Twenty nine years ago today, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.
And so, Scott and I nipped down to the registry office on a Saturday morning, and got married. We did this mainly because we loved each other and wanted to be married. However, as Scott was due to become a part of the task force that was imminently due to deploy to Saudi Arabia, we needed to make our relationship official, just in case Scott died.
After nipping down to the registry office we went to the pub with all our friends, and we all got royally drunk.
A year later, we had a proper “wedding”, followed by a proper party, in which we all got royally drunk, and also rather noisy, so eventually the police arrived and closed the party down.
A week after the party, we moved from Northallerton, in the north of England, to our first married quarter at RAF Cranwell. The following week, we adopted our first puppy, and she ate half of the kitchen floor tiles, and a bit of the hall carpet, and quite a lot of the wood chip wallpaper on the ground floor.
After moving out of a married quarter, military families prepare for the “march out”, by cleaning every surface, nook and cranny inside and outside our home until they are absolutely sparkling. Any damage: even a speck of dirt on your 20 year old light fitting, or, heaven forbid, a spot of grease on your 30 year old oven will result in a hefty fine. Obviously we were fined heavily, and bought Deefa a dog house in which to spend her free time in our next home.
We moved a couple of miles down the road, having bought a renovation project, and once we’d moved in, we agreed to look after Scott’s brother’s cat, Squidgy, for a little while. A little while became a long time, and eventually we realised that we had actually adopted a cat. Our Darling Son was born during our time in Lincolnshire, but eventually it was time to move on. We bought a caravan, gave Squidgy to the neighbours (who, it turned out, thought that he had been living with them for several years), packed up our belongings, and set off on a month long road trip to the heel of Italy, where we would live for the next couple of years.
Darling Daughter was born while we were living in Puglia, but shortly thereafter, we relocated back to North Yorkshire. Our little family then moved to Germany, then RAF Leeming.
In 2001 we bought our forever home, another renovation project, but this time with pasture land for ponies. We built stables, bought hens and ponies, settled down into family life, and resolved never to move again.
Then, of course, we moved. To Scotland, then home. Then to Alabama, then home. Then Brussels and then finally, FINALLY to Rome.
But of course, you’re reading this because we aren’t going home just yet, thanks to the madness that led us to buy an abandoned farm in Italy.
Instead, we’re recovering from The Final March Out: a process that still fills us with dread. Thankfully, neither Holly nor Bella ate the parquet flooring in our Rome home, and there was no woodchip wallpaper for them to munch on, just a wonky old Ektorp sofa to nibble, so we got by without a fine!
In a couple of weeks, it will be twenty nine years since we nipped down to the registry office on that Saturday morning, and we will be full time residents of The Olive Hill, our sixteenth home.
And now, the adventure really begins …