WARNING: slushy content alert!!!!
I met John at Baring Brothers way back 1994. I was temping there after a couple of years travelling in Israel, Egypt and Thailand. John had followed in his fathers footsteps going from school to college, into banking and taking his banking exams. He was a separated father of two lovely boys. I was a 26-year-old. Young, confident, independent and free-spirited.
We started dating on 21st October after I offered him a no strings 3 month fling with the promise I’d be leaving the country to continue my travels as soon as I’d earned enough to fund it. Twenty-five years later and I’m still here. Does that count as entrapment? My legal counsel (thanks Lottie) advised ‘no’ ….
By the end of 1997 we were a full on family of five…. me and John, his two sons (every other weekend from his first marriage) and a new baby
In 2004 we celebrated 10 years … with a party to celebrate both that and moving from Essex to Wales…. and with John writing and recording a song about how we met . “Sort of Special” …. It’s then we discovered that John sounds like Neil Young
For our 20th we had another party. This time I wanted to return the big gesture….
At the time I felt I needed to show that I too was equally committed to our relationship and I went up on the stage and put the fear of god into John , deliberately talking so he’d panic that I was about to propose …. when in reality I’d only had a life-size tattoo of his head put on my thigh!….
….and, no, it’s not real, a fantastic transfer designed by an artist friend…. there’s love and then there’s foolhardiness!
Anyway, five years further on, I was thinking , should I get up on the stage again and call his bluff? Then are thought, hell no, 25 years , far to soon to make that kind of commitment! …. although I was momentarily tempted when I discovered that not one, but two of our Loony friends are ordained Ministers for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster…. it was almost too good an opportunity to resist. And if I’m going to walk the gang-plank with anyone, it would be John. Fortunately I only thought of it a fortnight before and it was too late to organise .
Now some of you may be surprised, when I tell you I’m not actually that easy to live with….. and I’ve changed a lot over the years….and I’m not just talking about my hair colour!
Anyway 25 years is a long time. We’ve had some downs and some struggles in that time but mostly, as far as I remember, times have been good and for much of that good time, time has been great. I guess (un)marriage is a bit like childbirth, you never remember the screaming and agony!
We have both changed A LOT. From city career people to semi retired, non-conformists. From mainstream to Loony. From blending in to being our own people. I know I’m not the same person I was 25 years ago. Who is? Luckily for me I have John , who amongst other things, is my best friend. He knows stuff about me that I don’t even know myself. He’s my buoy when I feel I’m drowning, He’s my biggest cheerleader when I’m standing out there following whatever outrageous idea that happens to be. He’s my voice of reason; the balance on my scales; the kind voice on my right shoulder when the voice on the left is jabbing at self-doubt and weakness; He’s my armour when I need to fight; he’s my blanket when I’m cold or sick.
He completes me. Hopefully I complete him, because; like I said, he knows stuff about me even I don’t know, and I can’t let that out into the free world… so, John, my message to you is this…. you know too much, and if you plan to leave, I may have to put a hit out on you 😉
Love you xxx
Thankyou to all the family and friends who made it to our clebration. Those who didn’t, you were deeply missed. Thank you to all the people we know and love or loving us in return. To all the wonderful crazy people in our lives, “thank you”, and remember, blessed are the cracked for they let in the light”