50 YEARS

In the world we live, work, socialise in.... the beautiful all encompassing world of weddings, we are surrounded by the dizzying excitement of the new, the new adventures, the lives ahead of us, the children, the houses, but most of all the new love, the enduring love, the simple heart bursting feeling that two people looked into each others eyes and thought... 'you know what, this person is the best thing that has ever happened to me, I want to wake up and look at you everyday'

After all the noise has died down, the dress is packed away, the flowers wilt, the makeup is wiped off, the shoes are put back in their box. Its just two people with a life of memories to create...

Just over 50 years ago, Diane Blizzard aged 17 from Birmingham was on a girly holiday with two friends, staying for 2 weeks in the English Riviera of Torquay, at the Orchard Park caravan site. They arrived on the Saturday afternoon, unpacked, cooked some dinner and looked forward to the holiday ahead, they asked the owner if there were any other young people on site, He replied, 'yes there's 3 Irish lads stopping' to which Diane said 'Oh we're not interested in Paddys'.....  

On the Sunday morning the girls decided to head for the beach, so went to the nearest bus stop. After waiting for 30 minutes, no buses had been by, then along came the 3 young lads from Belfast, one of them - Des Smyth aged 20 with his blue eyes and thick dark hair started chatting. Of course they had no idea what he was saying, his accent was really strong in them days. BUT, something, somewhere a little spark happened. My Mum tells me now, that she knew almost instantly that he was THE ONE. Whether it was the blue eyed twinkle, the thick dark hair or the charm. My Dad hasn't said much on the subject, he may be a little shy or just felt guilty that his first thought was 'She's a bit of alright!' Turns out the buses didn't run on Sundays, so that day they all walked to the beach and chatted and flirted... 

Diane and Des spent the rest of the holiday hanging out, going for dinner, laughing on the beach and really just falling in love. There was no agenda, they didn't care what they did, so long as they could be together thats all that mattered. At the end of the week, they went their separate ways, Diane to Birmingham, Des to Belfast. They couldn't stop thinking about each other, heartbroken, they pined to be together. They wrote to each other and after only one month, Des moved to Birmingham to begin the age old process known as 'courting' - (ask your parents) Essentially a vetting process by Dianes' family to see if he was ok. There was a lot of anti-Irish attitude in this country back then, so it wasn't an easy thing for him to do. He was a plumber by trade and at the time work was easy to come by especially in the construction industry, he lived in lodgings with fellow workers, at the time all guest houses had signs reading 'NO BLACKS, NO IRISH, NO DOGS' So it was a big chance this young lad from Belfast was taking, all for the sake of a girl.... equally, this sweet young Brummie girl was taking a gamble on a rough Irish boy she had only spent a week with. But you know what, they knew how real their feelings were for each other and they decided to make a go of it...

Last night, our whole family gathered for a massive party to celebrate my Mum and Dads Golden Wedding Anniversary! 50 years of marriage. In this very cynical, disposable and pretty selfish world, they are a shining beacon of love and commitment for life. I am so so proud of them both, the strength and determination they have shown in a pretty tough life together has been phenomenal, a solid team who are each others world. Maybe its a generational thing? but thats exactly the life I want, I hope we see our Golden Wedding Anniversary one day.