I have a vague idea I should write something about marriage.

The reason is that today (well at 3 o’clock this afternoon) I will have been married for 15 years.

Also it is Week 3 – see Keeping Clean Sheets if you don’t understand that reference- and so I am employing as many avoiding tactics as I can. I have done three fifths of Week 3 and have re-jigged it a bit so I no longer have the family/ scuss bathroom to do- poor Week Two is the down hearted recipient- but still major avoiding needed. The Kitchen Diner is left…need I say more?

The downstairs loo is leaking again. The number pad on my PC keyboard has stopped working. I have the mother of all weeks meetings/ helping at school/ parents evening/ ferrying/ school concerts wise. And so feel like taking this morning easy before I leave the house at 1pm and do not return except to briefly stuff sandwiches into kids until gone 9pm. My ‘working’ day, always a bit odd.

And anyway Christmas is arriving after a flurry of on-line activity yesterday and I do not want to miss a courier whom I have accidentally drowned out by over zealous vacuuming.

So there we have it I thought a quick post avoiding the use of as many numbers as possible would be the order of the day. And as today is my wedding anniversary it seems like as good a topic as any. Although it involves, already, too many numerals.

I have started this entry and discovered that since I last wrote Wordpress, my lovely blog host, have decided to change everything. I cannot find buttons. I no longer appear to be able to link to my other entries in a logical way. The Save button has mysteriously disappeared. I don’t need this in Week Three, I really don’t. Don’t they know I have been married for 15 (arghh) years today?

As you may have gathered we are not doing anything special today, despite its significance. Well I am having bacon on cheesy rolls for lunch but otherwise, no.  At about 5.30am husband used the assistive light on his phone to blind me and also deposit a wrapped article on the bed. I tried unsuccessfully to fumble under my bedside table for his gift and card. He told me to leave it until later. He has probably forgotten that there won’t be a later. He ordered me to get more sleep (probably the most romantic thing he will say to me all day- in fact one of the few things he will say to me at all today) which I tried to do. It was difficult with burning retinas.

In any event that present isn’t up to a great deal. I am far beyond those times when I spent every available lunch hour devising, planning and purchasing a perfect gift for each anniversary (and birthday and Christmas). The present was purloined off his Christmas list which I only extracted from him on Saturday morning. And so although Youngest and I tried to find something more inspired between football matches and rain showers in town we failed. Fifteen years is crystal. We have enough tumblers. And what would a grown man do with a small glass animal? And in any event my mind is too full of what to buy small people for Christmas and what other people can buy my small people for Christmas and what I should buy the teachers for Christmas and what I would like other people to buy me for Christmas…. perhaps more time? It is like this every year and led me once to forget our anniversary completely. I was that ‘buying flowers in a petrol station’ cliché. My tip is not to get married in November.

Anyway back to this morning. Once the alarm went off a mere half an hour later I struggled blindly through my minimal ablutions and then took a pause to open his gift and card before rousing the kids. Do not fret dear reader my retinas are recovered. I always struggle blindly through my morning ablutions in a kind of denial. About morning. About the day to come. About, well everything really. I do not usually leave this ‘denial’ phase until the caffeine from my first cuppa has kicked in.

The gift was lovely. A pair of earrings and a necklace. Some sparkle. I love a bit of sparkle. Oddly for someone so un-girly. We recently went to the V&A in London just to do the jewellery section. It was darkly lit with everything on black velvet and looked simply stunning. Although come to think of it my retinas did hurt a bit then too…

I put the earrings in. This took longer than it should as the holes have partly closed up as I haven’t worn such adornment since around  2004 (or blank blank blank blank as my duff keyboard would have it). Which does, not unco-incidentally, co-incide with the birth of Eldest.

Not one of my children liked the earrings. It is just the shock I think. They will come round. My new hair cut (which my mother does not appear to have noticed, or if she has noticed she does not approve of enough to say anything, either is worrying) apparently calls out for earrings according to my good friend. And maybe, judging by today’s gift, silently husband.

Just so you know I have now found the Save button. But not the Review button. I shall keep going and also keep you posted. But hopefully not this entry. It is too soon for it to be posted. As I haven’t reviewed it yet. I digress.

All this anniversary guff meant we were behind schedule. The kids gasped at the clock. Corners were cut. It is likely Eldest will have to swim in Speedos out of the Lost Property basket. Is there any fate worse?

I shouted instructions through the open window of my friend’s car as she pulled out of our drive. ‘Find out your cello lesson’, ‘Don’t forget to find your snack pot’, ‘Get out quick tonight so I can get to my meeting’, ‘Please remind me you need hike boots for Cubs’, ‘For god sake do not let me forget piano again’, ‘Eat a hot school lunch it is only packed tea tonight’. Etc. Etc.

I retreated indoors to the carnage left from the morning and the relative peace. I retrieved that gift from under my bedside table and put it in the grubby Kitchen Diner where hopefully husband will see it when he returns from Cub pick up much much later tonight. I will find out if he likes it when I get in from my last meeting at circa 9.30pm. It does not have much sparkle. I do feel slightly out done gift wise. It is not as bad as on our first anniversary when he bought me a diamond eternity ring and I got him a….magazine subscription. In my defence the first anniversary is paper.

Somehow this post has got quite long and yet I have said hardly anything about the nature of marriage. Or have I?

15 years ago I walked up the aisle- well a corridor made by two sets of chairs we didn’t do the church thing- to start on this road of married life.

To begin with the road was a flower bordered bucolic path meandering through fields and by river banks. We idled along hand in hand taking in the view. Revelling in its beauties. We took long metaphoric picnic lunches and the sun shone.

Over time the road has changed beyond all recognition. It now feels more like a motorway whizzing along at breath taking speed. I do not know when this happened. When the route morphed from footpath to bridleway to A road to six lane monster.

At times it has felt like two parallel carriageways with far too few shared service stations . It can be full of pot holes and road works. Nearly constantly it is crowded by other travellers getting in the way and driving recklessly with no regard for the rules. I am not always a good driver. I go too fast or do not look in the mirror enough. I get road rage and shout at the sat nav. Sometimes I know where this road is headed but often I need a map.

But at the heart of it all there is that other person racing along too. Providing solidarity. And earrings.

Glad its you Andy.