King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Monday, March 22

On meeting the love of my life.

The following story is true, and has been written by both of us. My text is in Blue, TDT's is in Red.

Apparently it was the end of July.

31st of July to be exact, as it was the August Bank Holiday weekend in Ireland. I had planned a quiet long weekend for myself, which were rare in those days.

I’d just returned from my sojourn to the North Wales boat show, and had arrived with a dead Volvo. I’d also returned childless, and was looking forward to a couple of weeks of doing very little indeed. I’d also like to stress that at this point I wasn’t looking particularly hard for love either. I was a little stressed and so I just wanted to spend time on myself and do very little, drinking beer and staying up all hours. It was at this point and after a couple of days I got bored and returned to my favourite chat room for a laugh.

I used to go into the chat rooms, but hadn’t been for many, many months, as one man was following my every move once I went in there, not Rik, that’s to happen later... A friend of mine("Smurfette"), was newly single, wanted a laugh, and knew I had dabbled in chat rooms so wanted to try them out, but didn’t want to go alone, so I went in with her to show her the “ropes”. We decided on a room that I hadn’t gone into before and this was about our third night there and I was BORED!!!

So she expected me to stop her being bored. The usual crew were there; the girls moaning about how life was unfair, the men chatting up anything purporting to be female, and the usual handful of friendly men and women who I had a laugh with. The usual flaming of people was taking place, and I was in my element. I was aware of a couple of new Irish chatters, obviously friends in real life, who were trying but struggling to join in the conversations. Most of the conversation they seemed to be having was with each other, saying how fast the rest of us were chatting and how difficult it was to make friends. I offered my help. I’d hasten to add at this point I’d seen a picture of one of them ("Smurfette") and she was a petit blonde who had the men flying around her like bees around honey.

She was in her element!

Her friend ("Matilda") was chatting away, but her only picture was a Tweetie pie. I latched onto both, and was having fun with my chat emoticons. Such joys as "Rik sits down next to Matilda" and "Rik undresses Matilda with an interested look in his eyes," were being exchanged. I thought I was just having fun, when Matilda said to Smurfette "I can’t at the moment. I’m too busy flirting with Rik." Now call me dense, but I didn’t even realise up until that point. I was just having fun, having a laugh.

Here’s where I have to interject strongly, after 3 nights of women being snotty and men looking for you to go on webcam to shake your maracas I was delighted to find someone who was up for a laugh, with no strings attached just wanting to be playful. Yes, at this point I pounced. It was Friday night after all and I needed a good giggle.

See? I told you she was chatting me up. I took a new tack, and tried to get to know her further by asking who wanted to be added to my messenger. This gives you their email address, and in turn it can also give you their facebook address. She yielded rather quickly.

Did I???

Yes. Yes you did, so I took a peek.
"Can I add you on facebook?" I asked privately.
"Are you going to embarrass me?" She asked. "A lot of my friends are on there."
"Moi? Would I? Noooo, you can trust me," came the reply.

I was nervous. I hadn’t added anyone from chat to Facebook, so I was very dubious.

We started to chat on messenger, and after a few days we exchanged mobile phone numbers so we could text each other. (Don’t you love that we can communicate so easily nowadays?) We texted a lot over the next few days, and after a late night where she was out at the pub I retired to bed about 2:30am. I awoke at 3:20 to the phone ringing, and it said TDT on the display. I knew she wasn’t sober, but I thought it would be a laugh so I answered it. I’d never actually spoken to her at this point. A delightfully soft and friendly Irish accent greeted me.
"Come and talk to me on the PC. Come on. Please."
"Do I have to? I only got to bed an hour ago?"
"Pleeeeease! I won’t keep you up for long. Promise." (May contain traces of lie.)

I’m a night owl, what can I say! It seemed to take FOREVER for him to say he’d get up. Yes, finally he did! I remember thinking "He's fun! Maybe I don’t like him so much. Why wouldn’t he want to get up at 3:20 in the morning to talk to me!?!" Oh the power of Dr. Smirnoff.

I turned on the light and went downstairs. Fingers of light were coming from the horizon as the sun was just starting to push away the night sky. I sat down at the PC and started to chat. Now the amazing thing is at this point I hadn’t seen her, and she had only seen a really old picture of me.

I had been afraid to look at his pictures on chat, reason being, if he was a two-headed, bucked toothed, hunchback, what would I do? He had a wonderful personality, so could I be so shallow and turn him away because of his looks? However, when I finally got the courage to look, I saw a very handsome guy with the kindest face. I was a very happy girlie indeed!

She said "I don’t have many pictures of me, but I have this one taken at a party a while ago," and sent me this picture.

Now I was so nervous sending this picture.

"Blemmeh," I say. "You’re not how I imagined at all!"

*my heart sinks*

"For better or for worse?"
"For better! You’re ticking all the boxes"


We’d been talking for a week, and I’d even spoken to her before I’d ever even seen her. I was gobsmacked. I finally got to bed that morning at 6am.

So much for not staying up too long.
We chatted more and more. She got a webcam, and we chatted on skype a lot.

"She got webcam.” He says that as if there was nothing at all too it! He spent two days trying to convince me to get one, as with seeing how most men on chat "viewed" the use of webcam, I was LESS than enthusiastic!

Then she dropped a bombshell.
"I’d like to come and see you. How far are you from Bristol Airport?"

