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Silver wedding anniversary in the snow

Regular visitors will know that this site is usually home to news about my books and films, complemented by reviews and recommendations of other folks’ work. Personal posts are few and far between, but I couldn’t let the events of last week pass without mentioning where I was, why I was there, and who I was there with.

On 16 January, my incredible wife Lisa and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. That doesn’t seem at all possible, because it only feels like five minutes have passed since we tied the knot. Our wedding back in 1999 was, for various reasons, a very small and low-fi affair, and we promised ourselves that when we reached 25 years, we’d celebrate in style. And we did.

Four of our daughters, three of their partners, one of our granddaughters, and a close family friend who’s also a minister accompanied us to the ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi, Northern Sweden. If you’ve never heard of the IceHotel, it’s exactly as you’d imagine. Blocks of ice are harvested from the Torne River, and a new hotel is built every November. It’s a magical, almost dreamlike place, with each version of the hotel only lasting for a matter of months before it melts and disappears back into the river. Each room is individually designed by artists from around the world, and there’s also a glorious ceremony room, where Lisa and I renewed our vows in front of our family. It’s like nowhere else on earth. The closest comparison I can come up with, is that it’s like DOCTOR WHO’s regenerating TARDIS in the way the building almost entirely changes from year to year, and yet it also remains the exact same place.

Anyway, if you get chance to visit, I really do recommend it. You can find out more at www.icehotel.com. The food and accommodation is superb, and there’s no shortage of activities to keep you occupied. My lot spent the week husky sledding, searching for the Northern Lights on snowmobiles (at -35 degrees centigrade!), and undertaking a ten-stage sauna ritual that included a dunk in the ice-cold river. It’s an unforgettable experience.

Thank you, Lisa, for 25 incredible years. Here’s to (at least) 25 more!