I don’t mean to boast, but I honestly think I’ve got the biggest wedding ring in the world. It is HUGE, for a wedding ring, though actually quite small for a guitar, which of course is what it actually is.
The truth is, I don’t like wearing rings. They irritate my fingers. So when David and I decided to get married, getting a guitar instead seemed like the obvious choice. Apart from the size difference of course. But think about it, as a symbol of love, something that is often cradled in my arms, a guitar is perfect – part of my creative being, my past and my future.
Of course, choosing the right one was important. It couldn’t just be any old guitar off the rack. It had to be special.
So just before Easter 1999, with the date set for the wedding the following year, we arrived at the National Folk Festival where I was performing. As always there was a large instrument makers’ exhibition, with luthiers from all over Australia bringing their hand-crafted guitars for people to try out. I already knew one of those luthiers, he was a friend of a friend, so I tried all the other guitars first. After all, what were the chances of liking this guy’s guitars the best? But of course that’s what happened; as soon as I picked up Doug Eaton’s Rapid Creek guitar and started playing I knew it had to be mine. So we ordered a smaller than average version, made with mostly Australian timber, to be delivered in time to go on a UK festival tour and get married afterwards. So I guess it was an engagement ring as well (might have been pushing my luck to get two…)
Actually, Doug made a real ring as well, out of wood, for us to use at the wedding ceremony. It has a tiny guitar carved on the top and although it is a bit clumsy to be worn all the time, it worked a treat on the day.
And the guitar has worked a treat every day since, just like the marriage.