Ian was one of those setting off fireworks from one of the sixteen barges on the River Thames on New Year's Eve 1999.I was sitting on a tug holding the…
Written by Louise Holt Last updated: August 21, 2006
I met Ian in 1996. He was looking for financial advice and applied for information from a company. That creates a “lead” for the financial advisor to follow‐up. So I did. I called him several times to try and book an appointment, to no avail. He was always too busy.Anyway, we finally met. I can remember the day he opened the door. Ithought, “Hmm, quite cute.” In the house were pictures of children,”Typical, all the nice ones are married,” I said to myself. But it turned out that he had just been through a divorce and wanted to get his life and finances in order again. That was the first of three meetings we had over an 18‐month period. We always got on well, often talking more about ourselves.
Everytime I went round, he would have a bottle of South African wine opened. I am from Cape Town.On our third meeting, he asked me out for dinner, but I declined. I thought business and pleasure shouldn’t mix. But…I moved companies in 1998 and wrote to him out of courtesy to let him know. He called me on my mobile and the next thing I knew, we were going out for dinner. Again we clicked.Relationship‐wise, we had both had a very hard and hurting time. Ian told me all about ‘Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus’. I started reading it. Ian was VERY, VERY scared about getting involved again. My mom told me to give him lots of space and leave him to do all the moving. I did. Best bit of advice I have ever had. And the book was excellent. From seeing each other once every other week, we moved in together last May after eight months.Sitting down one day, Ian pulled out his 1996 diary. We had met on the 12th March at 2pm. He still even remembers what I was wearing.We are best friends and, believe it or not, we don’t argue. I think it was the slowness in our relationship. We built a strong friendship first.We went to South Africa in February. I wanted to show Ian “home”. Well, he whisked me off to Sun City.
We went on safari, saw shows, won money in the casino and had a ball. One night, however, he wasn’t feeling well. He wanted to get “some air”, but I had to go with him.We walked through the gardens at 12.30 at night. We stopped on a swing bridge with a waterfall and big pond below us. We kissed. He said he felt much better. Then he dropped to one knee and said “Marslie McGregor, will you please be my wife?” I froze. I was shocked. And I burst into tears and said “Yes”.Next day, I couldn’t eat breakfast, I was shaking so much. We flew to a little town called George and went ring hunting. A fabulous jeweller took us into a private office and after looking at the shape of my hands, picked out a few.
I fell in love with my ring at first sight, but it was too small. So we were sent upstairs to a restaurant for lunch and wine, on the jeweller, while he sized it for me. They wouldn’t let me wear it out of the shop. Ian had to give it to me romantically.We drove to Knysna ‐ the most beautiful area in the world. That night, we were picked up in a limo and taken out onto the lake to watch the sunset.It was all a surprise organised by Ian. As the driver popped the Champagne, Ian gave me my ring. Again I shook. I will never forget that feeling of absolute happiness.So, here we are back in the UK. Family and friends are thrilled. We have set a date and it’s all go from now on. I look forward to every day with this man. He is the most romantic, loving, affectionate man I have ever met in my life. He is my soul mate and my best friend. He is looking for another financial advisor. I have told him it will have to be a male!!!!!!!!!
We decided to spend Valentine's Day in Paris. In fact, we decided to spend a week there. On Valentine's Day...