Today is a very important day. It’s the day the terracotta army was uncovered in China in 1974, for instance. Did you know it’s also the day Queen Victoria opened the Royal Albert Hall in 1871? The Battle of Towton made Edward of York into King Edward IV on this day in 1461. As well as all that, it is (in Christianity, at least) Good Friday, a day which had huge psychological value for me as a child (I was a very weird kid.) It’s a day off work here in Ireland. It’s a day when people tend to go off the rails with drink, which they’ve purchased on Holy Thursday because the sale of alcohol is illegal on Good Friday in this country, and all the pubs are shut. It’s a day when people of my parents’ generation observe a day of fasting, and when they feel free to grumble to anyone who’ll listen that ‘a day without stuffin’ yerself never did me any harm, and it’ll do you no harm either.’
Today is all of those things. It’s also my wedding anniversary.
We’re having (as I’ve mentioned!) a very cold March here, but the year we got married the sun split the sky. Our wedding guests wore sunglasses, and at least one person had to make an emergency dash to the chemist’s to pick up an economy-sized bottle of sun lotion. It helped everyone (including the bride and groom!) to have a wonderful day. I’ll never forget the sight of half our wedding party sitting out on the sun terrace of the hotel, enjoying some drinks and snacks, as well as friendly banter, al fresco. In March. In Ireland. It was quite something.
Of course, Easter being a moveable feast, our wedding didn’t coincide with Good Friday (or Holy Thursday, as it would’ve been) the year we got married. That would’ve been no fun at all. We’d have had to get married in a cavernous, dark, empty church, and there’d have been no priest there because we couldn’t have had Mass. We might have got away with having a proper wedding reception (and by ‘proper’, of course, I mean ‘one at which alcohol was served’, because that’s usually all that matters to an Irish crowd). But, overall, it would have been a weird day.
We chose March 29 as our wedding day because the first day we met was on March 28 – at another wedding. My husband and I had always had friends in common, but we’d never managed to actually meet one another until two of those mutual friends decided to get married. So, at that momentous gathering, we finally got to run into one another, after years of wondering if our friends were ever going to introduce us. It wasn’t quite ‘and the rest is history’; it took us a little while to get our act together. But in any case, when it came time for us to consider our own wedding, we didn’t want to hijack our friends’ day of March 28, so we went for the next best thing.
I feel very lucky and blessed in my husband; he is a wonderful and kind man, and the best husband anyone could wish for. Today is a day to remember that we have a lot to be thankful for, as a couple and as a family unit, not least of which is the fact that we have a huge group of friends and family who love and support us. I know I am a lucky woman to have such good memories of my wedding day, when everything (including the weather) was perfect, and when so many people took the time to spend our special day with us. Those memories, filled with sunshine and laughter, help to remind me – and my husband, too – of how wonderful a thing it is to be surrounded with love, and how grateful we should always be for it.
Happy Friday – and I hope it’s the start of a wonderful weekend for you all.