No, not mine, but this evening conversation at dinner was all about marriage. An evening for me away from Bellaugello Gay Guest House spent in the kitchen of good friends in the delightful hamlet of Santa Cristina some 15kms drive from Bellaugello.
I had a bit of farming business to attend to nearby and the afternoon was glorious, the remnants of snow that had fallen whilst I was in Brussels last weekend still lined the roadsides, clear piercing azure blue skies and a sharp breeze, a real decent winter day, so instead of turning straight home after work, I headed on into the village and called to see my good friends, a young couple who also have a bed and breakfast business, so a chance to compare notes, catch up on gossip, and have a good moan about the unending bureaucracy.
Soon the subject came round to marriage. My friends are getting married this June and plans are well progressed for an English Italian occasion. The bride is English and is fighting to bring a bit of her tradition to Italy. This means she will be baking a large traditional wedding fruit cake. Not only have ingredients such as raisins, currants and black treacle been brought over from the UK, they are not available here in Umbria, but also the cake tins. We pored over recipes, discussed the quantity of cooking time, alcohol, height of newspaper and oven temperature, it is so important. The guest list is large, Italians have large families and so many cousins that need to be invited, and the catering will be of epic Italian proportions including a party the day after the ceremony where there will be a whole roast pig cooked as porchetta that fine Umbrian dish where the pig is stuffed with wild herbs including in particular fennel and then spit roasted, and of course as the groom is from Campania there will be lots and lots of home cooked pizzas.
Over supper the conversation veered to the current proposal in France to legalize same sex unions and of the impending speech by the British Prime Minister to introduce the same legislation in the UK. Although I have no desire to get married I do firmly believe in the right of everyone to have the right to marry if they so wish. We were in agreement at the sadness of the contra activists, the mass hysteria and attitudes veering on hypocrisy.
Having spent a delightful evening excitedly discussing my friends upcoming wedding, it seems so wholly unfair that so many same sex couples do not yet have the liberty to show the same commitment, I have other friends, this couple gay and Italian who are in the process of moving to Barcelona so that they can protect each other financially as well as emotionally, such a shame they have to leave this beautiful country.