Category: <span>Life</span>

I’m still not sure how I feel about going and standing in a busy venue, next to hundreds of other people, especially given the current (re-?)rise of COVID instances but given how many gigs I had booked that got rescheduled thanks to the pandemic, it’s something I need to figure out.

I have some time to get my head around it mind you, with gigs from 2020 being rescheduled to 2022 (and one in 2023) and whilst I’ve already missed one (sorry Elbow!) there are a couple on the list below that we will NOT be missing!!

  • Skunk Anansie – 26th April 2022
  • Pet Shop Boys – 29th May 2022
  • Crowded House – 10th June 2022
  • Brass Against – 23rd June 2022
  • Hella Mega Tour – 29th June 2022
  • Elton John – 17th June 2023

Of course we also now have the wonderful additional complication of Jack to consider too – I can see me dragging someone else along to Skunk Anansie – but by the end of May hopefully the wee man will be able to be babysat for an evening whilst Mum & Dad go out and have some fun.

I’ve missed live music, more than I think I even realise, and I am excited to get back to the venues as long as I can shake this unsettling anxiousness that remains. Part of me thinks I’m worrying too much, part of me thinks I should just cancel the lot of them and sell the tickets because I just don’t trust ‘people’ enough to feel safe. That said, many people I trust are back out at gigs, although the pervasive notion seems to be “double jabbed is good enough and sure I might get COVID but I won’t die so what’s the harm?” which doesn’t really set my mind at ease.

Equally I have a family to think about and, as a contractor, if I don’t work I don’t get paid and whilst we have a small buffer in place I find I’m more cautious these days about such things; sidebar to being out on my bike and almost having a very bad incident which was entirely down to my own folly, to which end I am now much more careful on descents and corners lest I end up skidding into another turning on the wrong side of the road and thanking a deity that there aren’t any cars there.

I know these fears and worries will fade, just as I know that as time goes by I find myself yearning to get back out into gig land. I know too that by the time these gigs roll around I’ll feel a lot more comfortable within myself about being out and about amongst the masses, as we unite at the alter of live music. Oh Happy Day!

In fact I know I’ve turned a corner in my thinking because I’m already keeping an eye out for other gigs, although I’m going to need to be pretty picky given the additional logistics to consider. And even if I don’t pick up any other tickets that still leaves Skunk Anansie as a ‘first gig’ back which might just be perfect; it’ll be rammed, hot, busy, and LOUD. Just the thing to finally shake off my COVID fears and get me back out into the world.

Life

Hello Jack, my son,

You arrived early, but safely, and the last few weeks we’ve been getting to know you, figuring out your needs and wants, and mostly just gazing at you in utter adoration.

You seem to be settling into life well, and I think your Mum and I are doing a pretty good job of keeping you happy, safe, warm, clean, and fed. The latter is all down to your Mum right now but that means I get to hang out with you, hold you in my arms and, so far, you don’t seem to be bored of my chat although admittedly it’s mostly been silly noises.

You’ve met the family already, Granny Morna, Grandpa Liam and Uncle Robbie were all thrilled to say hello, your Auntie Jen (keeping the family tradition going) had a special t-shirt to wear the first time you met, your cousin Lucy has had a squish and, well, your cousin Daisy is only 9 months old herself so it’s safe to say that neither of you were that aware of each other but that’ll change!

And of course Granny McLean was delighted to meet her first grandson, she’ll definitely spoil you rotten (although I think Granny Morna is up for the challenge). I am a little sad that you won’t get to meet Grandpa McLean, but trust me when I say he would’ve adored you every bit as much as I do.

I’ll roll out some cliches now because they are all true (or they wouldn’t be cliches); since the minute the nurse handed me to you, all swaddled up, I couldn’t take my eyes off you. I’ll happily confess that I cried, tears of joy streaming down my face as I looked at you, and I knew instantly that I’d do anything for you. Anything.

Since you arrived it’s been a whirlwind of feeding, napping, and changing. Ohh and noises and wriggling and smooshes. Lots of those. Cannot get enough of you, holding you, gazing at you… I may have said that already.

You are putting on weight well, feeding well (and often) and so far seem to be very chilled out, laidback little person. It’s fascinating to watch you already becoming a small boy, losing that newborn baby face, and those big eyes (just like your Mum) starting to take in the world around you. You’ve made friends with the dogs too, although right now they aren’t interested at all as you can’t play with them or give them food.

