Back in 2007, my cousin Jane organised our first big family gathering at Chipperfield Parish Hall (where my parents had got married 62 years previously). Then in 2016, my sister Jo and I organised the second one - same venue, same wonderful family.
Then last Saturday afternoon Jo and I did it all over again. And the third time was an absolute charm. It was a wonderful day. The sun was shining, everyone was smiling and laughing, and you could definitely feel all the love in the room.
There were about 58 of us this time - all sharing the food duties, the cooking duties, and our own family stories. There were mothers and fathers (both great and grand), sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, cousins, first cousins, second cousins (once and twice removed) - you name it!
It was so fantastic to see everyone.
As the afternoon progressed my cousin Peter gave a wonderfully moving speech about family, we took a few group photographs, and we had a raffle for Macmillan Cancer Support raising £260 on the day (increasing to £585 once it has been doubled up and gift aid on the bonus donation has been taken into account.)
Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves so much we left promising to do it all again in a few years’ time.
Here’s to the fourth one!