Paul and I had been together for seven years when we decided it would be a great idea to go on a romantic break in the Lake District. For about a month before we went, Paul was beginning to act very strangely, saying things like: "Would you like a ring now?" but in the next breath he would say: "Sorry babe, I can’t afford one for a while, but I’m getting a bonus in the summer, we’ll get one then." A story which I naively believed!
On the day of departure, Paul’s lip broke out in the biggest cold sore on his lip I’ve ever seen. Paul was mortified, as he had been trying to plan the whole thing to be perfect! We loaded up the car with our stuff and set off to the Lake District in the snow.
After agreeing to let Paul drive my new car up there, I had serious misgivings after he nearly drove into the back of several cars! I later found out he was planning what to say. I should have also suspected something was up when Paul asked me if the car would be ok parked at the services in full view of every CCTV camera in the car park. I told him that unless some thieves fancied our ski jackets and woolly jumpers there was nothing to worry about. What I didn’t know was that the ring was inside Paul’s jacket in the car! By the time we arrived in Windermere the snow had subsided to a slight flurry, with a light dusting on the ground, and my car was still in one piece.
We went for a walk, and went to find a restaurant for the evening. We found loads, but Paul dismissed every one we found as not being nice enough. We eventually found a little bistro tucked up in the corner of the high street. We headed back to the hotel to get washed and changed, and headed off to the restaurant, both wearing ski jackets as it was so cold. When we got there, Paul was reluctant to take his off, so he asked if he could go to the toilet first. I was too cold to realise that this was quite strange.
Paul ordered my favourite wine, although I should have guessed something was going on when he said: "Let’s order Champagne!" He normally hates the stuff! I stupidly said no, just stick with wine! Throughout the meal, Paul was very quiet, with me doing the majority of the talking! At the end of the meal, the waitress asked if we would like a dessert, to which I replied: "Yes, of course!" Paul looked horrified, but even so I had my dessert.
Just after I had finished, Paul took my hand, and asked me if I loved him. Alarm bells were now ringing – what was going on? I said: "Of course I do, honey." He then said: "In that case, would you do me the honour of becoming my wife?" and produced a little wooden box, which contained a platinum diamond solitaire ring (which unfortunately was too big for my finger). I think I managed to squeak a ‘yes’ out, as I was crying by this stage. I did say yes several times as we walked back up the road to our hotel to celebrate with a bottle of Champagne – which he did drink!
I then took a picture of my ring, and sent it to everyone I knew, but it seemed everyone was ignoring their mobiles that evening. By the following morning, a plethora of congratulatory messages had arrived. My parents knew that Paul was going to propose – my mum had known that Paul had bought the ring three weeks prior to us going to the Lake District – but she didn’t dare call us in case he hadn’t done it. Apparently my brother went downstairs with his mobile and showed them the picture. This was followed by lots of shrieking and whooping down the phone from my over-enthusiastic parents. We had a fabulous time in the Lake District, made perfect with my proposal.
We’re getting married on 4 June 2005, and I can’t wait to become Mrs Foxon.