Here it is again, the darkest day, lurking at the dawn of the year.
George Johnston Fergusson
Elizabeth Hay Findlay
'There is a photo of the two of them at some shindig before they are married. My father wears a suit but it looks saggy, bauchled - and under the jacket is a knitted waistcoat. I remember it: dark wine in colour, banded in beige. His lop-sided smile is part Frank Sinatra and his eyes sparkle. His arm is round my mother's waist. She's wearing a frothy creation, with a ruffled bodice that does her no favours and tiers of chiffon skirting, all very Fifties. Her skin is gorgeous: she glows. Her smile has a shyness to it: she looks happy to have his protective arm around her.
Later, in the black and white wedding photo, my Aunt Eunice sits in a froth of grey pastel, my cousin Dorothy is pixie-cute as the flower girl, and the best man, Ecky Mo, looks like a character from a comic-strip with his surprised stand-up hair and his square little face and button eyes. My Dad leans towards my Mum and he is in the full flowering of his handsomeness. My grandmother told me how, at the reception, he was taking a little too much to drink, but when she chided him for it he turned to her and said, 'Ae, Mam, I'm jist sae happy!' My heart clenches at that simple, pure outpouring of joy.'