Today is the official 2 year anniversary of when I asked Jen to be my girlfriend (and she said yes).
To celebrate this we booked a day off work to take advantage of the bank holiday weekend and have 4 days away on a sunny foreign beach for a relaxing holiday.
We missed out celebrating properly last year as Jen’s school friends booked a group weekend away on the only date they could all do so we were determined to make it special this year.
Unfortunately Jen’s Grandpa died rather unexpectedly a week ago. He was a lovely man who she was very close to and it was all a rather horrible surprise. The funeral was on Friday near Manchester so we originally adjusted the plans to fly on Saturday, in an attempt to salvage some of our weekend away, before discovering that there was a big family meal planned on the Sunday, today.
The plans were officially broken. So, instead of the Seychelles, this evening we are staying in a Brittania Hotel in Stoke-on-Trent.
We’re in Stoke-on-Trent as a necessary evil because tomorrow we’re spending the day at Alton Towers for super fun times and it’s only a short drive in the morning. The downside of this, however, is that we’re in Stoke-on-Trent.
On the plus side, if you want to buy a sad looking wedding dress, eat a curry or stare listlessly into the canal contemplating why you’re in Stoke-on-Trent then your desires will be well catered for.
By way of a celebration of our 2 years of glorious relationship we visited Stoke-on-Trent’s second best restaurant. The best restaurant is closed on Sundays. Armed with a carrier bag of Tiger beers, we took our seat in the Indian restaurant, officially doubling the number of diners.
After 5 minutes, 2 families came in and were sat on either side of us, ignoring the 20 other empty tables, and both then got their food first because our waiter had forgotten to take out order to the chef. The small child to my left was playing on his Nintendo 3DS whilst his mum talked about how the “Chechnyan” bombers were brainwashed to be soldiers of God and his dad shot me suspicious glances.
The true delight of this restaurant, however, is the combination of ’80s power ballads drifting around the half empty room accompanied by the silent visuals of Bollywood music videos on the 40″ TV. Jennifer Rush’s “The Power of Love”, Celine Dion’s “Think Twice” and George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” all followed each other as a succession of Indian women and men coyly danced behind fluted pillars, teased suitors and hung off the back off tuk-tuks, hair flowing in the desert wind and somehow all in time to the music.
The whole thing was so hilariously miserable that we almost choked on our bottles of Tiger with laughter. I asked Jen if this was where she’d imagine being on our second anniversary.
Finally, Annie Lennox’s “No More I Love Yous” finished off our will to live so we left our half eaten currys and sloped back to the Britannia.
Perhaps we should have been having a romantic break away, basking on a white sandy beach, but I’ve just given Jen my last Rolo and we’re going to be to watch Breaking Bad. It may not be what we chose for this weekend but what’s most important is that I’m spending tomorrow with the woman I love eating as many giant hot dogs and ice cream as possible then getting violently spun upside down and possibly vomiting bright orange sugary drinks.
And on that note… play ‘em out Sexy Sax Man!
There are lots of things I really love about living with Jen:
- She brings home surprise booze and chocolate on a Friday night.
- She humours my increasingly obsessive behaviour with feeding and housing the birds in the garden (and hushed exclamations of “LOOK!!!” every couple of minutes when a tit lands on the window feeder).
- Lazy weekend lie-ins ’til mid-day.
- Doing decorating together (basically giant Lego).
- She organised a surprise Rock Band birthday party for me in the garden under a gazebo, like playing to a really tiny festival and plastic instruments.
- Having my Partner in Crime on hand every day for adventures, My Little Pony and serious high-fives.
However, as the tides ebb and flow and the moon waxes and wanes, so there is also a darker side to living with my girlfriend.
This particular darker side is that she is convinced our house is trying to kill her. Girls are mad.
This manifests itself in a number of ways. Initially it was the belief that the house is maliciously costing her money; the electric shower breaking; the leaking boiler; the doorframe falling apart, the mouse in the kitchen.
It then progressed to an insistence that the house is actively trying to kill her off;
- Trying to freeze her during the snowy weather by euthanising the heating
- Poisoning her by setting the drill battery on fire whilst charging.
