Half a decade.
That sounds like a long time, even though it really kind of isn’t. But five years ago yesterday on August 26, Nick and I were married.
We figured, it being five years and all, which sounds a bit like a milestone, we ought to do it properly. So he took the day off – and to our surprise, we forgot there was another Bank Holiday left to go, so we inadvertently ended up with a longer weekend than we expected – and we went to plan.
We started with brunch at the London Particular. Nick had never been even though it’s a brisk walk from home but it’s a favourite meet-up place for me and Emma of loumms. They make lovely food – Nick had mackerel and tomato salsa on toast; I had mushrooms, goat’s cheese and spinach on toast – and gorgeous coffee and yet till this day my one crime is to never having quite had any of their delicious-looking baked goods. This needs rectifying.
The food was so yummy I forgot to take photos. Rest assured everything looked as good as it tasted.
Then we went off to an exhibition at the British Library.
I know a lot of people aren’t keen on it, but I quite like the architecture. It’s pretty hard trying to stand out when you’re right next to the elegance that is King’s Cross, but I think it’s very attractive. I like the idea of lots of people with books in their hands hanging around the massive open courtyard area.
We were here to see the science fiction exhibition, Out of This World: Science Fiction But Not As You Know It. Nick’s a big sci-fi geek, and has spent our years together educating me on the best and most rewarding of sci-fi literature. Many of the books and texts that were on display, he’d read or had long known about. Everyone that was important to the genre was represented: China Miéville, Neil Gaiman, Phillip K. Dick, Ian M. Banks, Arthur C. Clarke, H.P Lovecraft, Margaret Atwood, Mary Shelley… It was amazing to see them all there, and more so to see things like Angela Carter’s handwriting, the score for the original Dr. Who theme and Arthur C. Clarke’s original paper on satellite communications, which he wrote about 25 years before it became a reality.
We also discovered that the Brontë sisters were perhaps the first ever real tabletop gaming group. Alarming, odd, but true.
But without sounding arrogant, and this is only because Nick and I talk so much about everything, we came away from the exhibition with only one real question.
Me: You know how it’s called, Science Fiction But Not As You Know It?
Me: Um, didn’t we know it was all like that all along?
Nick: Pretty much, yeah.
Much as I love being a geek, it’s even better being married to one.
We celebrated our geekery and took shelter from the rain by running into the cafe and having a couple of treats.
(The glasses are new. The optician said that it’s to help stop his sight from deteriorating, what with him working with computers all day long. He was told to wear them when he’s in front of a screen or reading. The optician didn’t understand that with Nick, that’s all the time.)
We started to make our way home so that we could get ready to go out for dinner. We only get to do the fancy dinner thing three times a year – each birthday and our anniversary – so we were going to do it properly. But me being me, going home via the Northern Line from King’s Cross does make me point out that my Local Yarn Shop, Loop, is one stop away, on the way home.
So Nick got me some yarn. And a pattern to go with the yarn.
I realized that I was terribly sneaky about it, and so declared to Nick that I would take him to his Local Friendly Gaming Store, Dark Sphere, the next day, and buy him some more models for him to paint and add to his army. It made him very happy.
Our journey home was slightly hampered by fantastically tropical rain, rather reminiscent of home, really, considering the drop size, level of commitment – it did not let up for a good half hour – and the fact that it took about two minutes for the drains of London to fail to cope. We could have canoed home.
But by the time we were dressed and ready to head out to Arbutus, this year’s restaurant of choice, the rain had stopped and the sun had come out.
For such special occasions, we like to do the dinner out properly. Get a bit dressy, go somewhere nice, have three full courses and have a grown up moment at the end where I have a cup of coffee. Except, of course, I ruined that moment by, having been offered coffee and ordering it, I immediately said, “Yay! I’m being a grown up and having a coffee!”
Just as well Nick wasn’t having anything, because he would have snorted it out.
And so good to my word, today we headed out to Waterloo after a brief lunch diversion through Borough Market – I have by this point eaten way too much in 24 hours – and bought him these:
It’s the simple things.
Happy Anniversary, my darling Nick.