A trip up North this week, which was originally going to include a visit to the Game Fair. This having been cancelled because of the heavy rains, it made it all the more painful to then have nothing but bright sunshine and a brisk breeze all weekend, the yellow signs pointing the way gleaming uselessly. But, forgive this town mouse, I was grateful for the weather, as I was in Grassington, a beautiful Yorkshire village just inside the national park, for a family wedding. It was a particularly modern marriage,and not because of the long red dress the bride wore, or the informal ceremony by the river. No, it was a firmly 21st-century union of two people because of all the step-relations involved between us all, there were more steps than lead to the Whispering Gallery at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Former and current husbands sat on either side of the wife, former and current wives were dance partners in the ceilidh, children gave thanks for the step-brothers and sisters who made up their new family. Less a family tree than a web but perhaps the way for us to celebrate connections in an increasingly complex society.