Today, it is my great pleasure to introduce someone who actually needs no introduction at all … but I’m giving her one, anyway. 😁Please help me welcome Author and Blogger Extraordinaire, Sally Cronin. Most of you are very familiar with Sally and her fabulous Smorgasbord blog, but I’m guessing you may not be quite as familiar with the romantic story she’s sharing here today. I know you’re gonna love it, so let’s get to it! Sally, my friend, the floor is yours! 😀
So delighted to be back as a guest on my always ROCKIN’ friend’s blog.
A fantastic place to be showcased!
Thanks so much Marcia
Life Changing Moments -The Rocky Road to True Romance
Have you ever wondered why the classic fairy stories that involve a beautiful farmer’s daughter, scullery maid or even a princess, who are swept off their feet by a handsome and rich stranger on a white horse; end with the words ‘And they lived happily ever after’.
Because most were written by men at a time when a woman was a chattel who cooked, cleaned and bore children. The men however went about their business as usual; of course living happily ever after.
That may sound a bit cynical, but I can remember as a child being fed the propaganda. Most commonly via bedtime stories and the ‘Happy Ever After’ films that we were allowed to watch in our teen years. Disney had the whole thing down to a fine art.
By the time I was sixteen, I was convinced that at some point, a rich and handsome stranger was going to gallop into my life and sweep me off into a fairy tale future in a palace with a new generation of princes and princesses, and a life of love and contentment.
By the time I was 19 years old I had kissed a few frogs, and thought that Prince Charming had ridden in a few times, but discovered that in reality they just as quickly rode off into the sunset. Still that is all part of growing up, but because of the indoctrination of childhood, I mistook one particular prince for the real thing.
Oh the joy in the royal family that the princess had been chosen by a prince of such standing from the neighbouring county. A large and lavish wedding was orchestrated by the two queens with the kings simply opening the doors to their treasure houses. The invitation lists in both palaces grew by the hour as dignitaries were invited from far and wide. Many of whom the princess and prince had never met! The reception was a masterpiece of just the right location and the food suitably divine. A vaulted arch of the prince’s entourage lined the drive from the grand cathedral; carriages awaited to take the jubilant bridal party to the festivities.
A few glasses of champagne, elegant speeches and a thrown bouquet that was caught by the next lucky bride, and the prince swept the princess off on his charger into the sunset to the awaiting bridal chamber.
They call it a day to remember, and certainly as I thought about the celebrations in the weeks, months and years that followed, I knew it would be etched on my mind forever. Such an auspicious beginning, and at first it seemed that the dream would continue. However, pretty quickly, what I had believed to be the epitome of true romance had vanished. As tragedy, a controlling environment and betrayal came to light, I found myself trapped by the web that had been spun around me; I felt it would be impossible to break free without angering so many.
But one morning I woke up to find the spell had lost its power, and despite the threat of banishment to a far off land where my shame would not be witnessed by family and friends; I packed up a small bundle of clothes and hit the road. I spent the next three years concealing my whereabouts and keeping well away from anyone who knew me. I ended up in the depths of the Welsh mountains where I worked hard to make my own way, and drifted in and out of a few half-hearted relationships. I was not going to be caught up in the fairy tale again. I was very happy to be alone and to spend my life making my own decisions and being loved by cats.
Then, would you believe it… a prince arrived in disguise. Quiet and bespectacled and riding an ancient nag that had seen better days. There were no grand or extravagant gestures, just a gentle wearing down of my defences. But there was magic involved, of that I am certain. I felt myself being drawn in despite the walls I had built around me. A different kind of spell was being woven that enchanted me, and after only one dinner date, I found myself saying yes to spending a lifetime together with this softly spoken handsome suitor..
The Queen and King back at the castle where I was born were aghast on hearing that I was betrothed again. And to a foreign prince from afar with as yet unknown credentials, who had the audacity to propose on our first date; the Queen announced that she was about to faint.
My prince was not about to let the grass grow under his steed however and he approached the King and asked for his daughter’s hand. With the memory of the extravagance of the previous match, the king offered him £5 and a step ladder in the hopes there would be an elopement.
Which there was, and within six weeks, very quietly and without undue ceremony, we were married. This time just both sets of Kings and Queens and one lady in waiting attended! Drenching rain blessed the union in a small registry office in Wales.
After a festive lunch we set off on the prince’s ancient steed to a rather dark castle in the mountains where the bridal suite, decked in red flock wallpaper, vibrated to the noise emanating from the public bar beneath.
Then it was off to the damp and musty rooms that we managed to find whilst we worked and built up enough savings to buy our first modest home. This was followed by 42 years of travelling the world, living in wonderful countries and working together, with the promise we hope of many more years to come. Despite what had gone before; compelling me to seek sanctuary in that isolated spot in the mountains, it was clearly meant to be, and without doubt led to a life changing moment.
(A Happily Ever After Ending if Ever I Read One, Sally!)
Author Sally Cronin
After a career in customer facing roles in the hospitality, retail, advertising and telecommunications industry, I wrote and published my first book in 1999 called Size Matters, about my weight loss journey, losing 150lbs in 18 months. This was followed by 13 further fiction and non-fiction books, including a number of short story collections.
My aim was to create a watering hole on my blog to provide a wide number of topics to chat about…..This year in September 2020, Smorgasbord in its current format, celebrated its 7th anniversary.
As important as my own promotion is, I believe it’s important to support others within our community. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog, linked to my social media
Having lived a nomadic existence most of my life, I am now settled on the coast of Wexford in Southern Ireland with my husband of 40 years, enjoying the odd sunny day and the rain that puts the Emerald in the Isles.
You can find Sally’s book, and Sally, herself HERE: