The Ten Things of Thankful blog hop is a year old. Happy birthday thankfulness. Of course, a birthday is an anniversary and guess what – it’s my wedding anniversary tomorrow. Nineteen years.
It’s compulsory at any celebration to have cake, so here are a few I made earlier:
I can even supply the recipe for one of them, the hedgehog cake.
Since it’s a double celebration, this post will be a mix-up of thankfulness for Ten Things of Thankful and for my husband.
Over 25 years ago, I was sharing a flat (apartment to my American friends) with another woman. There had been a third person in the flat, but he had gone to work on the other side of the world and we were looking for someone to take his place.
My flatmate was taking lessons at a flying club, and one day she came home said there was a guy at the club looking for a room. “You’ll like him,” she said. “He has a video and a microwave cooker.”
With that glowing recommendation, how could I say no? And yes, reader, I married him. (Just not right away.)
In those days, I was a fashion designer. I sold clothes to boutiques in London’s King’s Road, and almost made it into Harrods. But if I had, I probably wouldn’t be here writing blog posts about my wonderful husband, so aren’t you lucky Harrods said no in the end?
I probably wouldn’t even have met my husband, because I’d still be swanning around in silky dresses and saying, “Hello dahling!” to everyone I met.
Yeah, like I ever did that! But it is true that I was a fashion designer. I did make up the designs in the picture opposite, and I did sell clothes to swanky shops.
And one of the first things I did when my husband and I got together was to go through his clothes and chuck out the shirts and trousers that looked like they belonged to a man twice his age.
Now he’s twice his age, his daughters keep saying to him, “No, you cannot buy a Crombie coat. You’re too old.” Or: “I don’t care if Peter Capaldi looks cool in his Dr Martens – he’s Dr Who and you’re not.”
So he hasn’t reverted to the “middle-aged man at Marks and Spencers” look of his twenties. (Which is odd, now I think about it, because he does shop at Marks.)
Anyway, I’m so thankful for that. (You were wondering when I was ever going to get round to being thankful weren’t you? So was I. And now we know.)
I am thankful for this TToT anniversary, and it’s fun it coincides with ours (almost.) Over the year, I’ve stuck to the hop rules and made a list of ten things – ooh maybe once – but I do think it’s a cool concept to spread thankfulness across the internet. My first post for this hop was in July, and I did miss a few along the way, but I didn’t ever miss out feeling thankfulness. Often if I didn’t have time to join in, I’ve read posts instead.
These days I am a thankful person more often than not, but it wasn’t always so. I used to be a right grumpy-guts, a woman with a grudge. In those early days, that didn’t put my husband off. That’s something to be thankful for.
Ten Things of Thankful was one of the things that helped me during some hard, hard times last year. The third post I wrote for it was Thankful For My Father. At the time, we thought my dad had around 6 months left to live, but it turned out he had 9 days. That post formed the basis of a eulogy I read at the Service of Thanksgiving for his life. My mother chose to give the funeral that name, but it felt right to me too.
There are moments (like right now) when I still miss my dad so much, and focusing on thankfulness does help in those moments.
There’s a saying you marry your parents, and I’ll admit that people have pointed out my husband looks a bit like my dad did. Honestly though, who cares? Maybe if my dad had been a wife-beating thug it wouldn’t have been a great idea, but he wasn’t. Neither is my husband. They got on great together, so I am thankful for that. My husband loved coming up with ideas for Christmas presents for my dad, and his choices were generally appreciated. I’m thankful for that too.
They are – were – both generous, both in a material way and with their time. Our younger daughter came home today after a hiking expedition with the school, and she rang an hour before the finish to let me know when she’d be ready to be picked up. Five minutes later, my husband rang from his work – where he’d been since 6.30 this morning. When he heard our daughter would soon be done, he said he’d go get her. There was no point in him coming home and me then heading out. That’s what I mean by generous.
My husband is techie. I mean really techie. He can take computers apart and put them back together without having some random bit sitting on the desk afterwards. And he can actually fly a plane. (Which is just as well, since he does it for a living.)
I, on the other hand, am not techie. I can take a bit of paper and make some marks on it, and it can look like a cat. I can take other pieces of paper and make some marks on them, and then lay the pieces on fabric, cut round it them, and make beautiful garments. But sometimes I struggle to know which button to press on which remote to turn off the TV. (In my defence, we have at least 5 remotes!)
Fortunately, the combination of a techie dad and a non-techie mum means we have kids who can build Meccano beach buggies, understand physics and paint beautifully as well as sing like angels. (Their dad is proud of being one of only two people to be kicked out of his school choir. The other was his brother.)
It also means that when I stand baffled in front of the TV, there’s always someone around to hand me the correct remote.
And that’s something to be thankful for!