I’m your Dad.

What a sentence that is, so short but so utterly life changing in the most wonderful of ways.

I apologise now for all the bad jokes, but everything else is yours to discover. Your Mum and I will be there every step of the way as you grow, and we can’t wait to meet the adult you, regardless of what choices you make. We will be there for you, and just want you to be safe and sensible, although neither of us are sure how we will help you achieve any level of “being sensible” as, as you’ll find out soon enough, we are both a bit daft.

But we love you. More than I realised was possible.

My gorgeous boy,

Your Dad x

P.S. We have decided not to share many photos of you on social media. Only abstracts for the main part, as we want that to be your decision when you grow up.

Dad Life Life

I’m on the mend but last week saw me struggle with some food poisoning/a tummy bug that left me in bed from Friday evening through to this morning. A few slices of toast, some isotonic drinks, were all I could stomach. I slept a lot too, as I am prone to do when ill, but had quite a bit of time just lying in bed contemplating life.

I was too tired for any prolonged or deep analysis but topics included:

  • Of my own sensibilities and thoughts on how to behave, how much of it was instilled in me by my parents, and how much have I learned/adopted for myself? And how much of our personal values will our child learn and take forward? I have a sense of growing up ‘knowing’ how to behave when in adult company (not quite sit quietly, but certainly wasn’t running about wild), but how much of that was natural to me and how much was I taught it by my parents?
  • The world is on fire, literally, and whilst we do our bit and will continue to do so – we don’t eat meat, we reuse, we recycle, we try and be mindful of purchases/deliveries – should I be doing more?
  • I really really miss being out on my bike. I don’t miss the gym as much, I don’t miss running, of all the exercise options I have, cycling is the one I really miss.
  • When did I stop watching movies? So many great movies in the last few years and I’ve seen none of them. Need to make time for that, somehow.
  • I often wonder if all my acquaintances and friends are just better at keeping in touch with other than I am, is it because I don’t reach out that I can feel cut off from them? I always get the sense that they are in touch with each other way more than they are with me. I can’t help but feel it’s my own doing and that I don’t work hard enough to maintain that, but it’s a two way street, right?
  • This cannot happen to me any time after October, not for a good six months or so, not once the baby is here!
  • I am lucky to be able to be ill and be cared for and not have to worry about pretty much anything other than taking care of myself and feeling better.
  • I wonder how much weight I’ve lost? (answer: 2kg).
  • I’ve not written for my blog for ages, it seems like I just don’t have the inclination any more. I am writing in my journal every day, even if it’s only a few lines, so I’m not worried about it, just curious to see how long this feeling will last.

Life

Comments closed

We are having a baby. It’s not the ONLY thing we talk about but it’s a constant, an ever-growing reminder that our lives are about to change in a wonderful, scary, exciting way. There are maternity clothes being bought, nursery furniture to build, baby clothes are being provided (all the neutral stuff we can get from my sister at present), and the level of excitement is starting to build at about the same rate as Becca’s stomach is expanding.

As well as that, life in lockdown continues in Glasgow so the same daily patterns are being followed. I’m still working at home but thankfully on a new project that is keeping me busy and making the days fly by. The slow, if slight easing of the lockdown rules are welcomed though, the chance to hang out with a friend and watch F1, with the same easy chat and banter as always was most welcomed this past weekend.

In other news I’m off for an x-ray on Friday to try and see if the pain in my left hip/groin is a hernia or not (Doc thinks not but it’s not just a strain) so my running and cycling plans have been curtailed. C’est la vie and all that but, adding a cold (yes, JUST a cold) on top has me feeling more than a little frustrated, but I’m switching my mindset on it and viewing it as a challenge and, given I have a planned 50 mile cycle in September to do some training for, a chance to reset my plans and go again.

I know I work best when I have goals, something to work towards. At the start of the year it was to get back to 5KM running, and I noticed that after doing that, it all got a bit vague and unfocussed in my head. Too easy to fall back into bad eating, lazy days, not enough exercise but, as I say, it just means the coming few weeks (presuming a positive diagnosis and way to heal is afforded) will be better for my mental health if nothing else. That plus the warmer and lighter evenings, are far more conducive to actually getting out and about (dog walks not withstanding).

