Saturday, May 14, 2011

A non running post!

On the eve of my 12th wedding anniversary I've decided to go all 'non running' on you and tell you a bit about how Lisa and I ended up together. No idea why you'd be interested in any of this but we were reminiscing a bit today and i thought it would be quite amusing to put some of our story into the blogosphere. So if you want a Twilight recap (I came a strong but distant 2nd behind Compton in 16:09) ignore the rest of this post and go elsewhere!

On Friday March 12th 1998 I had finished another week at the PricewaterhouseCoopers mill and headed out for the usual night on the town with my flatmates- a few pre-game beers and some pints and clubbing in Chelsea. Staggered home about 4am, grabbed an hour's sleep, quick shower and out across London hungover on the Tube to Stansted Airport to meet up with some work colleagues for a 'bonding' trip to Dublin.

I had only decided to go right at the last minute. I couldn't really afford it but a previous girlfriend I had dated while I was on my year abroad in College and who I was completely besotted with lived in Dublin and we had arranged to meet up if I came over. Sure, she was going to be with her boyfriend but screw it I wanted to see her!

A quick flight to Dublin, drop our bags off at the Youth Hostel we were staying at and straight to the nearest bar in Temple Bar. Man U were playing Arsenal in a championship decider at Old Trafford so the Guinness was soon being thrown back. A late winner by Marc Overmars for Arsenal made me thoroughly depressed and more Guinness seemed the appropriate response. My friends all disappeared off to do a bit of sightseeing, I stayed at the Bar and spent the afternoon with the 'love of my life' and her boyfriend who was an annoyingly good bloke.

Fast forward a few hours and I was in another pub, back with my mates now. I got another round from the bar and stumbled and spilt the lot on the way back to our table. Apparently an American girl called Lisa had watched all this ridiculous scene and thought I was cute (she must have had a thing for embarrassingly drunk Englishmen). Two hours later we happened to be in the same Night Club and her buddy came over to chat me up. As I was unable to converse at this point she soon gave up on me but somehow her friend (Lisa) managed to engage me in conversation, telling me about how much she loved the Verve and Radiohead. Finding something in common must have sobered me up a bit and we got chatting. I thought she looked like the lead singer from Republica, cute!

By the end of the evening I had ascertained that Lisa was also on a weekend jaunt with friends and that she currently lived in London working as a Nanny for a rich American family in Kensington. Numbers were swapped and we said we'd meet up the following weekend. By the time I'd got back to London of course I'd lost the piece of paper with the number on. Oh well, that's a shame, she'd seemed really nice but plenty more fish in the sea, etc. etc. Much to my surprise I got a phone call on Wednesday night (an English girl would NEVER call!) and we arranged to meet in a pub at the end of her road on Saturday night.

She only lived a couple of miles away (so I thought) so I decided I'd walk. Of course I'd misjudged the distance and ended up having to run for about a mile to make it in time. This was pre 'running days' so I was gassed when I got to the pub but at least I was 5 minutes early. Lisa had apparently been watching for me from her house so her first post Dublin sighting of me was me bent double outside the pub trying to get my breath back. I went into the pub praying she'd be a little late as I couldn't really remember what she looked like so I wanted to find a table near the door where I could sit and watch people as they came in. Five minutes later Lisa walked in and I vaguely recognised her! We had a good laugh that night, went to watch 'Good Will Hunting' together the next day and that was that!

Within 6 months I'd moved out of my bachelor pad and we'd moved in together in a dingy flat in Battersea. In January 1999, romantic as ever, I popped the question kneeling in front of her in our kitchen, slipped my $500 Argos (think Sears) solitaire ring on her finger and May 15th we got hitched at Wandsworth Registry Office! We had booked our honeymoon to Turkey but Lisa's passport didn't get sorted on time so we had to cancel that and ended up honeymooning on Jersey, a small British island situated just off the North coast of France. Twelve years later and here we are, two beautiful daughters and a new life in Charlotte. What a lucky chap I am!!


  1. Wow, congratulations! Happy anniversary!

  2. Amazing how these women keep us around 'in spite of ourselves,' isn't it? Great story, Paul. Congratulations again; here's to the next 12!