On July 11th 2017, we met for the first time. We had been speaking for a month already having swiped right on Tinder exactly a month before. I will always remember Liam’s profile said “Teacher, Oboist, Geek” and I was sold. In fact, his name was listed as Billy and he introduced himself as Liam and at another point said his name was William, so for that month of being flirtatious pen pals I would refer to him as Billiam because I couldn’t remember which was his actual name. He’s still saved in my phone as Billiam, so if you’re ever near me and I have an accident or faint due to starving myself on a wedding diet then you know who to search and call.
Throughout that first month of messaging I was on a cruise ship as a guest entertainer (hence the delay in our first date) and for a time of it Liam (it definitely is Liam) was in Glastonbury. So while I was sending photos from the Church of the Spilled Blood in St Petersburg, Liam sent me a photograph of the grass mound in a field. I thought he’d sent it by mistake but he told me under that grass mound. He had fallen asleep and been covered by his friends.
Of course, we’d gotten to know each other pretty well during the month. So for our first date it was like meeting someone you’d already been on a few dates with. I waited at the front door of Neon Jamon on Berry Street looking towards China Town and Liam arriving from the Bombed Out Church. He said hello, I turned, and he kissed me. Well… that got that out of the way.
We celebrate our anniversary on the date of our first date. About 2 weeks before our first anniversary we moved into our first house together. Now on our third anniversary we’re engaged and planning our wedding, which will probably be around the time of our fifth anniversary.
So much has happened in 3 years. Liam was (and still is) a school teacher, though now he’s completed 2 years of training towards becoming a Head Teacher. I was a freelance lecturer at various colleges and now I’m full time at one. We have a coffee machine and keep house plants and spend more money on medication for our dog than we do on wine. Well, maybe not more than wine. But still, we’re getting good at adulting.
I have a little anniversary tradition: I like to mark the occasion with something we can put on the wall. Like a big gay hall of fame. The first year I had our photo by Paul Curtis’ wings put onto a canvas.
The second year we got a beautiful original piece from Isabella Daisy Designs featuring the first bars from the melody line of Rhapsody In Blue, by George Gershwin.
This year of course there was only one option. I had to get some photos from our engagement shoot with Clicked By Kate (@clickedbykate on Instagram) put onto canvas to get up on the wall. But there were so many good shots I was almost impossible to select one. So had to be 4. One for the main picture wall and 3 little ones for the downstairs loo!
I like this little tradition because, like Valentine’s Day, it’s not really a big deal and certainly doesn’t need to be a huge song and dance. We don’t do the whole shebang – no flowers and gifts and restaurants. Our wall of fame tradition is enough and we’ll always do a nice meal at home. Last night, Liam cooked the first meal he ever made for me: Chicken stuffed with black pudding and shallots wrapped in parma ham with hasselback potatoes and greens. It’s delish… I’ll give you the recipe!
The best anniversary treat though… our first Drive-Through Maccies breakfast since March! Cheers to another year babe!