Ever I saw the Shoe.
Was this day four years ago. And it has been a riot of adventure, silly behaviour, dancing,singing,exploring,laughing and sometimes tears.But he has always been strong and held me up when I'm drooping,given me sunshine so I can bloom and has always wiped the tears away . Sometimes I can't quite believe I have had this amazing man in my life for four years and that he is so strong in his love for me. This morning, I came downstairs to see a card propped up on the kitchen table, a card so sweet and loving that it brought tears rushing to my eyes. He had listed all the things he wouldn't have done if we had never met.. like become a dog person, driven across France, learned how to love musicals,slept in a camper van.. and I wouldn't be able to tell a triumph herald from a stag or have jumped around to drum and bass music or bought a house, or stood in a field of sunflowers or felt wonderful glorious happiness!
So this time four years ago, we would have been in the Cargo club, East London. And probably we would have just been pronounced the winners of the Karaoke competition and been presented with our trophy that still sits on our mantelpiece. And so the beginning had begun.
I was determined to go out that grey sunday in 2005 as I had been rather rudely dumped the previous sunday so wanted to cancel it out by having a jolly good time. The event was organised to raise money after the terrible tsunami disaster and as well as all the dancing,there was to be auctions of pop memorabilia, snog-a -celebrity and a cast of my favourite djs including one with whom I do have a minor obsession. Mark Lamarr.. If there was to be any snogging of celebrities, he would be mine!!!
Well, I had been ringing round the pals all week to see who was free and luckily Jazzboy was up for escorting me. However sunday morning came and I had a phonecall saying he had a terrible ear ache and wouldn't be able to go. Oh poop, I thought,it obviously wasn't meant to be. Mark Lamarr would have to snog me some other time. So putting it out of my mind,I settled down to a quiet sunday of mooching round the house. It was halfway through the afternoon when the phone rang again and woop-de do, Jazzboy again,the nasty earache had disappeared and he was all set to go listen to loud music and dance like loons!
It is strange to think that such seemingly small decisions direct our life's path. I always called Jazzboy the 'reason' that Shoe and I met, and in the speech I gave at our wedding, I thanked him and his earache for making a recovery!
I remember it being such a special night, it had a very different atmosphere to any other club night I had been to before or since, I guess because of the circumstances for which it had been organised.As you walked in, the entrance foyer was lined with candles and pictures,people that had survived the tsunami had written incredible reports about what they had experienced and seen and pictures of friends and family that hadn't come home. So there was this real feeling of life being even more precious and unpredictable.There before the grace of god...
Anyway the music was brilliant,I danced my little feet off, lost Jazzboy, chatted to strangers and made new friends and somehow ended up in the restaurant where they were having karaoke.
I had never sung at karaoke before and in the spirit of being brave,I put myself down to sing a song. As I was standing there I saw a chap with spiky hair and dark eyes sitting and laughing with a group of friends,we had one of those eye meeting moments and then somehow he was standing next to me,looking at the book of songs. I sparked up with 'what are you going to sing?' To which he replied that they didn't have any of the songs he wanted to sing. So helpfully, I started pointing out that I thought were good songs. As these seemed to be particularly girly songs and included Judy's Somewhere over the rainbow he was a bit confused by this..
He then suggested that we sang a song together, I protested as I had already put myself down for a song but relented after he said he would buy me a drink! What an easy touch! And the drink was a strong one and I'm afraid to say, pushed me over the edge to slooshedness..
He wanted to sing 'Don't you want me baby' but when someone else stood up to sing it, I insisted we chose something else and the only duet I could think of was the Elton John and Kiki Dee cheese-fest, 'Don't go Breakin'my Heart!' So now it was his turn to protest that he didn't know the words and so on.. I was having none of it. Then, I had to go up and sing my song(you're so vain!) and I was aware of him watching, so felling mildy embarassed I managed to get through it. And then pretty soon I was back up there singing our duet.. ho ho! Well, I was very impressed I can tell you -he had a really good voice.And it was so much fun, I remember looking around seeing everyone singing along and sneaking glances at this handsome man standing next to me.
Once the song was finished, he came over all shy and rushed back to the comfort of his chums to hide his embarrasment so I went over to him and we had a laugh at the ridiculousness and then continued chatting away. He was very funny and I recall laughing a lot. We smoked lucky strike ciggies and drank a bit more and listened to other people murder songs until we heard the words 'And the winners are Flora and the Shoe' We had no idea that it had been a competition and yet here we were being applauded and presented with a trophy! He let me keep the trophy in exchange for my phone number and pretty soon I received a text addressed to Kiki from Elton.
I journeyed home on the bus,again making new friends as they asked about my trophy that I was proudly carrying. I think one of them may have asked me to sing and then looked in horror as I opened my mouth, unbelieving that I could have won anything with my weedy voice!
And so as I crashed into bed, I was unaware that I had met the man I was going to marry but all I knew was that I'd had more fun than I'd had for a long, long time.
Happy Anniversary,lovely man.