Wednesday, July 17, 2013

40 for 40 - The Babe Magnet

Ah well, I couldn't leave this guy out! 

It was a dark and stormy night  . .. Well, it was a wet and windy  October Sunday night when there was a  knock on the door of my flat. A gang of  5 guys  all trouped  in to a room  that could barely hold me and one visitor.  They all  shared the B&B accommodation. On a Sunday night in Wales, nothing was open - no pubs, nothing -  and Barry, a friend of mine, had said 'I know where we can go and get a cup of coffee.'

There was precisely one chair in my room - so I sat in that. Four guys sat on the edge of my bed - and one sat on the floor at my feet.  When he spoke it was with a Yorkshire accent that I had rarely heard this far from my home in Halifax. 'Eeh lad, that's a right  grand accent,' I said  - not quite 'Nelly, I am Heathcliff'  (Wuthering Heights) or  Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.   (Romeo and Juliet)     or "You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.” (Gone With The WInd)   , or  "In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."     (Pride and Prejudice) or even        'Reader I  married him' (Jane Eyre) but  great oaks from little acorns grow  - or some such.

We didn't actually become 'boyfriend and girlfriend'  until the New Year, 3 months later  but he went home for Christmas and told his parents that he'd met the girl he was going to marry. It took him a little while longer to tell me! (I always wondered why his mother gave me so rather strange looks when I first set foot in his home - she knew - I didn't!)

As a small PS to this -  in that original gang who came in out of the rain that October night, there was one other, Andy,  who became a special friend to both of us. We were often all 3 together - so much so  that when the Babe Magnet and I finally got engaged properly  one person actually asked which one I was engaged to.  My answer was 'The right one'

It still is.

Forty years  of marriage - and I'm still looking forward to more.  Love you Steve.

Here's The Babe Magnet:

When I first met the future Kate Walker it was the hair that did it. She was sitting in her chair in a flat the size of a Wendy house in Chalybeate Street, Aberystwyth. Yes, the auburn hair - and the red notebook of her own poems- set me afire, but I was too shy to say much. I nearly lost her to someone else for being so shy! This little scene was on a bleak Sunday in October 1970. I was with the gang of lost little chaps from my digs who were in need of some company - and some wisdom from a seasoned student as it turned out.

There was Kate (Cathy) in her den. Through my eyes she seemed like the epitome of the sophisticated type who knew the ropes of being a successful student in alien Wales. It was the era of Plaid Cymru militancy and of sit-ins by Welsh students demanding that their history be taught 'through the medium' - that was not by paranormal means, but in Welsh.

So, this dreamy, opinionated and very innocent student from Leeds, adrift in Welsh Wales, walked up the stairs, said hello to Cathy  and accepted coffee. We all sat on the floor and listened as she spoke. She's been doing that ever since, but always interestingly, and most recently, she has been spouting a lot - in Wales again!! We seem fated to be Anglo-Welsh.

It's been a wonderful 40 years. There has never been boredom - lots of rows and shouting - but never boredom. Oh yes, and we wrote a few words as well!

Giveaway: Well, if people can bear yet another book of mine featuring prisons, I can offer my latest - Jane Austen's Aunt Behind Bars - a collection of biographical pieces on writers from Defoe to Wilde who were detained at His/Her Majesty's pleasure.

My question:   Do husbands wearing bad/cheap/ ill-fitting suits (see the photo for the 14th!) generally turn out to be the best partners in romance?


Laney4 said...

Great post. Grinned throughout. All's well that ends well....
There must be something to that thought (about "Do husbands wearing bad/cheap/ ill-fitting suits ... generally turn out to be the best partners in romance?
"). I swear my husband of 32 years wore a "penguin suit" when we got married - and I hope I never see him in a baby blue suit again, LOL! (You know what they say: Less is more!!!)

traveler said...

Congratulations and best wishes. I enjoyed this lovely story which was very meaningful. We have been married for 43 years and the suits were certainly unforgettable, but what counts is character, trust and being beshert.

Caroline said...

Lovely post kate and stephen. And in answer to the question "of course they do!" Caroline xx

Kate Walker said...

Hi Laney

Thanks for the response. What I said was daft but maybe there is something there

Keep romancing

Kate Walker said...

Hi Traveler,

Thanks for this. Yes, the suit is a sweet memory!

Kate Walker said...

Hi Caroline,

Thanks for the thought. I like to think that the simplicity of the suit matched my simple mind!


petite said...

It is always interesting to learn about a relationship and marriage, but more so when it endures for so long and is a testament to the couple. Listening to couples relate their initial meeting is fascinating to me. thanks for this beautiful and special post.

bn100 said...

don't think the suit really matters in the end

charlotte mcfall said...

Its a great post, it made me smile. not sure about ill fitting clothes making a man a better husband, When i saw mine i liked him because he looked like bad boy. but with a heart of gold, i was a student on one of his courses.

charl xx

Nas said...

Great post. Loved reading all about how you met. I kept going, 'Aww...' all the way!

Thanks for sharing such a special post with us.

'Those who look at ill fitting clothes will not look at the person wearing it, will not last!'


Mary Preston said...

Such a great share thank you. I'm not sure about the suits. Not the first thing I notice.

Christina Hollis said...

I've just caught up with your lovely post - many congratulations to you and Steve!

Kate Walker said...

I agree with all that, Petite. At least you didn't mention the suit. People missed my point there - I was referring to lack of dosh but having lots of love!


Kate Walker said...

Hi bn. The suit was a reference to being poor!


Kate Walker said...

Hi Charlotte. Thanks for this. You're right- appearances don't matter

Kate Walker said...

Hi Nas,

Yes, thanks for the clothes quote. You got my message


Kate Walker said...

Hi Mary,

Puzzled by the suit? I was referring to marriage being sustained by love, not money

Kate Walker said...

Hi Christina,

Thanks for the reply. I was trying to be poetic etc. There's always been poetry in our marriage


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