He Did! I Did! We Did!

Fifteen years ago today Laurent and I said I do and made our 29 year relationship officially a marriage. Here are some photos from that big day and a few details that I posted at the time.

Photos: (upper left) Lighting a candle to represent our absent family and friends; (right) our Reesie helped us with our vows; (lower left) We did it!

Willy Or Won't He

Roses from Rick and JohnFirst follower: And will the veil of the temple be rent in twain?
Cult Leader: Well the veil of the temple is always dodgy.
The End is Nigh – Beyond the Fringe

Laurent and I will be exchanging our wedding vows at 1545 this afternoon in our friend Joelle’s garden. And despite the warnings of various religious groups we hope that the veil of the temple will remain unrent and the family unit as we know it will not dissolve. That is not our intention – our intention is to consecrate our loving relationship of the past 29 years.

We decided that at this point we probably won’t find anyone else to put up with us so why not make it legal. To be honest our original thoughts behind this step were based on legal and financial reasons; however as planning progressed the event has taken on a deeper meaning…

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A Whitsuntide Remembered

With the approach of Pentecost this coming weekend I got to reminiscing about previous Whitsuntides spent at the Pfinsenfestspeile in Salzburg. I had been in Salzburg for the summer festival several times in younger days but for Laurent that trip in 2008 was a first. He fell in love with the city, as I had done back on my first visit in 1969. We looked forward to our visits and the music that awaited us over the following years.

Laurent on his way to a concert – May 31st 2009

In those first few years (2008-10) the Festival was pricey but affordable as where the hotels, restaurants, and other delights that Salzburg had to offer. Riccardo Muti was the artistic director and the theme was Neapolitan music and featured some top-notch artists in interesting programmes of seldom heard works.

When Cecilia Bartoli took over in 2012 the focus changed and things became more “star” oriented. Many of the top names in classical music were attracted to perform both in the operas and concerts. Prices roses accordingly as did the tariffs at hotels and on cafe and restaurant menus. Though our first visit to a Bartoli festival (2013) was filled with some memorable moments the following year lacked a certain spark. I am a committed Bartoli fan I feel that over the past few years the Festival has simply become an extension of the glitzy Summer season. Nothing in the past few seasons has had me chomping at keyboard to book tickets and I was surprised to see that there were still tickets available for most events this year. However a return visit to the city of Salzburg is much to be desired.

Here are a few thoughts I had on our second visit back May 29-31, 2009.

Willy Or Won't He

The old town of Salzburg is known for its shop signs not only on the famous Getreidegasse but on the side streets leading off the Domplatz and Residenzplatz. Here are a few of them plus some randoms thoughts about the past few days.

  • It’s rather strange that in Italy, where so many rules are ever so gently skirted, the non-smoking policies are strictly observed in bars and restaurants, while in Austria smoking is allowed everywhere. I had forgotten that there are no smoking restrictions in most places in Austria. And boy do those Austrians love to smoke – the air at the Cafe Bazar on a rainy Friday afternoon was a delicate shade of nicotine gray. The other thing that I’ve noticed in Austria is the number of drunks – particularly near the train stations – you see on the streets. A drunk is something you very rarely see in…

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Throwback Thursday – Valencia

Laurent and I have been talking about a possible revisit to Spain and a few of the places that we saw only briefly back in 2013. A recent Facebook post by a friend about a stop he made in Valencia had me revisiting the only post I made about that city. Strangely it was about the food – go figure. So for Throwback Thursday I thought I’d relive a wonderful lunch in a tree-shaded square on a sunny Spanish Saturday.

Willy Or Won't He

One of the surprises on this trip was Valencia. I hadn’t really done much research into it and other than a vague notion of its place in European history my knowledge of its attractions was scanty. Given the cost of WiFi on the cruise ship attempts to find out the wonders it was to present proved to be expensive so we relied on the information distributed by the good people at Azamara. Fortunately it was enough to provide suggestions of a few of the highlights of what proved to be a wonderful city.

I’m currently working on two posts about some quirky little things I found there. Now that I have better – and free – Internet access it will be easier to do a big of digging to find out more about several of the things that intrigued me there.

Normally I like to see what Lonely Plant…

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Throwback Thursday

It appears that the world is beginning to open up, said he with a bit of hesitancy in his voice. Perhaps it is time to stop looking at photos of places we’ve been to and start making plans to BE somewhere.

In the meantime here’s a memory from Salzburg Mozartwoche in January 2011.  We normally went to Salzburg in the spring for the Pfingsfestspiele but that year we decided to see what one of our favourite cities looked like in winter.  It was cold and snowy, quite the change from Rome.  As always we stayed at the Hotel Bristol but this time we went for Baroque!

Willy Or Won't He

Yesterday afternoon was spent visiting a palace outfitted by Empress Maria-Thérèse for her family and then by the Archduke Karl Ludwig as a stopover for the Empress Sissi. It was truly spectacular in that Habsburg style of slightly over the top going for baroque. Little did I think that when I checked into the Hotel Bristol in Salzburg that I would be inhabiting their world.

We’ve stayed at the Bristol twice before and have come to think of it as a bit of a home hotel – welcoming – more important remembering – staff, incredible service and beautiful rooms. I had asked for a room on a slightly higher floor than we normal get, as this would probably be our last visit to Salzburg for a while.

This is the view: (a left click will enlarge it for a closer look)

From left to right: the Holensalzburg Castle, the bell…

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They … fell down, and worshipped him.

Well the Three Kings are riding up to the stable in our Presepio, ready to play their part in the story of the Nativity. And with their appearance Christmastide comes to an end and the task of taking down the decorations begins.

In the spirit of both Epiphany and Throwback Thursday I’m reposting something I wrote back in 2013 on the story of Balthazar, Melchior and Gaspar.

Willy Or Won't He

… Three Great Kings in their bright array.

This rather fanciful, and busy to the point I couldn’t get the camera to focus, scene is an Adoration of the Magi cutout that I bought at the Tirolervolks Museum in Innsbruck.  This little “creche in a perspective box” was the work of the Engelbrecht Brothers some time between 1712-1735 and is very like the tradition of the toy theatre.  Prints could be bought plain to be hand-coloured or already coloured and ready to be cut out and assembled.  I also have the Visit of the Shepherds – which is not quite as busy – shepherds bring with them only sheep not a royal entourage.

I remember this from my choral music class in grade 9 and being told by Mr Livingstone that it was based on music from Bizet. Being the smug little bastard I was I probably told him that…

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