Marriage had never been something I aimed for or aspired to – I always imaged I’d get engaged sitting on the sofa with my long-term partner and father of my children, after a long, sensible conversation weighing up the pros and cons. Probably when about 40 years old (I’m 23). I had never imagined getting married before having children, and I had certainly never imagined a whirlwind romance.
I was to be surprised.
…And so was he!
Our first date had been a pub lunch at the Gardener’s Arms – and there were many more to follow. Both of us are very fond of good food and drink, and I am an enthusiastic cook: cooking is my way of winding down.
I had already introduced Guy (very stickily) to my homemade chocolate truffles, and now I promised to make him some of my amazing chocolate dipping sauce. We bought some strawberries and profiteroles to dip, and some cheesy crackers (not to dip!); Guy picked up a bottle of Cava; we took a towel – and went for a picnic in the University Parks.
We settled in a quiet spot, hidden by the trees, and lounged upon our towel, full of food and bubbly. It was unreasonably warm and light: a lazy, idyllic day. Guy sat on his knees, and pulled me into his arms. He told me once again that he loved me, tried to express why, how much, how I was every part of his future.
And then he said –
“In fact, will you marry me?”
I sat up. I said,
“Are you serious?”
“Yes,” he said, “I -”
I don’t think either of us remember what he said next: it was babble; he was trying to justify himself and at the same time come to grips with [i]what he had just said[/i], realising that he had meant it.
And a moment later, I knew that I was serious too – I interrupted him: “Yes!” I breathed.
BAM. We are now engaged!
Over the next few days I thought about it a lot, and gradually came to terms with what had happened. I was terrified that I would change my mind, and realise I had moved with the feelings of the moment, but the opposite occurred: the more I thought about it, the more right it felt, the more everything in my life fell into place.
I was going to marry Guy Fletcher-Wood.