Anniversary

What a week! It started with our 40th wedding anniversary. It defies my imagination. Where has the time gone. And how did it happen?

That was us then.

Can you spot the difference.

We went, at the invitation of our good friends Jackie and John, to the Parador in Monforte. For anyone who doesn’t know Paradors are state owned hotels build in historic buildings they are normally amazing, not only historically through sympathetic restauration, but in terms of service. It was a lovely day I think that we all enjoyed it.

The day didn’t start in quite such a refined cultural way. At seven o- clock that morning all the clothes that I own were on the bed. Every single thing had been ruled out as a possible outfit to wear for such a special lunch. I dug out my make-up bag and found two lipsticks, one purple and one bright red, not previously thrown out only because the colours were so hideous that they hadn’t been used, The puzzling question was why were they ever bought? There was a tub of foundation which belongs in a museum it is so old, and one worn out blue and silver eyeshadow and that was it.

Why, I thought to myself is there so little, Then I remembered watching a you tube video on the dangers of wearing out of date make/up and throwing everything away because it was all ten years out of date at least. (I don’t go out often enough). So another moment of panic, until I remembered that I would be wearing a mask. What a relief, as long as I could find one that matches my outfit, I’d be fine.

Then I remembered the outfit problem. My only unpatched trousers were stretchy jeans, that left me with one skirt and one dress. Next problem was no shoes. I have shoes, trainers, gardening clogs and brown suede brogues that go with jeans. I looked at the jeans and shook my head, no, I couldn’t. I lay down on my wardrobe floor hoping for a pair of forgotten sandals, even though at the back of my mind there lurked a memory of me throwing them away because the strap had broken. For some moments I contemplated just staying where I was, on the floor and blaming Covid 19.

I did find a pair of green ballet pumps, covered in dust, and pulled them out and looked at them critically, as shoes they were promising, but green doesn’t match either lilac (dress) or black and white (skirt.) Then I had one of my brighter ideas, green shoes -purple lipstick and an hour later I had a pair of shoes that matched the dress.

All that I had left to do was to squeeze into the dress, I am, to quote Alexander McCall Smith, traditionally built and the lock-down had only emphasised the traditional aspect. The only solution was to lie back down on the wardrobe floor and breath in, we came close to being late and I thought that I might have to content myself with photographing the food and not eating it, in order to protect the flimsy zip on the silk dress.

It was appropriate that I had outfit problems, because on my wedding day, my dress and shoes had been bought by mum, neither fitted, neither looked good. My hair was done by the girl down the road because she knew about long hair and the bun she created had fallen out an hour before the wedding. I walked down the isle in tennis pumps with a pack of hairpins in my dress pocket, the dress’s one good feature was a pocket. No I know, not a normal feature in a wedding dress.

So you see, things don’t change that much. The rest of the day, much like that day forty years ago, turned out to be wonderfully memorable.

And my feet will probably always be purple.

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