- Tripping her up on the gate so she skinned her shin AND cut her face.
- Crushing her toes by moving the landing ladder in the night and making her fall over it.
- Gouging a chunk out of her leg with the stationary Workmate that is propped up against the wall.
The last of these happened earlier today and the first I knew was a banshee cry of “I FUCKING HATE THIS , FUCKING HOUSE!” and a teary Jen looking at a bloody hole in her jeans. To be fair it was a nasty gouge and I would be pretty upset too. Once Dr. Biscuit had cleaned and plastered the wound we had to have a little chat about how the house isn’t really trying to make her life hell, it’s just an unfortunate series of unrelated events.
Once she had calmed down we decided to make banana bread.
10 minutes later the garden hose exploded in her hands, all over the kitchen.
There’s been a lot of big news coming from Toast recently and you’re possibly wondering what’s happening on this side of the wager.
Will Billy escape from the abandoned mineshaft?
Will Susan discover that Jake is her brother?
Will anyone work out what that smell coming from the patio is?
There have been on quite a number of adventures, mishaps and ensuing hilarity but that’s not what you want to know, is it? Well most of it has been pretty awesome (even though it revolves around a girl, who’d a thought, eh?) but some of it has been really hard to write about, which is why I was dodging it for so long.
When this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you’re gonna see some serious shit
Let me take you back in time 9 months…
<flashback>Toast and I were living together in the 4 Xbox household. For reasons that I won’t go into we were faced with a deadline of either moving out in 4 months or buying the house we were living in. With the opportunity to expand the technological empire further we decided to go for it. In retrospect I can see how limiting this would have been on our developing relationships, but when man is blinded by the idea of a robot man servant, or even a robot DINOSAUR servant, it’s easy to get carried away.
This is the first time I had tried to buy a house and it turns out that it’s quite expensive. We spent about 4 months weighing up the pros and cons of Ponzi schemes, life insurance scams and train robberies (although I’m not sure that 13 boxes of Doritos, enough chocolate and fizzy pop to bring on instant diabetes and a train conductor’s hat would have helped us buy a house). Then our deadline was pretty much up.
This is when things got tricky. Toast finally realised that this was out of his reach and decided to make the big move in with TP. This is a pretty pragmatic and sensible decision and is probably what we should have been discussing earlier, however it came totally of the blue and the following day I found myself the sole occupant of the house.
It was a bit of a shock. I was reeling and wasn’t really sure what my next steps were.
With the previous prospect of becoming an eligible home-owner, I had obviously spent time musing about when Jen and I might move in together. In my head, her and TP would eventually move in and sitcom style hilarity would ensue. No… I hadn’t really thought it through. We probably needed at least one ferret and a drag queen to make it sitcom material.
Jen and I hadn’t actually talked about living together at that point. She was living in a shared house with two friends and her contract wasn’t due up until October. I knew that I’d love to live with her properly and we both thought it would be great, although October was a long time to be in limbo before we could find our own place to rent. It was time for some a serious huddle to talk strategy. Jen’s housemates were very understanding and were happy to let me stay for a while to give me a chance to find my feet again.
After a bit of heart-to-heart Jen and I came up with our ultimate plan: WE would buy the house, like motherfucking GROWN UPS!
There are some exciting decisions in life where you get to make grand gestures, big announcements and celebrate decisions by denting the kitchen ceiling with a poorly extracted champagne cork. Unfortunately, when the decision is forced prematurely due to circumstance it kind of takes the shine off the glory.
This is something that we both wanted to do and agreed that we would have been considering moving in together around October anyway but we’d had no time to even get used to the idea before we needed to make a massive grown up decision. It was definitely a much better plan than Toast and I buying together but we would have much preferred to have some time to talk about it, get excited and make the decision ourselves. There wasn’t any time for celebration as we were instantly thrust into the stressful logistics and finances.</flashback>
This is a lot to fit in to one post so I’ve had to skim most of the detail but I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about this decision. It was big and scary but we both really wanted it and were really excited. Having a deadline isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The whole point of this wager was to make Toast and I get off our posteriors and get us some o’ them there WIVES! Without that to motivate me I wouldn’t have learned so much about myself over the last couple of years, had such memorable experiences or met Jen.
