My bother is a star and has tracked down what is, in my opinion, the perfect present for our parents' 60th wedding anniversary. Then Jane and Mary went and added icing on the cake *and* a cherry on top.
For their honeymoon Mike and Geri went to Paris and they brought back, as a souvenir, a Madonna and Child ceramic figurine by Roger Capron. That figurine has always sat in full view in their house as long as I can remember.
Ian Googled and found a piece by Roger Capron for sale on an ceramic gallery website: a clock featuring "Les Amoureux de Peynet" - doubly symbolic for such an event.
However he got no reply from the two requests he sent and the website had no phone number nor address. I did a Whois but the registrant was shown as some ISP in Switzerland - dead end. More Googling revealed that it was a gallery in St Tropez. Still no street address and international directory enquiries had no record of the gallery - another dead end :-(
But then Natalie, Ian's Office Manager who is French, came to the rescue. I do not know how she did it but she tracked down the seller. By one of those magical coincidences the seller lived near her Grandmother who Natalie was due to visit the following weekend (you couldn't make it up). A rendezvous and exchange was arranged and the item transported to England.
Roger Capron / Raymond Peynet clock
Ian (and Sarah) and I went down to Farnham on Thursday for a meal and to hand over the present. Jane and Pete were in India and Mary was in South Africa but had done their own arranging. Jane discovered that the Queen not only does letters for 100th birthdays but also 60th (and 65th and 70th) wedding anniversarys. A sneak photocopy of the marriage certificate was arranged with Dad and a request to The Palace resulted in a special delivery on the day.
Mary remembered Mum once talking about how she had wanted an orchid corsage for their wedding but her future MIL went and bought a gardenia - something that has obviously rankled ever since. So what better to supplement the obligatory bunch of flowers but an orchid corsage which Mum wore for our celebratory meal.
Well done team!
In a couple of weeks time when the wanderers return to the UK we will have a follow-up family lunch with all offspring and partners down at Jane's.