Romance Means We Took the Weekend Off MS, Nearly
There is a more heavyweight subject I could inflict on you lot, but let’s put our feet up this week. Even I can do it with the one leg.
My wife, Jane, and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary last Friday. You’d have thought we’d have planned a big outing, but it just felt like hard work. There’s too much accommodation to the restrictions multiple sclerosis (MS) places on us, too many things that can go wrong with the ol’ body. We played it by ear — an organ of mine that so far has remained completely unaffected.
And the “just in case” happened. It wasn’t raining, so I wheeled and Jane walked to our fave local venue, the Sound Lounge, about two klicks away. Run by a couple of musicians, it features a delicious vegan cafe menu, plus a joy to me: a range of local craft-brewery beers. Not just bottles, mind, but proper barrels — delish.
When I lived farther north in London in my très hip period in the ’80s, this is exactly the sort of joint I’d frequent. Still can’t quite believe something like this has washed up near the banks of the Wandle, an extremely small tributary of the mighty River Thames.
No band was on, so it was a quiet night. We ordered a couple of plant burgers and were happier than we would have been with all the organizational razzmatazz that an indulgent night out would have engendered.
It was also perfectly circular, as 30 years ago we’d slipped off to Gibraltar during a Spanish holiday and gotten married in the same registry office as John and Yoko. In them there days, if you didn’t want a church wedding in the U.K., you could only get married in your local registry office. Ours was a dump. That’s how “The Man” stuck it to the atheist.
There seemed nothing we could do except move. Luckily, there was this one exception: anyone from the U.K. could marry in Gibraltar. We captured “the rock” (we were there first, Mr. Dwayne Johnson) in 1706 with an Anglo-Dutch fleet during the War of the Spanish Succession, and it was ceded to us in 1713. No idea how we eased out the Dutch. Not my period of history, bro. (Young and hip, in my opinion, should also say “sis.”)
This has nothing to do with MS, but I’m on a break, sis/bro. So there.
We also wanted a rest from the same organization — both of our working lives involved the complex herding of slippery showbiz humans. Jane was a TV casting director, and I’d just made the leap from being a journo about comedy to being a producer and director of it. Both our mums turned up, though; Jane’s dad was a well-known actor and was working, while mine had the even better excuse of being dead.
We also went back to the Sound Lounge on Sunday for the birthday of one of our innumerable nephews. OK, there’s only six of them, but they’re a noisy lot. The highlight was two of our grandnieces’ complete horror when presented with a slice of the birthday carrot cake. Their father is my oldest nephew and a notorious meat-only man.
The trouble was, I forgot I was disabled (yet again) and indulged too much. It was a hairy wheel home. If a copper had stopped me, I would have lost my driving license. You can’t drive a powered chair over the legal alcohol limit for driving in the U.K. But ha-ha — as I can no longer drive, I’ve let my license lapse. No one is going to charge a disabled person for behaving like every other British citizen, if they can help it.
Next morning, my wife paid for my misbehavior as my bottom had exploded overnight.
That evening, she told me she’d divorce me if the same thing happened that night.
Next morning, all was clear. She pointed out the threat had worked.
So far, we’re still married.
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