When I was about sixteen, my friend, Caroline Pringle, in a geography lesson, leant across to my desk and whispered to ask what would I be called when I was married; she wrote my name, Mary, on her atlas, and pushed it across to me to fill in what I would be called. I felt that Mary was quite a common name and so I would add to it the equally common name, Smith, so I could be whoever I liked.
I didn’t remember this when I met Adrian at the Oxford Bridge Club when I was nineteen. We spent much time together, drinking wine, playing bridge and talking. Adrian was sometimes the worse for wear; he kept asking me to marry him and I said “no” but then, in the end, we were talking quite soberly in the sitting room at Singleton when I realised, thinking about the years ahead, that I couldn’t live without him, so I asked him to marry me; he agreed and we went to bed, to sleep quite happily knowing we would get married. I said I was not religious but Adrian thought his mother would only like it if we got married in a church. The only thing that made me feel religious was when I was in Cornwall, so we decided to be married at St. Minver Church near Trebetherick.
So that’s how I became Mary Smith!
Mary Smith 5th January 2017