Monthly Archives: June 2011

When Adam met Fiona

When Adam met Fiona

I feel I should start this with a bit of a disclaimer.  If you’re looking for a love story worthy of Mills and Boon with heaving bosoms and boy meets girl, boy acts like a blaggard, boy and girl have some kind of misunderstanding and 27 years later fall into each others arms…well, you’ll be disappointed.  Although I can probably do the heaving bosom bit.  But apart from that…

It was a winter’s morning in suburban Hampshire, the sun was low in the sky trying to break through the early mist. As Fiona sat on the bus her heart was full of wonder at the beauty of the morning and the sound of birdsong.  Or rather the nasty screech of seagulls overhead looking for a tasty morsel in the nearest bin.  And actually it was probably raining.  Looks like I won’t be making my fortune from romantic fiction. *sad face*

I was roughly 19 years old and had started at South Downs college to do a new A Level course after spending 2 years elsewhere doing subjects I didn’t really like.  For various reasons I quit 6 weeks before my exams, horrifying my parents, but I was determined I didn’t want A Levels in Spanish, German and History. Nope, I was going to start again with Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Spanish. I still liked Spanish.  South Downs is a big place not far from where I lived and I already knew a few people there that were doing retakes so I settled straight in.  It probably helped that I enjoyed the subjects I was studying this time around.

One winter’s day he came into her life, their eyes met across a crowded maths class and he was drawn to her, not turning away or blinking until he was right beside her, gazing into the pools of her eyes……

“F**k off, you can’t sit next to me!”

Oh. Having established that, actually, no one else was sitting there Adam flipping well went and sat next to me anyway, the cheeky monkey.  And it wasn’t really the first time he’d been in the class, he’d joined a few weeks in from the start of term to do an AS and had been sitting on the end of a bank of desks but was struggling to see the whiteboard so decided after a day or two to sit in the empty place next to me.  How rude.  Adam was 17, fairly tall with floppyish hair and some very fetching spectacles, the kind that wouldn’t look out of place on a Physics graduate (sorry to my friends with PhDs in Physics, but admit it, you know what I mean).  His skin was annoyingly clear and his teeth were annoyingly straight and he always wore the same jeans, white t-shirt and blue fleece.  He didn’t smell surprisingly, even more of a mystery as he rode his bike to college every day up a very steep hill (and he’s a right stinker now).  I suspected he had a wardrobe full of the same clothes like Jeff Goldblum did in The Fly.  I was something of a hippy, all batik, tie-dye and DMs with mad ringletty hair dyed a deep shade of red with random ringlets bleached blonde. It would have been quite striking, probably, if I didn’t keep leaving it too long between re-dyeing. It would fade to ginger every time.  I was very fond of low cut tops as well and this would become a problem for poor Adam as we became friends as it seemed he couldn’t take his eyes away.  I was always catching him looking down my top and always telling him off.

I have great memories of college and I really think I owe that to Adam, eventually he gave up the course he’d originally signed up for to do A Levels in Maths, Further Maths and Physics so we were together for most of the same lessons.  We were very silly in our classes, always up to no good, taking the mickey out of other people and messing up their experiments for our own amusement.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before in another blog but we did an experiment using a signal generator once and we were perfectly placed next to the plug to switch it off every time one of our class mates was expecting some output.  Funny, it never happened when the poor confused boy called the teacher over…and thankfully our sniggering went unnoticed.  We were meanies but never bullies, everything we did was in good fun. I hope so anyway.  We got away with our cheekiness because we worked very hard and got good grades…well, Adam did.

It was always pretty apparent to me that Adam wanted to be more than friends but that was never going to happen, I was two years older than him and had an older boyfriend, and much as I liked him (I always considered him to be my best friend) he had no chance.  I did get a bit jealous when he got very friendly with another (large breasted) girl but I never gave it away.  And it never affected our friendship, we carried on being great friends until we finished college and moved on, he with a girlfriend that I always suspected didn’t like me (she really didn’t) and me single again by that time.

We met up again after a couple of years when I was 21 and had just had my first baby, strange to say I’m not sure 19 year old Adam was especially interested in the very small Jake.  Can’t think why.  He was rather keen to impress me with his new found success with the ladies since he’d started uni and dumped the specs in favour of contacts (the relationship with the girl that didn’t like me hadn’t panned out, shame) and I must say, I was very impressed (I wasn’t).  And so we lost touch for a number of years, I was firmly ensconced in a disastrous relationship with two small boys and he was off being a bona fide nerd in some other part of the country.  I’d get the occasional message after Friends Reunited was invented but our hearts weren’t really in it.