Family wise my newest niece continues to be the star of the family (until late October at least!) and seems to be most content sitting in her chair babbling away. It’s already fascinating to see the differences between her and Lucy at that age, and everyone couldn’t be happier. Lucy is proving to be a great big sister too just as we all thought.

And so, life goes on. Hopefully in the coming weeks with lockdown easing a new normal will finally be upon us, you know, brunching with friends and all that. Yet it seems to be more the case that my new normal is already here, hill walks, occasional catchups with friends and family, and mostly doing whatever I can to look after my pregnant fiancee and our two dogs.

In short, as ever, life is good, life continues.

How are you?

Life

Comments closed

The end of lockdown looms, and life as we knew it will start to re-emerge, like a wonky butterfly from a cocoon.

I know that things won’t be exactly the same again, a new normal will be established and that will take a little time to settle in and I’m ok with that, I welcome it and retain some hope that others will allow people to find their own way into the post-COVID days.

I know masks will remain, public gatherings will be limited, and that there will no doubt be some weird panic buying of some random household item at some point too if news of more spikes in infection rates should arrive (seriously, what was with the loo roll thing?). I am still wary of the masses but I am trusting the scientists.

Regardless of all this, I’m choosing to remain upbeat and looking ahead at what life might be like in the coming months and what I can best do to hold onto the things I’ve grown to love throughout this global pandemic, the things that got me through the harrowing realities and shrinking habits that lockdown inflicted on us.

There is much to forget too; Long queues in the rain for basic provisions, stepping off the pavement AGAIN because THOSE people MUST walk side by side, that guilty feeling that descends when I nip across an arbitrary border to visit my Mum (even though we are bubbled), that moment when you arrive at a shop and realise you’ve forgotten your damn mask, and don’t even get me started on the constant feed of misinformation to the addicted doom scrollers, the idiot anti-vaxers, and even more selfishly stupid non-mask wearers that claim civil liberty infringements, ohh and anything to do with the Tories.

All of those are things I’ll be leaving behind as best I can but on the whole, I’ve been very very lucky through lockdown, it’s not always been easy but there have been more good days than bad and, like most of you, most days have turned into what-day-is-it-anyway days with weekends blurring into weekdays which is both a good and a bad thing all at once. Do I prefer the arbitrary nature, that strange holiday feeling, of not really being sure what I should be doing because I can’t recall if it’s Sunday or Monday, or do I need the structure of a working week to give my weekends some meaning? I am undecided but more and more leaning to the former.

One thing I am determined to try and hold on to is working from home. Maybe not full-time but ideally only a couple of days in the office a week would be the max. I’ve been lucky enough to work throughout most of the lockdown periods and it’s not made a huge difference as most of the people I had worked with were in different buildings or different parts of the country anyway so most of my time was spent on calls and IM chats even when I was office-based 5 days a week.

Another thing I want to take forward is being outdoors. Such a simple pleasure, but one I used to cast aside for no good reason. Having two dogs, one of which needs a ‘good walk’ every day meant that for a lot of lock down it was my only form of exercise outdoors, and ohhh how wonderful it is to be able to walk around in the fresh air, regardless of rain or sleet or snow (there is no thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes after all). The feeling of fresh air on your face, watching clouds scroll overhead, and even occasionally basking in the glorious warmth of the sun. What a tiny little dot of a planet we are, what fleeting moments we exist for, I need to focus on being happy.

There will be changes of course, I will adapt but part of the reason for noting these things here is to remind myself of what I truly value. My family, my closest friends, a good coffee, a walk in the sun, a meandering cycle through the countryside.

I know I will read fewer books as some evenings will be spent visiting and eating out, I know I will experience moments of anxiety too, the return of live music gives me a pause which saddens me as so many wonderful nights have been spent enthralled and jostled as we all dance and move as one, yet the idea of being surrounded by so many people again is one my brain is struggling with.

We will find our way. Of that, I have no doubt. Things will be different, of course, yet I am aiming to retain these simple core values, aiming to retain the new habits and little pleasures I’ve found during this past strange year. There will come a time when we look back on this (hopefully) once-in-a-generation experience and maybe now is when I’m realising that it can mean something more than just death. We will mourn, but we should always look forward.

Life can be simple and if I only take one lesson from all of this, let it be this; find what is truly important to you and focus on it, everything else is just noise.

Life Personal Musings

Comments closed

6 weeks = 42 days = 1,008 hours = 60,480 minutes = 3,628,800 seconds.

