Greg
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March 1985
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This page was written from memory 25 years later


Friday, 22 March 1985 Rosbach vor der Höhe
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So now I'm getting married again! Somehow neither Yvonne nor I feel that it's necessary for us; it's an outward sign to other people, and since we're planning to have children, it makes sense for us to have a common surname. So, finally, after all the bureaucratic nonsense involving Australian, French and German authorities, we're getting married. If it hadn't been for the residence qualifications, it would have been better to go to Strasbourg and do it there.

Given that, and the fact that we've both been married before, this was a low-key event. Gabi and Gerd Reichert came up for the event; Gabi was to be Yvonne's witness. I had asked Param Kalra and Tom Wilkens to come along. One was my witness, but I forget which. Both were to dress up, Param in ritual Sikh clothing, including a sword, and Tom with kilt and bagpipes.

Somehow things didn't work out. Param couldn't find his sword, and Tom had problems with his chanter reed, so in the end we gave up the bagpipes, and just went down to the registry office. The usual rigmarole: the registrar read out the standard texts. And then: “The groom's surname is Lehey, the bride's surname is Ködderitzsch”. What? That was the first we had heard of this (but, unfortunately, not the last). I asked why, and the registrar said “The bride is French. That's the way the French do it”. That's nonsense, of course. In France wives use the husband's name; in a prior marriage Yvonne was Yvonne Binos de Pombarat, though the divorce settlement meant that she had to revert to her maiden name. But the registrar was adamant: he wasn't doing this under German law, he was doing it representing the French Republic, and if we didn't accept the condition, he couldn't marry us. So, grumbling, we accepted. When Gabi signed the register, she was not required to enter her maiden name, but I asked her to do so anyway—the registrar couldn't refuse that.

Then off to Köppern for lunch, after which Param and Tom went back to work, we went home—I carried Yvonne across the threshold, although we'd been living there for over 2 years. Yvonne and Gabi talked horses, and I went into my office and sent email. Not exactly a celebration.


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