It’s about 03.10 as I begin to write this and I’ve been awake for a while. Outside the wind is whistling through the fir trees on the neighbour’s property. Fir cones from the trees on that land are peppering my roof and tumbling down to the yard below, one of the reasons for me being awake. Another reason, the main one, is that it is the day of our wedding anniversary and I was thinking about Cynthia. The words of that Sinatra song, One For My Baby, kept going through my head:
There’s no one in the place ‘cept you and me
So set ’em’ up Joe
I got a little story I think you oughtta know
To the end of a brief episode
So make it one for my baby
And one more for the road
Well it was quarter to three, there is no one in the place ‘cept me, I got a little story I think you might like to know, I’m drinking tea my friends, to the memory of a great episode in my life, and this is one for my baby but I don’t know if there will be any more of these epistles for the road.
Today would have been the 53rd anniversary of our marriage. Maybe you’re doing the math now to work out the wedding date. Yes you got it right, it was Jan.03 1966. I didn’t write anything on this day in 2018 or 2017 but today for some reason it feels good to be writing.
Our wedding day was a great day. It was remarkable for us in many ways. We had decided to get married in the previous October during a half term school break back in the UK. We’d motored down to Wales from Camberley in Surrey, about thirty miles west of London. We asked for our parents’ permission to marry even though we were determined to go ahead anyway. What was remarkable was not that they agreed, for they all knew we would one day be wed, but that Cynthia’s mother told us we would have to make all the arrangements ourselves as she was too ill to help with that.
Cynthia never hesitated, but gave her mum a hug and got on with things immediately. She basically dragged me around in her slipstream as we booked the church with Fr. Bowden the curate at her local church. We booked the local hotel for the reception. We organized wedding cars and drivers etc. etc. By the time our weekend at home was done and we were heading back to Camberley, most of the organizing had been completed. Just a little later Cynthia went to London and hired all her wedding apparel…gown, shoes, veil and so on. It was a remarkable feat on her part.
The wedding day itself went beautifully, at least from my perspective. However, I know there wasn’t a great start to it for Cynthia as her lovely, but ailing Mum had a fall on the morning of the wedding. Nothing was going to deter her from getting to the wedding. In the end Cynth’s mum recovered and all was well.
The wedding went beautifully, the reception was great, with family and friends in attendance. After the speeches and the luncheon we had some singing. One of my friends named John decided to give us his version of Where Have All The Flowers Gone That would have been great except John couldn’t carry a tune even if you gave him a bucket! Nevertheless, we all had a good laugh and other friends even started tossing pennies and other coins at John. It was a really good time.
Soon it was time for us to leave as we had to get back to our little apartment in Camberley as school was starting on the Monday. We spent our wedding night, Saturday, in a posh hotel in Bristol. There was no honeymoon because of the imminent start of school the following Monday and also because we could not afford one.
Our little apartment, supported by the local school district as housing costs were beyond our means, was a simple but efficient place. It was one of six in a block of apartments, all housing teachers who worked in the Camberley School district., and all in the same financial situation as us. We had no cooker, stove, range whatever you wish to call it. That came months later in the form of a belated gift from dear friends Michael and Janet. Until then, we managed with a hot plate. We even managed to cook kippers in a plastic bag in the electric kettle! We had each other and life was good.
I could write more but I feel this is enough to satisfy what was driving me to write in the first place. I should get back to bed and try to sleep. This has been one post for my baby!
‘Bye for now and God bless.