As regular readers will know Fay and I recently celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We didn't really know how to celebrate this milestone (not having done that before ...) but, in the end, we decided to go back to the place we spent our honeymoon. Not the same hotel - I don't think that exists any more - but the same part of the world.
I suppose the story starts back in early 1985, a few months before Fay's 18th birthday. We decided, without much fanfare, that we would get engaged on her 18th birthday and married on her 21st. Between mid 1985 and April 1988 we hardly talked about marriage at all but we hadn't forgotten.
In March or April 1988 (I forget which) I secretly organised a wedding for us. We both knew what we wanted - a quiet marriage with a minimum of fuss. And that included nobody from our respective families and no large party afterwards. On the first of May I asked Fay if she still wanted to marry me - the answer was 'yes' so I told her what plans I had made. Bradford Register Office three days later, 4.00pm.
At that point we still didn't have a ring but that was no problem, on the morning of the wedding we went and bought one - but the one Fay liked was a bit too small, hmmmm. After explaining the situation to the jeweller he agreed to try and stretch the patterned band of gold a tiny bit. But we had to go back at 3.00pm to collect it.
As the time approached we remembered that we needed two witnesses ... no problem, I'm sure these two passer's by wouldn't mind helping out for a short while. Luckily they agreed and our wedding went ahead without a hitch. Afterwards we adjourned to McDonalds and laughed quietly to ourselves about what we had done.
Our honeymoon was spent on the wonderful Gower Peninsula in south Wales. We were there five or six days touring the area and it's beautifully unspoilt beaches, coves and villages.
We realised we had to tell our families sooner or later so we arranged two trips and two bottles of champagne to help break the news. Of course some people were not happy that they had missed out on a wedding. Tough. It's our life ... we'll do it our way.
Twenty five years later the whole area is still an undiscovered gem of a place with many quiet beaches and bays which are absolutely stunning on the sunny days we were there.
PS ... all the best to the UK runners in Steenbergen at the weekend. Hope you all have a good one, and injury free.
PPS ... the same for William Sichel in a six day race he's running in Hungary (I believe Sharon Gayter will be there too).
PPPS ... also all the best to the other runners I know who are running in Steenbergen (Torill F, Sharon S, David K, etc).