What were you doing precisely 42 years ago tonight? Well, nothing in the case of my bloggy friends who hadn't got around to being born yet; and I doubt if many of the rest of you can remember.
I was at a dance. It was my sixth year (ie final year at school) dinner dance - the one and only social occasion organised by the school. I went to an all-girls' establishment so of course we had to invite boys as our partners to this dance. It was the greatest topic of conversation for months among all the girls: whom we'd ask, what we'd wear, what table we'd sit at for dinner and with whom.
Fashion was much more standard then. We almost all bought long, Empire line sleeveless dresses and low heeled shoes, usually silver or gold. Considering that we had to wear uniform to school, it seems strange now that most of us wore such similar styles to the dance; but we were fairly conformist young ladies. My dress was turquoise and my shoes silver with rosettes on the front.
I asked a young man whom I'd had my eye on for more than a year. At nineteen, he was a couple of years older than me. He was tall, quiet and good-looking, with beautiful thick black shiny hair. I knew him through the church; he was one of the young group who met at church activities and also did some things together in the evenings: played rounders in the local park and so on. I was kind of on the fringes of this group, being slightly younger than most of them, going to a different school and being very shy. However, I had to ask someone to this dance and so, too shy ask him directly, I wrote him a letter. And he accepted.
Had I known that, one evening 42 years later, he'd be sitting at his desk alongside mine in our study, I would have been extremely surprised. Yes, it was young Mr Life himself. He then asked me to his work dance a couple of weeks later; and we've been together ever since.
It astonishes me that this was 42 years ago. 42!
I'd also have been surprised to know that I'd be sitting here sadly missing three young people (though they'd have seemed pretty ancient to me at the time) - a thirty-year-old, a twenty-eight-year-old and a twenty-five-year old whom I'd never (at the time of the dance) met or even really imagined meeting. One of them, Daughter 1, is with her husband about a couple of miles from where I lived then; the two others are currently in Glasgow where Daughter 2 is visiting Son for the night.
I wouldn't have been so surprised to know that we now have cats. It's a chilly night. You can tell from Cassie's body language, can't you?
Well, well. All very astonishing. But it's worked out surprisingly well. I clearly had good taste when I was seventeen.
I love you, Mr Life.