Later that evening we went for a walk by the River Thames and I asked her to marry me.
She said yes.
Little did we know that on the other side of the Atlantic at the New York Boat Show earlier that year a little fiberglass sailboat called a Laser had been unveiled, and that the little boats had been selling like hot cakes. Why would we know? As she often reminds me, I wasn't a sailor when she agreed to marry me.
Fast forward ten years. We took a trip to Minorca Sailing. We learned to sail. I tried out a Laser for the first time. She decided she didn't like sailing after all. I came home and bought a Laser. It changed my life. Our lives I suppose.
In the next thirty years she has tolerated my disappearing at least one day most weekends to go Laser sailing. And she has let me drag her to various places all over the world to satisfy my sailing addiction. Florida, Australia, Canada, South America, Europe, various Caribbean islands. Life is hard for the wife of a Laser sailor.
Today on our anniversary we will celebrate by....
No. Wait. I'm going Laser sailing.
But she doesn't mind. When I haven't been sailing for a while and on some chilly winter morning I am debating with myself whether to sail or not, she will always encourage me to go sailing. I don't think it's because she just wants me out of the house; in reality she knows that I will be happier and easier to live with if I've had my fix.
Later this month we will celebrate the first birthday of our fourth grandchild, Isabel.
Life is very good.
Forty is the magic number.
I think I'll go sailing now.