I have just received this card through the post from the only old school friend I keep in touch with. Or to be more precise, who keeps in touch with me. I am very bad at keeping in touch.
The card is to celebrate my 21st wedding anniversary today; the only other cards to mark the occasion have been exchanged between ourselves – Husband of Mine to me: an unusually wordy card illustrated with cartoon mice (a slightly odd choice given his hatred of rodents and their guts); me to Husband of Mine: a simple blank ‘Thank You’ for putting up with me over the last 21 years (actually the best of a bad bunch in the local Co-op).
Oh, and Mother of Mine did send a congratulatory email to our shared inbox.
No point in trying the dress on – I know from the Royal Wedding Day debacle that it didn’t fit and no-one cared anyway.
But I have just had a quick peek at the wedding photographs for nostalgic reasons. The setting is still as familiar as ever – we still attend the same church, dodging the mud and cow pats through the farmyard to get to the lychgate, and holding our noses when the fertiliser on the fields is at its most pungent. Except I was struck by the absence of familiar faces in the shots of the guests. There were people at my wedding in 1990 that I now barely recognise – work colleagues of the time, friends who have since moved away, and a terrifying number – 14 at my count – who are now sadly not with us, including between us what were our four remaining grandparents, and my lovely dad. Except for the family that’s left, the only other constants are Director Who Thinks Life is a Musical and her husband, Stage Manager Major General.
Even the photographer has gone out of business – makes a mockery of the list of reference numbers for the photographs; “keep this list in a safe place” – Why bother? I suppose he wasn’t to know that 21 years later I’d be able to convert images to a digital format at the click of a mouse (a computer one, not a cartoon one) and share them with the entire world!
We tried to celebrate last night during an impromptu visit to L.A. That’s Littlehampton to the locals. I had taken Children of Mine to Harbour Park, a small pay-as-you-go funfair on the seafront, to spend vouchers that we won in a raffle yonks ago.
We had fun, but Children of Mine were so tired by the evening that by the time Husband of Mine came to join us we abandoned the idea of tiger prawns and baby octopus at East Beach Café, tried Fred’s Fish ‘n’ Chips, where the only table was directly behind the fryers, but ended up settling for a KFC Bargain Bucket at home in front of Britain’s Got Talent.
Not exactly romantic, but hey, maybe waiting another 21 years for an anniversary treat would work for me?
42. I would then know “The Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything.”
Trouble is, I still wouldn’t know the question.