I thought it would be easy as it was a relatively small group of very lovely friends, but I was still very shaky and nervous, although I did come up with the great bribe that if the kids kept quiet for all three speeches they could have a bag of sweets from the sweet trolley afterwards. There was a queue by the time we finished…
I know I will loose these words if I don’t post them here, and it fills up a few gaps, because a lot of this has never made it to the blog. Here goes:
Five and a bit years ago, Himself asked me to be his girlfriend.
I thought it was a terrible idea, so I said no.
You see, for those of you who don’t know me well, or haven’t known me long, or have very short memories….
I was finally content with my rather small life in my very small house, with my rather large cat and enormous (slightly unhealthy, some would say), crochet habit.
I didn’t need anything else, and with the changes happening in his life at that point, I was pretty sure Himself didn’t need me.
After much discussion, we compromised. I would be his girlfriend but only on a 28 day no quibble returns policy basis.
I knew he would see the light.
And that is why there is a 28 day gap between our views of when we got together…
We decided to take it all REALLY slowly. Like snails.
Really, really slow snails.
So less than six months later I’d sold my house, moved from Kent to Brighton and we were renting together.
You may have noticed a ‘Top of the World’ theme going on here today. That’s because we seem to spend a lot of time going to high up places.
Whenever I was missing being around the corner from my family, or terrified about the prospect of step mumming or anything at all really, Tony would arrange to go somewhere on top of the world,
Usually a walk or a bike ride, with a banana sandwich, a cup of tea or a cider and beer. Because you always feel great when you’re on top of the world.
So, I’d like to take you back in time – a year and a day to be exact.
We’d talked about getting married one day ,a fair bit (that snail thing didn’t go so well) and we were in the Lake District.
Tony wanted to climb Scarfell Pike. It’s the highest mountain in the UK.
It is the top of the UK world – you don’t get higher. We had Percy with us though, and I didn’t think he’d make 4 hours up and four hours down (I clearly didn’t know my puppy very well back then).
Instead, we decided to climb Old Man Coniston. It would be the highest we would have been together. I had a sneaking suspicion…
We went up.
We had a cup of tea. From our thermos (we’ve now established this was the holiday where we got old).
We went back down.
I just assumed I’d read it wrong.
And the next day – exactly a year ago today we went for our final walk of the holiday.
Himself said there was a smaller top of the world there, but we missed the path and had to wade though bracken to our necks, we lost Percy, it was a bit fraught. But we got there. And we could see Old Man Coniston.
And Himself asked if I wanted a chocolate biscuit.
And then told me the last one in the packet was the best one.
So I scrabbled around, and there was my Haribo ring
(because I always said if he proposed it had to be a white and red Haribo ring, partly because I was worried if left to his own devices I’d end up with a huge ring I was too scared to wear, and partly because I was interested to find out if he ever actually listens and remembers)
It was red and white.
This time it didn’t seem a terrible idea. And I was on top of the world.
And exactly a year on, we’re here which means there’s only one real date to remember now.
I did ask what he’d have done if I’d not fancied a chocolate biscuit.
Apparently ‘that would never have happened’…
So anyway, I’m not sure speeches are actually for stories, but those of you that know me, know how I like words and (hopefully) making people smile through weaving them together.
But I think I’m actually supposed to be thanking people.
I’ll leave the proper stuff to Himself, my husband :D
But from me, I’d like to thank:
My mum and dad and sisters for listening to all my hair-brained ideas about this wedding and helping with everything from collecting seeds to talking about nails to me over and over to doing my hair and make up to making one of the amazing cakes and putting together all the decorations here today.
All the R’s for letting me share their name. Even if none of you were any help in devising a new signature…
XXX, because you now have me as a sister in law. Sorry about that.
And Himself, as you now have my sisters as your Sisters in Law. I’m really sorry about that.
And to all of you who took time off work, or just time out of your lives to come down here and celebrate our day with us – it means so much.
And of course, thank you to XXX and XXX for being reasonably ok when it comes to being teenagers. Now I really am your evil step mum…
Himself, that was for them. This is for you:
Like it says in the song:
‘No one can lift me, catch me the way that you do’.
I am so bloody lucky that you are strong enough to catch me. And that you always have been.
I’m still falling for you.
(Just to be clear – there is still no lift in the dance though.)
Let’s stay on top of the world together, forever.