Fig.1. Recently engaged – early summer 1990 – showing off her engagement ring
Fig.2 23 years on from the above in 1990, 20 years on from our marriage in December 1993 – showing off our rings to mark our 20th wedding anniversary
‘Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body.
That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
We have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom has fallen from our branches we find that we were one tree and not two.
(Slightly adapted from Louis de Bernieres, 1994, ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’)
Fig. 3. Just Married – 29th December 1993, Barton-on-the-Heath … and straight onto a pane to go skiing.