Anniversary Memories

During our recent holiday, Julie and I celebrated our thirteenth wedding anniversary. Although we have been together longer than that, we actually married on the 10th of September, 2009. The wedding was in a very nice location, Rowhill Grange Spa Hotel, Wilmington, Kent.

The weather was kind, and everything went smoothly. A real wedding to remember.

It occured to me that I have never posted any of our wedding photos on this blog, so I am now rectifying that.

Signing the register.

The First Dance.

My mum enjoying being ‘mother of the groom’. (She was 85 years old at the time.)

With my great friend Billy O’Neill, who was one of the witnesses. You can see he stood over a foot taller than me! We sadly lost him to cancer over five years ago.

A B&W alternative of the happy couple.

Re-Post: Honeymoon In Marrakesh (Part 2)

This is the second part of a re-post, in 1595 words.

The next day, we went to look at the Koutoubia, and the gardens that surround it. Due to the celebration of Ramadan, the whole area was full of sleeping worshippers, resting during their time of fasting, and awaiting the call to prayer. We did not go into the Mosque, but walked around the gardens, which were dry in the heat.

We then went to explore the extensive market, set around the main square. This is a maze of tiny stalls and shops, most of which are selling the same things; souvenirs of Morocco, and different types of clothing. There were also spice and juice stalls, and a range of fruit sellers as well. The dreaded mopeds were much in evidence, buzzing in and out of the passages between the shops, occasionally bumping you, as they tried to wriggle past.

It was all much as you might imagine. Exotic at first, but with endless haggling, and shop owners pestering, until you soon tired of it all. We retreated to the oasis of our hotel, to relax by the pool with a cold drink.

The following morning, we took an open top bus tour, supposedly the best way to see the sights in and around the city, with some stops further afield in what was essentially a palm-tree desert. This was actually very amusing. There were so few tourists, the bus was presumably running at a loss. As a result, there was no guide commentary, and the headphone commentary advertised on the side was also notable by its absence.

The young lady supposed to be guiding spent the whole time downstairs talking to the driver. We were left to work out for ourselves what we were seeing, with the aid of a map in the tour brochure. We did make the most of the hop-on-hop-off facility though, so managed to see a fair bit of the area, including the famous Marjorelle Gardens and a stunning view of the Atlas Mountains surrounding the city.

Elementor #19753

The bus returned when it was supposed to at least, so we were thankful for that. The older parts of the city within the walls of the medieval Medina were a real delight, and exactly what we had hoped to see. With the lack of tourists, life was going on much as normal, so we were able to see the place as it should be seen, and not just as one giant gift shop.

The hotel staff had recommended two places to visit in the evening, as an alternative to eating in the hotel. One was a swish-looking courtyard restaurant, some distance away in the ‘new city’. This restaurant also featured in our small guide book, and was advertised in a ‘Marrakesh’ magazine we obtained. The other was an evening of folklore and entertainment at an all-inclusive price, with collection and return to the hotel included. We reserved both, though we had serious doubts about the evening of folklore, at a place called ‘Chez Ali’. The staff were insistent that it was a great evening, with unlimited food and drink, and lots to see and do. I imagined a large restaurant, with dancers and musicians.

We went to the nice small restaurant first, having negotiated a return taxi fee with a Mercedes driver who constantly parked outside the hotel, and who was recommended by the staff. (Undoubtedly on a commission) The place did not let us down. After a high-speed journey across most of the city, the taxi dropped us off, arranging to collect us later. He said the staff would call him on a mobile when we were ready.

The restaurant was excellent. We had drinks in the courtyard before going in for our meal, the interior set off by an indoor pool, and beautiful lighting. With superb service, and first-rate food, it was the ideal romantic evening for a honeymoon night out. The higher prices there were about the same as they would have been in London, as was the taxi fare. We got back to the hotel in time for a late drink around the pool, and reflected on a marvellous night out.

Two nights later, we were collected by minibus, to be taken to Chez Ali. We were the only passengers, and discovered that the driver would also serve as a guide, wait for us during the evening, and collect us after the entertainment. Another long drive began, this time into the desert away from all built-up areas. After some time, we asked the driver how much longer it would be, and were surprised to hear that it was still at least fifteen minutes away. We soon spotted what could only be our destination, lit by rows of coloured lights, a good five minutes before we arrived. The size of a small town, Chez Ali was actually a huge complex, surrounded by old walls, and entered by a long driveway.

