Saturday Morning and as I walk out with Gracie, the village is waking up. Two doors down, Tatiana is paying her mother a visit and I can hear her baby’s gurgles through the open window.
Another neighbour is off for a day’s cleaning – it is changeover day and already new faces are spotted wandering the streets with the same mixed expression of confusion and delight and croissants are doing a brisk trade out of Bonissim.
Ali is hanging vibrant Moroccan rugs and intricate metalwork lamp shades around the door of his gift shop in La Plazoleta. Opposite, Veronica is setting up La Esquinita’s umbrellas as customers begin ordering coffee.
Manolo is sitting at his usual table by the door to El Pajuelo as he has done daily since he locked up his own bar and retired some years back. The Once seller is at his corner and Antonio appears in the window of the house he has been painting all week.
A bleary-eyed Domingo already squats on the steps of the Mercado watching life – and opportunity – pass him by.
At Zorro’s the Breakfast Club have finished their weekly fry-up and in the square outside Juan-Jesus and side-kick Paco are preparing for a photoshoot. A wedding ceremony is taking place in the Ayuntomiento shortly. The wedding party begin to gather on the steps chatting – the (as always) immaculate women smoothing down their dresses, the men shuffling uncomfortably in their smart trousers and straightening their lapels.
It is a hot day but the steps are thrown into shade by the crochet hoops overhead and a leafy tree nearby. The bride arrives dressed in ivory lace, carrying a posy of ivory roses, and the party are ushered quickly inside.
After the ceremony the wedding party spill back into the square.
Juan-Jesus orchestrates a grand entrance as the children gather rice in the palms of their hands ready to shower the bride and groom when given the wink.
Corks are popped and the assembled crowd toast the happy couple, whilst congratulatory applause ripples through the square from those seated at Zorro’s. The bride and groom – surrounded by their entourage – walk off up the hill to continue their celebrations elsewhere…
All images © Pip Art