DECORATE ALL THE THINGS!!!!
We’ve now been ‘officially’ living together for 6 weeks and it’s amazing. It feels like it’s been months. We’ve got some formidable relationship tests ahead of us including IKEA (the bane of lesser couples) and some mega decorating. Seriously, EVERY wall, ceiling and floor needs to be decorated but I know that we’re gonna lay a tag-team SMACKDOWN on that motherfuckin’ woodchip wallpaper like the Partners in Crime that are!
All our monies are now being poured into this project, which means that grand expensive life events (like expensive jewellery or parties where you dress up in pretty dress and 3 piece suit and get all your relatives and friends together to get drunk and dance to the Grease Megamix) are now FIRMLY off the cards for the foreseeable future.
However, this is the WED or Dead wager, not the ENGAGED or Dead wager.
In an unrelated conversation a friend mentioned that they had heard that Vegas do weddings with pretty much no notice. There’s no reason I mention that, I’m just saying in case someone else might feel like a Star Wars themed wedding but couldn’t wait for a Death Star wedding cake commission to be ready.
That’s the only reason.
Right, next important issue: does anyone know how to remove horrendous ‘70s gas fireplaces without a canary and armed with only a hammer and a roll of gaffer tape??
Silly spontaneous presents are brilliant, whoever they come from. Unless the present is a secret scorpion in your pants drawer or a restraining order.
A great thing about relationships is that you have someone to get silly presents for all the time. They don’t have to be deep and meaningful or expensive to be a good present. They just have to make you grin or cry (in a good way, like when you get a new best gun in Borderlands).
The cool thing about them is that the better you get to know someone, the more the presents relate to a personal joy, secret pleasure or just appease the 5 year old inside.
I recently bought Jen a Lego minifigure. It was sealed in a pack so I didn’t know what I was buying and was in pieces so you couldn’t even stand at the display squishing all the packets to guess what it was. I remembered that I had it in my pocket when we were on the tube so gave it to her.
Disproportionate glee isn’t the phrase to use here! It made me think that I should get her a Lego engagement ring, one with one of those little transparent square one-block micro bricks as a diamond. It would be a lot cheaper but I’m not sure if that’s the sort of area where girls appreciate a quirky gift.
It’s fair to say that she got her money’s worth out of it.
After taking about 3 minutes to open the packet, she then spent about 5 minutes assembling the 6 pieces. Some of this seemed to involve throwing bits of the man on the floor. The figure was one of those soldiers with the massive bearskin hat that guards the queen. The kind that tourists try to get to move.
Eventually, after some gentle coaching on how to fix the gun into both his hands simultaneously the piece was finished and later took pride of place on the bedside table.
Because Jen is awesome, I picked her up yesterday and she said “do you want your present now?”. As I didn’t know there was even a present to be had I said “YES!” through the gritted teeth of excitement, closed my eyes and held out my hands.
On opening I discovered in my hand a packet of mother-loving Star Wars lego!!! YES!
I wanted to play with it then but didn’t think that I had time to put the spaceship together. Jen did say that it wouldn’t take long but I pointed out that a single figure had kept her occupied for about 10 minutes.
In conclusion, Lego is amazing. Girls who buy me Lego are amazing. Girlfriends who buy me surprise Lego are the best girlfriends of all.
Do you reckon that anyone has ever had a Lego themed wedding before?
Big News! Jen is moving into the house with Biscuit and I! Shocking eh?
Well it’s not forever, just for a couple of weeks in-between moving up to London. She has to wait a couple of weeks for her new place to become available and the lease on her current place expires before then.
Biscuit had a chat with me about it to see if I was fine with it. Of course I was, but I thought it would be excellent opportunity to set Jen some tasks on a condition of her moving in.
So far I have
1) Defeat The Theatre producer at a 3D computer game
Something shooty, she hasn’t got her head around modern 3d games yet so she can’t play Biscuit’s beloved Borderlands with him
2) Make us a pie
Pies are excellent
3) Force Biscuit to update the blog more often
Although since she doesn’t know about the blog I’m not sure how I’ll organise that one.
