Nine years ago today I got married. A lot has happened in that time. A lot of it very painful both physically and emotionally. There have been deaths in the family, I’ve had my gall bladder removed, huge amounts of stress at work and home. These things are extremely hard to deal with, but having somebody there to pick you up when you fall makes all the difference.
The longer I am married the more I can relate to just how devastated my father was when mum died. He is not the same person and never will be, if it was not for my sister-in-law and her mum keeping him busy helping them and by extension his grandchildren out (my brothers seem to breed like rabbits) he would have given up and faded away years ago.
I seem to be painting a pretty dour picture of my life, but that is not the case. In the same period of time we’ve seen number one son grow into an honest, respectful, intelligent and thoughtful teenager and number two son defy the odds and not only be born but grow into a cheeky, funny, and imaginative little three year old. Life does not get better than that. Both my wife and I have managed to gain post-graduate qualifications (I must sort out my dissertation to finish this damn Masters). We’ve been to some really interesting places and met some fascinating people.
Being simple people we had a simple wedding. We didn’t like the local registry office so we chose a slightly better looking one that just so happened to be a former mental health hospital. It was a small wedding, with only twenty five people including us there. I can remember standing in the room waiting to go in. We had Love Cats by The Cure playing as all our guests filed in. The rest is all a blur until the vows. It was so hard not to start giggling but we both managed it. Then we walked out to Viva Las Vegas by Elvis. We smiled as we walked outside. Then was the important bit, the food. I hate wedding receptions, they either have a manky buffet or a set meal that I don’t really like. That was never going to happen to us. We went to The Cricketers in Clavering (run by Jamie Oliver’s parents) and they are really lovely people who treat their customers like house guests. We had one half of the restaurant to ourselves and our guests got a three course meal with at least six choices per course. As far as I can tell everybody really enjoyed their meal and that was all that counted. We didn’t do traditional party favours either as we thought party bags would be more fun. Boys got water pistols, sweets, marbles, and other cheap tacky boy things. Girls got, well girlie stuff beyond my ken but equally cheap. Everybody got a pencil with “Julia and Tony 2002” on it. I can hear people cringing and groaning from here, but it suited us and the people we invited.
It was a hard time financially as we’d just moved into our new house and were in the process of sorting out gutting and extending it, or hell as I now refer to it. We cut our wedding list down to the bone and did not invite a lot of people that we wanted to, but we didn’t take on any extra debt which was the main thing at the time.
I am not an overly emotional or tactile person so it can be hard to tell what is going on in my head sometimes, but I do love my wife more that I’d have believed possible.