As we got to the car park, our hearts sank as we saw dozens of coaches and umpteen minibuses, all jostling for space to drop off hundreds of people. It was like going to a football match, to have dinner. The driver told us not to worry, that it would be very nice, and that he would guarantee that we got a very good place. He was obviously in the know, as he was soon chatting to the door staff, and whisking us along -via a ‘photo opportunity’- to our tent where we would be served the meal. What followed, was a far from pleasurable experience, only saved by our sense of humour.

Inside the place, there were dozens of tents, all lined up along something resembling a ‘main street’. There were literally hundreds of harassed staff, suitably dressed in various versions of traditional clothing. Musicians played to welcome us, and our guide took us into a well-lit tent, the size of a circus big top. The first problem was that we were not part of a group. It appeared that it was very rare for couples to book this trip, and all the other tourists, from every country in the world seemingly, were in large groups of twenty or more. As the only couple, we were taken to a table at the head of the tent, and seated separately from the others.

Everyone looked at us, with that look that is a cross between ‘are they celebrities?’, and ‘who do they think they are?’. The food and drink arrived. It was an enormous bowl, containing meat that we thought might be chicken, vegetables roasted to extinction, and piles of rice and potatoes. It was pretty repulsive, and we felt the need to record it on video. We had to eat some at least, and some bread, as we had saved our appetite all day for the anticipated feast. The fruit, brought as a dessert, looked like what was left after the market had closed, and packed away for the night.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the entertainment began. Groups of musicians, dancers, and singers, did the rounds of all the tents, repeating their party piece for each one in turn. By the time it got to us, we had already heard it from the tent next door. It was also all so loud, it was impossible to hear yourself think. This was not a terribly expensive excursion, so it may sound churlish to complain. It was just that it had been built up to us as something very different, so we were disappointed. But at least we were laughing!

After the food was cleared away, we followed the crowds towards a large open area, with tiered seating. It was completely dark by now, so the dramatic son-et-lumiere that followed was surprisingly effective. There were various tableaux of historical re-enactments and parades, culminating in a display by riders dressed as Berber tribesmen, firing guns as they rode their ponies around the arena at breakneck speed. It might have been worth the trip, just to see the historical events in the arena. Might have been, but not really. We were pleased to be making our way back to the hotel soon after, happy to put the whole evening down to experience. One we would not be repeating. Here is a link, if it sounds like something you might enjoy.

The last couple of days in Marrakesh were spent peacefully relaxing around the hotel, which had returned to its former state of calm after the weekend invasion by the trippers from Europe. That had not turned out to be at all bad, as there were still not enough guests to make the hotel feel crowded.

The evening before we were due to leave, we went to the market to engage the services of a horse and carriage for a gentle tour of the old city. We had been advised to haggle, but I took just one banknote, worth slightly less than £18, and said to the driver (in French) “This is all we have left, we go home to England tomorrow.” He accepted this tactic, and we set off for almost an hour of gentle driving around the area. This was definitely the way to see the place in comfort, and far better than the bus, or walking. It was also the perfect romantic ending to a memorable honeymoon.

I have no connection with the hotel where we stayed, but I will add this link to their website, so you can see for yourselves just how nice it is. If you are ever considering a trip to Marrakesh, it is one to put on your list.

Re-Post: Honeymoon In Marrakesh (Part 1)

I am reposting this from 2013, as not many of you have seen it. I Have divided the original very long post into two parts. This part is 1480 words. The second part will be posted tomorrow. There are no accompanying photos, as I was still using a film camera at the time.

I got married for the third (and last) time, in September 2009. We had a fairly traditional wedding, though in a hotel, rather than a church. It was a lovely day, and I will always have great memories of it. We decided to go on honeymoon to somewhere that neither of us had been to before. We had to consider the cost, as the wedding had used up some of the budget We thought that a week was long enough, so we could not go too far afield.

Places for consideration that would be new to both of us included Mexico, Cuba, Hong Kong, South Africa, and The Caribbean. These were rapidly ruled out, due to either the long flights involved, or the weather conditions in mid-September. North Africa looked promising, but I had been to Tunisia and Egypt before, which left Morocco as a good option. We had a choice of beach, probably Agadir, or inland, with Marrakesh as the most attractive prospect.

