Yesterday was a significant milestone for me.
It was Mr and Mrs GOF's 30th wedding anniversary.
Please hold back the applause because my Child Bride might not be as enthusiastic as I am about the passage of so many years.
Our celebration (lunch at Lake Barrine ) was just as understated as our wedding in 1980 out the back of a cheap motel in Townsville involving the minimum quorum permitted by law…..five.
This, at around the time when the world was watching the fairy-tale marriage of Prince Charles to The Lady Diana Spencer on television.
I am proud of our achievements together, but it is not a time when the truth as I see it should be compromised in order to write an embellished love story.
I do not believe couples who announce to the world that they have lived thirty years or more in "wedded bliss".
Thirty years of negotiation, compromise, mutual caring, consideration and respect for each other, with occasional blissful moments I will however believe, because I have walked that walk.
Successful partnerships require the surrender or modification of certain behaviors, personal independence and many of life's opportunities.
With this in mind I must now pay tribute to Mrs GOF, and probably the majority of Australian women of my generation who sacrificed more than their fair share of educational and career opportunities, as well as close family connections, just to follow their man and his dream.
Mrs GOF gave up more than she should have for our partnership.
This is entirely my own assessment, because she has never openly expressed regret for her 1980 decision.
These days I try my best to make amends for this perceived imbalance, and give her as much relief as I can from the
GOF-anchor she has been dragging around for all these years.
We are the original odd couple. Opposites in many ways.
No-one thirty years ago would have given us a snowflake's chance in hell of having the predominantly happy, caring, rewarding and enduring relationship which it has proven to be.
I am however thankful that Australian society today no longer expects our own daughter to sacrifice as much of her individual potential and independence as her mother did just to be with her chosen partner in life.