That must've been it, that's five out isn't it, yes it's wider than the others and that bloke on the telly said they were wider in good years. Unbelievable being able to tell what the weather was like years ago just from the rings on a bit of wood. Yes it was a good summer that year. God did you realise how much I planned that. I think you probably did, you always knew what I was thinking.
“Let's take our drinks outside shall we” and you then with that raised eyebrow and just about smile. “Just come over here a minute Jan”.
You watched me pick that apple off the tree, looked me straight in the eye as I gave it to you and just as I opened my mouth you said yes. All summer I'd been planning that speech and you ruined it with one word, and made me more happy than I'd ever been before.
Two further out, that must've been the year we married. One ring on the tree and one on your finger.
Look at that really narrow one. I can remember that one, winter never bloody ended, just marked time through summer and then started again.
That's when we got the dog. Well you got the dog. Turned up back from your Mums with a little whimpering bundle. I never got to open my mouth. You just stood there like Oliver with his bowl. “Please Jack, can we keep him” pouting and quivering your lip. You knew what that did to me, not that I'd have said no. I could never say no to you.
Oh god I miss you Jan.
Twelve years since you went and I'm stood here snivelling like a little girl. There's never a tissue in this house any more. You used to have a box by your chair all the time. Sobbing your heart out whenever someone else on your soap popped their clogs.
Fifteen, doesn't look any different to the others but that must be about when Billy fell out of the damn thing and broke his arm, what was he, eight, nine? You'd have known, you had a mind like a calendar for anything to do with the kids.
Oh sod, I've lost count, now. There that must be our Gill's wedding there, another wide one just like the year I proposed. We had the reception in the garden.
I stood watching the photographer posing them under the tree and you put your arms round me and steered me back into the kitchen because I was blubbering.
I can't keep track of them now, my eyes aren't what they were.
Somewhere in there you screaming at Gill's little lad when he started climbing up it and Billy laughing like a drain because he knew why. Christenings, school photo's, partys.
All under or round the apple tree and now it's gone, like you and all I have is this bit that Fred polished up for me in his workshop. I wonder what they'll do with it when I'm gone, that can't be too much longer, I don't think I'll be setting any records. I wonder if we'll see each other? If you were right and there's something after.
Oh well I'll know soon enough.