What??? I don’t remember bringing this up first! We discussed what it would be like to meet. I don’t think I initiated it, although, if we were chatting on Skype with a beverage in hand. Just maybe.

Beverage? That'll be a vodka then. We made plans and a couple of weeks later (about the start of September. To be honest I don’t remember) I hatched the plan to surprise her in the airport.

It was September 10th.

I told her we’d pick her up from the pick up/set down area.

I found this a bit strange, that he wouldn’t want to come into the arrivals hall to meet me, but I was just as pleased, because this way it gave me time to go to the "little girl's room" to freshen up, calm my nerves and just get myself together.

John was now back home and he was coming with me. We borrowed my mate’s people carrier so we could travel home in comfort, and picked up some flowers. The idea was we’d stand out of sight of the arrivals doorway and when she walked passed we’d pounce. John had the flowers, I had my camera and we were ready to spring a surprise. The flight arrived and spilled out into the arrivals hall, and I strained to vet each and every potential person to see if it was TDT (Bearing in mind I’d only seen her in photos or on webcam). I was hiding behind an information point, and John was the other side staring at me waiting for the nod. Suddenly I became aware of being watched. I looked away from the door and emerging from the Toilets, there she was; an image of perfection. I’d missed her and she had now seen me and John hiding. The surprise was blown.

It was amazing to see both their faces! First Rik, the realisation that I had him spotted first, frown, then the fact that it was me, huge smile. John was just smiling and shy looking as he thrust the flowers at me, it was the sweetest thing! Rik kissed me on the cheek, very gallant, and off we went, laughing about how I had ruined their surprise.

We left and went to a pub I used to frequent when I worked in Bristol for a bite to eat whilst the rush hour in the area calmed down. I vaguely remember the meal, just little snippets of conversation, our first grabbed kiss whilst John was in the loo, her spitting on me by mistake at one point.

I was MORTIFIED!!! It was like it happened in slow motion. I looked to see his reaction, knowing that this could be a deal breaker, and he just roared laughing, phew! 

The rest of that weekend has unfortunately been eaten away by co-codamol, but I know shortly afterwards she asked me what was happening with John whilst I was in hospital. I told her our friend Sue was going to look after him, and she offered to babysit him and me for a week instead.

As we talked from the time I left Rik and John, until the operation was looming, I was getting increasingly worried about both of them and it just came down to the fact that I would be worried sick over here not knowing how they were coping, so the only thing for me to do was be there.

My flabber was gasted at the fact she wanted to sacrifice a week looking after 2 men moaning and whinging, but sure enough I picked her up the day after her birthday. Again, I don’t remember anything of her arrival, but I do remember my time in hospital and her being there for me as I went through unbearable pain and came out the other side with her still by my side. I also know that John was putting a brave face on everything that was going on, but he really needed her support. And she provided it in spades, treating him to a take away the night after the operation and making sure he was ok. He’d asked if he could take time off school so he could be with me, and had promised to do the garden etc, but she’d been fair and said "I’ve promised your Dad I wouldn’t let you." And he respected it.

I have to say that this week was indeed a very draining one, emotionally. Given the fact we had gotten to know each other really well, we were still quite a new couple. My biggest worry was John, here is this relative stranger, (although John chatted with us most nights on Skype, playing games etc,) in my house taking care of me while my Dad is having an operation, and it must have been difficult for him. But we stuck together and visited Rik as much as we could and I tried to console John as much as I could after the operation, it was heartbreaking to see him so upset. I have to give huge thanks to BLS and Sue for constantly checking in with me making sure we were ok, that touched me no end. Once Rik was back at home, everyone started to relax more, even Rik, whilst in a lot of pain, seemed happier. Good excuse for cuddling up on the couch watching telly for all of us!
I won’t ever regret that week, as it is something that bonded John and I and was a great foundation for mine and Rik’s relationship.

One morning I was watching TV in bed, and was surprised to get a call on my mobile from an unknown Irish number. TDT’s velvety voice was in a hushed tone. "I’ve been busy" she said, calling from work. "I’ve been booking flights, basically every two weeks up until Christmas. It was better to get them now whilst they were cheap."

€12 return!!! Result.

Sure enough, we then got into a regular routine of picking her up from Bristol Airport, and then doing different things. One weekend we went to Torquay, another we went to see my Dad.

I was really looking forward to meeting Aled, we had been chatting on email for a while at that stage, so I knew we would have a laugh when we met, even if it was for the sole purpose of picking on Rik! A common goal in life ha ha. I also got to meet Pam, who is very sweet. It was funny how we both seemed to roll our eyes at the same time when father and son were having a laugh.

We got to know each other incredibly well in the meantime. Using the internet to communicate in the evenings means that we would talk to each other a lot more frankly and openly then normal, and we got to know each other to a staggering level. The time together was just a glue that bonded our relationship together even stronger. By my first visit out to Ireland at Christmas I was nervous of meeting all her friends and family.

See "ready to puke!"

I needn’t have worried, they were all forewarned of me and my slightly unhinged sense of humour.
We’re now a couple, in the tightest sense of the word. We know what each other are thinking, and we talk to each other about everything. We have our faults, mine is wanting to sleep, her’s is telling me to stay awake all hours. We argue, we disagree, we make up again, we understand each other a little more. And yes we both agree marriage is on the cards. It’s just a question of when.

"And did they all live happily ever after?" You’ll just have to wait and see.