My friendship with Guy grew, but was always a bit out of the blue. He would turn up at my room at random, sweep in, and wander round the room chatting to me, picking things up to look at and putting them back down again. He would occasionally throw something at me unexpectedly – drinks with friends the other side of Oxford, a surprise visit to Oxford in the vac, a spare ticket to his OTC May Ball…
OTC May Ball
We had a mutual interest in books, yet were both scientists (me a chemist, him an engineer), but our political views differed widely: he objected strongly to the principles of vegetarianism, and me to army and war ethics. So we continued to be friends, but never considered each other romantically.
…For two and a half years.
Here is us at an “anything but clothes” bop.
At the end of my first year I had somehow scraped a distintion, and this fuelled me to work even harder throughout my second year and the start of my third. I took up climbing twice a week, volunteered for several projects, co-founded a Vegetarian Society and took on committee positions for 4 societies I frequented.
And then, at Christmas in my third year, I burnt out.
Oxford lost it’s charm. I still wanted to work hard and take part in things, but not so hard and not so many things. I was sick of exams, revisions, meetings… I decided that I wanted to enjoy the rest of my degree.
Just like in first year, the Oxford term was too short for me, and I stayed on over Easter. But I found that not many people were around Oxford that Easter – or not many who wanted to do anything but bury their head in a book and stress about finals. And so I found myself spending a lot of time around one person who usually put his social life before his work commitments – Guy Fletcher-Wood.
And then one night, over I went with a box of red wine, somehow under the impression that it was only about two and a half bottles. And so perhaps then it was no surprise that, several hours and the whole box later, he kissed me…
But what I didn’t know was that, when he did, my whole world would turn upside down.