That’s how long it was from the 18th of January to the 28th of February.

I mention this with purpose as I set myself a little challenge which lasted for – can you guess? – 6 weeks, but I confess it wasn’t wholly my idea.

At the start of the year I wrote that I didn’t have any aims for 2021 and that’s still true; this year will (still) be mostly headlined by the pandemic and whilst life goes on, I’m not really looking to upset my own apple cart. What worked for me in 2020, the habits I built and which I get the most benefit from, will continue on through 2021.

However it’s fair to say that over the past couple of years I’ve had a much longer term plan forming in my mind, the type of thing that starts off as a vague notion then slowly starts to crystallise into something more solid until one day, all of a sudden, you realise you’ve already decided what it will be. This plan may, or may not, have something to do with the fact I will be leaving my forties in a few years time.

It was just over six weeks ago that, with 2021 stretching in front of us, Becca and I were chatting about some of our longer term desires as a couple, where we were hoping to end up in the next few years, and what our own individual thoughts and dreams were alongside that. While I had some vague ideas for myself and certainly knew roughly the direction I wanted to head, it was only when we started discussing our joint future that things started to take shape.

Throughout 2020 I’ve been slowly building habits that will stand me in good stead for the future, more outdoor exercise (the dogs help with that obviously), daily meditation and the like. And my general fitness levels definitely benefited from the increase in cycling mileage as well. I’d even gone for a few runs and enjoyed it more than I realised. But talking about my long (very long) term plans and trying to explain my thinking and some of the ideas I had to make them happen, well the more I talked the more impossible it seemed, and I definitely do not want to set out to try and achieve the unachievable, why set yourself up for failure like that?

So Becca made the simple suggestion to not focus that far out, and look at something in the near future. “Maybe try six weeks”, she suggested and rightly posited that it’s long enough to see progress (sometimes a month isn’t) but not so far in the future to be unimaginable. It also meant that if I started the following Monday, those six elapsed weeks would take me to the last day of February.

You know that way when someone says something that clicks in your brain and all of a sudden you have the urge to smack yourself upside the head for not thinking of it in the first place, well this was definitely one of those moments, one of those can’t see the forest for the trees moments that makes you feel both grateful to the person who thought of it, and a little peeved with yourself because it’s kinda obvious… why yes, I WILL break down my long term plan into smaller achievable goals. OF COURSE! *smacks self upside head*

Of I went to figure out what that would all mean and how it might work, and it got me thinking back to the times I’ve set myself challenges in the past, knowing how quickly I can get disheartened and how I tend to be a little unrealistic, so with that in mind I decided to give myself plenty of leeway to reduce those pressures, to remove as much of my fear of failure from the outset.

I picked up where I’d left the Couch to 5KM training plan at the tail end of last year but I decided to only run twice a week and ‘do something else’ for a third activity (turned out to be indoor cycling using a turbo trainer and Zwift). That was it, anything on top of that was a bonus, and I deliberately left my weekends free to either be active or not.

As a perfectionist, this all met my deep-seated need to ‘plan the crap out of everything’ but left room for changes to the plan as and when required; for the few days when we had bad snow and ice I only used the indoor bike, then did three runs the next week to catch back up with the plan.

And whaddya know, six weeks later I’ve finished the Couch to 5KM plan and completed my first 5KM run for over 10 years, I lost weight consistently throughout, my blood pressure is lower, and I’m giving myself a hearty pat on the back for completing the challenge I set myself. I’m also giving Becca a big hug for listening to me talk about it and nudging me in the right direction (I’m telling you, she’s a keeper!).

For the record, I did skip a few of my planned sessions, one time because I just didn’t want to do it. We also order takeaway once a week (twice one weekend), and I still eat cake too. My point is that the plan was a guide, not a schedule, and I deviated from it now and again because LIFE. Yet I navigated my way through the last six weeks happy that I was ‘just doing it’. Sometimes that’s all that matters.

Looking ahead it’s likely I’ll do the same throughout the rest of the year, break my fitness plan down into 6-week blocks, and by this Autumn, with a bit of luck, I should’ve gotten my running distance up to 10KM, and I’ll also have completed the 65KM Etape Caledonia (in Sept). And hey, if I don’t manage all of that, I’ll still have been way more active and thinking about my health more which will automatically have the effect of lowering my weight, and more importantly, my blood pressure down to much healthier levels.

