Having had our first date on Valentines day 2003 and our engagement on the same day a year later we celebrate this as our “first” anniversary of the year always doing something special to mark the occasion.
For me it is always a time of looking back and remembering that first time when, as a nervous 53 year old and feeling like a 15 year old I phoned Ted and asked him if he would come out with me in the afternoon! We had already planned to have dinner out that evening for the “platonic” date I had agreed to!! Then, as the time drew near and we were seeing each other every week at church and speaking on the phone every evening, I found that I could not wait until the evening to see him!
We went to Arundel, an old and gloriously romantic little town five miles away from my home.
He picked me up in the old battered car he borrowed from his daughter! His was the simple life and trappings such as cars did not come into it at this time!
On the passenger seat for what I was still calling a “platonic” date, was a velvet red rose! That afternoon I did not notice the dirty dusty car. Crisps and crumbs and various discarded packaging were shoved under seats and hidden unsuccessfully in corners and crevices. The door handle swung freely and the mirror was held on by dirty blue tack, but it did not matter to me. All that captured my attention was this man who I had known for so long and liked but never considered in any other way but as a friend.
Suddenly, the fifty three year old woman who “only did platonic” was overwhelmed by a strange and unknown feeling.
At the car park we left the car and held hands as we walked up the hill and into the quaint and lovely little village of Arundel where all the shop windows were festooned with red heart shaped balloons and an Elvis impersonator crooned “Love me tender” outside the church. As I walked behind him to allow people coming down the narrow hill to get by, he did not let go of my hand but tucked it up behind his back. I think it was probably at that moment that I fell in love with him for the first of many times.
I wrote this poem that day and gave it to him as we sat by the fire in the crowded teashop “Belindas” where he struggled with a very crumbly Rock bun and I left him with a scroll wrapped in a red ribbon whilst I went off to reapply my lipstick!
The man with the silver guitar has touched the strings of my heart and I hear music
The man with the heart of gold has moved into my world
And filled my life with sunshine.
The trees are budding in winter
The birds are singing his songs
The middle years have become my beginning
And I am young again!