Thursday, 30 November 2017

37th Wedding Anniversary and Memoir writing workshop

As part of the National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo), I took part in a free workshop held at the Bentley Library (near my workplace), called "Writing your life stories".

The lady giving the workshop explained what a Memoir was, the beneficial effects that writing our stories has on our health - memory improvement, ability to resolve conflicts, sense of value, reminiscing about our youth, passing on our life story to our family... and how to go about structuring our memoir writing - chronological, events, theme, before and after...

This was followed by two writing exercises - 5 minutes to summarise our life in a few sentences in a bullet point format, thinking about the past and how we got to be who we are today and the second exercise - 30 minutes to write up to 500 words about one or two of the given topics:
1) Which friend had the biggest impact on  your life and in what way?
2) What was the first moment you felt truly grown up and independent?
3) How much was your first pay check and what did you do with it?
4) What do you regret not doing?
5) Is your retirement what you thought it would be like?
6) How did you meet your partner/husband/wife?

I started with topic 3, and because I still had time I went on to topic 6.
At the end some of the participants got to read their stories to the group, and I chose to read about how I met my husband, and the audience seemed to enjoy it too.

And since today is our 37th Wedding Anniversary, I'm relaying the story I wrote about how I met my husband.

30 November 1980

January 2017

I met my husband when I accompanied a friend to the house of a Greek girl, when we both lived in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Alessa had invited a few friends for coffee, and even though I'd never tried Greek coffee I foolishly accepted one. It was so bitter and thick that I almost spat it out as soon as I sipped it!
I reached for the sugar bowl and put in 4 or 5 teaspoons of sugar. The young man sitting across from me jokingly said: "Do you want to be as sweet as me?"
He had just put the spotlight on me, a shy 19 year old, and I blushed as I felt many eyes on me.
- "What an idiot!!" I thought, and just ignored him.
I worked in a Bank, and was trying to save some extra money to go travelling to Brazil and the USA, so I started doing a couple of night shifts in the function rooms of the fancy Carlton Hotel, waitressing for company functions over the Christmas season.  
One night I came across that same annoying  young man working as a barman at the same function as myself.
He looked at me, smiled and said he remembered me. We chatted for a while and I found myself enjoying the conversation.
A couple of weeks later he invited me to lunch and we had a great time, and he wasn't as silly as I thought he was! In fact he was intelligent, hardworking and had a great sense of humour.
We got married 1 year after we started dating, still very young at 20 and 22 years of age, and today we celebrate our 37th anniversary.

Our family - daughter Karina, her fiance Thomas, me, hubby Jose, son Michael, daughter in law Sara and grandson J - photo taken in Jan 2017 by Andrew Cranner (from Andrew Cranner photography).

Hope you have enjoyed my little writing exercise and story of how I met my husband.


  1. Awww, Sami, that is such a very cute story!
    Happy anniversary xxx! We have to wait till tomorrow, 29th here still.
    "What an idiot!!" - big LOL!
    Very cute photos, too.

  2. Happy Anniversary! How cute the story! And second chances are always a good thing!
    Hope many more to enjoy in the company of all the loved ones!

    1. Thanks Paula, glad you enjoyed the story.

  3. Dearest Sami,
    Wow, I surely agree with those beneficial effects on writing our Memoirs!
    It is great for the memory, it brings back moments of joy and happiness, shared together with our loved ones.
    LOVE your story and how wonderful that you both met in Joburg!
    So we have crossed many paths, in Portugal, Joburg, Germany, Australia though I've never been to your present Perth area.
    Congratulations on your 37th anniversary and wishing you many more years of happy bliss together; wherever that will be!

    1. I also agree that it's good for the mind and spirit.
      Quite amazing all the coincidences Mariette.
      Thanks for the good wishes 😍

  4. Thanks for sharing your lovely story and congratulations with the aniversary of your 37th wedding day!

    1. Thanks Marianne, glad you enjoyed my "love story".

  5. That's a nice story and congratulations on 37 years of marriage.

  6. I hope I didn't annoy my wife on the first meeting, you have to save that behavior for much later.

    1. LOL, quite true. Leave the annoying behaviour for later...

  7. Feliz aniversário na companhia da sua bonita família.
    O mais importante de tudo.

    1. Infelizmente este ano nem o meu marido esta em Perth para celebrarmos, totalmente sozinha 😔


  8. A love story for the ages, dear. It was perfect.

  9. Thanks Elizabeth, glad you enjoyed my "love story".

  10. Muitos parabéns minha amiga e tem uma família muito bonita.
    Continuação de boa semana.

    Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa
    O prazer dos livros

    1. Obrigada Francisco e obrigada pelo elogio.

  11. Great story. And I love the family photo. I'm new to your blog and this is a good way to start. :) Erika

    1. Thanks for your visit Erika, glad you enjoyed the introduction to my blog.

  12. They say first impressions are the most important but I don't necessarily agree, sometimes people are nervous at first and don't leave a good impression. You and J were meant to be, I think 37 years is proof of that Sami ☺

  13. Replies
    1. Thanks Grace, I agree first impressions can be deceiving.

  14. Congratulations on 37 years together - you are still very sweet together!! Lovely family photo as well and so special to all be together. Have you continued and written the next 30 years of your memoir story?
    Wren x

    1. Thanks Wren. No this is the only instalment of the memoir, lol. But I have a rich life story to tell...

  15. Great story and fabulous photographs of you and your husband and your lovely family.

    Many congratulations and good wishes for your 37th anniversary.

    All the best Jan

  16. Wonderful connection and true love!
    Many congratulations to you both!

  17. I love the story!!
    That is a real and true love story.
    Do you know what I am curious about?! : ) I will tell you.
    Why did you move from South Africa to Australia?
    You do not have to answer!! : ))

    1. Thanks Catarina. We moved from South Africa to Portugal in 1994, due to unrest in S.A. Then in 2006 a friend of ours and my husband's colleague for a long time, who had moved to Australia a few years before said his company was looking for staff with his qualifications, so we came here on holidays to see if it was a country we would like to live in. We fell in love with it, the company offered sponsorship and we moved in January 2007.


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