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That Proposal Story
19 June 2017 19:06


So, the thing everyone wants to know about the engagement of The Future Mrs Barefoot and me is CAAAAKE. But after that they enquire about the romance of the proposal. It went something like this.

I’ve been thinking proposing for a few weeks. In fact, I’ve been thinking about it so much that sometimes I’d forget that we weren’t yet engaged. Questions such as “where should we have the reception?” or “should we invite so-and-so” nearly came out of my mouth before I remembered that I hadn’t actually popped the question.

My opportunity came one Friday evening when we were unexpectedly child-free – CS1 still at uni; CS3 in Spain and CS2 at a short-notice party.
“Let’s go out for a meal” I suggested. So we did. We went to a Turkish restaurant in the town centre that has a lovely garden at the back – wooden trellises with trailing vines, etc. It’s hard to remember that you are at the back of a Victorian terrace in a town centre. So here we were in this romantic setting and … I said nothing.

After the meal I said “let’s go to the ice cream parlour for pudding.” So we did that. We had big sundaes with lots of chocolate and other toppings. A romantic dessert and … I said nothing.

Eventually we got home and went to bed. We were just dropping off to sleep when I said:
“I suppose we could get married … hang on, I’ll rephrase that … Will you marry me?”
And The Future Mrs Barefoot said:
“Before I reply, are you serious”.

Sorry, folks, that’s as romantic as the story gets. I didn’t even have a ring ready, as I didn’t know I was supposed to.

“That sounds like the way Ruby would do it” commented CS3 (aka “the child I inadvertently inherited when I decided to shack up with her mum” – her words, in the not-Father’s Day card she gave me yesterday).

It turned out that The Future Mrs Barefoot and her friends had been waiting for some time for this to happen. In fact, her Mum Friends (friends who are mothers of children of the same age) were threatening to wear rings on every finger, just to emphasise to me that The Future Mrs Barefoot didn’t have any rings on any fingers.


A propos nothing, CS3 said “I don’t know what we should call the fishpond courtyard [at school] anymore, because it no longer has a fishpond.

I couldn’t see the problem. When I was at school we had a “gravel quad” that wasn’t gravel, a “top lawn” that was neither a lawn not at the top, and a headmaster nicknamed “the wol” even though he looked nothing like an owl – his predecessor did, and he inherited the nickname.


Bathroom is finished! Apart from the painting and flooring that I will do over the next few weeks. I went to the DIY store on Friday to get the finishing touches – shelves, mirrors, cabinets, etc.

While I was browsing the paint section, an older couple walked along the aisle, obviously looking for something. “Why don’t you ask if you can’t find it,” asked the wife.
The husband and I exchanged glances: “she doesn’t understand. We’re men – we don’t ask” I commented. He explained what he was looking for – a paint guard - and we chatted about other decorating tools and items.

A few minutes later I was in another part of the store and he came and found me: “I’ve found what I was looking for”, and took me back to show me so I could get one too. I felt find-of obliged to add one to my trolley after the trouble he had been to!


Last weekend we went to see Rick Wakeman in concert. I’d seen the show advertised several months ago and thought it was too good to miss. I was right to – it was too good to miss.

It was just Rick Wakeman and a piano on stage, no backing musicians, no singers. Some wonderful piano playing linked with entertaining anecdotes and jokes. Sometimes the characteristic twiddly bits made you think there was more than one piano on stage.

Lots of pieces from his current album, plus other stuff too. I particularly liked the medley of five nursery rhymes, each played in the style of a different composer.

You know how much I like coincidences. Guess who was on Desert Island Discs (the world’s best chat show) the following morning? Rick Wakeman!


Topical news (well not that topical, but it’s happened since my last post).

There was a general election. The party that won also lot and the party that lost also won. As far as I can tell, no party won and won but a few others lost and lost. The Labour Party are now 56 seats behind the Conservatives, which is a “great victory”, even though the 48-seat margin in 2010 was “disastrous”. Go figure.

And a horrific fire in a block of flats in London. There can be little doubt that there was something drastically wrong with the fabric of the building for a fire to take hold so quickly, and questions must be answered – and, where necessary, the guilty punished. But this will take time – it’s imperative that the whole truth emerges, not knee-jerk reactions and conclusions.

Theresa May was criticised for only visiting the emergency workers, whereas Jeremy Corbyn visited the victims. I would say two things to this. 1) they are different people and do things in different ways. Get over it. 2) political point-scoring when people are still missing, the building is still burning, and the remains of bodies are still inside says more about the people making the points than the politicians about whom the points are being made.

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That Proposal Story - 19 June 2017
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