Last weekend Derek and I celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary. We decided to look for self-catering so that it was easier to social distance and we found a lovely cottage on Belfield Farm In Elgin, Boland (Western Cape – South Africa). You can see a lovely slide show of the farm here We had a wonderful weekend and were very careful about social distancing although we did go to two restaurants which were well ventilated and we kept our distance.
I have photos of the route we took, through a mountain pass and the little village we visited on our way back, and you will be able to view these in the following weeks on my Thursday travelogue.
We have known each other for 48 years.
The aim of this post is to speak of how long Derek and I have known each other. We were not childhood sweethearts from the beginning; quite the opposite. We went to the same junior school from the age of 9 and I, being a typical girl, had typical views on boys at that age. They were annoying, silly and childish. And what I said about Derek specifically was that he had a squeaky voice and knobbly knees. He remembers my mother giving him a lift home from school but I remember nothing of that. What I do remember was that when I was 11 he sat behind me in class and I was embarrassed that he could see my birthmark on the back of my head when I had 2 ponytails and so I started wearing my hair in one ponytail, but I think this said more about my growing self-consciousness as a young girl. I was also very aware of who came where in class: not to be too specific but I was definitely getting better marks than him. I was very proud of that fact at the time. This is very typical of young girls, I am told, and I promise I have changed.
We went to different high schools and only met again properly at youth group when we were 16. I was friends with many of the boys and thought nothing much of our friendship as we were both interested in other people. My initial opinion of him was that he was too hyperactive for me and I also had an incorrect assumption of him: I thought he must be very conceited as he had a lot of girls flocking around him. In later life he told me he wasn’t even aware of the girls. You might think he is just being tactful but I have found him to be a humble person.
So how did we fall in love?
He became my best friend and we talked about everything (and still do). We hiked, jogged, cycled and swam together all while we were seeing other people. We also studied for our final exams together. I eventually began to realize that he was the sort of person I wanted to spend my life with; that he was hard working, intelligent and kind. I taught him to play the guitar; he liked my art and I appreciated his practical and intellectual abilities.
He says I asked him out. I say he was just hearing what he wanted to hear because I was a very coy young girl. I think he is and was a very perceptive person and can tell what people are thinking and feeling. He is good at reading people’s intentions and so maybe it was “telepathy.”
I did unofficially propose to him.
Yes I did finally propose to him as we had been dating for 6 years and had spoken a lot about our future together. I eventually got tired of waiting and asked him when he thought we were actually going to get on with it and get married.
The problem had been that he was still studying but I pointed out that I was working and was happy to support him for his last 3 years. We had to live on a very small salary which had its challenges but we were very happy to be married; and still are happy. Of course you probably want to know about 34 years of marriage and how we survived because, to be realistic, life and marriage are not plain sailing but that is a long story for some other time. Just to say that we are happy to have invested time and effort into our relationship all the way. We feel that you should never stop working at relationships.
Have a wonderful weekend, take care.