Wednesday, 6 July 2011

"For richer, for poorer, for better, for worse..."

I dedicate this blog post to my wonderful and very much loved husband, Nigel. (Just so that you know....he’s the big bearded one by the way. Many thanks also to Phil, IdahoDad, and his family for the top photo who all stayed with us recently.)

Today is our tenth wedding anniversary. We have been together for eleven marvellous years now.  Hurrah! euge! Nigel hates being talked about (and much less written about) but on this occasion he is just going to have to lump it...(!)

I’ve written other posts before about how we met through our mutual love of scuba diving at his dive centre, Easy Divers, in Hurghada, Red Sea, Egypt. If you want to know more about all of that please click here.

I’ve also recounted how I left my City banking days behind me to go and live in Egypt with him.
 The funny thing was that I felt as if I had known him forever when I first met him when I went out diving with Clidive (our London scuba diving club) back in May/June 2000. He took me for my first dive in the Red Sea determined to show me where the sea horses lived on the House Reef. I can still remember that day now...those images are vividly burned into my memory banks.

I really loved living in Egypt and setting up home with him. He had two dogs when I met him and we managed to add another one, Snowy, to our collection during our next three years there together. There is an amazing amount I could tell you about those days in Egypt but I’ll save that for other occasions.  (Coming from a seaside town I loved the fact that we were living our lives on and off boats, beside quays and marinas...but then again, mind you, the ambient temperature was slightly different – both in and out of the water!)

We got married a year after we met in Colchester in 2001. We have no family connections there (which will fox family historians in later years), nevertheless, we were looking for a place to which we could invite family and friends from around the country and from abroad, plus enjoy some superb food and splendid scenery in the process. (Indeed I think that Nigel was exceedingly clever to arrange the wedding at Colchester considering my later all consuming obsession with the Romans!!) He undertook the planning and organisation for the wedding, the reception, the guests, the flowers and the photographer for the big day, itself, as I was determined to be my usual tomboy self almost eschewing any involvement. Nevertheless, as usual, Nigel’s fabulous organising and planning skills paid off because the whole thing rolled out like a dream. Tears are coming to my eyes just thinking about it all. Those precious days were to be indescribable!

We stayed at the beautiful Dedham Hall / Fountain House in nearby Dedham (which runs residential art courses in Constable Country). We got married in Colchester Registry Office followed by the mouth wateringly sumptious Le Talbooth restaurant in Dedham for the ‘wedding breakfast’ with a family and friends. The main wedding bash took place the next day at a pub in Harwich called ‘The Pier ’ (all these establishments are/were owned by the same family) which flowed through into the evening at Milsoms Pub/Hotel back at our main base in Dedham. Thus the party went on for three, no, four days... Luckily, throughout all of this, we were blessed by exceedingly fine weather.

Over the course of our ten/eleven years together we added to the dive centres in Hurghada and Safaga...with Easy Divers ultimately moving to the Hilton Plaza in Hurghada. In 2003 once we started to have children we gradually moved away from the scuba diving business to settle in the heart of Hadrian’s Wall Country to build up our B&B business, Four Wynds, from scratch. We brought our three Egyptian dogs over (via Holland and France) to end up with the ever so loyal ED (please note the initials). 

 So, over the following 8 years we have gradually accumulated:  1 B&B business, 2 houses, 2 gardens, 2 sheds, 1 set of outhouses, 1 greenhouse, 2 BBQs (one overgrown), 2 children, 1 dog, 2 cars, innumerable fantastic memories, a splendid amount of happy and satisfied guests (from scuba divers, snorkellers, to walkers, cyclists, families, et al), certificates from various courses attended, 2 undiminished senses of humour and a great deal more. . .

Q: Are we happy? And more to the point – are we still happy together?  A: We are over the moon to still be together after all these years and are looking forward to being together for many, many, many years to come. We understand each other inside and out so those oft-quoted words “for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse” still hold true.

 No doubt there will be many more delights and challenges to come (and by ‘eck have we seen a few of those over the last few years...!!!!  A firm nod in the direction of the banks and the economy...), nevertheless, we rejoice in ourselves, our marriage, our resilience, our incredible children, and the whole flippin’ caboodle.  

