A couple of years ago, we visited Wardour Castle at Easter. Nothing unusual there – we go a couple of times a year, it’s our nearest ‘proper’ castle for exploring and picnicking, and it’s a fab afternoon out.
But while we were there, we saw a family. A large family. Three generations at least. Laughing, playing, chatting, arguing… grandmother holding the baby, Grandfather poking the small boys in some kind of complicated game which involved much giggling, a posse of girls making daisy chains, teens who were too ‘cool’ to do anything but watch desultorily (until they got dragged in), the grown ups involved in an uproarious game of Bulldog.
Their dog escaped and came to visit us, and the grandmother wandered over to collect him. She was a lovely lady, and with a little prompting was happy to chat, clearly immensely happy and proud of her family. She said that they do it every year. the Saturday following Easter is Wardour Saturday, and the entire family collect for a picnic and a game of Bulldog. They started the habit with their own children, and now it is a full family tradition - their children have grown up, married, and have their ownchildren, some of whom bring partners too – there must have been around 30 of them. All collected together for one day, just play, re-connect and enjoy each other.
And we just thought ‘how wonderful’. For me, it was a snapshot of family gatherings of my own childhood. For C, it was an image of the big family he’d always wanted to be part of.
And it’s a tradition we have unwittingly started ourselves – and now mean to purposefully carry on.
We have so many photos of the family over the last ten years in the grounds of Wardour, running down the same hill, sitting on the same bench… and you can see the passage of time in them.
So here’s this years Wardour Day. Block is our family game of choice, but there was a fair amount of siting among the daisies having silly conversations too.