So, this part is a little back-to-front, or stop-start, or just a plain test of my patience (Chris always says that I’m impatient. This is not an unfair description). In January 2020 we decided we were going to have a civil partnership, quite pragmatically, sitting on the sofa at home. This definitely wasn’t the proposal of my dreams – in fact, I’m not even sure it counts as a proposal – but six months later after the initial lockdown we chose a ring together. Although, again, it was a pragmatic experience and did not possess any of the pomp and romance that I would have hoped for.
Happily Chris really pulled it out of the bag when he did get down on one knee! Or, more accurately, I should say when he got up from two knees. He had taken me on another surprise trip for my birthday and we were staying at the most gorgeous hotel in Edinburgh, called Prestonfield House. It was exquisitely decorated for Christmas and oozed romance, luxury and magic in every room, nook and cranny. It even has its own cat, Raven, which for two cat lovers was an added bonus of sheer joy. It turned out that Raven had a favourite spot at night, under the window seat in the Whisky Room, a gorgeous atmospheric room full of purple tartan and candlelight, which we’d found very pleasant to have a drink in at night.
The night before we’d left home I had noticed the ring box had gone from its usual place and I’d thought, ‘Oh, could it happen?’ Chris left it so late in the trip that I actually began to think that I’d moved the ring box and had forgotten where I’d put it! I had visions of me arriving home and dashing upstairs to the turn all the drawers inside out.
On the night of my birthday we’d gone out for dinner to a special restaurant in Leith that we’d been to for my 40th trip. Chris kept commenting how busy the restaurant was and that he was sure it hadn’t been that busy the last time we went. Apart from saying that it had been January the last time we’d been and now it was pre-Christmas and that probably explained why, I didn’t give this too much thought.
By the time we returned to Prestonfield House, I’d had a few drinks and forgotten that I’d been thinking that Chris might propose. Nestled in the candlelit Whisky Room, I spotted Raven the cat in his favourite spot near my feet. Chris got down to have a closer look and give him a fuss. Now, most people probably have a photo of the moment after the proposal but I have one of the moment right before the proposal. ‘Oh just stay there, that makes a lovely photo’ I said, not noticing that Chris had his left hand buried surprisingly deep in his pocket or that his eyes had a distinctive look of ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this right now’ in them…but once I’d finally finished he got up onto one knee and popped the question. Just him, me and Raven in a romantic, intimate moment with the room all to ourselves. Just perfect :o)