Yesterday my dear brother Tony and his wife, the lovely Jean, celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. That’s sixty years - and counting. They deserve all the congratulations and best wishes heading their way.
I was particularly pleased that Her Maj obliged with a splendid greetings card.
Boris’s “Rule of Six” meant that the happy couple had to bring
forward their family gathering by a week but last Sunday they celebrated with a garden party for their nearest and dearest, incorporating a barbecue (for all) and table tennis on the lawn (for the fittest.) Tony looked every inch the dapper gent in his Panama
hat and Jean as beautifully elegant as always. There was a celebration cake, there were flowers, a beautiful watercolour painting of their house by granddaughter Charlotte - and a cushion each, embroidered with the words “Mr & Mrs Usher, sharing
the sofa since 1960.” How absolutely perfect in every way!
The local paper carried a splendid tribute to a “community minded couple” who had
given a great deal to the community of Woking for nearly thirty years. I even had a mention in despatches as one of the three bridesmaids on the Big Day. I wore a lilac dress with puffed sleeves which I adored. The dress had a second outing a few months later
when I wore it with a tartan sash for a school production of Macbeth in which I played Lady Macbeth - it was almost certainly too pretty a costume for that black-hearted woman but there was no telling me.
One of my memories of that big day, sixty years ago today, was my visit to the hairdresser on the wedding morning which left my self-centred, thirteen year old self in the depths of despair because I absolutely hated my hair
do. “I wanted to look so lovely on your wedding day!” I wailed to my poor brother, the bridegroom. I can imagine the last thing the poor man needed on his wedding day was a hysterical younger sister, but he was, as always, the perfect Big Brother,
comforting, reassuring and saying exactly the right thing to soothe my hurt feelings.
Tony and Jean met when Jean, who was Akela to the local Cubs, called on Tony
who was assistant scoutmaster to the local Scout Troop to ask him if he would organise a camp fire for her Cubs. “I knew straightaway that I couldn’t let that beautiful girl get away,” he reminisced at the couple’s Golden Wedding celebration.
That was ten whole years ago but I still remember, with a lump in my throat, the heart-warming simplicity of that loving statement of purpose. The newspaper article relates how he used to break off from his accountancy studies at his desk in his bedroom to
wave to Jean every Monday evening at 7.30 p.m. as she cycled past his house on her way home from Cubs. Thus are the bonds of coupledom forged....
we had another happy couple visiting us yesterday - granddaughter Katie and her Nathan who moved into their first home together literally days before Lockdown. The clampdown on normal life meant that they spent their first few months having to pin sheets up
at the windows because the blinds they had ordered could not be delivered and watching TV sitting on a couple of camping chairs, in the absence of the sofa which was similarly stuck in a warehouse somewhere awaiting its release from custody.
Katie and Nathan are at the beginning of their life together, just working out what “coupledom” is all about. I think it’s fair to say that Tony and Jean,
after 60 glorious years, have it sussed.