Cheryl & Chris | Carol | Mina | Gayle | Rachelle | Zoe | Bella | Rosa | Kevin | James | David | Richard
 
   

Me & Chris

“Thinks she’s too good”, “high maintenance” and (my personal favourite) “snotty cow” are just some of things that have been said about me over the years. Ok so I admit I might have earned this reputation though perhaps being a little demanding, impatient and maybe a tiny bit of a Diva, at times. Although I do think I’ve mellowed (a little) I definitely owe this legacy to one thing, I won’t compromise - not on the big things. I may have kissed a few toads (shut-up Gayle!) over the years but deep down I guess I always believed in the fairy tale and that one day my prince would come.
 

On the night I met Chris he was very drunk and loud (I know it’s hard to believe isn’t it?). It was at a PayPoint works night out (yes I worked for PayPoint too). I had persuaded myself I really should go out after work that night, even though my shift finished at 11pm. The idea being I should get out and mingle with my new colleagues.

You could say at this point in my life I was at a Crossroads. PayPoint was a stop gap between redundancy after 7 years at Tesco and my next step. The plan was London: a) get high flying London job, b) move to London and c) spend time with my cool and trendy London friends.

Chris started the conversation with a barrage of questions that made me feel like I was being interviewed at first: “who are you?”, “where do you work?”, “where did you come from?”. Despite the third degree I felt oddly comfortable with him. Looking into his smiley (alcohol fuelled) big brown eyes I felt a sincerity and kindness that you very rarely see. The conversation and the alcohol (I think shots might have been involved) flowed and very soon it was closing time. After a few drinks it wasn’t too difficult to persuade me to carry on the party back at Chris house. Now I know what you’re all thinking but it was a proper party, other people and everything.

Now when I’m as tipsy as I was that night I am not what most people would call charming. Also my defences were up. Chris clearly liked me and the last thing I needed was getting into a relationship, especially with a work colleague. Not to mention the potentially disastrous effects on “the plan”. From what I can remember I was loud, rude and pretended to fancy one of his friends. In the end despite all of this the night ended with some slow dancing and a kiss that a) made me sober up in an instant and run screaming from the room and b) gave me butterflies in my tummy that I just couldn’t stop thinking about the next day.

I’m very ashamed to say it but I couldn’t remember Chris’ name the following day. Luckily though for some reason I had taken a picture of him on my phone (all drunk and smiley) so I asked a colleague “who is this guy?”. I remember looking at the picture myself thinking hhhhmmm good teeth (this later became and still is the picture in my phone that comes up when Chris calls me).

I did try to refocus on my goal and to forget about my silly drunken snog with a strange man from work, honestly had I not learned anything ?!!! But of course we started bumping into each other, Chris was so adorable in those days....all bashful. I played hard to get for a while and it took what seemed like ages before he actually managed to officially ask me, but inevitably about a month later I found myself agreeing to a first date. And what hasn’t seemed like such a long time after that, a marriage proposal. The three years in between being the happiest of my life.

What I love most about Chris that he is always smiling and that fact that his smile lights up his eyes. I love how he’s full of energy and always up for an adventure (in fact he gets really excited about just about everything and it’s contagious). I love the fun we have together and even our heated debates.
 

Chris is the perfect gentleman and is every bit the prince charming I had almost given up on. He rescues me every single day.

 


 

Cheryl & I

My beautiful fiancée and I met a little over 3 years ago in the salubrious drinking establishment “The Cork” in Welwyn Garden City one fateful evening!  It was just a quiet night out with a few work colleagues when Cheryl, a new arrival at PayPoint, decided that it wouldn’t hurt to socialise a little after her shift. Well, I say “few” and “quiet” … it was actually a rather large boozy party to celebrate a birthday, and when Cheryl got there around 11pm we may have all been getting a little larey! That didn’t stop her joining in, and soon enough we were deep in conversation – mostly me quizzing her admittedly (OK, chatting her up may be a reasonable description!). Do I believe in love at first sight? Well perhaps(!), but there must certainly have been something there since at closing time a bunch of us decided to take the party back to The Bachelor Pad and she was persuaded to join us - where clearly I hoped my large TV and Blu-ray player would impress her!

Cheryl was the epitome of etiquette … James and I had just finished decorating the lounge and the hall was full of rubbish so we had to enter via the kitchen door. Rather than notice the rather tasteful décor Cheryl launched into a tirade of insults about how blocking the front door was a fire hazard! Well, at least she wasn’t shy! Also, rather embarrassingly, James and I had drunk just about every drop of alcohol in the house. Fortunately I dug out a few mini bottles of Absolute from the bottom of the freezer and Cheryl seemed to be terribly impressed with the novelty of peach vodka – something she still loves as an occasional treat!

The rest of the party was a lively fun night – cumulating in a kiss that sent her running for cover, still it was the start of something wonderful J

The next few weeks and months were very nervous times for me. After all … what did I know about chasing girls and going on dates!? By the time I’d managed to pluck up courage and arrange our first proper date it was almost 6 weeks later. It was a Sunday night and I was keen to impress. Something quiet, nice and not too far away – just keep it simple and local for the first date. Well … that turns out to be easier said than done! Somewhere like the up-market pubs in Welwyn village would have been ideal, but it turns out they were either busy, closed or burnt down! In a slight moment of panic I reverted to the backup plan – The Green Man pub in Great Offley! Unfortunately, this is MILES away from Welwyn , so I was slightly embarrassed and uncomfortable about the 40 minute drive from her flat to the pub in the middle of nowhere (and I’m sure I saw her reaching for the Mace) – though it did give us chance to talk and get to know each other a little bit more.

The evening was a very memorable one and it was by chance (or fate) that we found Offley Place Country House as our wedding venue years later. Everything just seems to have to fit together beautifully.

Things must have gone well, as it was only a few weeks later that I asked Cheryl to come with me to America for Rich and Elle’s wedding. Of course the 3 night stay in New York may have also swung her but it was an amazing time, full of sights, sounds, cocktails and fun that has laid the firm foundations for the amazing relationship that we have now.

Cheryl and I don’t have everything in common by all means but that just makes for an exciting lifestyle! One of the best things is that we’re still finding out new things about each other every day. I mean, for example, I was completely unaware that it takes 2 hours to do your hair properly, and that to get dressed for a trip to the shops you have to try on every single item of clothing you own! Who knew!! ;-)

We do have heaps in common though – mostly our sense of adventure and excitement. True – I may be a little more reckless about it, but Cheryl’s never far behind, and always ready to try out some new crazy experience with me.

I’ve enjoyed every minute of our trips around the world and just know it wouldn’t have been half as exciting without Cheryl  … New York (Hallllooooo Neeeewwww Yoorkkkk!), Washington (Mind the Segway please!), Rome (wouldn’t have been the same without D&A and cocktails), Cornwall (Surf’s up!), Scotland (temperatures from +20 degrees C to -16 degrees C), Germany (who knew you could drive that fast legally!), the Ice Bar (make yourself at home Dianne).

I love every minute we spend together, and every quirk of our (occasionally fiery) relationship. Those of you who know us well will have seen us have the occasional tiff and plenty of strong debates, her vibrant Scottish personality and my Yorkshire stubbornness seem to help complement us perfectly.

I’ve only spent 10% of my life with Cheryl and I’m so excited about spending the rest of it together I can’t tell you in words. I hate going to bed without her and I’d rather spend a night on the sofa than under a cold duvet.

I love being with her always; sat quietly on the sofa; screaming Abba at the SingStar until the sun comes up; having long lazy lie-ins on a Sunday mornings – it’s all perfect to me. And yes, I still have butterflies!

I love you!