Today would have been my 32nd wedding anniversary. I was on my wedding day seven and a half months pregnant with our second child, wearing a white satin smock under which an entire city could have safely sheltered from the rain and someone had hastily dressed our son, three- year old Jack in an old checked duffel coat and muddy wellington boots. The bridesmaid was huddled in an anorak as it was freezing in the Registry Office and Jack sat on my lap throughout the ceremony, singing with gusto Wheels on the Bus, just a key or three out of tune. Mother- in law sporting a bright red hat with oversized feathers had overdone the morning sherry and had to be taken home half way through the proceedings. gold bridesmaid dresses
We cut the Christmas cake (the figure of Santa and the elves being hastily removed from the cake I had intended for Yuletide, retrieved from the cupboard to complete the wedding breakfast) and the older children joined in the celebrations having been collected from playschool by my husband, of whom none of the parents commented on the confetti in his hair. My brand- new spouse then announced in lieu of the speeches, he was booked into TVAM on an overnight shift and had to leave for London almost immediately so the bridesmaid and I finished off the sherry and cake, having put the children to bed.
It was a marriage built on dreams, hopes and good will that reality somewhat battered, shattered and dented. But we had some splendid adventures and much laughter and travelled extensively throughout Brittany and camped in the New Forest in England for weeks on end in our van with the five children. Our plan to settle in France when we retired remains a perpetual possibility only in the realms of idyll, like a leaf unwithered forever frozen within amber.
However, it is with peace and joy and thanks for many golden moments, I travel my new life path, exploring the world and with a new book commission terrifying and exciting me . I thank the man who maybe was the right person for me but in the wrong time and place and hope he has also found his joy and peace. And my once little Jack now many heads taller than me is exploring Vietnam with his partner and all my children are doing brilliantly and above all have become kind and good people. And so it is a day to celebrate after all.