A surprise wedding

Morning boys and girls
Hope all enjoying the glorious sunshine back in Ireland at the moment, or if you’re in the Middle East that you’ve got plenty of moisturiser slapped on your face and a decent umbrella for added protection. Interesting to see all the pics on facebook from Ireland during the week as natives try to adjust to very rare hot weather. Lack of practice I guess means that the look just isn’t quite right, and the occasional bright red all-over sun burn (tan) just proves the point even more. 

MB is now back in Saudi Arabia after one week in Dubai trying to sort out his visa. Temps have ranged between approx 40C & 46C since stepping off the plane from home. Hot as hell, and the humidity in Dubai an added bonus. Bring extra shirts if you are thinking of a visit.

Still a bit tired after the hectic trip home, and bit subdued. So maybe short blog today. See how it goes I guess.

Today’s pics – are totally random, have no connecting theme, and are just some shots that I took of various people/places/things during the trip home. Hope y’all like them.

Today’s blog title. Mentioned a surprise wedding in last week’s post. Well here’s the story:

Australian man, maybe mid-sixties in age, returned to the HX area for the festival two weeks back. His roots are from the locality – one of his relatives left HX for Australia early to mid-nineteenth century. He informed the local festival committee that one of his greatest wishes in life was to get married in a Catholic church, having got married many many years ago in a civil service down under. So it was arranged for him to get married in the local village church during his trip to the festival.

An Irish television channel (TG4) got wind of the story and sent a TV crew to Australia to interview the man and his wife before they set out on their journey to HX. And followed them to various events during the Irish/HX trip. They set up their lights and camera gear in the Church on 21st June, the solstice day, and all was in place for the 6pm wedding service.

Of course every wedding needs a photographer. And who do you all think got the call lads? Correct. MB got the big commission (not!) and was happy to do the (free) gig. Honour of honours! To add a little spice to the whole event from MB’s point of view, I must inform you Crossers that the groom was/is a professional photographer who has worked all his life for newspapers in Australia. But MB just thought – what the heck, its a free gig, the guy is not paying me. If all the pics turn out all blurry and over-exposed – nobody lost out financially. Hahaha!!!

So at the appointed time, the happy couple arrived at the church entrance to do their walk up the aisle and knot-tying activities. They were expecting to meet the local priest and inshallah 2 witnesses to sign the registry book. What they were not expecting to see was:

  • TV cameras & lights
  • Mega awesome wedding photographer
  • Church choir
  • Approx 70 invited guests, many of whom were cousins of the groom and whom he did not yet know
  • Best man and bridesmaid, also distant relatives and also unknown to him

And during the course of the service Father Liam informed the couple that they were invited to a party after the church service to meet all the guests, which would take place at same house that the grooms great great grandparents had their wedding meal at some 150 to 200 years earlier.

Needless to say the couple were absolutely gobsmacked. Tears flowed of course (no lads – I didn’t), and will be a great memory they will take to their graves.

MB gave the pics on a memory stick to the groom day or two after the wedding, lying through his teeth when he said “am sure they are not up to your standard“.  Groom informed MB few days later again that he was very happy with the pic standard. As if MB cared!

The TV programme will air in September and MB will try to get you all a link to view it on-line.

I’m tired lads, so will call it a day. Friday – hahaha!

Here are 30 awesome MB pics to give y’all endless hours of pleasure as you review, re-review, ad infinitum.

Ok lads. Have a nice weekend, wherever you’re hanging. Stay on the bright side of the road!


The Surprise Wedding

The Venue – Lough Gur Church


Limestone wall

Buttercups & daisies

Japanese couple MB kept bumping into over the holiday


Swan & 2 cygnets. Hopefully the new ‘dogs on leash’ rule will protect them




Frying the burgers


Not for Muslims: John Finn’s khanseer (pig) sandwich


St John’s Church, Knockainey


Graveyard tour at St John’s Church


Remember Nick Leeson and Barings Bank story few years back? The Baring relatives are buried at HX


St John’s graveyard


Bat Girl at the ‘Bat Preservation’ talk. Told MB she had been ‘into’ bats for years.


St John’s


Before the Pub Quiz. Reardons Pub, HX

Pub quiz

The Grange Stone Circle. With some rain drops!


Waiting for the solstice sunrise


The charity cyclists at Lough Gur on the solstice morning


‘Folk The Recession’, at St John’s


Gathering the cattle with my dad




Bare tree in summer. Many dead trees throughout Ireland, from tree disease and from the harsh winter of few years back


The Hamlet Pub, Grange


Stone age axe head, recently found at HX, and shown to MB during his trip


Flower basket on the Old Road, Grange. That road looking great in recent times due to efforts of locals.


Cutting the hay/silage outside MBs front door


Bruff Church alter


Bruff Church graveyard


Sums it up!


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