Monday, 3 March 2008
I am not one of those women who gets hung-up and romantic about anniversaries. Ian says that in that respect, and a few others, I am more like a man than a woman! Truth is I can't remember the exact day when Ian and I first met and when we started 'going out'. I don't even know how you define 'going out'. Anyway, I think we met about 3 years ago, initially on the Internet through an on-line dating site. We talked a few times and then met up in Rye, didn't see each other for a few weeks and then met up a bit later and I guess from then on we were 'going out' and I remember it because it was just before Ian's birthday which is in three weeks! Now, three years later the way that we met seems quite irrelevant to what has gone on since, that I almost throw it into the sentence without thinking when talking, although I am aware that for some people it might seem a bit strange. When I think back to what happened to us in the first two and a half years I am amazed that we managed to come through it. On our first 'date' in Rye I remember wearing mitts all day and complaining that the circulation in my hands was bad and my joints ached and that all in all I wasn't feeling too well. Despite our blossoming relationship I continued to feel bad and by April my legs were sore, I got out of breath just moving, I got stuck in the bath and I swelled to the size of an elephant (well my legs did at least!). By May I was in hospital. Through all this Ian was having to deal with the painful ending of his previous relationship (the repercussions would take another 18 months to be resolved), being homeless and having to live with his mother, and having to do various contract jobs that meant living in bed and breakfast accommodation all week- a pretty grim time for us! We got through this, I came home and had several months off work to recover, Ian got a better job nearer to home and then around the time of the anniversary of his father's death his mother had a heart attack and ended up in hospital. We spent several weekends visiting and then when she came out of hospital Ian had to be around a fair bit for a while. She recovered quite well and eventually by this time last year things had generally stabilised; Ian bought his flat and we started to make plans for France. I did worry that although we were good at dealing with crises we would not manage so well when things were going more smoothly but that has not been the case and despite the fact that my mother has been unwell and we have had to help her move home, we are trying to maintain two homes 60 miles apart, we spend weekends commuting between houses and we are trying to plan and co-ordinate the house in France (and keep up with demanding jobs, and try to find time to have some fun, and various other minor crises to deal with) this year has seemed the easiest! I guess we have been successful in having fun together even when things have been bad and have both prioritised putting effort into the relationship. I am really looking forward to the time when one of us doesn't have to pack up their things on Sunday night and drive back home in order to go to work the following day!