Enjoying a walk on the promenade as the shielding restrictions were eased in June was the perfect celebration for Christine and Herman Harpur.
As they both had pre-existing health conditions which put them at serious risk from Covid-19, the couple of 47 years spent 12 weeks together in their home in Whitehead, Co Antrim.
Despite Christine's pragmatic attitude to adversity, it was, of course, a significant challenge for them both.
In addition to the practical difficulties of shielding, the couple have always loved the first weeks of spring and missed their usual trips out to see the first blooms and arrival of the lambs in the fields.
However, it was a necessary sacrifice to keep one another safe and contribute to efforts to reduce the virus's spread. Still, the relaxation in advice was a welcome relief for both 74-year-old Christine and 86-year-old Herman and they were delighted to be able to visit the local landmark on June 8.
Speaking at the time, in an interview to highlight the support being offered by the British Heart Foundation throughout the pandemic, Christine described her delight at watching other people enjoying their surroundings.
"There were two older people walking arm in arm and I just thought that this is what life is about," she said.
"I would have stayed there all day even if it had been snowing."
Tragically, the couple's joy was short-lived as Herman, a father of four, suffered a catastrophic stroke just hours later and passed away at Antrim Area Hospital in the early hours of June 10, with Christine by his side.
"I think I'm still numb and in autopilot but I know that at some stage, I will be hit with total grief," said Christine.
"I know what's happening, I know the stages of grief that you have to go through and I'm just trying to do my best to get through it.
"Herman was a good man, he was a strong, principled man and he was kind and gentle. It's hard to describe him, my heart is just too full."
Christine, who is originally from Winchester in Hampshire, first met Herman when he travelled from Northern Ireland in 1973 for the European Judo Championships at Crystal Palace in 1973. "I was involved with the British Judo Association and at the time I knew quite a lot about closed circuit television because I am really interested in technical things like that," Christine explained.
"We had thought it would be wonderful if we could film the five different mat areas and I was asked if I would manage getting things organised. I sent out a notice to everyone asking if they wanted to help and Herman responded. I met him and he charmed the boots off me."
Christine arranged a trip for some of the people who had assisted throughout the tournament, but Herman was the only person to turn up.
"I found out later he had bribed them not to come," recalled Christine. When it was time for him to go home, I offered to drive Herman to the airport and I was planning on saying to him that it had been fun, I wasn't expecting him to ask to see me again and then he told me he was coming back the following week.
"I heard myself saying, 'that would be lovely' and I just wondered 'where did that come from' as it wasn't like me at all - I was usually the one in control.
"Herman was back and forth to England quite a lot because of the judo and I would occasionally come to Northern Ireland. The first time I flew over was on July 11 and I remember looking out the window of the plane and seeing all the bonfires.
"It was quite a surprise because I knew about the Twelfth but I didn't know about the 11th, so coming over to Northern Ireland in 1973 was quite a culture shock."
Ultimately, Christine decided to relocate to Northern Ireland, with the couple originally setting up home in south Belfast and subsequently moving to Whitehead.
They were at home on the evening of June 8, just hours after their trip to the promenade, when Herman fell ill.
Christine was making dinner, while Herman was in the living room. She continued: "I went to the door of the living room and at first I thought he was asleep but then I realised what was happening.
"I called an ambulance and they were terrific, they came from Carrick and they were here in 10 minutes.
"I wasn't allowed to go in the ambulance and that was extremely difficult and I told him to be brave and let the paramedics look after him.
"I gave him a kiss, the ambulance men didn't have a choice about that, they were very good.
"When the hospital called me at 3am, I knew they wouldn't allow me to come in unless it was end of life. I drove to Antrim and went straight into him and said to Herman, 'sweetheart, I'm here, I won't leave you again'. I asked him if he understood me, I asked him to squeeze my hand, which he did and I spent the next 18 hours with him."
Herman held on until the following night.
Christine continued: "It was about 10pm, I held his hand and stroked his forehead, I whispered in his ear that I loved him, that he could fight but if he was too tired, it was okay for him to go.
"I had a pillow and coat, so I tried to settle down, I was going to get a bit of sleep when I noticed his eyes flickering, so I hopped up and went over to him.
"It just wasn't right so I hit the panic button and when the nurse came in I asked if he was dead. She told me there was still a pulse but it would be two or three minutes and I was able to hold him and talk to him. It was peaceful and he slipped away, I am thankful for all those things.
"If I hadn't been able to be with him, I don't know what I would have done. If he had died without me there I would have been in a terrible state."
In the weeks since Herman's passing, Christine has been overwhelmed by the support she has received from neighbours and friends, despite the ongoing social distancing measures.
While they adhered to the regulations relating to the funeral, with only 10 people at the service, more than 100 people turned out to pay their respects - a true mark of the esteem in which the couple are held.
"Herman was a very easy person to be around," said Christine.
"He was probably one of the most humorous people. I have had so many cards and emails from people and so many of them mention the twinkle in his eye.
"You would always look for the twinkle in his eye and you knew he was having you on, and then the twinkle would increase three-fold when he knew that you knew, he was a lovely man.
"I don't know if going through this during lockdown makes it harder, when you lose the love of your life it's always devastating, whatever the context.
"We met 47 years ago and were together instantly. I'm not stupid, I know what's what and there are stages of grief that I have to go through.
"I'm not interested in food but I know I have to look after myself, I'm not the only person this has happened to. I know that you can either sink or swim, and I'm no sinker."