When Nigel and I were courting, I had a room up in the attic of Girton College. From my window we could look out on the red-tiled roof and see a little bell tower.
I do not know what the bell was for – I never heard it rung. But I remember that on the tower strutted and preened a pair of white doves.
We delighted in their affectionate billing and cooing over the months I inhabited the room.
The birds seemed like mascots for our own courtship.
When we married, the invitations bore doves and it was a dove that I embroidered on my wedding dress.
That was thirty years ago.
But recently, we moved into our new house.
On the first day here, I spotted a white dove on the roof opposite.
By the next day there were two.
Now, they parade up and down the ridge of the house several times a day; they bond by touching their bills together.
One is supposed to celebrate the thirtieth wedding anniversary with pearls, but we are celebrating it with pearl-white doves instead.