Last week, in celebration of Sarah's birthday, the two of us spent an extended weekend away at Thoresby Hall. A large manor house (actually a small palace), it had originally been built in 1875 in the middle of Sherwood Forest as the home of Earl Manvers and his family. Pretty much restored to its original Victorian-era splendor, it has since been converted into a spa hotel. We spent our time partaking in rifle shooting, archery, croquet, swimming in the indoor pool, evening murder mystery parties, or simply strolling the estate grounds and viewing the nearby herd of grazing wild deer.
One morning during breakfast, we noticed an older gentleman dining alone at the table next to us. Perfectly balanced upon the table, next to his plate of toasted crumpets, was an oval-framed photograph of a very beautiful young woman. We introduced ourselves and quickly learned that our new friend's name was Arthur and that the photograph was of his wife, who had passed away 21 months earlier. A couple of times every year, Arthur and his wife would come to Thoresby Hall as a special treat to themselves. Every morning they would sit at this very same table and share their morning breakfast together.
At the very vibrant age of 88, Arthur is still coming to Thoresby Hall as a treat to himself, and every morning of his stay he and his beloved wife sit at their special table and share breakfast together. Do you want to know what undying love and devotion is? You've just read about it.