Will you marry me?

This isn’t a blog about Husband begging me to renew our vows. It’s not a blog about me being propositioned by a drunk at the pub.

It’s about the heavens sending signs that I should tell you something.

Mumabulous’ latest blog reveals how her husband popped the question in A Decent Proposal and she asks others to do the same.

Annabel Candy’s latest Get In The Hot Spot travel blog is about Camino de Santiago Walk In Spain –  – an ancient pilgrim’s trail that wends its way through Spain to a cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

I got engaged on the eve of spending two weeks walking the Camino.

See what I mean?

I’ve touched on my proposal story before, in a blog called Who Were You On Your Wedding Day?

Here’s what I had to say: “I’m no romantic. When Husband proposed – on bended knee, in Paris no less – I hissed at him to ‘get up off the ground’. People were staring. I don’t like people staring. ‘Aren’t you going to say yes?’ he replied. ‘Yes, yes! Now get up off the ground!’ Bless him.

I feel quite bad about my reaction in retrospect. It’s supposed to be every girl’s dream to have a man propose on bended knee in Paris. I wish I’d been less self-conscious and more swoony about sitting at an outdoor cafe in the Jardin de Luxembourg as the love of my life asked me to be his wife. Husband had chosen the most gorgeous rose gold engagement ring too, from Love & Hatred in the Strand Arcade in Sydney.

We were in Paris en-route to a little village called Saint Jean Pied de Port on the French/Spanish border to start walking the Camino as a “holiday”. It’s fortunate that Husband proposed before we started walking as I don’t think I’d have said yes after.

I don’t put much stock in astrology, but Pisceans are supposed to have problem feet and I live up to the stereotype. I have no idea what possessed me to think walking 240km – roughly a third of the Camino – was a good idea. After one of my training walks for the pilgrimage – Petersham to Hurstville – I got infected blisters. After one day on the Camino – 23kms up the side of the Pyrennes, relentlessly pursued by sheep – I wasn’t in much better shape. It looked like we might have to pull out before we’d even really started (like the Brazilian who lost all his toenails after they banged repeatedly against his boots on a particularly sharp descent). Husband was very downcast.

But I soldiered on, sometimes only managing a couple of kilometres a day until we finally found some sport sandals – worn attractively with thick socks – that I could motor along in.

At one low point, I remember wailing: “All I can smell is horse piss and all I can see is mud … this isn’t fun.”

At regular intervals along the Camino cheap hostels have been established for travellers. Shirley Maclaine stayed in them the year after we did and wrote a book about her experiences, called  The Camino. Imagine waking up and finding Shirley lying across from you one morning?

Husband and I would rise before dawn each day so we could arrive at the next hostel first, where he would proceed to barracade the communal bathroom with his body while I had a private shower with the limited hot water. Then we’d totter to the nearest restaurant to write ourselves off with carafes of cheap Spanish wine. I’d totter back to the hostel and hoist my legs into my bunk bed with my hands – they were too sore to do it without assistance – and pass out for the rest of day while Husband went sight-seeing.

I’d like to say it was an adventure that I now look back on fondly. Husband does – despite needing extensive physiotherapy on his leg afterwards – he even wants to take the Sprogs on it one day. I will accompany them as far as the French Riviera, where I will stretch out on a banana lounge with a cocktail and wait for their return. Because I WILL NEVER DO IT AGAIN.

Although I was quite entertained by the Catholics who carried a statue of the Virgin Mary the whole way. And the couple who though it would be a good idea to take a baby along. And the carafes of cheap wine.

I left my engagement ring behind in the communal bathroom one night. Losing that wouldn’t have been a good omen.

Fortunately the pilgrims were an honest bunch, so I got it back.

I don’t wear it – or my wedding ring – any more because I’m allergic to both of them. They make me break out in angry red lumps. I try not to take that as an omen either. …


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