It is exactly 30 years ago - to the week I think - that I was last in Aix. Then it was the tail-end of my 'academic' (cough) year abroad when, tired of Strasbourg, I hitched south to stay with Julie and meet new friends Peter, Paul, Jane and Sandra. Sandra still lives nearby but sod's law she was on holiday elsewhere this week...
This time we're here for the wedding of my nephew Ben to French lass Margot. They met several years ago when he was on his year abroad and have ping-ponged between England, France and more recently Ethiopia (Ben's first posting with the Foreign Office) ever since. Amazingly, this is the first time I'd met her. She was of course fairly easy to spot.
The wedding was beautiful. As you do in France, registration took place in the Hotel de Ville before walking through town in all our finery to the Church of St Paul de Malte for a genuinely lovely, fairly short service. We all then adjourned to cafes before reconvening at Margot's parents' Bauhaus-like home just north of the city. I guess there were about 100 guests, maybe more, and including Hong Kong tycoon David Tang whom I'd also not met before but is, bizarrely, a distant relative (see post). The rest of us were mere mortals.
So, good on you Ben & Margot: you make a fine couple!