Wednesday, 27 January 2010
A bouquet of flowers
It is always delightful to receive flowers. When we were courting (I love the romanticism of that old expression!) Barry sometimes greeted me with a beautiful bouquet. Ours was a long-distance romance as he was in the army and I was at college so our times together were infrequent and marked by long separations. Though naturally I couldn't have foreseen it this pattern was a sound preparation for our marriage as Barry spent much time away from home, either because he was working long hours late into the night in various UK locations or was physically in another country – this continued and became more evident after he retired from the army at the grand old age of 32!
I know of husbands who give their wives flowers on a regular basis – Friday evenings, for example, as well as the more usual birthdays and wedding anniversaries. It's a charming idea but I wonder if it becomes a habit that is barely noticed and perhaps not fully appreciated. I love to receive flowers but for me they are all the more special when they are given spontaneously. Even so, the traditional floral gifts marking a baby's birth were wholly acceptable. I know of one husband (not mine) who realised that it was customary to give something to a newly-delivered mother. He decided he wanted to find something different to the usual posy, thought long and hard and proudly presented his wife, the exhausted mother of his first child, with a set of saucepans! If she had been less weary she might well have set about him with them.
Barry frequently came home from long days in London on the last train. (Occasionally, he fell asleep and missed his stop!) He would pass the flower sellers near the railway station and often bought flowers from them. One night he arrived home happily bearing a large bunch. It had been a miserably dark and rainy evening and he felt sorry for the flower seller who simply wanted to rid himself of his stock and go home. Barry gave him all his loose change. They were lovely flowers though I cannot now recall what they were. I unwrapped them to arrange them in a vase and as I did so all the heads fell off! However, it was the thought that counted and made me smile – and not the thought that I might be pleased but that the flower seller had had a happy ending to his day thanks to my husband's kind heart.