Mary & Bobbie's wedding

Just back from the wedding of my niece, Mary Finigan, to Robert ("Bobbie") Farmer at Les Allues in the Savoy region of the French Alps. My sister, Mary, efficiently arranged for a 7-seater Volkswagen something-or-other from Geneva airport which she drove with me as navigator. At Geneva, we had to thread our way out of the French side of the airport to avoid Swiss taxes, then follow a labyrinthine route out of Geneva. For English people, there is the added challenge of driving on the right. The hire car had various bleeps to tell everyone when Mary didn't let the handbrake down fully and me to do my not-at-all-nervous bit when she kerbed the car now and again.

Here's a view from one part of the journey nearing the Alps:

Since I was solemnising the marriage and celebrating the Nuptial Mass, there are no photos of the wedding itself but I got on well with the professional photographer and he is going to upload pictures to the web in due course. First off, after the wedding was a champagne reception at one of the restaurants in the village. Here's the newly-weds:

And here are members of my family enjoying a joke that I was not party to. The photo captures something of the Finigan family when gathered. L-R, Sarah, Mary and Jane (sisters) and Becky (niece - she of the red wedding dress.)

The car for the bride was a wonderfully daft idea of Peter, Mary's step-father. Mary's dad was my brother Gerrry, who died in 1979, aged 23. Her mum, Frances, married Peter and they moved to Les Allues where Mary lived until she passed her Bac' with flying colours. The jeep was decked out suitably with white cushions.

The reception was held at the local village hall, a very well-appointed community facility such as the French excel at. The best man, Darren is here putting the finishing touches to his speech - or perhaps deleting various jokes that he thought better of at the last minute.

The reception went on well into the small hours, I am told. I managed to slip away at a reasonable hour so as to be in the right condition for Sunday Mass. Mass on the Sunday was delightful - a retired priest (who had a heart transplant some years ago) celebrated a Mass specially for disabled people within the local community. I concelebrated and duly read part of the Eucharistic prayer in French. Père Megevand (M. Le Curé) was also there and insisted on introducing me to the parishioners after Mass. When he asked me to take a small drink, I was worried that this would leave me in the presbytery for some time, keeping my sisters waiting. In fact, there was a table outside the main door of the Church with wine and soft drinks, and local sweet pastries freshly cooked. The parish is a lovely community with a parish sister and various people contributing both to the Liturgy and to the social fabric of the parish.

Our next stop was Chandon, just a couple of miles further up the mountain, where there was a lunchtime Barbecue. I think you will agree, it was an idyllic setting.

Sadly, we had to leave and drive back to Geneva. At the bottom of Chandon, just by the parking bays, there was a building with a bell tower. We wondered whether it was a school house or a chapel. It was locked but fortunately my camera did the biz when pressed against the window. A real tribute to the work of St Francis de Sales still enduring in this part of the world.

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