where wedding preparations were underway. Jay and Sarah greeted us, and we were introduced to Aditi, the bride, and her wonderful family. They had much to do, and managed to combine industriousness and sociability effortlessly. We tried to make ourselves useful as we basked in the spirit of welcoming family and an upcoming wedding. It was a lovely, sunny afternoon.