After some perusal on the Internet, and a flick through some brochures, we paid a visit to a large travel agent in Oxford Street, in London. As luck would have it, the agent had just returned from a junket in Marrakesh, and unhesitatingly recommended a hotel in the heart of the city. We looked at her suggestion online, and it really looked the part. It is called Les Jardins de la Koutoubia, as it is directly opposite the famous Koutoubia Mosque. The courtyard location, outdoor pool, and cool-looking terraces inside, all exuded Moorish style and architecture at its most desirable.

We decided to book independently, and get our own flights as well. Unfortunately, we were sorry to learn that Easyjet was the only airline with direct flights to Marrakesh. Other airlines go there, but they do so via other places first, putting hours on the journey. Undaunted, we booked with them, and arranged car parking at Gatwick. Holiday booked, we were suitably excited, and got on with the wedding plans. The hotel had been easy to arrange, and they even offered to collect us from the airport.

On the day, we found that it was not as bad as we had expected travelling with Easyjet, though we did make certain to comply with their notoriously draconian baggage regulations. On arrival at Marrakesh, we were pleased to see the promised good weather in evidence, and we were collected without fuss, for transfer to the hotel. We knew beforehand that Ramadan would be beginning when we arrived, and had expected this might cause some problems with cafes and restaurants being open, and possible restriction of service in the hotel. This was not the case at all, as the touristic nature of the place means that only the locals have to endure the privations of this religious season.

Arriving at the hotel, we could have been forgiven for being disappointed. The small driveway leading to the entrance was full of cars, and some very run-down looking workshops. The few shops looked to be stacked with unappealing goods, and a long wall running along the right side, gave no indication of the city beyond it.

Once through the unprepossessing entrance, all fears melted. It was simply wonderful. The reception was cool and shaded, and was home to one of the largest vases of red roses that I have ever seen. The cloistered courtyard, with the serene pool surrounded by sunbeds and relaxing leather chairs, was an early indication of the service and luxury to come. When we were shown to our room, we were not unhappy either. Everything we could have wanted was there. From a huge bed, to lovely Moroccan decor and fittings, as well as a TV if we desired to catch up on the news, and a balcony looking directly over to the Mosque that gave the place its name.

Also in view were the small but well-tended hotel gardens, and the half-size second pool. The hotel had an extensive underground spa facility housing its third pool, which was surrounded by dozens of candles, as well as lovely mood lighting, all providing a relaxing semi-darkness.

As we had opted for bed and breakfast only, we looked into the choice of the hotel’s three restaurants for our meal that evening. We had a choice of eating outside or in, and for the first evening, we chose the local food, stopping off first in the delightful old-fashioned bar, for a pre-dinner drink. The speciality of the house, the Koutoubia Cocktail, was the first on our list, and delicious it was too. The staff were all exceptionally friendly, and we learned that there would be few other guests until the weekend, when French and Spanish visitors arrived for just two days. The whole hotel felt half-empty, and in a good way, as we almost had it to ourselves; the perfect honeymoon location.

The meal was excellent, and I thought that we should explore after dinner. Leaving the hotel, I decided that the landmark of the Mosque would serve as a beacon, so we could not get lost. I thought that we should turn right, to look for the famous ‘Night Market’ in Djeema El Fna, the main square, which is also the main attraction of Marrakesh.

As someone who normally has a good sense of direction, I let myself down that evening.

Turning right, we entered what can only be described as the ‘Kwik-Fit’ district of the city. Every shop front seemed to be involved in the roadside repair and servicing of some of the thousands of mopeds that buzzed around the place. The pavements were clogged with vehicles, tyres, spare parts, and busy mechanics. The locals gave us quizzical looks, and it was impossible to make progress on the pavements, forcing us into the very dangerous roads.

Traffic is something not mentioned in the tourist guides. If you are considering a visit, then give traffic some serious thought. Crossing a road is almost impossible, and potentially suicidal; add to that the mopeds, and there are seemingly unlimited numbers of them, all appearing to try to run you down. They drive at you along the road, along the pavement, down alleys, across squares, even inside shops. In fact, anywhere you happen to be, or want to go, you will have to contend with moped riders whose one rule seems to be, ‘take no prisoners’.