I’ll finish, if I may, with some lyrics from the Eagles’song ‘Hotel California’ which we both love:

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
“Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
’this could be heaven or this could be hell’
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say...

Welcome to the hotel california
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the hotel california
Any time of year, you can find it here”

I have a wry smile on my face as I read these words and the rest as so many lines do resonate with us plus the fact that it mentions a hotel. The meaning of the song has long been argued over but we’re sticking to the fact that, no matter what, it is a great tune! How often have we all sung along to it in our car on our way somewhere...?

I also nominate “Local Hero”, starring Burt Lancaster alongside a galaxy of superb British actors, to be the film to represent our union as it contains all the elements which run and have run through our lives: running a small business;  a hotel, finance, families, marine life, scuba  diving, seals, ‘mermaids’, astronomy  (those big, open, unpolluted skies – wow!);  adapting to life in a small community (the marvels and eccentricities thereof); the threat of big business potentially overturning everything inside one minute ; having lots of money versus having less and being happy to ‘just be’; a super duper storyline; some fab music; some mind blowing scenery...........What more could we ask for?


Heather Athey said...

Lovely post. Happy Anniversary!

Nota Bene said...

Congratulations! Lovely post.

henlegs said...

Happy anniversary from a wild hadrians wall lass now living in the Netherlanda. I so miss the wall and all of the surrounding beautiful countryside.

Mac n' Janet said...

Happy anniversary, hope you have many more!

the fly in the web said...

Happy anniversary...and many more to come.
Ad multos annos...even if you're not (yet) the Pope!
Lovely post.

Sophie Keates-Gazey said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing those lovely memories, and *congratulations* on your anniversary!

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thank all so much for your super comments. (Welcome, henlegs, I'll pop over to yours soon!)

It was an enjoyable day yesterday despite the rain...even the rain added to it all in a way. The children made us a card and a present. More great memories to treasure. :)

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Henlegs...just realised you don't have a blog! Thanks for following me on Twitter and I've done the same likewise. We have lots of friends in Holland...but yes, the scenery is very different there compared to here! Hope you have the time to pop across on the ferry from time to time.... :)

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Another point which I meant to mention in the blog post is that we had lunch once or twice at The George Hotel in Colchester. In the cellar (as seen on Time Team!) you can see the burnt archaeological layers where Boudicca once burnt down Colchester...

Suburbia said...

Happy Anniversary :-)

Jeneane said...

What a heady romance - and those seahorses: what sublime foreplay!
Happy Anniversary to you both.
By the way the over-grown barbecue sounds like it ought to have a place in Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden...
May the years ahead be as good as those that have been, with best wishes from Jeneane

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Many thanks, Suburbia and Jeneane. :)

Maggie May said...

Hope you had a lovely, Happy Anniversary.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Fiona said...

Just catching up with blogs so sorry for being late! Happy Anniversary. Super post!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thank you, Maggie and Fiona. I'm off to Maryport tomorrow so will report back from there if all goes to plan! :)

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Haven't looked in for a while Hadriana but so glad I did today. Hope I am not too late to wish you and Nigel a very happy 10th anniversary. So many memories so lovingly related made me feel quite emotional. Here's to many, many more years together. A x

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thank you so much, SJA. Thanks for popping by again. The way you have written that has made me emotional again now... always good to re-live and live very happy memories.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Sometimes people don't realise how lucky they are until it is too late. It's nice to see that you realise your good fortune and the happiness you have found with Nigel. Here's to the next twenty years! Cheers!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi YP! Long time no hear. Many thanks for popping by....yes...I realise my good fortune well and truly. You've hit the nail on the head! Yes - here's to the next twenty years and more. Cheers! :)

Tacitus2 said...

Felicitas, kids.

Tim Wolter

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Tacite, tibi gratias agimus!

Tacitus, we thank you! :)

Lynne said...

A beautiful post. Happy belated Anniversary.
Agree about Local Hero, a great film.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thanks Lynne! :)