Thankfulness – the Anniversary Edition

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 fashion scraphad, 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.)

cat_NEWI, 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!




  1. This was light and bright and beautiful and full of gorgeous things of Thankfulness. And humour and just…happy-spiritedness. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, Yvonne – thank you.

    Happy Anniversary (because of our American Friends, the hop doesn’t close until 8am our time on Monday, so it WILL still be going (technically) on your anniversary – yay!) I hope you both have a gorgeous day.

    You and your husband are both very talented, and I’m glad to hear you complement each other so well.

    1. Author

      So the anniversaries sort of coincide – that’s cool Lizzi!
      I just got some flowers – an orchid. Haven’t bought him anything yet, so I’ll have to go off and do that now.
      Thank you for your kind wishes and generous praise! Glad you enjoyed this.

  2. I love the hedgehog cake! I made a ferret cake for my son one time, after we saw a documentary about crazy ferret owners. I thought it turned out magnificently well.
    I also love your cat drawing. What talent, to be able to make a few lines on a piece of paper, and IT’S A CAT!
    And what sweet things you had to say about your dad and your husband. What a delightful post, Yvonne!

    1. Author

      Dyanne a ferret cake sounds amazing! I’ve made a few odd ones, but never a ferret.
      And thank you for all the sweet things you’ve said in your comment!

  3. Wow! I learned so much about you from this one post! A swanky fashion designer?! I enjoyed reading about the relationships between your husband and your dad and your kids. I am always impressed by techie folks. Take a computer apart?? If I encounter a problem with my computer, the only thing I know to do is turn the computer off then on again. After that, I’m lost.
    Happy anniversary!!

    1. Author

      Oh, I was swanky Christine! And penniless. I had gorgeous outfits and no food to eat! It’s a hard business to be in unless you’ve got a lot of confidence, which I didn’t have…
      And yes, I’m impressed by techie folks too – but you probably guessed that already!
      Thanks for your anniversary wishes!

  4. I am sorry about your Dad. My om died in January and it seems that I miss her more everyday. I made that hedgehog cake one year.

    1. Author

      Robbie, I am sorry for your loss. It is hard losing one of your parents. I can understand what you say about missing your mom more each day – although the intense grief I felt immediately after my dad’s death has eased, it’s almost as if the realisation that he’s gone and won’t be coming back takes longer to sink in. If I fight the sadness, it only gets worse, but it helps to allow it, and allow it to pass.

  5. Happy happy anniversary to you and your husband, Yvonne! One day, you’ll have to share the story about how you went from flatmates to dating, and what your other roommate felt about that development! The cakes you made are the reason I don’t bake. Mine would NEVER be that cool (I make a mean fajita though, so there’s that). I remember the beautiful post about your father – I think it was one of the first of yours that I’d read. I’m so glad your husband reminds you a bit of him and that they got along so well – that’s huge.
    Here’s to thankfulness and anniversaries!

    1. Author

      Thanks Kristi. We had a nice day.
      I have never made a fajita, so we’re even!
      And yes, it was great how well my husband got on with my dad.
      As for the story of how we got together… I almost shared it here, but then I wasn’t convinced it was that interesting.
      Thanks for your comment!

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