We have the incomparable Vicky Rose to thank for sending me the image in todays’ entry…
I proposed to my girlfriend-then-fiancée-then-wife in the middle of London. It was an evening of explosions and lights as the 5th November firework displays lit up the Thames. We’d spent time on the London Eye and poked round a nearby gallery which had a Dali exhibition – discovering for the first time that day, exactly six months after we’d first met, that we had a mutual interest in the man who did one of the finest paintings ever produced. (There was a lobster phone. You can never go wrong with a lobster phone.)
Afterwards we wandered into Picadilly where we encountered two American couples at an Italian restaurant in the middle of the theatre district; one brash and snappy, one peaches-and-cream. Then we strolled along the embankment and perched out on a ledge next to Cleopatra’s Needle. I asked her to marry me just after she’d pulled me back across to the pavement, which I’d have been unable to manage on my own. I wasn’t on one knee, and I didn’t have a ring. Nor was it a spur of the moment decision; I’d just been dithering a bit, knowing we both wanted to do this but wondering if it was too soon to ask. I can remember her eyes, unsure as if to wonder whether I actually meant it, and then her smile, as the months of doubt as to my sincerity melted away, and then her voice, as she said yes, yes, a hundred times yes.
Anyway. We got married before the revival. But I were to do it again, I’d want to give her this:
(The original post is here. It includes an aesthetically pleasing rotating image.)
It’s weird when you find someone who enriches your life like she does. You wonder how you ever managed before; your world pre-that person seems to exist almost in a dream state, an imagined half-existence, sort of like the one John Smith encounters in ‘Human Nature’ / ‘Family of Blood’ (which Josh and I are in the middle of at the moment), before he realises he’s actually the Doctor. And it’s important not to lose sight of that former world, so that you don’t start to devalue what you have now, or take it for granted.
I began this blog with a quote from Elton Pope, and it is to him – indeed, that same quote – that I return, because my life with Emily has brought unbalance into the equation. There are emotional highs and lows. There are disagreements. There are conflicted interests. And there are wonderful, thrilled moments of passion and of goodness and of grace – far, far too many to count. And I love her to bits for making my life so much more interesting. Because I used to be quite content dashing to and fro living mostly for myself. And the two-kids-and-a-mortgage life needn’t be dull if the person you’re sharing it with is fun and adventurous and is willing to explore the pitfalls and possibilities. It’s a cliche to say that your family is your greatest adventure, but that doesn’t mean it needn’t be true, if that’s what you want. You needn’t be dragged down into monotony. Because “the world,” as Elton says, “is so much stranger than that. It’s so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.”