I was putting the marzipan on my wedding cake, making Mr M's sandwiches for the night shift, ironing my best dress (my only dress) and watching my best friend clean my house from top to bottom ready for my wedding.
I don't think I have told this story before but it seems like a good time to meander down memory lane, after all you only get one thirtieth wedding anniversary. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll Begin.
We met in August 1980 at my cousin's wedding. By September we knew that together was the place we wanted to be and my children then aged 16, 14 and 13 wanted so badly to have Mr M in their lives full time. We found a house for all of us that cost a huge amount to rent and by the end of October we were all living together. The children still had security issues because of the past and it was a delight to watch them slowly learn to trust this quiet, handsome man that made their mother laugh with joy every day.
Christmas was survived without trauma, the deep snow in January kept them home from school even though Mr M managed to drive the 20 miles to work. Easter and Whitson came with their own treats and the wedding season was upon us.
We were invited to the wedding of Anthony and Jane. They were friends of Mr M from school and so we put on our best togs - I had a dress and jacket that I got in a sale three years previously and it looked good! Mr M had his wedding suit from being best man at my cousin's wedding. The service was lovely, meeting good friends outside the church was great and then we went to the reception. Outside the door Mr M turned to me and did that funny "cool" thing so I took his picture.
The reception was a sit down buffet. You chose your food then went to a place on the tables and sat down to eat. As we were eating Mr M turned to me and said
"When we get married we won't have all this fuss." I paused with my fork half way to my mouth and replied
"No we won't," (you can hear the count can't you? one, two) "When are we getting married?"
"When you make all the arrangements." He said, neatly spearing a pickled onion, popping it into his mouth and crunching happily.
"OK," I replied (again the pause, one, two.) Are you going to propose then?"
We continued with our meal, listened to the speeches and when the party began to break up we said our thanks-for-a-lovely-time-and-we-have-to-go to Anthony and Jane and climbed into my Dad's car (my parents were in Canada on the trip of a lifetime so I got to use their car) and went to tell Mr M's grandmother the news.
We stopped at one of our favourite places in this here town and went to look at the view of the mountain. Mr M went down on one knee and proposed and I cried ( I know but it is an emotional thing) we arrived at his grandmother's house to find that his mum and dad had come home for the weekend - did I tell you that Mr M grew up and his parents left home? well that's a whole other story.
We told them our news. Mrs M senior was not overly happy about it because I was (and still am) older than him.
That was on the Saturday. On the Monday My best friend and I went to the Register Office to arrange the wedding. Mr M was working Afternoon shift so he was in work. This is where the difficulties began. We had to find a weekend where Mr M was not working, his best man was not working and his parents could drive here from Basingstoke.
"I'm sorry," said the Superintendent Registrar, "We aren't doing weddings on Saturdays, we are working to rule"
"Right," I said," what about this date?" I gave him a Friday.
"Sorry, fully booked that day"
"Sorry, fully booked"
And so it went on. You have to give three weeks notice and everything after that was either the wrong shift for Mr M or fully booked at the Register Office.
"What about this week," I asked pointing at the Friday that was just four days away
"Well, If you wanted to do it by Special Licence, that would be fine. 3pm on Friday 19th June, That'll be £28 please."
I filled in the forms, gave her my decree nisi, paid the money and stepped out into the waiting room where BF was waiting.
"What date?" she asked, thinking of shopping trips for clothes and sending invitations
"Friday." I replied picking up her bag and marching her out onto the street
"Friday? This Friday? as in four days away?" this time it was BF who paused one, two "FRIDAAAY! How the h*ll are we going to do everything? Come on we have to get started"
To be continued.