18th April 1986 – I am 27 years old and it is my wedding day…
There is a memory, and it might as well be from this day. The sun is shining above the Downs, the sky is blue and where it comes down to the south it meets a dark blue line – the sea. This is the year I discover punk rock, but not just yet. As I dress in the morning I am singing along with Johnny Nash on the radio:
I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had me black,
It’s gonna be a bright, bright, bright
It has not been a great year so far – Chernobyl, the Palme assassination, and I’m in a dispute with my employers over terms and conditions – but it’ll get better from here on, won’t it?
We have no money and have chosen to have a very modest day. No relatives from either side and as guests only our witnesses – friends we have got to know during the academic year. Merzad has come down from Uppsala where Agneta is studying. Stefan, who works with me, has come over from his flat in the town centre. We walk across town and on the way buy a bouquet of Marguerite daisies for Agneta. We are married by a man called Goding* – something the bride finds exceptionally funny – and then walk home again to open a bottle of champagne.
It is a good day, though I’m a little sad, afterwards, that no one from England came to surprise us despite their non-invitation.
We live in Sundsvall in the north of Sweden where we have lived for eight years (and where we will live for another year and a half, though we don’t know that). We both have – by our lights – good incomes, but no time. No time. The dark clouds are gathering. The sunshine is dulled.
The evening ends for us, the key participants, in a taxi on our way home to bed. Let’s do it again, we say. We must do it again.
*No, I don’t remember days that were 18th April in all these years, or the dates of Easter in 1966 and 2006. But the Internet has its uses, and one is a plethora of calendars where you can check these things.
*Goding, which works perfectly well as a family name in English, sounds weird to Swedish ears since it’s a slang description for an attractive person – think “sweetie”. Mrs SC assumed the gentleman had taken the name, but I suppose he might have had an English Goding ancestor.
This article was written for the #Blogg52 challenge.
I originally published this article on the separate Stops and Stories website. Transferred here with a little polishing for SEO 18 May 2017.