Sunday, April 18, 2021

Four friends, a wedding anniversary and a funeral

French Village Diaries celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary in lockdown
Outdoor aperos to celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary


Four friends, a wedding anniversary and a funeral

We are now (hopefully) halfway through our four-week period of confinement and yesterday turned out to be a day of notable milestones. 

 

On the day the Queen laid to rest her husband of seventy-three years, we celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary, and ten kilometres into our morning bike ride, I clocked up 10,000 kilometres on my Brompton, KTTinyTourer, exactly two years from when I hit my first 1000 kilometres on her during our Bordeaux to Toulouse cycle touring trip.


 

French Village Diaries celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary in lockdown
Morning coffee and a bike ride


Some years we have been away for our anniversary, traveling France by car or by bike, and some years work commitments have kept us apart. This year we celebrated together with a bike ride, stopping to brew our morning coffee (accompanied by flapjacks) on a park picnic table, as there are no bars or cafés open here just yet. Despite keeping to within our ten-kilometre permitted radius, Adrian managed to plan a route that took us down many roads we’d never cycled on before and up a few hills I hadn’t realised existed. 

 

In the afternoon we had a socially distanced aperos in the garden with four friends, food, champagne and laughter. I was torn between watching the TV coverage of the funeral service from Windsor, for its ceremony and its place in history, and not watching something that I felt should have been a private, family goodbye to a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. We settled on having the lead-up to the service on in the background as we put the finishing touches to the onion bhajis, houmous and flatbreads.

 

Much as the 19h curfew has become a tad annoying; I’ve decided I actually quite like the fact that our social gatherings have to be done and dusted by 19h. By starting at 16h, we have plenty of time for a few drinks, nibbles and a lot of laughs, all while the sun is shining, leaving me free to have a quiet evening on the sofa. This seems to be a much better fit for my body than evenings that become early mornings, and that often give rise to sore heads the following day.


 

French Village Diaries celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary in lockdown
The cutting of the banoffee pie 23 years after the cutting of the wedding cake 


We have a little ritual on our anniversary; the annual viewing of our wedding DVD. We didn’t subject our friends to this, but I might have left a few photos albums on the table alongside the drinks and nibbles, which they politely flicked through. Our evening was then spent watching two much younger looking people celebrating a wedding, with fond memories, not only of a great day, but also of those who were with us then but are no longer with us now.



French Village Diaries celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary in lockdown
Views from the bike, within 10km from home

 

This morning we have been out on the bikes again, logging more kilometres #ForBen and the virtual challenge to get from UK to Bangkok and back before the 27th April. There are still quite a few kilometres to go, so if you’d like to help by logging your walking, running or cycling kilometres, you can do so here. 

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