The rabbit hole conversation was a turning point in our relationship. I wish I could remember it now and write it down, but even directly afterwards, I realised I couldn’t find the right words to convey what we had exchanged.
It was Guy who told the analogy to me. But whilst it was his words, his metaphor, the feelings described were something we shared. The rabbit hole is a place between falling in love and engagement when you realise that you are irrevocably involved, that you are falling into a tunnel not knowing whether it ends, but not fearing it: only intent upon continuing – curious about what you will find.
In 2010, Guy finished his degree, and we took our last Oxford exams ever on the same afternoon. I still had my 4th year project to do, but Guy needed to find himself a job.
And so came a very difficult decision. Guy’s father Clive had been in the army, and Guy had always seen it as an option. He’d been involved in the OTC for years, but now it was time to move on. And part of him wanted to prove to himself that he could do it…
He knew I didn’t like it – especially didn’t like the idea of a long distance relationship with lengthy separations. And there was now no question of the relationship not continuing. But it was also important for me not to pressure him: Guy had to make the decision that was right for him.
In addition, Guy knew he had done the ‘wrong’ degree – he didn’t want to be an engineer, but he had determined to finish what he had begun. And, like me, he had enjoyed Oxford…
What he wanted to do, he decided, was… computer programming. He had a little experience, but the recession meant that jobs were scarce, and to stay beside me, he got himself a filler job at Royal Mail administration. I was ecstatic.
We moved in together. We met each others’ parents. We tried to take a piano along the Pennine Way for charity with our friend Tom and got lost in the fog.
Flat – my beautiful kitchen
Homemade 2.4m desk in the living room
Our first double bed!
The Pennine Way…
…And the Piano
And then, out of the blue, he asked me to marry him.