Last week it was my husband’s and my ten year anniversary. He surprised me by booking us a trip out to Enniskillen. Having not spent much time there, I was delighted. A chance to explore! And explore we did.
We checked out a lot of the ruins in the area, and drove or hiked around many of the forest parks, including Lough Navar Forest, Castle Caldwell, Castle Archdale, Castle Monea, the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark and the Drumskinny Stone Circle. The trees seemed to be putting on a show just for us; it was almost impossible to capture the incredible colours of the changing leaves.
To finish up our trip, he had gotten us tickets to see the live video broadcast of the Anastasia ballet in London. It was incredible. The lead, danced by Natalia Osipova, was just breath taking. The story opens with scenes from the life of the young Anastasia Romanov, before the revolution, when her family enjoyed comfort and opulence. Presumably, these are the memories of Anna Anderson, a woman fished out of the river in Berlin after attempting suicide. At first, she suffers from amnesia and cannot recall who she is, but as her memories return, she believes herself to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia. (It was confirmed in 1994 that in fact she was not, but at the time the ballet was written, this was not known.) The first two acts serve as a prequel, and are largely the domain of Anna’s memories. They are set to Tchaikovsky’s First and Third Symphonies. Osipova captured both innocence and youth beautifully, and the tricky pas de deux in the second act between the ballerina (and the tsar’s mistress) Mathilde Kschessinska and her partner seemed flawless. The third act, set at the moment when Anna is beginning to ‘remember’, is danced to Martinu’s Fantaisies Symphoniques, and is chilling. It conveys the utter despair that Anna Anderson must have felt, searching for her true identity, and sends goose bumps up your arms at both the beauty of the dancing and sheer agony she feels from her memories and from her uncertainty at who she really is.
And what did I get him? I got him a keychain inscribed with the same phrase as on our wedding rings, ‘a deal is a deal’, along with the date and our initials. I also made him a painting that encapsulates some highlights of our last 17 years (total) together:
So here’s to another couple of decades!
For more info on what to do in and around Enniskillen, click here.