After some time moped-dodging, we had still not come across the market. I carried on further, into the heart of the old town, passing tiny Mosques, bijou hammams, women-only bath-houses, and some Medresas. (Koran schools) It was a fascinating glimpse of real local life, but time was getting on, and we had still not found the market. We were hot and tired, and Julie was uneasy, as low rooftops and canopies now hid the Koutoubia Mosque from view, losing me my point of reference.

We were saved from further embarrassment by the arrival of a small group of street urchins. Probably no older than nine or ten, they latched onto us, and one of them said the magic words, ‘Night Market?’ I said yes, and they indicated that they would show us the way, by following them at the fast pace of a fit young child. It felt like a route march, and took some considerable time. There was always the possibility that they were leading us along some back alley, in the hope of robbing us, but I was not unduly concerned, as they seemed friendly, and the place did not feel remotely threatening.

After what seemed like an hour, but was probably twenty minutes, I saw the reassuring shape of the Koutoubai Mosque ahead, and moments later, they led us into the Night Market. Just to our left, perhaps ten feet away, behind that large wall, was our hotel! We had been within throwing distance of the square as we had gone out, and I had turned right instead of left! They asked for a reward, but as I had only large denomination notes, I gave them some small change, about 30p.

This was considered an insult, and they asked for cigarettes as well. Luckily, I had a packet spare, and handed them over gratefully. (This leads me on to something else about Morocco. It is a place for smokers. Smoking is allowed everywhere, in hotels, bars, and cafes. Some have non-smoking areas, but none were smoke free, at least in 2009. For a smoker, it is a paradise.) The Night Market was impressive, but we were too tired to enjoy it then, and resolved to return the next evening. This visit would be a lot easier, as it was only yards from the hotel, after all…

One film, two versions: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

I don’t read as much as I used to, and the last few years I have read very few books. But one I did read was Stieg Larsson’s ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’. In 2009, I saw the film based on the book was being released, so hurried off to see it at a London Cinema. I wasn’t disappointed. Unusually, the main characters (played by Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist) were exactly as I had imagined them in my head, and the Swedish locations were just right too.

The story is the first part of a trilogy. So not unlike a serial, it leaves you wondering at the end. But what an unusual and involving story it is, with the twists and turns surrounding the lives of a crusading journalist, and the abused and damaged girl he encounters. It’s a tough tale, featuring a domestic violence, an abused child, sexual assault, rape, and elements of torture too. But it is so well done, those incidents never seem exploitative, or salacious. A web of corruption, murder and betrayal, abuse of power, and sweet revenge. It all adds up to an edge of the seat thriller that leaves you wanting more. And you get more; two more episodes, in separate films.
The leads are brilliant in their roles, and well supported by a list of very good actors that all earned their money, and my admiration. Direction is tight, the script sharp, and the experience for the film-goer is completely satisfying. Please watch it, if you like hard-hitting thrillers.

Just two years later, the talented American director David Fincher made a straight remake of the film, in English. He filmed it in Sweden, and packed the cast with A-list talent. We got Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, the excellent Stellan Skarsgard, Joely Richardson, and even Steven Berkoff. They were all well-cast, and nicely suited for their roles. Fincher didn’t mess around too much with either script or story, making it as a scene by scene copy, and everyone did their job just right. I left it alone, still reeling from the excellence of the original film. The audiences loved it, the critics liked it a lot, and suddenly it became ‘The’ film of the book. I waited almost two years to see it, when it came on television.

So, given all of the above, why didn’t I like it? Here’s a list of reasons why.
1) It was pointless.
2) The only purpose it served was to make the same film in English.
3) The first film was better, in every respect. Cast, atmosphere, sense of menace, acting.
4) Having A-listers like Craig makes you think of him in other roles, especially Bond. That makes it harder to take him seriously as a worn-out crusading journalist.
5) It didn’t have Noomi Rapace in it, and she owned the role as the girl.
6) It was pointless. (Did I mention that?)

I failed to be interested enough to even watch it past the first hour. Two weeks later, the Swedish film came on TV again, and I watched that, enjoying it even more the third time.

Just stick with the original, please.

Great Albums: Lungs

2009 is quite recent to state something is a ‘great album’. But where Florence Welch is concerned, I will make an exception. Recording as Florence and The Machine, that might give the impression of a large group. But it was only her, and one other woman, her collaborator Isabella Summers. Mind you, lots of producers and other musicians were involved in the production of this startlingly original album.

