30 Nov 2010

The Wedding Anniversary


Although I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in ‘the pumpkin pie and good old roast turkey kind of way’ I do have a fondness for this holiday… it’s around the same time as our wedding anniversary.

The idea of thanksgiving and a wedding anniversary feels simpatico because there is a multitude to be thankful for if you have been married for as long as we have.

In my more funny moments I am known to say that a life prison sentence would be shorter…but that is just me being prickly…I don’t mean one word.

We have known each other longer than we haven’t – we met and married young, and have been best friends ever since.


Marriage is all about the good, the bad and the ugly and we all know that there are very few ideal marriages but an enduring marriage, a marriage that has grown and shaped who you are today is a marriage to be celebrated and a marriage to be thankful for.

My anniversary adventures started in London with strict instructions to pack ‘comfortable and warm with boots’.PANIC.

‘Comfortable’, that meant I could forgo the pretty footwear and ‘warm’, well that meant forget the little number that I had envisaged for our anniversary dinner.

‘Boots’, meant walking… Did I need my passport? When a big fat NO was the answer, I knew for sure that Paris, as far as this weekend’s celebration went, was to be last year’s news. 

As we drove out of London with overnight bags full of sensible gear he came clean and said we would be driving West and hiking on Dartmoor.


Dartmoor… 958 square kilometres of moorland in the centre of Devon, England. It was a good call on his part to suggest that I forgo the silk and stilettos.

Four hours later as we turned off the motorway and neared our destination the snow started falling.


England and her countryside can be a magical place in the right conditions and this was one of those moments.

Think narrow country lanes bordered by hedgerows, snow flakes and the rolling green fields turning silver in the early evening light…remember all those favourite Brit rom coms, the Bridgit Jones movies, Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral…that is the picture I am trying to paint.


It may not have been Paris but it was perfect. We stayed at the most enchanting Hotel Endleigh nestled high above the banks of the River Tamar – a more beautiful and romantic spot he could not have chosen.


The day of our hike saw temperatures falling below zero – I was grateful for the ‘comfortable and warm with boots’ warning.


As we trekked our way up the snow covered hill with a wind chill factor of I-don’t-know-what I forgot all thoughts of romance.


Numb legs, stinging fingers and burning cheeks made it difficult to register the beauty of the moor and the majesty of my surroundings.


It would be untruthful if I didn’t admit to thinking, ‘what’s wrong with Paris’ at that moment but as we neared the high point and stopped to take in the view I had the most delicious feeling and the most natural of revelations.

Together, we were on top of the world….just he and I with so many years and memories between us…and even without Paris….it was the perfect anniversary. xv

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A Gift Wrapped Life

Ahhhhhh…………..you two! Sounds romantic in a Heathcliffe way. He must like you in your woolies and boots Vicki. Happy Anniversary to you both XO.
Going back to bed for a couple hours and then will call.

Simply Mel

Another beautiful reason I simply adore you and the life you cherish so….wishing you and your beloved FF many, many, many more blissful love filled years on top of the world!


Thank you for this. It really just brought tears to my eyes. I am recently married and everything is so happy and fresh feeling at the moment. I hope to have these thoughts you just described in the years to come. Congratulations on yet another anniversary!


Last week I re-read "My French Life" (for the third time) and then, via Carla Coulsen's blog, I saw that you'd written a new book, "French Essence". I ordered it immediately, it arrived on Monday and I am absolutely bowled over by it. This is the first time I've written to any author but I felt I just had to let you know what a treat it is to browse, a little bit at a time, through your inspiring writing and the gorgeous photos. I'm buying the book for my sister for Christmas!

Looking Glass

Vicki, you painted that picture so beautifully.

It seems you have a most wonderful husband, who pays attention to all the little things :-)

~ Clare x


Sounds wonderful Vicki, how lovely to have surprise planned for you, hotel and everything!

Your stunning books arrived today, I am over the moon, a thousand thanks

Claire Jackson

Vicki, a really beautiful, romantic & adoring story of sharing love and life with your husband and best friend…paris, c'est tres magnifique…

wishing you joy and much festive cheer this Christmas..joyeux noel.

Claire :-) x


you're a much better hiker than I would be! The snow and the temps would have had me by the fire and (in my wicked way) tempting the Mr. to do the same!
Happy Anniversary to you and yours~ we are at 30 years next year. People can't believe it and say:"to the same man?! these are BOTH of your children?" We are a rare breed in the times.


