So here I am, sitting in the foyer at Chichester's Cineworld. Mr B is outside enjoying a last cigarette before he finds himself enclosed in Cinema Number One for a couple of hours.
I am perfectly content to sit here for a bit because the songs being relayed over the speakers happen to be two of my all-time favourites - "Tell Me On A Sunday" and "Another Suitcase, Another Hall." I ponder on the fact that both songs are about sad
endings to relationships - which is more than a little inappropriate as Mr B and I are here today celebrating our 49th wedding anniversary.
It's a relatively low-key celebration - a film, a meal to follow
- but none the less special. And after all we are saving ourselves for next year's anniversary, the Golden One. Does the Queen send you a card on your Golden Wedding or will we have to wait another ten years for our Diamond? (I've just looked it up and there's
no need to panic, kids, it's Diamond and beyond that gains official queenly recognition. Shame about that but hopefully we can still make it...)
Back to today. We exchanged cards, opened those that had arrived
in the post and set off for the cinema where we had a gift card to exchange for our tickets to see "Man Up". We hadn't exactly been desperate to see this film but it was the only one showing today which seemed the least bit anniversary-appropriate. It's described
as a rom-com and, being us, our day is Rom and Com in equal measures. The best "Com" moment is when Mr B manages to sit on his cup of coffee when taking his seat in Row D11. It isn't so much the actual sitting on the cup of coffee which is so funny, but the
fact that, being our anniversary, he can't spend the next twenty minutes till the film starts explaining why this damp disaster is undoubtedly All My Fault. (The least "Com" moments involved the journey to and from Chichester Gate in the car - the best part
of an hour each way which was quite simply ridiculous and shouldn't be allowed on such an Auspicious Day.)
The least "Rom" moment has to be when our waitress in Benny & Jerry's, having been acquainted
by Mr B that this is our anniversary, suggests we might want to toast the occasion in champagne - only to be disappointed to hear that (i) I am driving home and (ii) Mr B doesn't like getting bubbles up his nose. The most "Rom" moment is after we arrive home,
when we settle down to watch, for the umpteenth time, the DVD of photographs from way back when, put together for our Ruby Wedding. The days before we were married. Our wedding day. The two of us together on many a happy holiday. Our four children growing
up, from babyhood to graduation. The arrival of the Next Generation. We laugh or cry at each photograph as it appears on the TV screen and I provide running verbal captions and comments: "First day at school", "Holiday in Broadstairs", "I wonder whatever happened
to them?" and "I made those dresses!" Unbelievably, in the nine years that have elapsed since our Ruby Wedding, we have added six new, much beloved, sprigs to our Family Tree.
Mr B says he wishes we could
go back in time to the Way We Were, just, say, for one day a week. I know exactly what he means but I think all that time travelling might be a little disorientating. He would certainly have to be very careful where he put his coffee cup...
In the film "Man Up" the main character describes life as being like a jigsaw puzzle. You start with the four corners and you always, but always, look out for the "blue bits." Mr B and I discuss this idly over our meal. We
presume the analogy is that the blue pieces are the happy times - though I have to say I often find the sky the most difficult and complicated part of a puzzle. Mr B thinks I am being over-analytical. I think he is probably right.
Forty-nine years! The last of these has not been the easiest for my darling Mr B, health-wise. But then, don't you think? any couple can feel close and happy in the good times, when "the living is easy" as the song goes. What counts
is how you face together the times when the living is not so easy.
Thanks to my special fella (how much poorer the Daily Blog would be without his regular pronouncements!) and to our precious family - from
the Eldest to the Tiniest Two - there are so many, many "blue bits" to be enjoyed each and every day.
What's more, forty-nine years on, I am happy to say that all four corners of our Life's Jigsaw are still
very much in place...