Isn’t it amazing what you can do in 3,628,800 seconds = 60,480 minutes = 1,008 hours = 42 days = 6 weeks.

Health Life Personal Musings Running

Comments closed

Blocked.

Stuck.

Static.

Nothing.

OK, that’s four very similar words, that’s a start. Let’s build on that.

There must be something I can write about.

Somewhere.

Come on brain, let’s do this.

There is something in there somewhere. You know how this works.

Starting writing.

The words will come.

Won’t they?

I read an article about the impact the pandemic has had on casual friendships, those acquaintances you only saw now and then back in the heady days of 2019, it’s definitely something I could write about. How I’ve got a core group of close friends but everyone else is more an acquaintance, and how those latter relationships have been reduced to a few likes and comments here and there on social media.

But that’s not unique. Everyone is feeling that.

What else then.

I read about Joe Biden’s morning routine, I could write about mine, get up, stretch, have breakfast, go upstairs and start work.

Yeah that’s not really that interesting is it…

I’m running again, making my way through the Couch to 5K program, and in a week or so it’ll be complete.

Yeah, so there’s that.

What an odd time we live in.

OK, I give up.

To be honest between our recent engagement, the arrival of Daisy, and just getting on with life day by day, that feels like enough right now and whilst I have the usual morass of nonsense banging about in my head, and about six or seven blog posts in draft, this is about all I can muster up.

And my ohh my what a first world problem this, bemoaning the fact that I’m struggling to write down some words whilst I sit here in front of my shiny laptop in a warm home with food in the cupboards. What a privileged bubble to occupy.

But that’s a whole other thing. Right?

Or maybe that’s the point, that’s the blockage right there, the cold realisation that nothing I write here matters. Nothing I post is of consequence to anyone except me.

Yet that should be freeing, that should open the flood gates, if nothing I post here is of note, if it holds no real value then post and be damned! Except it’s never worked that way, has it. This is part of me, a filtered and focused view into my life, the parts of it I want to share with you at least. So dear reader, here we are again, another trip down the introspective rabbit hole? No, not today.

I’ll stop here and revisit those drafts I think, see if they can be cajoled and buffed into something. Anything.

Anyway, enough about me, how are you? Comments are open, what are you struggling with?

Blogging Life

Isn’t life a funny thing.

If you’d bumped into me 3 years ago and asked me what I thought the next few years would hold for me I most definitely would NOT have predicted any of the things that have since transpired although, to be fair, I don’t think most people would have picked ‘global pandemic’ out of the hat for their predictions either. I might have predicted (hoped) for a few things but I’m pretty certain that I would not have said that I would be engaged and living with my beautiful, loving fiancée and our two dogs.

That said, if you’d asked me 2 years ago then I probably would’ve told you that this is exactly where I would be, although back then the proposal I had tentatively planned didn’t end up happening (I refer you to oft mentioned global pandemic) but turns out that just made the proposal all the more special and I don’t think it could’ve gone any better.

She said yes, by the way.

The location of the proposal doesn’t matter, not to anyone else, but it means something to us. To be fair it doesn’t look like much, just few slabs of pavement that hundreds of people must walk on every day, but for us it’s where it all really started.

So that’s where we went, that’s where I asked her to marry me, that’s where she said yes.

Like I say, the place doesn’t matter nor the time, and whilst getting engaged was something we’d discussed and were both ready for, I managed to keep the day itself as a surprise. So it was just as surprising for me just how overcome with happiness I was in that moment. Just a boy, standing in front of a girl…. and yes, there were tears from both of us, I slipped the ring on her finger, we kissed and then floated home, fighting the urge to tell every passerby that ‘Hey, we just got engaged!’.

So here I am, living a life that makes me happier than I’ve ever been, feeling like I’ve finally discovered my true self, discovered a contentment and ease that I’ve never really felt before, and every single morning I wake up with a smile on my face, mostly because of the face that’s just kissed me awake.

Whilst I’ve mentioned my partner here a couple of times in passing I’ve found myself pausing each time, unsure of how much to divulge. However, given we just got engaged I think it’s time to properly introduce her and the role she’s played in my life over these past couple of years.

