Thursday, March 31, 2011

Twenty Years

Apologies for the break in transmission, but I've been away. I've been here in fact:

And also here........

And here....... in Anguilla.

Enjoying a bit of adventure. One cliff we needed a rope to get down it.

And even had a gallop along some stunning beaches. I encountered a spoilt brat New Yorker, who, as soon as I was offered the middle horse in the picture said "Oh I wanted to ride the palomino, the riding instructor said I could, Oh please let ME have that horse." This was not addressed to me but to the groom & to my husband, who gallantly assured her that I didn't mind in the least, & would be happy to swap." (Grr)
This was my 20th wedding anniversary trip to Anguilla, this girl had been coming every year for 10 yrs (she was 16) & rides there regularly. Hey ho. So I got put on the little pony behind called Biscuit. At least she was very game & very fast (my horse, not the spoilt 16 yr old). My charitable self says that the girl genuinely wanted to ride the 'palomino' & (was used to getting her own way) it wasn't at all that she knew my horse kicked out at other horses, or liked nothing better than a good roll, whether or not she had a rider on her back.....

Yup I had a genuine West Indian pony. About 15 minutes in to the ride we were cantering along the shore & then veered off up to the softer sand up the beach. My horse immdiately knelt down (never had this happen to me before) & I just had time to get my feet out of the stirrups & jump off before she rolled over kicking her legs in the air. The Anguilla guide rode up to me & said

"Ah yes Biscuit jaas lov dee saaf white san. It cool her aaaf when she all sweaty."

Oh great. Thanks for telling me. I spent the rest of the ride determinedly riding through the water & avoiding the delicous Caribbean powder that my patriotic little pony adored so much.

So that was our trip. We had left our children (for the 1st time in 6 years) with my In-Laws in England (who ensured they had an absolute ball) & swanned off to the Caribbean for a week in the sun to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.

Still seems funny to say that; that I even KNOW someone who has been married 20 yrs, let alone that it is actually me.

We always joke that, when we met, my husband was a tea lady, which, strictly speaking, is true as he was working in an Isle of Wight tea shop between leaving Sandhurst & finding a job. I was just back from working in South Africa, & because of my involvement in the End Conscription Campaign, was very anti-military, very keen on going abroad again, whereas my husband wanted a dog & to live in the country. 20 years down the line, we've done the 'abroad' thing & looks like we're on our way to doing the 'dog & country' thing now. Amazing really that we got it together! But here we are 20 yrs on, having been through many job changes, unemployment, years of infertility & IVF treatments, 2 miracle children, mysterious illnesses, heart surgery for our daughter, nearly 6 years living in developing countries, & all the exigencies that brings with it, & now a move back to England.

What a roller coaster & what an adventure. But I am very grateful for the 20 years we've had together & hope for many more. My husband is incredibly stubborn, perfectionist, & a bit anal retentive. He works far too hard & he irritates the hell out of me sometimes. (And I do him of course, though much less frequently, because he's more tolerant...)

But he is also a man of faith & integrity; he is very patient, a fantastic father, & a helpful & supportive husband. He makes me laugh, he finds me funny, he gets angry at the same injustices as I do. In short he is still my best friend & I love him to bits. Even after 20 years, & even on our own without the children, we still never run out of things to discuss or talk about. And amazingly we still find out things about the other we didn't know, although that may well be because we 1st told each other so long ago & our 40-something brains are beginning to fail us, so we had forgotten.

And we had such a good time on holiday that he suggested we ought to mark our 25th Anniversary too, as that is an official 'landmark' anniversary. Why not, I say?

But in the meantime we need to sort the next stage of the adventure: Pack up, change jobs, move house, move country, send son to secondary school. It's all change once again in the Paradise Household.


nappy valley girl said...

Ahh..what a wonderful holiday that sounds and Happy Anniversary!

We have our 13th coming up - like you we met as youngsters and I also feel we've been through so many different phases of life together. Best of luck for the next 20 years! x

Expat mum said...

Wow, I was thinking what a long time that was, and then remembered that I've been married 20 years too. Sadly, we have no one to leave the kids with and it was just too much of a palaver to try to go somewhere. Didn't really bother me tho' ...until I saw your photos!

Iota said...

Lovely! Am very envious. We went to the Caribbean for our honeymoon, and said "we'll definitely come here for our 10th anniversary". Ah, the innocence of newly-weds who don't understand what it's like once you start breeding, and how that clips your wings.

Potty Mummy said...

Glad you had such a good time - it looks wonderful! We're coming up on our 10th this year - somehow I don't think we'll be heading off on quite such a fantastic trip (damn you recession, damn you!)

Eclipse said...

That's amazing. I hope one day I get to see 20years with someone. Good luck with the moves and everything!

Anonymous said...

How wonderful! You both thoroughly deserved your slice of paradise (even with spoit teenagers ruining the view!)