It would have been my Nanny Joyce's birthday yesterday. Now this lady has a lot to answer for with regard to the things I love. Mainly...
1940's culture and music
She is also responsible for something quite momentous, which is the legal joining of the me and the husband.
From the moment the then-boyfriend and I met, we both agreed that marriage was never going to be on the cards for us. Having been bitten quite sharply in the marriage department before, it didn't seem important, so we pottered on as we were for some years. The only problem was deciding what to call him, as at 38, I wasn't comfortable calling him my boyfriend. Presenting him as my lover made the kids pull that face where they stick their fingers down their throat, and partner made it sound like we ran a business together. In the end I went with 'fella', which had a sort of 1960's trendy feel about it.
Fast forward a few years, and the then-boyfriend decided that he wanted to marry me. I was reluctant, but after three years of sporadic proposals and gentle refusals, one day I had an epiphany. I loved this man, and marrying him would make the family we'd created between us official. But he'd stopped asking by then, fed up of being turned down, so I decided that I would give him till the end of the summer. If he hadn't plucked up the courage to ask again, then I would ask him.
Some weeks later, we were at a family party, and the then-boyfriend and I were sitting with Nanny Joyce on a warm Saturday evening, chatting about everything and nothing. Nanny Joyce, who had a soft spot for him, asked the then-boyfriend why he bothered with me as I must be mad not to 'snap him up'.
He smiled at her, and said, 'Watch this Nanny'.
Turning to me, he said, ' For the millionth time, will you please marry me?' He then said to Nanny Joyce, 'See what I have to put up with?'
Taking his hand, I said, 'Yes. I would love to marry you'.
His face still had that 'I told you so' look on it, and the shock was so huge that he couldn't say a word.
Having recovered slightly, he jokingly (I hope) said that he never in a million years expected me to say yes. But I had, so the children were told. When we go them together and said we had big news for them, daughter number one thought I was pregnant, son number one thought we'd won the lottery, daughter number two also thought I was pregnant whereas son number two thought the guinea pig was pregnant.
So today is the first of our two wedding anniversaries. We are celebrating ten years of marriage which might never have happened if Nanny Joyce hadn't stuck her proverbial oar in.
Like I said, she has a lot to answer for...