Florence treads a rare path, one inhabited by the likes of Kate Bush, Bjork, and few others. A female vocalist, singer/songwriter who was completely original, and as refreshing as a shower in a remote waterfall. Appearing apparently from nowhere, she went from obscurity, to overnight acclaim and fame. Before the album was released in 2009, some singles were released the previous year, serving as teasers for the public and critical reception that was to come.

With her mane of red hair, Florence was good to look at, as well as being obviously talented as a singer. She was young, feisty, and very English. ‘Lungs’ was an immediate success, spending months in the charts, and peaking at number two. In 2010, it won the Brit Award for best album, and Florence was undoubtedly on her way. I already owned the album by then, and I was lapping up the originality, and the superb vocals on offer.

Like many before her, Florence embraced the chance to create great videos to promote her songs. Making the most of her looks, and slightly ‘hippy’ style, she went from strength to strength, based on just this one album. One track was even used on a film soundtrack, widening an already excited audience.

Like other artists before her, Florence realised the beneficial effects of changing her image, promoting her femininity and sexuality, and hitting the record-buying public with imagery, dance, and sheer talent. ‘Lungs’ also tipped its hat to the old days of disco, with a cover version of Candi Staton’s ‘You’ve Got The Love’. This modern version crowned the album with class, and did something very rare. In my opinion, for what it’s worth, she surpassed all previous recordings of that classic dance track. In my life, I have rarely heard such a flawless vocal performance.

Florence carried on after ‘Lungs’ with the follow-up album ‘Ceremonials’, in 2011, and the third album ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’, in 2015. That album topped the US charts, but was less well-received in the UK. Florence continues to record and perform, but it is fair to say that she never repeated the overwhelming success she enjoyed with that first album.

10th September, 2009

It was a Thursday.

After being together for almost nine years, Julie and I were getting married. The setting was a very nice hotel in Kent, southern England. We had settled on a Thursday, as it was almost half the cost of a Saturday wedding, for exactly the same deal, and given everyone lots of notice, so they could make arrangements. We had booked most of the rooms in the hotel, so that those travelling some distance, or officiating as part of the wedding party, would not have to concern themselves with where to stay.

It couldn’t really have gone better. Not a single blip, missing guest, or fault by the hotel organiser. If you wanted to see a wedding go smoothly, then this was the one. Not only that, the weather was perfect. Sunny and bright, warm but not hot. Everyone was very happy, and the hotel did us proud, with perfect arrangements, excellent food, and friendly staff. As you may know, we had both been married before, but we agreed that this was the best wedding by far, and one of the best we had ever attended. Guests were able to relax in the extensive grounds, and when additional people arrived in the evening, the extra food soon arrived, drinks flowed, and music played.

When it was all over, we were able to spend some time on the terrace and in the bar. Chatting to our friends and family who were staying over; feeling exhausted, but very happy. Eight years ago today.

Happy Anniversary, Julie.

Today couldn’t be more different. We are no longer living in London, and have a new life in the Norfolk countryside. We also have Ollie, our beloved dog. It is a Sunday of course, and we woke up to light rain, damp, and a chill in the air. Later tonight, we will go to a local hotel for a celebratory dinner. Just the two of us, looking forward to the next eight years.

Significant Songs (133)

Cry Me Out

Regular readers will know that I have a fondness for British female solo singers, and can be unusually affected by otherwise trite little pop songs. This has been evidenced by my inclusion of Duffy, Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell, and Sam Brown, among others.

Pixie Lott is a 26 year-old British singer, as well as a some-time actress, TV presenter, and general celebrity. She has apparent boundless enthusiasm, and pops up all over the place, most recently as a judge on the talent show, ‘The Voice’. Her southern accent and crinkly hair make her stand out from the crowd of more stylish performers, and her appeal to young record buyers is undeniable.

Considering her age, she has been around for a long time, signing her first record deal at the age of fifteen, whilst attending a stage school. She has also written songs for other artists, and now runs her own version of that same stage school, in Essex. So what is a record from this pretty young lady doing on this old man’s blog? (I hear you ask)

In 2009, I was driving along in my car, and heard a record on the radio. Stuck in heavy traffic in London, I turned up the volume, and sat and enjoyed this old fashioned song, with its ‘heartbroken ballad’ style. I surmised it was something from the back catalogue of someone I didn’t know, and eagerly awaited the announcement of the singer’s name when the record ended. I was amazed to discover that it was a new release, from someone apparently very popular, who I had never heard of. But I thought it was a great song.

