As I’m gallavanting around Stratford upon Avon I’m delving into the archives to pull out some of the earliest blog posts I wrote about our story.
I hope you enjoy them –
Originally posted September 2009
I should probably explain how I ended up on this late OE aged 40 with three children, dog, cat and everything we own. I think a quick brief back story is required. So here tis……
In 2005 I met a man in the garden of the Musee Rodin, in Paris. We chatted briefly. He was good looking, and I was sporting my best ‘bugger off men’ look. I didn’t think too much of the encounter, until we met again a few hours later in the queue for the Musee D’Orsay. I was polite and demure as Kiwi sheilas are. ‘Oi Englishman, over here’ I hollered to the amusement of the patiently waiting tourists. I suggested he join me in the queue so as to get into the D’Orsay sometime before the sun went down. The queue was already snaking a fair way down the road and around the corner. He’s a sensible man, my Englishman, so he agreed to join me. We spent a very pleasant afternoon wandering around. Ooohing and ahhing at the art, cracking ribald jokes at the all-revealing sculpture. I dropped the squashed cat’s bum look, and he summoned the courage to ask me to join him for a coffee. I did. Coffee turned to a wine or three, magically with no Cana wedding in sight. We broke all the rules. We talked about our exes, my children, our encumbrances.We were very frank as only you can be when you’re travelling and it’s one of those moments in time when the curtain pulls back and you experience clarity.
The sun set on the terrace cafe and we progressed to dinner then a romantic stroll through the city of lights. Arm in arm along the Seine, we kissed in the middle of the Champs Elysee in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe. Triumph indeed. It was a jolly lovely night and the rest I draw a veil over except suffice to say, we kept in touch.
It’s a great love story that would make a wonderful film. I’m thinking that Colin Firth could be my dashing Englishman, as he’s charming and sexy, the perfect crumpet for the intelligent woman. Lisa Chappell the fiesty Kiwi actress who starred as Claire in McLeod’s Daughters could play me.
We kept in touch using all that modern communication tools have to offer. God bless Skype, MSN, email Facebook and Txt for their part in keeping long-distance relationships alive! Over a period of eighteen months we contacted each other every day with only a few days missed. Sometimes we would talk for hours on Skype, very aware that the time we had together although hindered by distance, was somehow more intense and intimate because we were completely focussed on each other in the time we were peering into the screen. We spent more real time together than we get now living in a busy household as a married couple.
“Hey there Delilah” by the Plain White T’s was our reassuring theme song, although we knew that the distance between Hampshire and Auckland is possibly one of the greatest you can achieve in a long-distance relationship without one of the partners circumnavigating the moon! 1000 miles is pretty far, but 9000 is a hell of a lot further!!!
My Englishman came all the way out to visit me, riding on his white Boeing (not horse). We still liked each other, even in the flesh! He came out again. I reciprocated and flew over to visit him. We had challenges. Most couples do. Our dragons were very real though of mythic proportion. The sheer difference in lifestyle was one. Other dragons included my noxious ex, immigration nazis, the careers and fear of making a brave move only to have it fail. To their credit my three children were not as much of a deterrent as they could have been. What smart strong supportive children I have. They supported me through and through, my wise dark eyed son even reassured me that they would give England a go if it meant that I had a shot at happiness after such a miserable time divorcing.
In August last year I moved out here with my kith and kin. After a whirlwind engagement that started atop a mountain (yes they do have mountains in the UK…) we married in a quaint little kirk in North Yorkshire in May.
So, there it is. The back story love story, just so you know. Fairytales are only cliche because they are based on true stories that have been enacted countless times. Sometimes people do live happily ever after, relatively speaking.