Vicki, I so enjoyed this post. I sent it right off to my husband, he loves to spring surprises on me too. Our honeymoon, wedding ring and many more trips along the way were of his creation. It has made for a very interesting life together :) We have our 25th anniversary coming up next year and he says it is my turn…oh dear!

Best wishes,

Jeanne xx


Congratulations, Vicki. So many wonderful years of love and growth with an amazing guy. Thank you for sharing. Mary


Vicki – what a truly lovely post.I have tears welling – and I am not easily moved. Maybe it's because I can so relate to everything you said – the long enduring marriage, the question of a "surprise" (see my Venus and Mars post), the thoughts of perhaps preferring Paris on the bitter cold walk. What a very thoughtful and no doubt loving husband Mr. FE is – hand selecting the room etc. I send you the very best belated wishes for your anniversary and many more to come.


Oh my…I just checked out the hotel and my DH would never get me out of it…lol Congratulations on your Anniversary! It looks and sounds like you had a wonderful time…regardless of the cold ;)


I once spent a most romantic weekend in Dartmoor at Gidleigh Park. I have to admit it topped anything you could experience in Paris. But we must keep this our secret, right?

la Brocanteuse

Congratulations Vicky, and thank you for sharing your special adventure with us. the way in which you described your journey was like being there..feeling the nip in the air and the view over River Tamar- magical. xo Colette ~ Afrique du Sud
ps…I can ditto on your comment about being married longer than a life sentence, and a special anniversary is coming up soon for us too…I shall let Mr LB read about your special memories…

la Brocanteuse

Congratulations Vicky, and thank you for sharing your special adventure with us. the way in which you described your journey was like being there..feeling the nip in the air and the view over River Tamar- magical. xo Colette ~ Afrique du Sud
ps…I can ditto on your comment about being married longer than a life sentence, and a special anniversary is coming up soon for us too…I shall let Mr LB read about your special memories…


What a beautiful surprise! You're rigth – Paris is wonderful, but being outside of it is equal. Last time I was in Paris, I went to Giverny for a day, and came back to the city refreshed from the quiet.

Paris will have new, fresh romance for you next time!

living in Germany

Sounds like you two are a match made in heaven. We too have been married for some time and I agree with your assessment of what a marriage is; it does mold us doesn't it! Happy Anniversary!!!

la la Lovely

Gorgeous….all of it. You're writing. You're marriage. You're perspective. The view. It all brought a tear to my eye and hope to my heart. Happy Anniversary!

Pamela Terry and Edward

The most blissful anniversary trip I could possibly imagine. I send you all my good wishes. As one who married young, and has been married a long, long time as well, I can relate to your gratitude. It's a lovely thing.


What a beautiful, loving anniversary tribute…Mr. FF sounds like a true romantic! Very nice and as you have celebrated in Paris several times, you will always have it in your memories!! Happy Anniversary to you both!! It sounds like a lovely adventure! xxoo :)


Now you made me smile such a gorgeous story, and a real life story, this is fantastic.
You bring words to live and I live myself into your stories.
Thank you!
And congratualtions on your anniversary.


Nicole Sammut

Morning from Sydney Vicky where I too celebrate my anniversary. My husband and I married in the Southern Highlands of NSW and then remarried at 10 years in the same place, but with our children at our side. I read your post and as usual, you take me away and instantly I am transported to the cold air, the stillness of the woods, the smells of the trees. I look outside my bedroom window and it happens to be windy and rainy here today. I can pretend. Thank you.


Vicki…what a wonderful, wonderful way to celebrate an anniversary. It is such a blessing to be married to your best friend in the whole world, seemingly forever, isn't it?

Here's wishing you and Mr.FF many more glorious celebrations, in , and out, of Paris. xoxoxo Lidy

a Broad

Our anniversary is November 6 .. I love having a November anniversary, we also almost always travel somewhere to celebrate.
Dartmoor .. how magical, how wonderful !
Good husband :)
Wishing you many more Happy Anniversaries !
I have been married for half my life :)



Lovely indeed,,, sharing the happy 'freedom of the moment' with the one who shares your daily responsibility, and in the forgetfulness of the cold bitter hike, the door opens for you into a pure loving intimacy, a shared, timeless happiness.

Loving and living in the moment, a day you will never forget.

Happy Anniversary,


You've gotta love a man who knows his wallpapers and his wife…..
What a sweet post!
Happy anniversary to you two! May you stay together on top of the world for many more years!
There is nothing what makes me happier: To grow older together and not ever have regretted a day!
Memories, ups and downs, the holding hands in trying times and the endless laughters in good ones!
Kiss kiss!