I won’t bore you with any more of this as I know I’ve already told the story of how we eventually got together in the Porridge blog, suffice to say hurrah for social networking, without Friends Reunited who knows what would have happened?  We’ve been together for nearly five years now, and married for nearly four and every day I think how lucky I am to be with someone that totally gets (and shares) my cheekiness, propensity for sarcasm, and willingness to be silly.  He is also very good at managing my appalling grumpiness, though it must be very irritating and although there are many times when I could happily bop him on the head with my trademark frying pan and I glaze over when he starts talking about computer programming, I think we’re really happy together.  Who better to marry than your very best friend?  He’s still always trying to look down my top though…

I hope he doesn’t kill me for this!

Help, I’ve entered a marathon!

Help, I’ve entered a marathon!

My brain was somewhat addled yesterday. I woke up feeling fuzzy headed (which I’m sure had nothing to do with the wine I’d had the night before) and en route to meeting my friend for a coffee I stopped to get some cash out….but couldn’t for the life of me remember my PIN.  Sitting in the cafe, chatting away, I was forced to pause regularly while I wracked my brain seeking the words I couldn’t quite remember: words like “the”, “and” and “frying pan”.  And something went wrong when I tried to pay for the things I hadn’t meant to buy in IKEA, I typed in the PIN my mum had been kind enough to remind me of…and the transaction was declined.  Presumably I got the number wrong because it worked fine the second time.  Clearly something was amiss (I’m certain it wasn’t the wine…). I’m more or less back to normal now but it’s too late, the damage is done. For in the midst of my befuddlement something happened, something BIG and that I may very well live to regret: I agreed to run a marathon.  Not a half marathon. Nope. A whole marathon, 26.2 miles of undulating roads and redways around Milton Keynes.

We get a plethora of freebie newspapers here (yes, two a week IS a plethora) and on the front of yesterday’s offering was the news that MK would host its first marathon, open to 6,500 runners of all abilities. I’m not sure what happened but let it be known that Adam is an accomplished manipulator of people (I’ve seen him in action, it’s impressive) so I suspect he worked his mojo on me and suddenly I was walking around saying (in a monotone, slightly detached from myself) “We should do that, I’ve always wanted to do a marathon…” Yes, that must be it, it was a nerdy mind trick, no free will involved whatsoever.

Now, it’s not completely the end of the world, because I do run. Well, jog. OK, plod. But although I’ve done the Great South Run 3 times before and have participated in the Race for Life once or twice, those were in Portsmouth and Portsmouth is flat as a pancake.  And the Great South is 10 miles, it’s not even a half marathon. And thinking about it, I’ve struggled round every single time, especially those last 2 miles along the never ending seafront with the wind buffeting you from all directions. So really this is lunacy, even though I’ve been working on my speed on the treadmill and desperately trying to get a teeny bit faster.  Whereas Adam has been pounding the streets and the treadmill, sometimes with my eldest son, increasing his speed so that he can now run 3 miles in under 20 minutes and 5 miles in around 35. Gulp. I feel it pertinent to mention that Adam’s renewed interest in running occurred when his younger brother took it up some months ago and started to get quite good at it and lose weight. Coincidence? Hmmmm.

So that’s it, it’s done, we have entered and on 29th April 2012 we will be standing in Stadium MK “raring” to go and I will be quaking in my running shoes. This gives us 10 months to train and I fully intend to start on Monday, having found several 14 week training programmes to follow. I have worked out I can do them three times over with two weeks to spare.  What fun!  It is a serious commitment but is probably the kick up the bum I need to get me really properly training and if it’s not too dull I will try and do regular blog updates.  Assuming the training doesn’t go horribly wrong I am thinking of running for charity and would quite like to raise money for Diabetes UK in memory of my friend Julian who died early this year. I’ll let you know how to sponsor me nearer the time.

In the meantime, I am running the 10k Race for Life on July 24th in memory of my friend Lizzie who also died early this year after a long battle with breast cancer. You can sponsor me here.

The moral of this story is never allow yourself to make a decision on a day when your mind has been playing up!