When We Had More Hair..

Posted: September 6, 2009 in Back when we had more hair...
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cec477bbc5396f6e3fa5a23aa73d50e22…The Twelve Year Anniversary Edition

“A husband is what is left of a lover, after the nerve has been extracted.”

Helen Rowland: A Guide to Men (1922)


It’s Sunday morning, 6.00am, Belgian time.  Twelve years ago it was Saturday morning, 6.00am, Irish time, with a low Atlantic mist comfortably settled on the grounds of our chosen castle.  There, six hours later, The Drummer and I would glide ceremoniously into the next phase of our lives together.  Suckers truly are born every minute.

Symb07It wasn’t the most conventional of weddings. Our cake was flat and black, in the form of the Celtic Triskele.  The Celts believed that the essence of life was tripartite; earth, water, sky; past, present, future; birth, death, rebirth; sun, energy, motion.  Looking back now, I think we were both just raving, hippy fruitcakes who preferred sponge.

The Drummer had recently returned from touring in Japan where he had been presented with the ‘traditional’ Japanese bride and groom wedding cake figures, representing the whole “until death do us part” thing.  The perplexed guests snapped more photos of our ‘Death Cake’ than us and Great-Aunt Maud was so visibly shaken, that we had the Red Cross ambulance service on stand-by for the rest of the night.


It was a crazy day of love and laughter, music, dancing, camaraderie and excessive alcohol consumption.  The omens looked good for the future.

So came the Anniversaries.  The closest we ever got to exchanging the customary ‘by year’ gifts was on our 1st Anniversary when I taught the Drummer how to change a toilet-paper roll in the bathroom.  It was a seminal moment in our relationship and probably the last time we have actually been together to celebrate this day.

Even as I write, I is here and he is rehearsing in Dublin, (back tomorrow). But that’s OK.  After twenty-one years of being in love with the same person, it’s not about the fake ‘Hallmark’ phrasing in a hastily chosen card or the tension that comes with a wrongly chosen gift.  It’s all about waking up again tomorrow, in the same bed, with the same person, grafting out the daily, repetitive routines and trying to make it work for both of you.  It’s about finding the ‘common ground’ in which to live, so that you don’t impale him with a skewer in the ear when he mixes his coloureds with the whites and he won’t plunge your head down the toilet when you transform into ‘Were-Mama’ with every full moon.  It’s about being able to argue ferociously and love ferociously in turn.

So, I’m keeping my gifts simple for tomorrow:

  • Have sewn on two missing buttons from that white shirt which he loves; (not the same buttons, but chances of him noticing are slim).
  • His gift to me of the fascinating “Puppetry of the Penis” book two years ago will be reciprocated by my surprise find of  “The Ancient Art of Labia Pleating”. Now we can both find solace during those long weeks of absence.
  • A T-Shirt printed with “My Dad Is A Rock Star!” from the kids, because he is.  To them.
  • For one night only, I will refrain from bitching about…anything.

As an extra bonus, I am including this image of us in all our insanity, taken on this day 12 years ago.  For some bizarre reason, it formed part of a series of portraits taken about the city in which we lived, the whole of which later became a book.  Probably well out of print by now.  My Mother hates this picture.


And although I do kind of feel as though I looked like something out of a 1980’s John Landis horror flick, this one somehow sums up that day for me. Plus, both of us had more hair. Lots.

Happy Anniversary, dear Drummer.

Happy Birthday too, babe.  xx


  1. Ken Kendall says:

    What a great post on love. I just started my own blog about marriage and men loving their wives. I would love to hear your comments and feedback if you have the time.



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