La Petite Gallery

That was so romantic. Happy Anniversary to you both, and may you have many more.After being together so long you each know what each other likes. That's a real comfortable feeling.


Shell Sherree

Cold and I don't mix well but if I was swept away for an adventure like this, I'd make an exception. It sounds wonderfully romantic in that bracing "you know you're alive" kind of way. Happy anniversary to you and Mr FF, Vicki!


Sounds dreamy and romantic since you are with the love of your life. Congratulations on your anniversary and how fortunate you are to have him in your life. Thanks for sharing your magical adventure.


Oh how gorgeous I could just cry, that was the most romantic story I have heard in ages. The scene also brought back beautiful childhood memories, as the first 16years of my life were spent in England where I was born. Now living in Australia, snow is a distant beautiful memory. Happy Anniversary x Jeanette

Alcira Molina-Ali

How lovely. Mr. FF is clearly a man of exquisite taste, who knows you better than you may think.
Perhaps the many years of feting in Paris will run together, but this one is sure to stay engraved in your heart forever.


Splendid Willow

Vicki, what a wonderful tribute. And what a lucky lady you are! (I need to show my husband this post!). Trust me, my husband is wonderful but he would never think of picking a hotel room with wall paper that suits my style!

Happy Anniversary.

You have a new follower.

ox, Mon

Paris Atelier

What a beautiful celebration. Happy Anniversary Vicki and cheers!
What a wonderfully romantic anb beautiful way to honor the life you have shared.

david terry

Dear Vicki,

Congratulations to you and David, of course.

My own parents have been married for 52 years as of this month (their anniversary falls during the week before Thanksgiving).

More interestingly?… (and I've long loved telling this to folks, just to see their reactions)…my parents (both in their seventies nowadays) have lived under the same roof since they were five and six. My mother, orphaned at six, was sent to the orphanage where my paternal grandmother (a divorcee with a 5 year old son) was the matron.

So, basically, my parents have been co-habiting, under one guise or another, since first grade. Not surprisingly, neither of them remembered their anniversary this year; I had to remind them of it over the telephone.

As for for Herve and me? Our anniversary is, appropriately enough?….April Fool's Day.

For some reason, no one ever seems particularly surprised when they're told this.

Congratulations, again,

David Terry


WOW…what a romantic and thoughtful husband. Love how you share these special times with all of us. Wishing you many, many more anniversaries filled with happiness!!

kimberly at mimicharmante

This just may be the most romantic post I have ever read. How you must treasure that man – and that marriage. You are an inspiration my friend. Happy Anniversary and may you have many many more~


Vicki I just was so emotional reading your post, so beautiful and poignant! Happy Anniversary!

Do Come and Enter my $200 giveaway from Fifi Flowers!

Art by Karena

Roses, Lace and Brocante

Dear Vicky
Happy, happy anniversary!

There is a certain significance in Mr FF's planning, the very loneliness of the moors, expressing his need to be alone with you, without the distractions and competition of beautiful Paris.

VERY Mr Darcy and romantic!!!

We are past the 40 years.
Also an enduring marriage, to be celebrated and thankful for.

An inspiring post I'm printing off and adding to my collection – thank you Vicki.
Shane x


MOTH's been made to read this post as a 'Homework' assignment Vicki! We have our weekend at the Marion Bay Motel over on Yorkies coming up this w/end to celebrate the anniversary of our first date 18 yrs. ago. If I hear MOTH saying one more time about how great the fishing will be, I'm bailing out & sending him off on his own! Happy Anniversary to you & the Gorgeous One.
Millie ^_^


Oh Vicki….how beautiful was that ? Mr FF is a star. I applaud him for his anniversary arrangements and, Paris isn't going anywhere. Thanks for the insight into your wonderful anniversary celebrations and many congratulations on your long and happy marriage. It was our 34th this year….where did the time go ?!! XXXX


so excited to discover that you will be on the skirted roundtable next week. i will tune in with my knitting in hand. anniversary hiking trip sounded great.


!!!! Hi Vicki!!!

I have been trying to contact you to get your address to send your Jingle Sox, but without success – I know you get so many comments you must be so busy ;)!! So firstly, please excuse the mess I made on the beginning of this comments – and secondly, Happy Anniversary to you both! Sounds like a wonderful, beautiful day, even without Paris! God bless you both in your years ahead!
Jen xoxo


Thank you for sharing such a lovely, personal story – it is so heartwarming to read of two people who have been married for years who are still so thrilled to be together (in many ways I find stories like yours much more romantic than those of two people who have just fallen in love).

Congratulations on your wedding anniversary – I wish you both many more years of friendship, laughter and joy.


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