Bank holiday Monday, Jen suggested that we go to Thorpe Park. We set of from hers early(ish) in the mornin after she had cooked me excellent eggy bread for breakfast. The journey provided an amusing insight into girl logic.
We were angling to get there just as it opened so left fairly early on Jen’s promise that it was only 20 minutes away. She needed to stop off at the start of the journey so she could grab some fags and cash so pulled into a garage before hitting the motorway. She was also low on fuel but decided not to get any. Obviously any man would think ‘need fuel… tank empty… buy now’, but this is a not man logic.
5 minutes down the motorway she decided that we needed fuel so took a 10 minute diversion to find a garage. I was incredulous! Proper open-mouthed amazement! Thankfully it’s charmingly mental so I’ve just filed it under ‘endearing idiosyncrasy’
An hour after setting off, we arrived at Thorpe Park and set about the serious business of riding roller-coasters! If it was a game we would have won a gold medal at it. We made the front of ALL the roller-coasters with impressive efficiency. There was a lot of pulling fierce animal faces for the cameras so I bought her a fridge magnet of our speed face-lifts as a memento.
All the spare moments between making ourselves dizzy in the rides we spent stuffing food into our face holes. Foolishly we left the Tidal Wave until dark clouds had covered the sun and a chilly breeze picked up. As you may guess from its name, the tidal wave makes you wet. Very wet. In retrospect I’m not sure why I thought otherwise.
The force of the water when we splashed down was so strong it took Jen’s sunglasses off her head, which meant I leapt head-first back into the car after everyone had got off and fished around in the footwell until I found them floating.
I may not be able to conquer citadels for her, or name a new species of flower after her, but I can fish around in murky water for her much loved floral sunglasses and that makes her happy.
Being wet on a cold day can put a bit of a dampener on things (literally) so we decided to call it a day and retire to the warmth of the overpriced coffee bar for steaming hot chocolate. Even when she’s half drowned I still fancy her. Even when she banged her head in her car door after calling me a retard, I still fancy her.
Marriage percentage: 70% – She loves riding the front of rollercoasters AND stuffing her face all day long. I can see this being a very fruitful partnership.
The day after taking Jen and her chum to my favourite night out, we had her friend’s birthday party to go to. Faced with 9 hours of people I didn’t know I went prepared with my usual social crutch to make friends: balloons.
Thankfully Jen’s chirpy Irish friend from the rock club the night before was there with his boyfriend who was German and lovely. Jen was awesome at introducing me to to everyone. After doing the rounds I settled with the person that I seemed to be most on a level with: the small child who wanted ALL the balloons.
I taught her all about static electricity by sticking all her balloon swords to the celiing where every one was safe from their squishy jabbing.
The party was mostly in one largish room with the usual inexplicable crowd also in the kitchen and an area in the garden for lounging in the sun and supping chilled summer wine. The weather had another idea and had instead prepared a chilly and cloudy day with a brisk wind.
There was even a hookah, with strawberry tobacco jammed in and some charcoal balanced precariously atop. They taste nice, a bit like eating an invisible strawberry made of dry, and as long as you don’t try to talk whilst exhaling you wont spend the next few seconds spluttering on the smoke.
Jen had been great and had been cuddling up for warmth in between putting cigarettes into her face. Since there was a big game of kickball on the tellybox most of the people crammed themselves into the party room for 90 minutes of men in shorts chasing a toy round a field and left me to manage the firepit.
Suddenly I had a purpose. I was no longer at a polite suburban barbeque but was the very emboidiment of Cro-Magnon man, tending the fire for vital warmth and to roast the day’s slaughtered mammoth. Our mammoth’s may only have been marshmallows but that’s not the point.
At one point I smeared soot into warpaint stripes on my face. I can’t remember why but it was very important at the time.
I got chatting to the German boyfriend who was very intelligent, well spoken and entertainig. In fact he was so well spoken that I didn’t realise he was German. This may explain how I blundered into a conversation about the Nazis.
There really is only one topic of conversation that you should avoid with Germans and somehow I had grabbed it firmly by the scruff of the neck and dumped it into the middle of our rather pleasant dialogue.
