Our first year ever in Gozo co-incided with the feast of St Peter and St Paul, the patronal festival of the village we were staying in, Nadur. Festa time.
I recall everyone getting very excited because a relic of St Paul's wrist bone had been loaned by a Maltese mainland church and was being paraded around along with some alabaster saints. I apologise if I run out of catholic language high-church chums; I've never been fluent.
This particular day also happened to be the semi-final of Euro 2000 and Italy, I think, were playing. The game went to extra time and then penalties.
There was one bar in Nadur showing the footie. In the square there were brass bands and elsewhere fireworks.
Excitement reached a fever pitch and so the procession did what all sensible processions should do in such cucumstances. They dropped the saints, the relics and the brass instruments in the street and crowded round the bar window to watch the footie. T-shirts and robes mixed.
Gozitans cheer for:
Italy won, setting up a final against France.
The drunkest man I have ever seen went back to his taxi as he had a fare.
The procession continued.
It was a wonderful night. But not as good as the final. We got there early to get a seat in the bar and found that, due to the cheapness of Cisk, the local ale, for the only time in my life I was able to buy a round for the whole pub.