It’s Quite a Week: A Golden Week

It’s not every year one gets to celebrate momentous anniversaries.

Earlier in the year, I hit a seriously big birthday. I still think I’ve been fooled and I’ll wake up aged 18 and – like Bobby Ewing in Dallas – find it’s all been a dream. But I have a sneaking suspicion it’s not and time has really flown by almost in the blink of an eye.

Photo: Chandler Cruttenden

This week there are two anniversaries that still have me pinching myself: An anniversary of a first date and a Golden Wedding Anniversary. There, I said it. Golden. Flipping heck. How did that happen? I’ve no idea. Another Bobby Ewing moment I suspect!

I’m trying to get my head around it all. One minute I was being heckled by a long-haired young man – a lead guitarist in a group – the next we are taking a quick whirl around the village on what turned out to be a ‘first date.’ I didn’t know it at the time but he and his band were always broke so a turn around the village, a wander around the lake, or the local park was the highlight of our dates. It didn’t cost anything to take in the sights on foot.

It provided a great opportunity to have a good old natter and that’s how we got to know each other.

RMA Lakes (c) Jane Risdon 2010

There was always the prospect of our ‘date’ ending abruptly when the band’s roadie would turn up and whisk him away to a distant gig. With a quick wave, a toot of the van’s horn and they were gone, leaving me to walk back home on my own. Such romance! It was enough to sweep a girl off of her feet.

Photo: Risdon 1970

It was almost over way too soon. I went overseas with my family and he continued to tour with his group, making records and generally having a blast from what I understand. That’s what musicians did back in the 1960s.

They travelled extensively, starved a lot, and moved around a great deal and every now and again we’d touch base on one of my rare trips back to England. A few times we passed each other at Victoria railway station as they were on their way out of the country as I was arriving on a visit – to see them! No internet back then, and overseas (trunk) calls cost the earth. We usually sent telegrams, but of course, in those days I’d often already left for the airport or was on a ferry in the middle of the English Channel, sharing the contents of my stomach with the passing Force 9, usually sitting at the highest point on the ship in the hope I’d die quickly and be put out of my agony, or get swept overboard never to be seen again – to my 16-year-old self, that was quite romantic I seem to recall. Being anchored out at sea and sitting out a Force 9 gale is no fun. As I recall on one occasion even the crew was suffering and the vessel was awash with all manner of unpleasant ‘stuff.’

I didn’t die of ‘mal de mer,’ or was lost at sea. I survived. A few years passed, and there were many adventures along the way. The band stopped starving and life became easier. I decided I’d had enough of living overseas and made the decision to return to England to work in London. The Swinging Sixties was still happening. Life in the grooviest city on the planet was everything I thought it would be, sometimes more.

Carnaby Street

Then we got married. We have a son and three gorgeous grandkids now. We went into business together, working with some amazing musicians, singers, songwriters, and record producers – travelling the world. And still, the adventures kept – and keep – on coming.

Photo: Risdon

The next adventure is to see if we can make it through the next 50 years. 100 years of marriage, I am informed, is called a Centennial Centenary.

I think it would be quite nice. I’ve enjoyed the past 50 years – mostly – and it would be fun to look back over another half-century. I wonder what the world will be like by then? If it is still here that is!

I ought to thank my wonderful hubby for putting up with me so long. So I shall. Thanks a zillion for being my best friend, biggest fan, and my one and only rock star for the longest time. You are my galaxy. And if we hang on long enough you will get your answer…there are aliens and they are amongst us already. That would be the icing on the cake.

The longest marriage ever was enjoyed by Herbert Fisher (born USA 1905) and Zelmyra Fisher (born USA 1907). The couple had been married for 86 years 290 days as of 27th February 2011, when Mr. Fisher died.

Only One Woman – Christina Jones Jane Risdon (Headline Accent)

Foreword is written by Grham Bonnet

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  1. Congratulations, Jane. What an achievement. I’m intrigued by the New Cross car ferry which I don’t remember. I spent the first five years of my life in New Cross and I think my grandparents still lived there in 1968 so we would have been regular visitors. Fascinating story. Have a fantastic day. x

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