Attending the wedding of our old friends' daughter Lucy to Carlos from Columbia on Saturday was a real privilege. The wedding ceremony and reception afterwards were also a marriage of the very holy with the very happy. Carlos is an anaesthetist from Columbia and his parents and other family and friends had travelled to Wimbledon from South America to be present.
In his speech Carlos told of how he had been kidnapped one day in Columbia and taken to a guerilla camp in the jungle where he was made to treat injured people who had been fighting in one of the many guerilla movements there.
He had been in fear of his life but it seems that his diplomacy is as good as his doctoring for the tale had a happy ending - well two if you count the sequel of his meeting Dr Lucy in England and a few years later marrying her. The preliminary happy ending was that the guerilla warriors instead of murdering Carlos when he had attended to their injured, threw a party for him.
The British 10K race in London on Sunday was run in some of the most well known parts of London. The start at Hyde Park Corner; down Piccadilly through Trafalgar Square along the Embankment, past the workers at the currently closed Blackfriars Station, into the underpass onto the City, back along the Embankment thence Westminster Bridge just before the London Eye, returning to the Houses of Parliament, Parliament Square and onto the finish in Whitehall.
Quite coincidentally I observed some resonance during the 10K of the previous day's wedding of Lucy and Carlos in the tee shirt of one of the runners which headlined the plight of the street children of the Andes - many of whom also suffer dreadful violence. The anecdote recounted by Carlos fortunately had happy endings but I wondered somewhat sadly about the Andes Street Children.
The atmosphere of the British 10 K is rather different from that of the London Marathon. The 10K is definitely British with the national anthem being sung as part of the opening ceremony. This again resonated with the happy marriage yesterday as Lucy's father in his speech mentioned that Carlos is the only member of their family who has sworn allegiance to the Queen having taken British citizenship only the week before. The London Marathon is of course an international event. Even so with 25,000 runners and large crowds of onlookers the 10K is quite impressive. Possibly marathon runners are less serious than those running in the 10 K as there were far fewer theatrical costumes in evidence in the 10K though many run in both events to raise funds for charity.
Providence Row in whose team I was running, helps the homeless of London. Paul one of their trustees who joined me at the race start line, feels that this is a problem which is likely to be on the increase again in the weeks ahead owing to a combination of the effects of the recession and of government policy of placing a cap on the total of state benefits a family might receive.
My time of 56 minutes could have been worse.