Monday, May 24, 2010

A wedding in Gib

It's a long, long time since we have been invited to a wedding, at least 20 years I guess, when all my contemporaries were getting married.

A couple of months ago, our neighbours across the landing on our floor announced they were getting married and told us we would be invited to the reception.

They were good to their word, and the invitation duly followed about a month ago.

"It's casual," she said. And added that the bridegroom would be so fed up of wearing a suit all day that he would be in shorts and T-shirt for the evening reception.

So no fancy frock for me, although I did try on a couple of - er - quirky combinations of froth with leggings, and Partner was all set to wear shorts.

But when the evening arrived - it was quite chilly, so we abandoned what we had planned to wear. I went for boots, trousers and a chenille top. Partner went for trousers, and then he decided on a smart shirt and a tie to go with them.

Just as well really. When we turned up, the so-called casual reception was full of very smart Gibraltarians, with men in suits or smart jackets and trousers, and the women in - frothy frocks - and perilous heels that screamed sprained ankle at me. The bride and bridegroom were beautifully dressed - no shorts at all for him, only immaculate black trousers and highly polished shoes. He had relaxed a little and taken off his tie though.

We arrived just after 7pm and it was already nearly full. The bride welcomed everyone at the entrance, and the bridegroom was at the bar ordering drinks for all the guests.

When I say it was chilly, I mean it wasn't roasty toasties. We grabbed a seat outside and relaxed in the evening sunshine, just inside the city walls - the Landport Gate. Looking round, it seemed that most of the guests were family, or Gibraltarian friends of the couple. We felt honoured to be invited into an intimate circle of friends and family.

It was a lovely way to spend an evening. Our thanks to the newly-weds for their generosity at the reception, and we wish you many happy years together.

The bridegroom circulating round his guests

Landport Tunnel

Just inside the gate


This little monkey took a photo of me, so I got my revenge

Not something you see at British weddings - one of the local beggars wandered in - but was rapidly escorted out by the bride

Journalistic anecdote of the day

While writing this I couldn't help going back to my early days as a cub reporter on a weekly newspaper. On Friday mornings there was a general groan as the Saturday weddings were dished out for everyone to type up in advance. I thought it was quite fun, but then, I even enjoyed writing up flower show results.

All the wedding forms were duly transformed into copy, to await the arrival of the photos on Monday from the poor old photographers who spent Saturday morning traipsing from wedding to wedding. (This also provided a check in the rare event of a wedding not going ahead).

Although it might have been boring as hell for world-weary reporters, the write-up in the paper meant a lot to the couple concerned, so everything was double-checked. You would hand the form to a colleague, and then read your copy out loud while they checked you had got it right, included the right flowers, the right names - absolutely essential, details of the wedding dress, honeymoon destination etc etc.

And what you never did - was to refer to the bridegroom as a groom - because, grooms worked in stables. Twenty five years later - this still comes to mind whenever I hear people say 'bride and groom.' A little image sneaks into my mind of a beautifully dressed bride accompanied by a stable boy, up to his eyeballs in manure.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Spanish interlude .....

Took some time out to go geocaching at a few places in Spain so here are some photos of some of the places we visited.


We've been up here before but never stopped (apart from to turn round on our way to Competa as we were low on fuel). The pueblo's main claim to fame is a unique round cemetery - the only one in Spain.

The cache was actually hidden outside the village at a Monument to Peace, commemorating all the people who died in the Spanish Civil War. In fact as it was built relatively recently, I don't think it was there the first time we visited Sayalonga.

The cache owner recommended visiting a few spots in the village, so off we went to see the Fountain of El Cid, and the famous round cemetery. En route to the cemetery, I also found the narrowest street in the Axarquia region, which was disgustingly claustrophobic. All in all, a good excursion though, and we were the first to find the cache, so that was a bonus.

Monumento a la paz, by sculptor Placi de Gaona

Fuente del Cid

The narrowest street in the Axarquia

The round cemetery


Next up, Caleta de Velez. A fishing port that we often visit so looking forward to an easy find there. As if. I don't know how long we spent scrambling around on the rocks, but it was hellish hard underfoot. And I scuffed my new boots. Eventually, contorted under a rock somewhere, Partner found a geocaching pen and glancing round - found the cache, without a lid. Looked like it had been dropped or misplaced or whatever. Anyway, another success.

Searching on the rocks

Beautiful boats in the port

El Campo de Gibraltar

Moving down the coast to El Higueron. A quick stop off the dual carriageway with a nice walk and some great views of the bay and of Gibraltar. Round to a beautiful beach at El Burgo, a lovely walk along the track and onto beautiful sandy beaches. What an idyllic spot.

And for something totally different - El Tren. An old train, situated presumably on the site of an old railway station but now turned into a children's playground with a playtrain for kids and a real train for adults to drool over. Nice and unusual place for a cache.

The view from El Higueron

Enjoying the beach at El Burgo

Endless sands

El Tren at Los Barrios