For today’s Flashback Friday I thought I would go with the general theme of Firsts mainly for selfish reasons. I shared a picture on Facebook and Instagram on Wednesday of this week as it was the 10th anniversary of the first day that Mark and I met. We met at Luton Airport which led a lot of people to ask, “What’s the story??” I will share the story of the FIRST time that Mark and I met in person…at Luton Airport and I hope that you will join in to share a FIRST of your own as well. It could be your FIRST child, your FIRST family holiday abroad, your child’s FIRST day at school…any FIRST that is worth remembering! As ever, I love to read the stories that accompany your photos. Flashback Friday is the best! Join me on this walk down Memory Lane:
10 years ago, 2005, Mark and I met for the first time at Luton Airport. It’s not entirely the “Love, Actually” moment you might be hoping for but is pretty darn special anyway. At least, it is to us. But we’ll need to rewind a bit further to March of 2004 to start the story! I was visiting a good friend in a town I had lived in for a few years. I was able to connect with another friend, Julie, whom I hadn’t spoken to since I had left town. We chatted about everything, caught up on life and I told her that I was heading back to school in the Autumn to pursue a 2nd degree as a French Teacher. I would also be spending the Winter/Spring semester (January-May 2005) studying in Caen, Normandy, France as a degree requirement. My friend Julie mentioned that I should give her my contact details so she could pass them on to her brother who lived in England. Her hope (and clearly, plan) was that we would hit it off or at the very least, form a friendship that would give me a place to visit while I was in France.
Fast-forward to November of 2004. I was at a concert with a friend. I had a message on my cell phone/mobile which ended up being from a rather lovely sounding Englishman introducing himself as Julie’s brother and telling me that he would ring me at home later. Cue much excitement and confusion. A week or so later the phone rang. I was living back at home with my Mom as I was a University student again. My mom rushed in with the phone, covered the mouthpiece and whispered, “It’s the Brit!” Haha! It was, in fact, the Brit! My friend Julie’s brother Mark had finally summoned up the courage to call a random friend of his sister. I later learned that Mark had lost the card with my contact details on it and in November had only just rediscovered the card wedged in between cushions of his couch. Mark and I talked, I struggled initially to understand some of what he was saying thanks to his English accent but we talked for some time that first time, finding a lot in common. Between November and early January, we spoke every couple of weeks (including on Christmas Day!) and I believe both thought there was something there. In January, as I was making arrangements to fly to France to begin my University study, I broached the idea of meeting up. I had time before beginning my studies, between when I arrived in France and our actual classes began. We decided, meeting up would be a good idea. I made further flight arrangements to fly from Paris to Luton Airport on Friday 4 February, 2005 to spend the weekend with Mark.
Prior to this we had only spoken on the phone. Mark had a picture of me from his sister Julie but I had no picture of him. I had no real idea of what to expect and the actual me looked quite a bit different to the picture of me that Mark had. We agreed that because we had no idea what each other looked like, I would let Mark know what colour suitcase I would be carrying. HOT PINK was the colour. That would be easy enough to pick out! Plans were put in motion and our first meeting was arranged. Having arrived in France a mere 4 days before and feeling quite jet-lagged and perpetually motion sick for some reason, I boarded a plane on Friday 4 February, 2005 in Paris and flew 45 minutes to Luton Airport. As I was nervously brushing my hair in the toilet, having managed to sail through passport control, I steeled my butterflies and prepared to meet a man I had only spoken to on the phone. I was about to spend an entire weekend with a man I had never met in person! I was very much hoping that this would be the start of something rather special.
Unbeknownst to me, on the other side of arrivals, Mark was in the process of chasing after another woman with a hot pink suitcase. After ascertaining that that was not me, Mark managed to scuttle back to arrivals in time for the correct woman with the hot pink suitcase to appear. I kind of knew it was him as he stepped into my path. I gazed up at him, enquired nervously, “Mark??” and when I knew for sure it was him, I gave him a big hug. That was the beginning. Our FIRST meeting in person, after only two months of talking and not knowing what the other looked like. Despite being slightly ill most of the time together, we both knew there was something there worth pursuing. Two weeks later we met in Paris for our next weekend together and fell head over heels in love with each other. Six weeks after our first meeting, Mark proposed to me under the London Eye. I said yes! One year to the day he proposed, Mark and I married in a lovely wedding ceremony in Stamford, England. Ten years later, we still love each other very much and can’t wait for the next 10 years! Not a bad story eh?
What’s your Flashback Friday Firsts today? I would love to hear your story! #embracehappy