Matt proposed on the 22 November 2002. It was an unforgettable date because we had rented a huge house to host a party for all of our friends. It was the start of a tough year as both of us were away on placement as part of our degrees, and I missed Matt more than I ever thought I would. The party was a chance to get everyone together, and after a raucous game of Twister for 25 people, I found Matt sitting in the games room on his own. He was really thoughtful and quiet, and I thought that perhaps the sibling rivalry between him and his brother on the Twister mat had upset him, for whatever silly reason. I sat on the chair with him, trying to cheer him up a little, and the conversation turned to how much we loved each other. I got up to leave, expecting him to follow, when he grabbed my hand and dropped to one knee. Now, we have always had a giggle about how I would run a mile if anyone proposed, so even at this point I didn’t twig! The next second he asked me if I would marry him…initially I just thought he was joking, and kept telling him to get up off the floor. He looked into my eyes and said, “No, I’m not joking. I mean this”. I didn’t know what to say. I know that people talk about their ‘lives flashing before them’, and I’ve never thought it would happen. For what seemed like a few minutes, my whole life did! I went through everything, from beginning to end, through all the lovers and relationships, to that very point of Matt on one knee. It all fell into place ‐ there could be no one else on this world for me. I whispered ‘yes’, and his face just beamed. All he said was “Oh my god, you’re still here!” Everyone was absolutely ecstatic; it was the most unexpected surprise that weekend!
As we were poor students at the time, the question of a ring was really difficult. We had no money at all. So, we rang our parents and asked if anyone had a ring that they’d like to offer. Matt’s wonderful Gran came forward with her own Mum’s ring ‐ it’s easily over 100 years old. We’ve had to have it rebuilt, but have retained the original style and replaced one of the diamonds with a new diamond, hand‐cut in the fashion of the time the ring was made. So, although it isn’t a ring of our own choice, I am walking down the aisle with a pure piece of love that means a thousand times more. The wedding is planned to be pretty informal (we’re still poor!), and everyone who was at the party is invited. In fact, to celebrate the South African part of my family, we’re just having a big barbeque! Our honeymoon is special too ‐ we are heading to South Africa for a whole month ‐ I haven’t been back since we left in 1990, and can’t wait for Matt to see where I grew up. We’re both counting down the days….17 September