The first section of our Matrimonial marathon did not start well, we were talking too much on the station platform and got on the train to Hastings and not to the airport, this was a fast train, so the first stop was 20 minutes away, deep in Kent. Fortunately we were not the only ones to make this mistake, the real train would have pulled in 2 minutes after we left - English trains being as unreliable as they are, it was no surprise that there was a group of us who thought 'oh well must be the one' without realising that the real train is bright green with GATWICK EXPRESS down the side, a bit of a giveaway, we will know next time.
The ticket collector took pity on us and we were given directions to get to the airport, via several changes and a couple of quick runs up the platform and over the bridge to the opposite side of the station, a kind of railway equivalent to 'go down the road, second left and then the third turning on your right'.
After arriving at the airport, finding the monorail to the north terminal we disembarked and were greeted with closing blast doors, a shrill fire alarm and a full evacuation.
Fortunately we were let into the terminal after only 20 minutes and the rest of the journey was uneventful. We were met at the Airport by Piero, who ferried us and another guest to the fully booked out wedding hotel, conveniently placed a block away from the venue, Castelvecchio. The last time we were at the castle it was 40 degrees, this time it turned out to be a more reasonable 32. As with all weddings, we congregated that evening on a piazza so that everyone could meet each other. Tash was taken up in a whirlwind of baccini, with the boys wanting to say hi and find out how she is doing. I was very pleased to be included in this, I know them all well enough now, to also be greeted with the cheek bump. Italian men find it difficult to understand how you wouldn't greet someone in this way, it is understandable, if you wouldn't shake my hand, I would be very put out, so I try to look as casual as I can, though it is not always a very convincing act.
The Wedding was late in the day, which suited us fine, spending the afternoon (there was no morning, we slept through that one) just milling around the streets and piazza's of Verona, pausing just long enough to make ourselves late for the pick up to the church - as you do.
The Church and ceremony was classic Italian, I am informed that the priest delivered a fantastic sermon about life love and marriage and then we stood outside in the bright sunlight ready to throw confetti over the new Mr and Mrs Monreale.
At the reception, in England the venue would have been a community centre, in Italy it is a castle, we were seated at a table of work colleagues from Robbie's company, an international bunch they were too, a German couple, some Swedes and two English gents, one of who bore a strong resemblance to Dale Winton and so was very surprised (and maybe a bit upset) when midway through the evening a rather drunken Tash enquired if he was gay - this was the wrong question, but in her defence he had just been enthusiastically asking about "Robbie's gay lawyer friend" and was wearing an index finger ring and matching steel bracelet.
Tash drank too much, got ill, we had to leave, not a bad time to exit.
Sunday was a relaxing affair, in a manner that the Italian's can only do, lunch took a couple of hours and saying goodbye after, longer still. The rest of the afternoon was spent at the family house, Tash chatting with the twins, Stefania and translating conversations from Lorenzo for me. For the most part I made quite a few new mosquito friends.
Somewhere during all this cycle 2 came quietly to an end, no problems to report.
Sorry that this is so short, I am typing this out on Monday morning, having just returned from Sweden and about to go into work for the day before flying out to Rome tomorrow lunchtime, so I am a bit pressed for time. Amelia is back with us now, she also arrived back in the country from her roving coach orientated european travels last night and is going to spend the day hanging out with her big sister, there may even be a chance to ride on the back of the Vespa, for her not me, the only thing I get to drive to day is my desk!