May the Fifth be with us
It was thirty-five years ago today that I asked Hilary to marry me. Actually the conversation had veered round to a number of our female acquantances who had recently become engaged to former students at University College, Durham ("Castlemen" - the college at that time was men-only). As I recall, I made a remark to the effect that if Hilary would like to consider herself engaged to a Castleman that would suit me fine. OKm so not down on one knee with a ring in a box, but then her response ("OK") wasn't exactly the stuff of Valentines either.
But here we are. We got married in September 1979, and we're still married. To each other. The scale of that achievement was only really brought home to me when I attended a school reunion a few weeks ago and was listening to pretty much all my old chums bemoaning the expense of their respective divorces. It hasn't all been plain sailing, of course not, and there have been times when things looked distinctly dodgy, but we're still together, and if not in the first flush of romance, at least still best friends.
This post would probably be more romantic if we weren't spending this weekend in different places. Hilary has taken advantage of the long weekend (Monday is a holiday here) to go up to the Ballater flat with her mother. I had commitments in Edinburgh (a hospital appointment and a rehearsal) so I'm sitting in our living room there thinking that if I don't get the housework done there may be no opportunity for a 36th anniversary post....
In the early days of our relationship we listened to Electric Light Orchestra a lot (Kenny Everett was a huge fan and played them all the time on his Capital Radio show). This one seems not inappropriate: Hilary introduced me to a lot of opera and I introduced her to a lot of rock. The subsequent convergence of our musical tastes is definitely some sort of metaphor for our relationship (let's not explore the possibilities of "dramatic" - or indeed "rocky" - in too much detail....).