So, yesterday something rather special happened…
Friday the thirteenth had been marked in the diary for some time, as my boyfriend – Lofty – was working from the London office (as opposed to Winchester), and we’d made plans to meet after work and go out for dinner. So far, so ordinary Friday.
Things became a little less ordinary when Lofty arrived at my office with a private car & driver, but he’d been out for a meeting and his company had let him use the car to pick me up or something.
We drove to Embankment station, to walk across the bridge that leads across to Waterloo. We’ve done this walk probably hundreds of times – always choosing to walk rather than take the tube. A legacy of still feeling like a London tourist, even though I’ve lived here now for 5 years! I love the view across to St Paul’s and Royal Festival Hall… It’s pretty special, even on a grey, rainy day like yesterday.
When we reached the top of the stairs that lead up to the bridge, Lofty said he had a present for me, and he pulled out a beautiful bunch of red roses. There were five of them – one for each year that we had been together.
Lofty & I met in New Zealand in 2008, both on our respective gap years, in the hostel kitchen of Base hostel, Christchurch. Soon after our first kiss in Christchurch, our first date hiking Abel Tasmin national park and a follow-up in Franz Josef glacier, we abandoned our separate plans and embarked on a two month long camping trip, seeing the most amazing country and experiencing everything NZ had to offer – we gazed at Saturn’s rings, swam at night surrounded by phosphorescent algae, skydived in Taupo and climbed Mt Doom. It was pretty epic. We rounded off our trip with a wonderful week in Fiji, where even on a travelling budget, we could afford our own private bure. Somehow, even after that, we were both frightened that this was all it was: a travelling fling, a backpacker romance, a fleeting relationship built on natural wonders and tuna sandwiches, but not built to withstand the rigours of everyday life. We parted without plans to meet again, and not saying what was in both our hearts, to continue on our separate adventures.
Not that it lasted long. From his next stop in LA, Lofty skyped me on a crackily line back to Fiji, and said that he loved me, and didn’t want this to be the end.
Fast forward five years, and we are walking across the bridge in London, and Lofty is talking through all the wonderful years we’ve spent together. At this point, I’m not sure how much I was listening – my heart was pounding and when he said he hoped we’d have many more years together, he said he had another present for me… And he pulled out a ring box.
Then, even in the rain, he knelt down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
I said yes, obviously!
Our entire lives together, we have never done anything by halves. Lofty then whisked me away to the Grange Hotel St. Paul’s, where we called family & friends, amazing dinner at the Oxo Tower, and impressive cocktails high atop London in the Shard.
The night couldn’t have gone more perfectly: a stunning London evening and two very happy people.
A very special day, indeed!