To my wife, my friend, my love, and currently my bubble-buddy.
Happy birthday, wonderful girl.
To my wife, my friend, my love, and currently my bubble-buddy.
Happy birthday, wonderful girl.
On this day back in 1985 Mrs Tin (or Miss Not-tin, as she then was) and I got married.
It was the Saturday before Live Aid, that’s how far back it was.
We were basically children. I was twenty-seven, while Mrs Tin was just twenty-two, younger than any of our own children are now.
But that was what you did back then. There was no living-in-sin – and at that time it was still called living-in-sin – so if you’d been going out together a few years and decided that you were in love, you got a ring, you got a mortgage, and you got married.
Plus life-expectancy was about forty-eight, so it didn’t do to hang about.
And here we are, thirty-five years later, still together, still in our same first house, and still in love.
Google tells me that this is our Coral Anniversary. I have no idea what to do with this information. Google also tells me that corals form reefs, which I already knew, and that they breed by ‘broadcast spawning’, which I did not. Perhaps it’s intended to give us something to talk about during our long day together.
Because we will be spending it together. Although lockdown is theoretically over, I’m still being urged to work from home, so today will be the one hundred and fifteenth consecutive day on which we have spent all day together.
If ever you want to test a relationship, that must surely be how.
And it has gone brilliantly. In the first place we get to sleep for two hours longer each morning now that I don’t have to get the bus into Dublin, but in addition we go for a walk together every day, we watch crap together on the telly each evening and we’ve been having a wonderful, calmer, more joyful time.
Young and all as we were, it looks like we made the right decision all those years ago.
Happy Anniversary Mrs Tin, wife, lover and soulmate.
The above was the prompt at our Inksplinters Writing Group last week, and this post is based on what I wrote for it…
I dreamed last night that we were married, that we’d moved on to the next stage, moved on from deep infatuation, and finishing each others sentences, and going to the pictures no matter what shite was on, just so we could snog in the dark.
I dreamed that we’d moved on from feeling that we were soulmates, and being able to use the word “soulmates” to our friends without being mortified at how sickeningly sweet we sounded, the romantic equivalent of sixteen sugars in your tea. I dreamed that we’d moved on from long phone-calls about nothing, calls that ended, eventually, after a long round of “you hang up”, “no, you hang up”. I dreamed that we’d moved on from Valentine cards the size of front doors, from sudden kisses on the cheek for no reason, from you practising writing my surname after your first name, and me pretending that I didn’t know you’d done it.
I dreamed that we’d moved on from dreaming about being married, to being married.
I dreamed that we’d no money, struggling with a mortgage on a house thrown together by a cowboy during the building boom, a house built from Weetabix held together with snot, a house that leaked rain inwards and heat outwards, a house that always needed some shit done to its roof, or some shit done to its gutters, or some shit taken from its drains.
I dreamed that we bickered in this stressful place, that we found our own selves in a stressful place, that we squabbled over the telly, and why could I not give up cigarettes, and why it was the most important thing on earth, more important than world peace, or the rain forests, or global warming, that the toilet seat be left down.
And I woke, and looked at you, asleep beside me, and realised that it hadn’t been a dream, that we had indeed married, and bickered, and squabbled. That we had fought together, so many times.
But that sentence has two meanings. We have fought together, you and I against the world, and against everything that life could throw at us, and we’ve generally won.
And we have laughed together, so, so many times, and still do. And we do still give sudden kisses on the cheek for no reason. And we do still finish each others sentences, indeed increasingly over time we start them, one of us saying something just as the other person is thinking it. We’ve stayed as soulmates, though we’re too grown-up now to say that in public.
We moved on from dreaming of being married, to being married. And it’s been great.
Oh, and today is our Wedding Anniversary, celebrating 32 years of being married to my soulmate, the one-and-only, wonderful Mrs Tin.
Mrs Tin doesn’t like being mentioned in these annals, and would certainly hate it if I told you all that she was in hospital this week having an operation.
So I won’t.
An unspecified member of my family has been in hospital this week, having an operation. All went really well, she came home yesterday and life in the Tinhouse has returned to normal.
Except, of course, that the cooking is being done by me, so expect further bulletins about the hospitalisation of Tinfamily members in the coming days.
Anyway, although she rarely appears here I know that she is very popular with you all, so I just thought I’d let you know that she is well.
Just don’t tell her I told you.
Mrs Tin doesn’t like being mentioned here.
So I won’t.
She also doesn’t like making any fuss over her birthday.
So I won’t.
I’ll just say this.
The Tinhouse is bereft of women this week, as Mrs Tin and Tingirl have gone to London. They intend to indulge in mother-daughter bonding, visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum (Tingirl is a firm fan) and shop, According to an email I got from Tingirl they have already been to a “beetles exhibition”, by which I don’t think she meant something about insects.
The main purpose of the trip, though, is to visit the Globe Theatre, since Tingirl is so consumed by acting and intends to try to pursue it as a career.
They are going tonight to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream, firstly because, well, it’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Secondly they picked that because the School Musical this year was All Shook Up, which is built of course around Elvis songs, but apparently it uses A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a framework upon which to build it.
This may be why it’s better than Mamma Mia, which is built around Abba songs, but apparently upon a framework of the actors saying whatever comes into their heads next.
