July 2006

Oliver James’ Naming Ceremony

1st July 2006

We had pre-ordered the weather... but although we’d ordered “pleasantly warm” what turned up was “scorchio”. We went for our walk up to Ingleborough Cave regardless, and were joined by Richard Reece, Susan Cooke, Andy Carey, Steve, Katie & Alex Roberts and Sandra Bailey, Jackie Mann, Nicole Mann and Andy, Urs Collie and Tony and Eleanor Seddon. The cave was delightfully cool after the heat outside and we gently heckled the guide when he proudly announced the names of the formations: “the witch’s fingers”, “the sword of Damocles” et al.

Back outside we enjoyed a picnic and a chat by the river as Katie and Alex delighted in draping each other in river weed. Steve thought that the proper way to initiate Oliver was to dangle him by his ankles headfirst into the river, but we vetoed this. Steve’s slightly less cruel alternative, which we misguidedly allowed, was to dangle Oliver’s feet into the river. Half a second after Oliver’s feet touched the icy water his happy face crumpled. Waaaahhh!

Later, both the children and the big kids had great fun climbing in two intertwined yew trees.  

2nd July 2006

Finally, the big day had arrived. I was a bit stressed because I wanted so much for it to go well. But family and friends turned up and seemed to enjoy it, so the gamble of holding the naming ceremony in Yordas Cave paid off.

Our friend Chris Birch very kindly presided over the ceremony. After he had given an introduction Paul, Oliver and I walked into the circle of guests holding candles (except Oliver!). We talked about our hopes for Oliver and what sort of parents we hoped to be. Chris asked the family members to light their candles and explained the importance of family to Oliver. This was followed by readings by my mum and Paul’s dad representing each side of the family. Chris talked about what our friends will offer Oliver, asked them to light their candles, and announced that we had chosen Trudie McGuinness, Tony Seddon and David Judson as Oliver’s guideparents. Each of Oliver’s guideparents read a poem or piece of prose and we were also treated to a poem written by Eleanor Seddon especially for the occasion.

Then came the formal naming, followed by a champagne toast. We then announced that there was something else to celebrate - our engagement! We will be getting married next April (a small ceremony in Skipton). 

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