It was at this point that I sudenly realised he was German.
In my attempts to backpedal and force an implausible segue to a friendlier non-Nazi conversation, I was making things worse and infact talking MORE about Nazis.
Thankfully only one of us was embarrassed.
After that the kickball finished and the people came back outside. There was a man with a guitar who sung songs that all the other people knew and joined in with. Not long after this I, Jen, her chum from the rock club and his boyfriend all left for the train.
Hairy Irishment are surprisingly insightful
On that journey back there was a telling conversation. There was some talk of exes and Jen’s chum asked me how long it had been since I had been with my last girlfriend. I told him it was almost two years and he said “wow, she must have really hurt you”.
This caught me off guard a little but he was right. I was just very surprised that he drew that conclusion so quickly.
After the seriousness there were more japes involving secret text messages and high fives. It was a saisfactory end to a day that had been very low key due to all the drinking the night before. Jen’s two chums from the train are like little teddy bears of fun and I really looked forward to seeing them again.
It’s important to get on well with at least some of your girlfriend’s friends because you’re likely to be spending a lot of time putting booze in your face with them.
Marriage percentage: 68%
Hello all, this is Marty McFly, from the distant past! Well, ok, it’s Biscuit but it does feel like I’m from the distant past. It’s not that I don’t love you any more (promise) I’ve just either had NO time to write or Jen has been here, making it a bit difficult to do!
I have a few important accounts to write up, then there’s gonna be something of a montage post to bring us up to date. Here’s the first (from about 2 months ago it seems):
My favourite night out involves a lot of vodka Red Bull, several hours of rock music and dance moves to make your dad cringe with embarrassment. I had been promising to take Jen there for ages and eventually (sometime around late May) I made good on that promise.
She rocked up from work in a black leather jacket, tight jeans, and a figure hugging black vest top. First stop was the warm up pub wherewe were due to meet a friend of Jen’s who was due to join us.
They say “first impressions last”. The friend’s first impression of me was when I leant over his shoulder at the bar, whilst Jen was still looking for him. He heard a tall man order “4 double vodkas, straight, over ice” then follow with “Oh, I’ve left my money in the cash machine, I’ll be right back” and thought “glad I’m not out with him”.
But, lucky boy, he was out with me!
Once we’d all become acquainted we drunk a lot of vodka mixed with contraband Red Bull smuggled into the pub down my pants and made balloon models for strangers. After the customary spazzing around we hit the club.
I’m the kind of person who gets all fretful about plans until I’m settled in wherever I’m supposed to be. Because of this we were in the club before most other people had got there. The friend was wondering what sort of barren warehouse party I’d brought him to.
The magic of the place is that you don’t really notice it filling up or time passing until you look round and realise it’s rammed with long haired occupants dressed in black and throwing their best air guitar.
Jen was totally at home and did me proud.
We all got drunk. Very drunk!
At one point a boy sidled up to Jen when I was away at the bar and tried some terrible cheesy line on her. He was still there when I got back, which I found quite amusing, but my masculine imposing figure must have scared him off.
That, or the fact that I was wearing colours and he shuns the gaiety as a vampire would garlic.
Eventually, it was time to pack the air guitar away and join the nocturnal zombies on the streets in search of a ride home.
We said goodbye to the chum (we were now best buddies, the vodka incident just fuelled my mythos in the end) and made our way home for a lot of painkillers and very little sleep.
Marriage Percentage: 68% - Being able to rock out with your metaphorical cock out is an absolute MUST and Jen can flash her imaginary penis with the best of them!
I wrote 18 months ago:
Tall brunettes with striking features and a slightly fiery attitude. Toast is aware that ‘a slightly fiery attitude’ is often code for ‘total mental bitch’.
And Biscuit wrote:
A glint of trouble in the eyes and a wicked grin. Also short cute girls with coloured hair. Also bunches. Bunches in combination with any of the above are a DANGEROUS and IRRESISTIBLE force.
It’s interesting, you seem to get what you asked for on the Internet but there is a part of me that wishes I’d mentioned a weakness for ladies with spaceships or pet dinosaurs.