The girls bought the tickets online. We have all bought stuff online, and are used to filling in the little drop-down box that asks if we are Mr, Mrs or Ms. Slightly posher websites may also concede that some of us might like to be referred to as “Dr” (I haven‘t seen one that that offers the option “Bgr” for blogger, though looking at the abbreviation, it’s probably just as well).
Buy tickets for the Globe, though, and you are offered these choices:
We chickened out of Princess, but I hope that Air Commodore Tingirl has a super time.
As part of her birthday present (as well as the iron) Mrs Tin and I are in Enniscorthy for the weekend. The Irish readers among you may feel surprised by this, as Enniscorthy is not often mentioned in the same sentence as, say, Paris, unless that sentence is “Enniscorthy is nothing like Paris”.
It’s a small town, but we’re hoping that it will be fun, filled with old pubs and interesting shops, or vice versa.
And the hotel is lovely, which is the main reason I picked it (the other was that we could be there in under an hour). It has a swimming pool, which will compensate for my missing my morning weekend swims in the sea (which may be soon taking a seasonal break anyway, since it’s starting to get a bit nippy). I’ve shied away from swimming in pools since my operations, but have decided to go for it this weekend, lending myself street cred with my three chest scars and my tattoo. People are going to think that I’ve survived a vicious knife fight at sometime in my past, which may come in handy if I arrive at the breakfast buffet at the same time as someone else and there’s only one croissant.
I am also, for the first time ever, going to use a gym. I do get exercise, I have weights, I do press-ups and sit-ups and Tinson1 has a bar at the top of his door on which I do pull-ups, and of course I do swim, but I have never before rowed a boat that isn’t in the water, or trudged along a treadmill going nowhere, unless that’s a metaphor for office life.
Neither have I ever cycled a bicycle that’s up on blocks. I can’t help feeling that it’s a waste of energy that could be utilised in some way.
If they connected me up to the bike it might charge my pacemaker.
Be vewy, vewy quiet.
Mrs Tin does not like to feature on this blog.
Mrs Tin does not like a fuss being made about her birthday.
Mrs Tin certainly would not like anyone to know her age.
So this post has never been written, if she ever asks.
But today is a special birthday, for a very special girl.
Happy birthday, Mrs Tin xx
As Jane Austen almost said, “It is a truth universally occasionally acknowledged, that a marrried man in possession of a good wife, must be in want of a card”.
I went to the card shop near our house yesterday evening, and emerged defeated. Had Mrs Tin been a child of any age from 1 to 12, had she been 18, 21, 30, 50 or 107 I would have been able to buy her a birthday card.
Had her name been Anne, Sophie, or Mutter (unlikely but you never know, perhaps her parents spoke quietly at the Christening), I would have been able to get her a birthday card.
It is not, in fact, her birthday, but at least I would have had options.
This is clearly Wedding Season, as there was a huge array of really expensive cards congratulating happy couples. These range in size from ones the size of a protest placard to the ones the size of that board that Rolf Harris can get a tune out of, and seem to say “ok, we only bought you a toaster while your other friends bought you a car, but look at the size of our card compared to theirs”.
There are cards about the fact that you are sick, that you are moving home, or that you’ve got a new job. Each of these cards is basically glad that you are pissing off out of the giver’s life.
And so the list goes on. With Sympathy On The Death Of Your Goldfish. Congatulations On Running Off With The Milkman. I’m Sorry That You Became A Blogger.
As regards something as simple as a Wedding Anniversary, then unless it’s a Ruby, Diamond, Platinum or Uranium one then they seem to feel that there just isn’t a market.
In the end I went to the small grocery shop across the road, and chose a card from their selection of, well, one. It has two little birds on the front, because, as Jane says, it is a truth blah, blah, that a couple who are married will transmogrify into cute teddy bears, or puppies, or in this case what look like kingfishers.
I took the card. I didn’t look at the verse inside, for all I cared at that stage it could have said “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, trust me on this, I’m a Botanist” and I’d still have bought it.
Anyway, we are 27 years married today.
Happy Anniversary, Mrs Tin.
Mrs Tin is entering unknown territory here, not just because she rarely goes into Dublin. She has not done this before and at this moment (and she has no idea that I am writing about her, by the way) she is terrified. To make matters worse she has the most awful cold, not I am sure the best condition in which to take on such an event.
Many women will be entering hoping to beat last year’s time, or to set a personal best. Mrs Tin has neither of these ambitions. She is not hoping to finish higher than her race number, or to be home in time to watch the race on the six o’clock news. She would quite like it, though, if she isn’t overtaken by my stepmother at some stage.
It may seem as if I am making fun her here but believe me I am not. While I am spending the afternoon practising my mindfulness (sitting on my arse), reading my book (sitting on my arse) and writing this post (talking through my arse) she will be out in the sunshine (of course it’s back for today, just for the race, it’s like the way it always comes out on the first day of your exams) pounding the streets of Dublin in order to raise money for Crumlin Children’s Hospital.
So this is a post full of admiration, and pride, and love. I’ve seen coverage of the event on the TV, thousands of women of all ages, running, jogging or walking the course, united in the sheer, carefree, uninhibited sense of fun that women together are so good at. I think she’ll get caught up in all of that and will arrive home elated and thrilled with herself.
I hope so, she deserves it.