This week’s story comes from Sarah who blogs over at Toby Goes Bananas. I’ve been lucky enough to meet Sarah a couple of times now and class her as one of my really good blogging chums. She’s lovely, her son is gorgeous and her blog’s pretty awesome too! You can find her on Twitter too – @TobyGoesBananas. Take it away Sarah!
In 2010 I was 32 years old and single (and had been for the previous eight years). I was living in Scotland, I had my own flat, I had just finished my PGDE and was set to become a French teacher and to be honest I was happy and had pretty much given up hope of meeting someone to spend the rest of my life with. I had briefly tried online dating a few years previously but with little success and my only real hobbies were dancing and musical theatre – not ideal circumstances to meet a single straight man! And so I had really given up worrying about whether I would meet someone, I had made my peace with spending the rest of my life alone and not having kids (I know, bring out the violins right?)
But then a series of coincidences were to change everything. In May 2010 I was visiting my brother in London and went to a small comedy gig to see a comedian I am friends with. This comedian also did a podcast and had run a competition to win a ticket to his gig. Barry also listened to the podcast. He was lucky enough to win the ticket, which was worth £8, and daft enough to spend another £150 on a hotel and train ticket so he could use it!
The gig was above a pub in Islington and after it finished I hung around chatting to other people I knew who had been in the audience (and also to Danny Wallace who also happened to be there!). I remember the guy who had won the ticket being there but I didn’t really speak to him in the pub.
After the pub shut Barry and I realised we had missed the last tube and so we walked from Islington to Kings Cross as we were staying in hotels fairly near each other. We ended up chatting about all sorts of stuff. It turned out we had quite a lot in common! After the gig we both went home, me back to Scotland and Barry to Manchester. We started chatting on Twitter after that and soon switched to DMs and then MSN Messenger for our chats. We just seemed to click and never ran out of things to talk about. Then a few weeks after we first met I went to America for three weeks on my own. While I was there we emailed every day. Because of the time difference I would send Barry an email all about what I had been up to that day and it would be waiting for him when he woke up in the morning. We eventually spoke on Skype while I was away and we arranged to meet up when I got home. We had a few weeks after I got back from America before we met and we spoke to each other every day. By the time we met up again in July 2010 we had fallen in love! All through our emailing and chatting on the phone though, I couldn’t actually remember what Barry looked like! Unlike me, he didn’t have loads of photos of himself online and I had to admit to him that all I could remember was that he was ‘quite tall’.
The month after we got together I started my first teaching job and we spent the next six months travelling backwards and forwards between Scotland and Manchester every weekend. There was a very important development that cemented our relationship during this time – I made Barry grow a beard! I think we both knew it was serious from the very beginning though – we were too old to be bothering with a long distance relationship if we weren’t sure our relationship was going to last. We had sort of a plan that I would finish my probationary teaching year and then I would move to Manchester or Barry would move to Scotland. But then at Christmas Barry saw a job advertised in Edinburgh which was in his field and even paid a bit more than his existing job. He applied and got it, so in February 2011 Barry moved to Scotland to live with me.
A few months later he had been home to Manchester for a visit and when he got back he told me he had a present for me, but I could only have it if I agreed to marry him – it was an engagement ring! It wasn’t that much of a surprise as we had already talked about getting married but I didn’t know when he was going to actually propose. So we got engaged less than a year after we first met, and we got married a year later, almost to the day. We had a fantastic three week honeymoon in America (where we took a lot of selfies!) and fifteen months after the wedding, Toby was born. Now we couldn’t be happier in our little family. I still find it hard to believe that just over four years ago I was single and thought I was destined to be a spinster for the rest of my life! It has all been a bit of a whirlwind but not only did I find my soulmate I found my best friend too and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Thanks Sarah for this great story! I love a romance – especially a whirlwind one! It’s amazing how quickly things can happen when you meet the right person – You and Barry seem like a great couple!
If you would like to read the other posts in the series you can see them all here and remember to come back next week for another lovely story!