Crispin and I been together for three years and, although we had discussed getting married, we were perfectly happy as we were. In August 2003 I was offered a job in Sri Lanka and after much deliberation we decided to go for it. It meant that Crispin would have to give up his job in the UK to come with me, but we knew it would be worth it – we certainly didn’t want to be apart. I had to fly out to America for some training just before we left, arriving back in the UK with only one day to get organised for the big move.
On that day I was in a panic about getting everything packed and making sure our flat was in a fit state for our new tenants, so I was very surprised when Crispin suggested going for a walk. He was very insistent though, saying that he wanted to take some photos of our local nature reserve before we left, as it had been somewhere that we’d enjoyed spending time together. So we left the chaos behind and wandered out into the October sunshine. Crispin struck up a conversation about what we were going to do with a bottle of champagne that we’d been given as a leaving present, and I remarked that we’d probably be too tired to drink it that night – I was still jet-lagged after all. As we reached a pretty woodland area he hesitated, pointing to a patch of clover, and asked me if I could find a four-leaved one. While I was absent-mindedly looking for one, he said: "Well, I think we will have to open that champagne tonight," and started fumbling in his pocket. Suddenly, he was down on one knee asking me to marry him. In my shock I said: "What are you doing, you idiot?" before realising what he’d actually said and throwing my arms around him, adding: "Of course I will!" I then made him repeat the question (on one knee again), as I was worried that I’d been too overwhelmed the first time and wouldn’t be able to remember it properly!
The ring was beautiful – just what I would have chosen myself – but it was too big. Knowing that we were flying to Sri Lanka the next day, and this was our last chance to take it back to the jewellers, we made a mad dash into town to get there before closing time. I’m sure anyone that saw us on the way must have thought we were drunk due to the massive grins on our faces! At the jewellers they agreed to resize the ring, but of course that would take a few weeks. So I had to rely on my mum to collect it, and as she can’t post it out to us, it’s still waiting for me. I will have it after Christmas though, and then we can celebrate all over again.
The only sad part was not being able to celebrate with friends and family – we barely had time to call them before we flew out. But the wedding day will be the perfect chance to make up for that. We’ve set a date in December 2004, and have decided to come home for it. As beautiful as a Sri Lankan wedding would be, we don’t want to miss out on having everyone around us. So we now have the mammoth task of organising our wedding from half way across the world, which won’t be easy, but at least we have the internet! Sharing the adventure of moving to Sri Lanka and adjusting to our new life here has been a fantastic experience, and it’s even more special because of the wonderful surprise before we left.