Today is our 4th wedding anniversary, and I thought I’d dedicate a post to my fantastic husband.

 We met on 11 November 2001 after a student worker at church asked for volunteers to help with the PA system at the evening service. We both volunteered, I’m still not really sure why I did as I had almost no experience in anything relevant, I just felt it was something I had to do. After the service a group of regulars and the band all trooped off to the pub and invited us to join them. We sat together and got talking and discovered we both came from the same area and had mutual friends. A week later we chatted more in the pub after the service and exchanged email addresses, in the following week we exchanged about 35 emails! (and we still have copies of them all on this computer!) Mr H also walked part of the way home from church with me, my college was 2 1/2 miles away from the city centre and I had my bike with me. He initially said it was kind of en-route….it wasn’t, it was almost completely in the opposite direction.

We were both going to the student houseparty and it was when we were here (on 1 December) that we ‘got together’. Just 6 days later Mr H left Cambridge to spend the Christmas holidays with his brother. Thankfully at that point Mr H had the everyday 5o contract on his phone so we could always talk for 50 minutes a day for free. I went up to his brothers for a couple of days after Christmas and Mr H came back down with me for New Year. It was definitely a case of being thrown in the deep end with each other’s families; the first time we all met we were staying over.

In the Easter holidays we discussed marriage for the first time, and agreed that was where we saw the relationship going. It was then a waiting game for me, waiting for Mr H to propose. I thought he might at his college ball in June, but he didn’t… The next time I really thought he would was when he took me to Paris for the day (first class on Eurostar!) in August. He later said that it didn’t feel special enough and that there were too many people around (even half way up the Eiffel tower!).

Mr H spent the first weekend in September staying with us in Yorkshire (we was living in Cambridge for the summer while working for a local company). On the Saturday we headed into the dales, calling at a gorgeous National Trust house on the way home. There were a couple of poinmts when I thought Mr H might propose, standing on the hills in the rain looking over the valley, under a flowering tree in the house garden…but no. Mum let us off washing up after Sunday lunch so we could go for a walk before Mr H had to drive back to Cambridge. As we walked in the woods we were talking and Mr H admitted that he’d nearly proposed several times but had ‘wimped out’ of it. We carried on walking and stopped by the pond. Mr H got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was the perfect place in some ways as it’s a place that has many other lovely memories and will now be even more special. We carried on walking and talked about when we wanted to marry and then how to tell my parents. I can’t remember exactly what we said to them, but I do remember Mum saying she wouldn’t let us off the washing up again.

Amazingly Dad managed to book a local hotel for the wedding reception on the day we most wanted for the following summer, it was the only free Sturday they had all summer and it was the one we wanted. We left a lot of the plans to either my parents or the wedding planner at the hotel. I was in my final year and Mr H was, initially, very busy with his third year studies. In some ways I wish I’d had more control of every little detail but I wouldn’t have had the time, I only just scraped a 2:2 as it was. I, of course, chose my dress, bridesmaid’s dresses, food, hymns and the colour scheme (well we did the last three jointly), but Dad sorted the car and did all the liaising with the hotel.

Now, I said that Mr H was initially busy with his studies because in November (almost a year to the day that we met) he hit his head on a concrete wall and sustained concussion (he was sitting on his bed, went to lie back on the pillows but was too far back and hit is head on the wall as he dropped back). I was with him at the time and I’m glad I was. He was initially confused but as the day went on he lost his balance and couldn’t even cross the room without needing to hold on to things for support. I took Mr H with me back to my college to keep an eye on him, but after a couple of hours had to call his supervising tutor to come and take him to hospital. He was diagnosed then with concussion, but his symptoms didn’t improve as quickly as is usually expected. He went to no lectures for the rest of term. Dad came down at the end of term and collected my things and I went back to Yorkshire with Mr H. He was able to drive for short periods but had to stop and rest at least once an hour. My gran has a small house in the same town as my parents and he used that as a base for the holiday. I stayed with him most of the time to make sure he was ok. He carried on getting better, but on New Year’s Eve had a tiny amount of wine feel asleep at 10pm. Since that time his alcohol limit has been greatly reduced, he had been able to keep up with anyone at college, but now drinks very little. Come January he was still not able to cope with lectures so had to drop out of university for the year. In April he was well enough to be able to work for 5 months for the company he’d worked for the previous summer (and who he works for now), they were good enough to give him 4 weeks holiday in the summer for our wedding and honeymoon. Thankfully he is almsot back to how he was when we first met now. He still gets tired sooner than he did and occasionally gets a bit low (he developed a bit of anxiety related depression after the concussion) but can cope with almost anything the world throws at him.

Our wedding day was wonderful. We didn’t have the service until 3pm so I had a leisurely morning with my family and going to the hairdressers to have my hair curled and put up. I don’t know what Mr H did. Mum put out a lovely buffet lunch for us (three of my bridesmaids and their mums were there too) and we all had a glass of champagne. I can remember sitting at the dining table in my dress with my aunt trying to paint my nails and there being lots of food around too. The weather was a little damp in the morning but brightened up in the afternoon. I can’t remember many details about the service (except the part in the sermon where the vicar said there are only two things to remember about marriage and my gran saying aloud “only two?”, he was meaning communication and compromise). I do remember thinking during the photos quite how small Mr H’s family is compared to mine. In his family photo there were only five of us, in mine there were twenty four!

 On our wedding day

I clearly remember late in the evening at the reception hotel wondering where Mr H had got to, I found him outside playing tag with my young cousins being watched by my uncles and a couple of older cousins who were getting rather drunk!

 Four years on we’re in our third house together, we’ve both graduated, he’s got a fantastic job, we’ve got a gorgeous daughter and I love him even more now that I did on our wedding day. He’s my best friend, my rock and my soulmate. When my depression kicks back in he’ll take over with as much as he can and let me get myself sorted again. He’s a fantastic father to the munchkin, she loves him loads too. I’ve tried to find a good photo of them together, but I’m struggling, Mr H doesn’t like his photo  being taken and is usually behind the camera!

This is the most recent photo we have of us together, and it’s one of my absolute favourite photos of us.

Us at J and S’s wedding

Mr H, if you see this, Happy Anniversary darling, I love you!