28 June 2016

Thirty four years ago, I had to get married. I wrote about the reasons here.
Briefly, my status as an illegal immigrant was about to be discovered and in order to avoid being deported, drastic measures had to be adopted. It cost us 40 pounds sterling we didn't have at the time.
Also, I was pregnant but while that was not the reason it helps us to figure out how many years ago we did this. If S turns 34 later this years it means we got married 34 years ago.
Mind you, there are moments when I have to think a bit before I get our daughter's age. But mostly because I often forget my own age. Simple maths was never my strength.
However, if S was born one week before my 25th birthday but not before I got married, what age was R then? What did he wear on the day and why did he almost got us thrown out of Marylebone Registry Office? And so on. Life is full of riddles.
When we had done the dirty deed and returned to Dublin, my new mother-in-law, once she recovered from the shock of this heathen foreign woman stealing the only son, organised a secret wedding dinner with all the trimmings, cake and buffet and speeches and all. At some stage and after a considerable amount of bubbly drinks, she attempted to read out the marriage certificate, one of those large rectangular forms that won't fit in the copy machines, at the top of her voice. But when she came to the long list of my father's first names (Friedrich Nikolaus Maximilian Johannes Heinrich) she gave up. Thence, ballad singing and dancing on the tables incl.
My parents did not attend, they were too affronted to even acknowledge the existence of Ireland as a whole but that was to be expected.
Today was a quiet day, R cut the hedge and picked raspberries and loganberries and strawberries, while I picked up another sick cert and had a grueling session with the physiotherapist, vertigo, vomiting, the lot. Much later, we remembered and had a bit of a laugh. Gosh, time flies when you are having fun.


  1. 'had to get married' seems so quaint now... At least half of my pregnant clients are unmarried. No big deal. But back then, such shame.

    Congrats anyway. A grown daughter and a husband you still adore. Beautiful.

  2. Wow! You and R. 34 years. Good to hear John Martyn this evening. And your laughter.

  3. It definitely makes a good story. You can never say you've had a boring life thus far!

  4. I enjoyed reading your father's various names. Why so many? I do genealogy as a hobby and see all these names (except Maximilian) pop up a lot, but none so much as Johannes.

  5. Colette, thanks.

    Franconian (northern Bavarian) families always used to pass on a specific set of names to their sons, they had a complicated inheritance scheme before the Bavarian government outlawed it some hundred years ago. My father basically was named after his grandfathers and great grandfathers and so on. There are no "new" names on the family tree but you could use nicknames.
    My brother has inherited two of my father's names and my mother added two from her non-Franconian family, so much so radical.
    Me and my sister only got three names each. Sabine is a new addition, another story.
    My Irish husband's family used to follow the tradition of Jack fathers John and John fathers Jack in all eternity until recently when John/Jack has been moved to second place. I refused to play the part, had a daughter - who is named after my own Franconian granny.

  6. Love reading this story. Happy anniversary! What a wonderful and wild beginning to your wedding day. And here you are 34 years later celebrating the beauty of love!

  7. Lovely story, full of love and heartbreak and hope. Good marriages aren't made in heaven. We build them ourselves out of what we have to hand.