Once we’d all graduated, most people stayed in London so we all saw each other a lot. I got a job near home, and M got a job working for Deutsche Bank. In Frankfurt. Bummer. However, a few weeks after he moved out there, he sent an email round to everyone, inviting us over for a weekend before Christmas. Without asking if anyone else was going, I booked my flight (which was the day after my first work Xmas party [sick face]). Turns out that nobody else could afford it, so I went on my own.
That weekend, we shared a couple of cheeky kisses (again) and when he came back over the Christmas period, we went on a few dates. By the time he was due to back, we decided to give the relationship a go. It didn’t go down well with some of our friends (to this day, we still don’t know why) so it was a pretty miserable start to the relationship to be honest! That, twinned with the fact we were trying to maintain a long distance relationship for the first six months, made it pretty tough to begin with. After 8 months of being together, I started to be quite unwell, eventually being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. It was a pretty tough first 18 months or so but we survived, and eventually in May 2010, we bought our first house together.
Fast forward two years. We had started a family...buying our two gorgeous cats (gratuitous cat flash, it's only fair).
My best friend had got married in 2011, which introduced me to the world of Hitched (I like to think I was a very helpful BM) and I was getting desperate for a proposal. Both of M’s closest friends were engaged (who live near us so we see them a lot), and I was getting a bit impatient and fed up!
I did have a feeling it was coming...M had taken a day off to spend ‘gardening’ with my dad, plus I had spotted a text on his phone from my best friend (I wasn't snooping, he'd asked me to read him a text from his mum, honest!) – I didn’t read it, as there was something in my head that told me not to. We were also due to be going on a holiday of a lifetime, to Hong Kong, Singapore and Bali and I was kind of expecting it then.
Anyway, M had asked me to put a lunch date in the diary for Saturday 19th May – we were going back to our old university to meet up with a friend. It was a sunny day, and M suggested getting a picnic, so on our way to university, I nipped into M&S and spent a small fortune on picnic food.
We set up our picnic in the field next to the beautiful building our old university is famous for and had a bite to eat but our friend hadn’t turned up. Not unusual as he is late for everything. However, when he was over an hour late, I got a tad annoyed. M was being a bit quiet but i didn’t notice that at the time. He then started pointing at something on the top floor of the building, I couldn’t see what on earth he was going on about, so he said ‘stand up and you’ll see it’. At this point, I thought ‘hang on a minute, something’s going on here!’. But I stood up anyway. When I turned round to say ‘what the f**k are you banging on about?!’, he was down on one knee, with a beautiful princess cut diamond sitting in a box.
I can’t remember my reaction exactly, but I squealed and cried a bit, and we didn’t eat any more picnic food, we were both too excited. Late friend never turned up, but he was never supposed to – he was in on the whole thing.
Here’s a couple of pics shortly after he popped the question...
We went to my parents to tell them the good news – Dad knew, as M had asked his permission. As old-fashioned as it is, it was very important to me as I am very close to my dad. Dad hadn’t told mum though, which I am very proud of him for, as him and my mum are very close and tell each other everything. Mum cried, of course and we had a nice BBQ with them. We then pootled off to tell M’s parents – they didn’t have any idea either, and his dad in particular (who doesn’t really show emotion) was very pleased for us. FMIL’s reaction was pretty muted but I think it's because it was such a surprise.
We spent the rest of the weekend telling people, and then we were very lucky to have an Engagement-moon...being able to celebrate our engagement on the holiday of a lifetime was incredible.