Before hitting 50 next year, former SNJ news editor Sandra Ashenford has compiled a bucket list of 50 goals to achieve before her birthday.
The aim is to do one every week.
List Item No. 13 Swim in the Mermaid Pool at Burgh Island and No. 47 Celebrate 30 years of married bliss
SPOUSE has always been enchanted by the period between the World Wars, the decadence and excitement of the roaring 1920s and distinctive Art Deco architecture of the 1930s.
I don’t think we would have been partying away with the idle rich but spouse says he would have been happy to be a chauffeur, driving them around in their Bentley Blower or some other luxury motor.
So, when a few years ago, we discovered the existence of Burgh Island, a genuine Art Deco hotel situated on a tiny island in Devon, we just had to go and look.
We discovered a truly magical place. At low tide, you can walk across the beach to the hotel but at high tide, it is cut off from the mainland. Agatha Christie was a visitor here and set two of her novels on the island.
The furniture is period, everyone dresses for dinner and on Saturday nights the band plays and you can dance the Charleston.
After that first visit, we knew we would have to return. Now, any special occasion serves as an excuse to spend a weekend at the hotel and occasions don’t come much more special than milestone wedding anniversaries.
I can’t help thinking that 30 years of married life is quite an achievement. I was a fresh-faced 19-year-old cub reporter on the Stroud News & Journal when Spouse and I tied the knot at St Matthew’s Church, Cainscross on July 14, 1984.
By huge coincidence, we met another couple at Burgh Island at the weekend who were also celebrating their Pearl Anniversary — they had got married at the same time on the same day just a few miles away in Tewkesbury.
We shared a celebratory glass of champagne with them but we couldn’t persuade them to join us for a celebratory dip in the Mermaid Pool. This is a natural seawater swimming pool made by damming a small inlet refreshed twice daily by the high tide.
Had we really been in the 1920s, we could probably have made the butler wade out to us with a bottle of champagne held aloft on a silver tray — but we suspected any such request might not be met with a positive response in 2014.