And I still do.

Significant Songs (25)

Rabbit Heart

In 2009, Florence Welch arrived with a bang on the British music scene. Unheard of previously, the debut album, ‘Lungs’ released by her and her collaborators, as Florence and The Machine, took the UK charts by storm. This was something completely fresh, and genre-free. Not since Kate Bush had impacted our senses in the late 1970’s, had such an unusual sound assailed our ears. The CD catered for almost all tastes. It included a cover version of Candi Staton’s 80’s song  ‘You’ve Got The Love’, which I would argue is better than the original, as well as a crop of self-penned songs that showed real talent, along with a wonderful vocal range. And she was just 23 years old.

I soon bought a copy, and discovered that the album was selling well all over the world, even breaking into the US charts. Many tracks were instantly picked up for use in film soundtracks, and the elegant figure of Ms Welch was appearing all over our TV screens, and on music videos on all the usual channels. There were 13 tracks on the original release of ‘Lungs’. I can probably take or leave a couple of them, not bad for a new release, from an unknown artist. Other than ‘You’ve Got The Love’, which is so well known, I thought about a track to illustrate the style and talent of this young woman. I have chosen one that typifies her writing, though the video that accompanies it is a little ‘twee’ for my taste.

She went on to more success, and released her second album ‘Ceremonials’, in 2011. I cannot help but feel that she will continue on, to greater and better things. Of course, only time will tell.

Significant Songs (5)

If I Ain’t Got You

If any of you have ever been involved in a romantic relationship, I will bet my bottom dollar that there is a song that reminds you of it. You may not like to admit it though. You might consider it to be slushy and sentimental, to have a song that makes you come over all amorous, or reflective, but I am sure that there is one lurking there, filed under ‘Love’ in your brain’s memory banks.

When I met Julie, in 2000, we soon had a few songs that we could associate with the time and place of our new relationship. As well as our individual favourites, there were a few contenders for songs that were new to us both, and made us think about each other, when we were apart. One worth a mention, was the hit song ‘Groovejet (If this ain’t love)’, by Spiller, with vocals by Sophie Ellis Bextor. This was released that summer, before we started seeing each other in the autumn. I played it a lot, and Julie liked it too. The lyrics seemed to have a connection to our situation at the time, and we often thought it a very special song, just for for us. The other song with seemingly appropriate lyrics and theme that year was ‘The Time Is Now’, by Moloko, sung by Rosin Murphy. As we started our journey as a couple, it was as if songs written perfectly for us, were appearing from everywhere.

Of course, we were old enough to appreciate that they were just pop songs, and that the symbolism, though relevant, was just amusingly coincidental. Music featured a lot in those early days, and we would sit in my flat in Camden, and have ‘music nights’, both of us playing our favourites, old and new. As we carried on seeing each other, and becoming closer, we took less notice of lyrics in songs, perhaps settling into the knowledge that we were going to stay together, come what may. We did still have a soft spot for the Spiller and Moloko songs though, and always mentioned that they were ‘our songs’, whenever we heard them.

In 2003, I heard a new song, from Alicia Keys. I already knew of this talented young woman, and had bought her CD ‘Songs in A Minor’. This new song was instantly memorable, with a piano intro, great structure, and meaningful lyrics. I couldn’t get it out of my head, and bought the CD soon after. It was called ‘If I Ain’t Got You’, and the words immediately made me think of Julie, and our relationship. We both liked it very much, and played it often. One day, I remarked to Julie, that if we ever got married, then this song should be our first dance, such was the relevance it had for us. She agreed, and that was the end of the conversation.

Six years later, in 2009, we finally did get married; after nine years together, and many ups and downs in our lives, that we had worked through as a couple. Although many great songs had appeared in those intervening years, there was still only one choice for our first dance. And I almost missed it. I was standing outside the venue, chatting, and had to be rounded up by friends, to go in and have the first dance at our wedding. This September, we will have been married for five years, and together for fourteen. This song still means as much to me today, as when I first heard it, all those years ago.