Not only the easiest topic we've had but also the hardest to write, simply because there were only two main contenders for this Kiwi heart, but it's simultaneously tough because it feels so personal.
The main culprit is (of course) my other half. My beer-drinking, curry-eating, football-singing Englishman. He puts up with my messy habits, boards flights in search of Eggs Benedict, adventures in countries unknown and has let 4 furry paws land firmly in his life. Why, I'm not entirely sure...
Arriving on Heathrow tarmac I was ready for the craziest two years of my life. Sworn off any relationships and all their entanglements I was ready to see the world. Living in a hostel for 3 months whilst finding a job and a flat that I could afford (hence how long it took) I applied for an antipodean job as traditional as L&P and Vegemite - pulling pints in a traditional London pub.
|His question: "Why won’t one ‘hu’ do???"|
It was a proper geezers boozer - you could fit 60 lunchtime drinkers (standing room only, elbows at the ready) small, cobwebby and full of random fishing artwork (all these years and I still can't figure out the connection).
Starting to earn an English bob or two (travelling on the NZ dollar at a ratio of $3 to £1 hurt) I began to make friends, found a room to rent and started trip planning. Cheap and cheerful was the name of the game; trips to Bath, Stonehenge and Prague all were booked in, and off I set. Life was good; work was busy, evenings were spent trawling Lonely Planet guides and weekends bussing around London. Our regular pub clientele were a lot of fun, and their escapades whiled away many an hour.
Except for one group. Determinedly perched at the lefthand corner of the bar, they would be in moaning about the world at least 4 days a week; lunch, evenings, occasional afternoons and during suspiciously timed fire-alarms (never before pub opening). We simply couldn't get rid of them.
The grumpiest blonde of the group (who spent most lunchtimes bemoaning everything he could think of - I once commented to a friend that it wasn't like he was homeless) mistook my friendly Kiwi way of strangely pronouncing words as an invitation to ask me out for a drink. He did make us laugh, so thought "oh well, why not, it's nothing serious, I'm travelling. Let the poor bloke buy me a drink".
8 years later we're very married, living in a grey, rainy country and arguing continuously over the joint ownership of a brown moggy with enormous green eyes (based mostly on how well she's behaving). We laugh every single day - generally at the same time - and couldn't be happier. (Ps. I was going to write about French Eclairs but was overruled by Mr Kiwi. Just so you know...)