Can I tell you about M? I first saw her, oh so many years ago. Can you imagine me as a young man, well gawky youth really, who knew so little yet because of my age I thought I knew everything?
I worked in this small town in Hampshire, England. In the evening after work I would walk my way along the main street, by the shoe shop, the banks and the bus stops, up the hill past the post office and back home. Barely five minutes walk really as it was a small town!
As I passed the bus stops there would be the small crowd of commuters waiting for their bus to take them home. On this particular evening I noticed a stunning girl waiting for her bus to come in together with the assortment of other travellers. Businessmen, older school children and a fair smattering of wives, mothers and working girls usually carrying bags or baskets of stuff to take home.
My stunning girl was tall, wrapped up in a warm coat, hatless but with a blond streak through her light brown hair. I was mesmerised. Her beautiful face with what I called a ski-jump nose was framed by the turned up collar of her coat to protect against the cold wind. Her stunning green eyes didn’t see me but I drank her in like a vintage wine. I nicknamed her “The Lioness.”
I couldn’t imagine how I could make the first approach. Sometimes fortune favours even the weak for luckily a nurse made a similar trip as the lioness when working nights at a hospital on the same bus route. I asked her if she could mention my interest! I know you may think that may be a bit weak but on the arrival of her bus in the mornings she did indeed look for me and in her turn asked a friend if she knew of this lanky youth.
I plucked up enough courage to approach her in the street as she walked to her place of work and suggested we might go out on a date. This proved to be a little frustrating as I suggested a trad jazz club, and I am sure she would have preferred to go ballroom dancing. A compromise was made and we agreed on the movies. We chose a French thriller “Rififi.” This was a good choice as there was very little dialogue in the film. I did the right thing and presented her with a box of New Berry Fruits and of course paid for the best seats in the cinema.
A little more than a year later we were married, despite grumblings from my family who thought we were too young, and frustration from hers as she already had a steady boyfriend who I was unaware of until later. The amazing thing is that once we met there was no doubt with either of us that we had met our partner for life.
We have been married now for over 50 years and each touch, each kiss and each hug feels the same and are just as precious now as they were back then. That is love.
Photo of Author and M in 1957