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Last week, I turned ten.
Or – more precisely – Lucy Rycroft turned ten. Lucy Baynes had existed for twenty-something years before, but on 13 July 2002 she became a Rycroft. Here’s a picture of us looking young.
Last Friday was a good day of celebrating. Coincidentally, we happened to be in the place where we got married, so it was nice to return to the church for a couple of pictures. The churchyard has changed lots in ten years – not least with the addition of Robin Gibb’s grave. RIP. Anyway, here’s us looking older and more haggard. I blame the kids.
We spent the day in parks, on bouncy castles and receiving emergency dental treatment – all the usual ways to celebrate a wedding anniversary.
In the evening we ate here.
(It was alright. I mean, the food was nice and everything, but the bill was double what we’d pay at our favourite York restaurant for just-as-good grub. If having a Michelin star means you get to overcharge, then I’m not sure I want to bother. To be fair, our only other Michelin experience has been L’Enclume, regularly regarded by the critics as one of the top restaurants in the country, so I guess we’ve only got ourselves to blame.)
Oops – please excuse the foodie aside – got a bit carried away.
The evening was, of course, lovely, regardless of my opinions of the restaurant. As any parent will understand, time out for just you and your spouse is a rare and wonderful thing.
And, as anyone who knows my spouse will understand, the opportunity to have three courses and an alcoholic beverage without being berated for the cost of it all – well, that’s another rare thing.
At this point, I feel I should make some deep, reflective and mind-staggeringly original comment about marriage – what I’ve learnt, how it’s been, blah-di-blah. But if I’m honest, I feel a bit of a fraud.
Al and I have bumbled along quite happily for a while, and now suddenly we’ve been married for a length of time which sounds impressive. Many marriages are tested by external factors which are no fault of the husband or wife, but add strain to the relationship: perhaps a bereavement, job loss or child-related issue.
We’ve had none of these to contend with – in fact, I feel so blessed by the last ten years that I sometimes wonder when the bubble’s going to burst.
Sometimes, even just being a church leader can put extra strain on a marriage – but, again, God has been so good to us thus far.
The next decade may prove more difficult than the first. If it does, I pray that we’ve built up the resources to deal with it.
But right now – for I believe in living in the moment – I’m going to be very, very thankful for an amazing husband, and a marriage that has released me more and more into becoming the person God made me to be. I offer no wise reflection, for I still feel like a novice.
But perhaps that’s the point?