Anniversaries are funny things, just like birthdays. It’s difficult to really know the length of a year, and to feel the weight of being twenty-seven years old, for example, or being three years married. The year you’ve just lived through always seems much longer than the previous one, which seems longer than the one before that, and so on as the past sort of compresses into snapshots and formative experiences that summarize life. So when I think back on this past year, it seems both fuller and shorter than three hundred and sixty-five individual days. Baby was born and has grown, Christopher finished school, we moved “home” eleven times, and filled the best days with misadventures, music, food, and good people.
In classic style, we decided to celebrate by borrowing some ancient bicycles and riding the narrow English lanes from Liss to Steep, to have lunch at our old favourite, the Harrow Inn. They serve an excellent ploughman’s lunch, which is basically large chunks of bread, an enormous slab of butter, half a pound of cured ham, a tomato, lettuce leaves, and of course the requisite mustard and homemade chutney. Delicious. Bean was mostly cheerful on her first bicycle ride, and we even managed to find the sunny window between rainstorms. However, it’s not enough to have a mishap-free outing. On the way back I had the clever idea to take another route, which ended up being a busy four-lane road, and Bean was not happy at all (as the picture shows), although she fell asleep soon after. We made it home just before the thunderstorm and torrential downpour, and everyone had a nap.
All in all, it was an excellent (and appropriate) way to commemorate our third anniversary.