6 years ago this week I began the rest of my life. I had been studying in Caen, France since February, 2005 and had managed to meet and fall in love with this rather amazing Englishman. He proposed to me under the London Eye on March 18. I said yes. This was six weeks after we had met in person for the first time and about 4 months after we had spoken for the first time. It was meant to be. Brought together across an ocean, it was finally our time.
After completing my French programme at the Universite de Caen, the plan was for Mark to drive over to collect me and then we would drive to Geneva, Switzerland to spend a week with his sister and her family (our matchmaker). Mark left very early on the morning of May 25 to drive to Dover, take a ferry to Calais and then drive a rather long way to Caen, Normandy. I woke up that morning with most of my belongings packed, took my final exam and stood about waiting. In fact, I stood on the street corner waiting for Mark’s burgundy Volkswagen Passat to drive up. I was waving my Union Flag as he came into view. I’ve never been so happy in my whole life!
I showed Mark around my adoptive home and introduced him to the girls who had become my good friends over the short 3 months. We wandered down into the centre of Caen to Dolly’s, my refuge from the French world. Dolly’s was the most adorable and homely ENGLISH cafe that served PG Tips, scones and full English breakfasts. The owners were Dolly and her French/English daughter Elise. We had all made friends with them and would spend hours in the comfy chairs with pots and pots of tea. I didn’t do as well as I could have with FRENCH immersion!
At Dolly’s on May 25, Mark and I had lunch with my girlfriends and while I wasn’t paying attention, Mark laid a box on the table in front of me. You see, even though he had proposed to me on March 18, he hadn’t had a ring at that time. Who could blame him? We’d only known each other six weeks! The box on the table in front of me sat unnoticed for several minutes. My girlfriends had seen it and were giggling like schoolgirls until I noticed. I gasped, opened it and found the loveliest and most perfect engagement ring. A white gold band with sapphires and diamonds. Perfect. I made him put it on me and we were officially engaged.
The rest of the afternoon was a bit of a downer as Mark, being thoroughly exhausted from being up for about 24 hours and having had a glass of wine with lunch, pretty much passed out in my eeny, meeny single bed in my dorm. I didn’t mind though…we were starting our forever together. A few hours sleep wouldn’t matter.
Mark slept until about 6am! I gave my girlfriends early morning farewells as they headed off to Giverny on a final tour in France and then Mark and I loaded up my meagre belongings in the Passat, grabbed a final pain au chocolat and set off on our gorgeous journey across France to Geneva. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of us from those days in Caen but I do have some lovely pictures of us in Geneva, beginning the rest of our life together. It seems that good things come to those who wait.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what the next 6 years brings! I’m hoping, maybe they’ll be a bit thinner too!
So this is my Flashback Friday today. Sharing memories of a happy time. That’s all. Simple! If you’d like to tell a story about a happy (or not so happy) time in your life, I’d love to know about it. Write a post, take us back in time and then link it up in the Linky below. Then sit back and have a visit to other’s Memory Lane to ease yourself into the Bank Holiday Weekend. While you’re enjoying the ride, I’ll be having our first ultrasound scan of Bebe Numero Deux. Hopefully I’ll have happy news to bring you next week.