Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Thirty years on

Summer and some other things got in the way of blogging for a couple of months. For the first time I embarked on the revival of our Christmas-with-friends tradition by myself, and on the whole it went very well, though I felt - wistful, I think, best describes it, for past times and the beloved company I no longer have.  Then I went away to stay with various friends in various lovely places, spent a lot of time eating (and cooking) and basking in warm shade with a book, and by the time I got home I felt very relaxed indeed.
          This Monday it was thirty years since Harvey and I married in our garden, on 2 March 1985, and had a joyful party at home afterwards.

Without him, it didn't feel right saying to people that it was our wedding anniversary (though dear Ali remembered and phoned me). Celebration didn't seem in order either. Instead I marked it by walking down to his plaque in the cemetery rose garden with a friend and leaving a spray of white lilies given to me by my neighbour. Then we went home for a glass of wine.


  1. Dear Anne,

    I found this very moving, and my thoughts are with you. I am about to marry the person with whom I have shared the last ten years of my life with, and it has led to much soul-searching. The passage of Marrige Equality laws has helped, but generally I struggle with the idea of "marriage" and what it means .... not so much what it means to us, but how it is interpreted by other people. And whether I am less of a feminist because I'm the one that cleans the bathroom, remembers the birthdays and anniversaries, puts the sheets into the washing machine every Monday, etc etc You have been an inspiration to me for over 30 years ....... first when I was a scared and unconfident young undergraduate at VUW. Thanks for continuing to be an amazing role model, and may your relationship with Harvey continue to sustain and inspire you.

    1. Thank you so very much for writing this, I don't think I've ever had such a lovely comment. No, you aren't less of a feminist at all. The only thing that continues to distress me about living with Harvey is that I never really told him clearly how much I admired and appreciated him. When he was ill I was stupid, I supposed I would know when he was dying and would have time to say those things to him then - but of course I didn't and then it was too late.

    2. And I meant to say, I'm sure you will be continue to be very happy after you marry!

  2. Dear Anne,

    I hope I am remembered so fondly when I pass on. He was a very dapper looking Groom. In my recollection of visiting the two of you towards the end you always seemed very attentive gentle and loving towards Harvey. And he to you. I am certain that he knew all too well how much you admired and appreciated him.

    Lots of love

  3. Hi Anne I first officially met you in 1986,as part of a working party and a very serious theory indeed.I was always intrigued by your happy disposition when Harvey was mentioned by all your colleagues etc,it was new life for you and everyone was so pleased............all the best 2015.......go well as you do

  4. So happy & so sad, all rolled into one. I felt really touched by this Anne, especially when you said that it didn't feel right to tell people it was your anniversary. How fitting to take him flowers. Commemoration rather than celebration. Your honour Harvey so beautifully.

  5. Thank you - I feel much better now than I did when I wrote this.