Her name is Rebecca (Becca), she has beautiful big eyes and a cute bum but, more importantly, her quiet strength, confidence, relentless taking of the piss, and genuine love for me is something I want to shout from the rooftops. I feel seen for the first time in a long time. I feel enabled to be me, with all the flaws that entails. I’ve never felt so sure about something, so positive that this is right. We talk about ‘us’ often and both say the same thing, both of us STILL pinching ourselves that this is real, this is our life, and my oh my are we just so damn happy!

With all that in mind then I wonder why I’ve not really mentioned her here. It’s not like we’ve been hiding away on the rest of social media, but I guess here is where my words land and fail and stand in history for the world to see. Ahhh the world. But the thing is if I’m so happy and so content, why shouldn’t I be vocal about her, why shouldn’t I be writing about her us, about us? What was giving me pause?

At first I think it was to protect ‘us’, and will admit there was a part of me that, considering my previous relationships – throughout all of which I also felt love – wondered if proclaiming that I’ve found happiness again could somehow be construed as putting down those previous relationships, marking them as somehow less important or less meaningful, or just ‘less’ in some way?

I know I’m not the first person to be in this position and it’s easy to say that time moves on for everyone and not every relationship works, I’m a divorcee after all. And it’s not that I look back on my previous relationships and think ill of them, more that they weren’t ultimately right for me (even if I didn’t always truly appreciate why at the time) and now they are over. That sounds cold but it’s the truth. Yes I was happy at times, and yes I felt love for those people, but in the end those relationships weren’t right for me for a multitude of different reasons that I’m not going to get into here (ever).

I guess if you remove all the emotions the reality is simple, those relationships are in the past, they helped me learn and grow, they helped me change, and this is where I find myself now.

But then I found myself pondering what makes this relationship different? Why is Becca so special to me?

Editors note: Yes. He overthinks things sometimes. No. It’s not always a bad thing.

It’s hard to be specific but, as cliched as it seems, the simple fact is that we clicked and fell in love almost straight away. Even if we didn’t want to admit it at the time, we both knew it, both knew where it was heading and it was just a matter of time.

Looking at the early days of our relationship it’s obvious now, that initial attraction was deeper than the usual quick bursts of lust, the simplicity of the emotions I was experiencing made it all seem so obvious and clear and very soon we were spending every minute we could together; I would pick her up from work (late) and drive to her place so we could see to the dogs, we’d fall asleep together in the wee small hours and I’d be up before dawn to drive home to change to go to work. I couldn’t stay away, and the few nights we did spend apart just made me feel listless and a bit lost.

There is a word we both use to describe how things have unfolded; “Obvious”. We both feel it, both love each other as deeply as the other and everything after that is, well, obvious. There isn’t any feeling of surprise about how things have panned out for us, it all seems (now) like this is just where both of our lives were heading and, now that we are here and on this journey together, everything else is easy, straightforward. Obvious.

And I really do feel so lucky to be part of her life. Becca continues to impress me, amaze me, and makes me feel good about myself. We support each other, listen when we talk, and nothing is ever a big deal. She also doesn’t put up with any bullshit which helps if I’m just being a tired irrational grump (seriously, just call me on it, it’s the best way to snap me out of it). We laugh often and when she kisses me awake in the morning I find myself smiling.

She supports me gently, not nagging or cajoling, just makes the odd suggestion now and then (OK, I’ll say it, she’s always right!) and she has given me a quiet confidence, something much more concrete than the blustering confidence I have grown so used to hiding behind. My family and friends can see the difference in me and said as much.

For my part I only hope I am able to support her as much as she has me this past year when my Dad passed away. She was there whenever I needed her, gently and lovingly supporting me and my family, leaving me alone when I needed space, holding me when I felt lost. She is kind and considerate, generous by nature, and passionate about helping others. She is beautiful in so many ways she doesn’t realise. And she has a cute bum.

How did I get so damn lucky?

I won’t lie, it feels odd to be starting over with someone. I presumed I’d passed the age of thinking about such things and whilst I’m not that old (yet) there was a period for a couple of years where I figured that being single wasn’t such a bad thing, I’d had my fun.

Age is but a number though and so here we are, engaged and on a new journey with each other. I’ve no real idea where we will end up and, whilst we have the usual dreams and aspirations that all couples do, this time they feel grounded and possible and have a whisper of anticipation about them, like the things we hope for our future are already out there waiting for us, beckoning us towards them.

And now we are engaged, and will be married, and I cannot stop smiling.

Isn’t life a funny thing.

Life