Thursday, 21 July 2011

Unlocking My Heart

Along with indigestion, gout and an appreciation of stained glass windows, I seem to be becoming a bit soppy.

As a man preparing for imminent nuptials (August 6 if you keep a diary) I have steered a path towards the altar that I hope is relatively free of sickening sentimentality and overblown romantic gestures.

But there's one wedding gesture that I came across recently that I rather like, and that's the tradition of fastening a lock to a bridge to represent a couple's love for one other. I first came across an example of this in the Latvian town of Rezekne, where my intended went to college.

Having grown up in Manchester, I  assumed the solitary lock on the bridge meant someone's bike had been stolen, but once its significance was explained to me, I thought it was a nice symbol.

Imagine my surprise then when a couple of months later I'm crossing the Rhine at Cologne, as mentioned earlier, and discover the bridge is absolutely infested with these locks: not just one or two but literally hundreds. Some big, some small, some with funny captions, others just short and sweet but romantic.

But all those locks declaring undying love? Even the least cynical person in the world might find hard to believe they all lived happily ever after. It left me feeling a little snowblind.

So I laughed out loud when I saw what one wag had done in response: he'd chained a disc cutter to the fence with the words 'Master Key'.

Seeing these pictures reminded me that my bride-to-be and I intended to make a similar gesture after our ceremony, but somewhere a bit more private: maybe somewhere in Riga we can visit in years to come after a little shopping in the excellent Zeppelin markets, possibly in a nice park, somewhere discreet?

Get the handcuffs: The most beautiful woman in the world
If now isn't a good time to run a picture of the woman I intend to spend the rest of my life with, there'll never be a good time. Here she is aged about 18. I think this is the picture she used for her membership card for the Pioneers. Wow. Her hair's a bit shorter but she's still so achingly beautiful.

I think I'm doing the right thing, huh?

Can you hear that lock snapping shut?

Can you?????

(Ladies please note: I grew up with the sociology of Anne Oakley and the politics of the Greenham Women. I spend my life washing up and cooking!)

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