Hello there! I've actually had this space for a while now but have been slow to start. I've had the chance to read a few great blogs (some of which are listed on the side) and tonight I have decided to jump in as well. The biggest part of my delay was my trying to figure out how to start (something about all this empty space is a little daunting...) but the obvious way is with the engagement story, so here we go.
It was a beautiful day in Southern England & My Honey took me to a lovely park outside of our city. I thought we had just gone out for the day trip to celebrate his newly acquired drivers license. When he suggested the walk after lunch I was fine until we got to the base of the "hill" he really wanted climb. You couldn't see it from where we started and initially I was told that I didn't have to go up if I didn't want to but, oddly enough, when I saw it & said "hell no" not going up wasn't an option anymore! Towards the top there was a bench under a tree (from the bottom you couldn't really see the bench & the tree looked like a shrub) and I was told to aim for these.
After a few minutes of debate I eventually relented & we started our climb. About a quarter of the way up, My Honey started to look worried. Luckily I kept my inner monologue to myself but I suspect the look on my face spoke volumes and while things have improved greatly since my 2nd ankle surgery, I am sadly far from fighting fit when it comes to steep hills. MH walked behind me (perhaps to keep out of the way of my gaze or to catch me if I started to tumble backwards- a little of both maybe?) which meant that when we finally got to the magical bench he was several feet behind me. I was so excited to see it that I summoned the rest of my energy in one last burst and joyously collapsed on to it. Well wouldn't it just figure that the seat of the damn thing wasn't actually attached? The look on MH's face as I started to pitch forward was priceless (I'm sure mine was pretty amusing as well) but luckily that innate survival instinct kicked in & I managed to cling limpet like to the back of the bench (while praying that at least it was somehow anchored to the ground). Since I'm here writing to you and not dead or in traction somewhere you can see that I survived the bench malfunction with only minor bruising and an even more elevated heart rate.
We managed to put the thing back together and sit (very gingerly) on it. The view really was beautiful and MH made some Moroccan Mint tea appear out of no where, both of which cheered me up & went a long way in helping me keep the inner bitch firmly in place but after about 30 minutes I suggested we start back to the car. I was losing the will to live every minute I thought about the walk down (and up again & down... we'd gone over several smaller hills to get to this one...). MH got up then, I thought to put the thermos etc away, but instead he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was only a few minutes later when he started to look really worried that I realized I hadn't actually said yes! Once we cleared that up we enjoyed a celebratory cup of mint tea . I did balk a bit when it dawned on me that that bench is now a part of our life. (I believe my exact words were "we've got to come back to this damn bench now don't we?" These may not be the most romantic words ever uttered after an engagement but then that bench didn't try to kill you now did it?) I will say it's amazing what someone saying they love you & want to spend the rest of their life with you does for exhaustion- the walk back to the car wasn't nearly as bad as the walk to the bench had been;)
We got to spend the next few days giggling a lot and marveling over the whole "engaged" thing before I had to get on a plane to come back to the states and the crashing reality that is planning a wedding on a minuscule budget from several 1000 miles away & dealing with government agencies but that's for another night. For now let us enjoy the memory of a cool breeze, beautiful view, an incredible man plying me with mint tea & words of love- splintered butt and all!