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Curriculum Vitae Part 2 – The wedding

In the following summer we were married. He had to catch a train from Paris for that purpose. He told us it had been a matter of touch and go, of grabbing his case and jumping out of a taxi amidst rush hour traffic, flying through the station and just about making it as the train was beginning to move. There would have been no other train that evening. He wondered in later years what had made him so desperate ! Next morning he was refreshed after a good sleep – on the living-room settee as the future son-in-law – and could face the future. It was the registrar’s office on the Friday, the only act legally valid and indispensable for the church wedding on Saturday. Everything went well on Friday, and in the afternoon visitors started arriving who had been invited to attend the wedding at church. All my parents’ sleeping capacities were exhausted, and my father had booked accommodation for the English part of the family, including my newly-wed husband, in a hotel. I tried to protest, but was not heard, my father telling me that we could wait one more day now.

In the evening we took the English family to their hotel where it turned out, much to my father’s consternation, that the receptionist had made a mistake and forgotten to reserve a room for Steve ! The hotel was full. I nudged my husband, wondering what would happen. My father, undeterred, took us to the next hotel. Same story : no vacancies. There was no other hotel within easy reach. With a sigh of resignation he took us both back home, provoking great surprize on the part of my mother and much laughter from my sister and family.

We spent our wedding night on the living-room settee – it was just about solid and wide enough …

Nothing remarkable happened during the ceremony at church. After the wedding the vicar gave us a bible as a present, and a photograph was taken with my husband of all people holding this bible. He was slightly embarrassed and no doubt taken by surprize. It would not have happened otherwise.

We began our honeymoon fairly soon afterwards, travelling as far as Munich on the first day. There we could spend the night in my sister’s flat. They had a truly German, gigantic bed, with a mattress each and two sets of bedclothes side by side. We spent the night mainly in my side of the bed, my husband encroaching on my territory ever more, until eventually I fell out. I walked round the bed and got back in on the other side. In the morning Steve woke up with a start “where’s my wife ?” – but there she was, smiling sweetly at him from a different direction.

Once during the honeymoon I was thoroughly in tears. He had done something to me, I don’t remember what, and I had hardly enough handkerchieves. I like to talk about this little incident to any wives complaining about their husbands – I know quite a few – exemplifying the fact that there are two sides to everything, even to husbands, even on honeymoon, and that we have to accept this.