At Upton Cressett over the weekend we had the christening of our four month old daughter Cosima in the Norman church of St. Michael. The church had a special symbolism for me as it was where my husband William had proposed with my pink sapphire engagement ring by Stephen Webster hidden in the Norman font decorated with big blue thistles – my favourite flower.
I knew i had to come up with something autumnal and fun by way of my own hat, as Cosima is going to one day look back on her christening day pictures for years to come. So pom-poms it was!
After a few hours of spinning wool as I tried to keep the pugs from running off with the wool ball, I created a chic and neat button hat suitable for a country christening and holding a small baby whom likes to grip on tightly to anything she can. Mostly my hair.
The christening gown was the same gown as worn by my grandmother Sue who came all the way from Norfolk with my grandfather. The event had a medieval twist with dancing provided by the Courtesie Dancing group, based in Shrosphire, who learnt a series of special medieval christening dances especially for the occasion. My favourite was in the church itself at the end of the service with the dancers wearing special star spangled head gear and carrying wands.
William and I were delighted that our oldest and dearest friends became Cosima’s Godparents and will be their guides through what we hope will be a happy, consciencious and christian life. I thank them for travelling to Upton Cressett take on such a role. Tom Faure-Romanelli – an old school friend of William’s from the 1980s – came all the way from Miami !
To celebrate the occasion my father Charles Cathcart planted a sapling from one of the surviving seven sweet chestnut trees of Hougoumont farm-house that survived from the 1815 battlefield of Waterloo where two Cathcart brothers fought at the battle including defending the old Hougoumont farmhouse from the French. General Cathcart – my ancestor – had three horses shot beneath him in the course of the battle, the other was ADC to Wellington.
The chestnut sapling from Hougoumont was given to us as a wedding present from my parents-in-law, Bill and Biddy Cash. The new tree is a replacement for an avenue of Spanish chestnuts at Upton Cressett that have died but were originally planted in 1815 to mark victory at Waterloo.The festivities were shared with my parents in law who celebrated their 50′s wedding anniversary. A weekend of friends and family to be treasured in the memory. My husband has written his own take on why the day was so special. See the Upton Cressett website for the Blog post.