In view of the ‘Big Freeze’ –
I just wanted to open this warm little ‘box of memories’ for my gorgeous husband, to remind him (as if he needed it!) of how very much, I love him.
This snowy weather seems the perfect tribute. We ourselves stumbled into our wonderful love whilst building a snowman for RAF Lyneham’s Winter Ball – so even though I may currently be struggling through the ‘white stuff’ a bit, I simply couldn’t resist taking five minutes out of our busy, snow-packed schedule to create this special address to the man who has so enriched my life….
Our original ‘snowman’ was cheerily constructed during a wholly enjoyable autumn day, out of papier maché; & was modelled upon our charismatic ‘chief boss ‘ Ray Locke, as a cheeky tribute to our (then) Station Commander.
However we then shamelessly exploited his authority & poularity by using his somewhat overtly rotund & comical ‘alter-ego’ as promotional material for the annual Christmas Draw – a major highlight of the Officers’ Mess social calendar.
Conspiratorially we added a few subtly delightful twists that year to the typically expensive, gilded (jaded…?) but nonetheless prestigious ‘tombola trinkets’ with the additional smattering of a few mystery prizes: such as “A Load of Old Baubles” (which at first glance appeared to be a box of brashly tinselled Christmas Tree decorations….but was actually a year’s share in your own professionally-trained racehorse! ).
And then there was what appeared to be a simple sofa-sized beanbag, as a prize; but which the delighted winner subsequently (or was it dubiously…?! ) discovered, was actually a personal skiing tutorial with the UK’s unfailingly-failing Olympic superstar “Eddie-the-Eagle” (but at least when she – or he – well; whoever hit the bottom of the slope first I suppose, was guaranteed a soft landing thereafter!).
On the night, the festivities commenced with a “mild canapé; consisting of a shot of brandy accompanied by a rich Christmas Pudding liqueur truffle; whilst the guests were entertained with carols from one of Wales’ leading brass bands. This was a fantastic coup; & with Tony being a notable musician in his own right, arranging & organising the whole performance the evening lived up to its’ promise right from the start; followed with an abundance of additional top-quality live musical acts, other significant entertainment – plus a sumptuous array of international food & drink including a full carvery meal; hot seafood buffet; champagne bar; & a humungous chocolate mountain (rather than the usual fondant fountain!) concluding with the Grand Draw & Champagne Balloon Drop, to create a truly unforgettable (& for us, hectically busy but immensely satisfying) evening for the several hundred guests who attended.
For me as “Principal Hostess” upon whose shoulders the entire success or failure of the evening fell, it was perhaps one of the most stressful events of my life – especially as most of my organising committee had to be excused sporadically throughout, when being dispatched to foreign theatres; whilst those ‘at home’ needed an extra-special party to take their minds off the grim realities of military life.
So even tactical aircraft captain Tony (although at the time frequently forced to be absent himself with so many unremitting flying commitments for so much of the time) & I, happily, managed to build our wonderful snowman; & upon that solid foundation we not only built a night’s unforgettable entertainment together for our colleagues to enjoy; but most magically & importantly also created a wonderful, everlasting love for each other which we still hold so very precious, to this day.
And so; whilst in the above photo our cheeky Ffarm lass is even daring to wink at him, I’ll forgive her; well, Tony IS sooo lovely, after all – & she’d melt the frostiest of hearts.
But whilst I originally ‘hired’ said ice-maiden with her top-of-the-range super(snow)model credentials on Tony’s behalf, after tasting our gelato she simply couldn’t resist doing a bit of cheeky product placement for The Man Himself (note the Lovespoon she is leaning on so seductively….)!
OK; so she opted to specifically advertise Christmas Pud (her favourite flavour, apparently) – well it’s a case of either “better late than never” or “the early bird catches the….errr….Pwdin Nadolig“, as we say in Wales.
Incidentally the hair is very similar in windsweptness to mine after all this inclement weather. But at least it persuaded our little icemaiden friend to put in an appearance – on Tony’s very special behalf, of course…!
O Tony-Gariad, I just wanted to say that for all my clumsy expression I will never be able to truly convey my gratitude for all the help, support & love you’ve given me & also my family, right from our very (wintry) beginning; until all these years later – leading us to this exciting moment when ‘Lovespoon’ is poised to prove such a resounding success; a realisation not only of our love for one another but that we are, truly, Soul Mates (if admittedly occasionally, both inherently stubborn…!) 😉
But if any proof were ever needed, surely it’s in the exquisitely delicate taste of our wonderful, award-winning icily-creamy, delectable dessert……?…Well; for us, so many overwhelming, delightedly-joyful expressions & outpourings of enthusiastic enjoyment, cannot be wrong.
Thus, this Wonderful Winter Tribute is for you, my Love – you deserve it; winged as it is with belated St Dwynwen’s/premature St Valentine’s wishes. Long may we live, & love, together.
Yr Jo xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx