Wednesday, August 07, 2013

40 for 40 - CC Coburn

Here's another brand-new friend to introduce to you.

CC Coburn is so new a friend that I haven't actually met her yet - but then she's been out of the country for much of the time I've known her. She was in Australia when she first got in touch with me. And then when I realised that she was coming to live in the UK, I was able to chat wit her about her new home - and her garden. And things like hedgehogs that she would find in her garden. Which explains the comment about the hedgehogs in the first paragraph.  CC   and her dog Freddie have discovered their very first hedgehogs this summer.

I'll be meeting up with CC later this year when she comes to the AMBA lunch in   September and I'm so looking forward to it.  Until then  - here's CC to chat with you about:

Disasters and Other Stories

Well Kate, firstly I’d like to congratulate you and your lovely hubby, Steve, on 40 marvellous years! I guess the years has flown by – a bit like hedgehogs under the hedges!

I met my husband… um… quite a while a ago.

It could all have ended in tears on our first real date, luckily he managed to hold back his tears, and 33 years and 3 kids later, we’re still together.

Our first date was going scuba diving at Julian Rocks off Byron Bay, Australia’s most easterly point.

Keith had led me to believe he’d done a lot more diving than it actually turned out he had—read: he’d learned to dive in a swimming pool a month earlier.

Since he was so desperate to date me that he lied through his teeth about his prior experience, I figure that what happened to him was entirely his own fault.

I was a member of the University of Queensland Diving Club. They organised weekends away to various scenic dive sites, so on hearing Keith enjoyed diving (obviously he really meant diving through the surf, into swimming pools, onto a rugby ball… but not scuba diving) I invited him on our next trip. We arrived at the dive site about 2 miles offshore in a rubber ducky and the anchor was dropped overboard. I noticed there was quite a current curling around the rocks, but wasn’t concerned about it. Leaving a skipper on the boat, we flopped back over the gunwales and headed down to 70 feet. The current was so strong we needed to haul ourselves down the anchor rope, so we weren’t swept away. I noticed Keith was sinking a lot faster than me. Obviously he had too much weight on his belt. As he hit the bottom at speed, his weight belt came undone and he started floating upwards! I grabbed his hand, pulled him down, indicating he should hug the anchor chain, while I refastened his belt. Except that when I let go of the anchor chain to tighten his weight belt, I started drifting away in the current. Luckily he grabbed hold of me, so while he clung to the anchor chain with one arm and the other holding onto me, I attempted to pull his overweighted belt up from his knees to his waist. By this time I’d realised I had a novice diver on my hands and if I didn’t do something, we’d both end up in New Zealand. I slipped some weights off his belt and after about 10 minutes and half a tank of chewed air, managed to get it up and refastened. Feeling queasy with all the effort and the responsibility of diving with a novice—they’re notorious for being unpredictable!—we headed off to look around the rocks. We came across a massive school of wobbegong sharks basking in the filtered sunlight. In case you’re not familiar with them, they’re quite harmless unless you happen to be stupid enough to stick your arm or foot into their mouth. They’re also rather flat on the top. This school of wobbies were all lying on top of each other about 6 or 7 sharks deep. It was quite a sight, but of course in those days, not many of us owned underwater cameras, so it will have to stay etched in my memory forever—along with the dive from hell.

Since I ran out of air more quickly than planned, I indicated we needed to go back to the surface. We found the anchor chain and headed up it towards daylight. The anchor chain soon turned into rope—both were bent at a curiously shallow angle to the sea bottom. And then the rope turned into a small buoy—suspended in mid-ocean! My alarm at this sight and wondering where the hell our boat was, had my stomach roiling. It was too far to swim to shore if our boat was unable to return to rescue us. I had visions of us floating off to New Zealand, never to be seen again. There was nothing else for it, we couldn’t hang around in mid-water waiting for rescue, we needed to let go of the anchor rope and head to the surface. Clinging to each other, we let go and were swept away in the current. Moments later our heads broke the surface. I cracked my floatation vest and reached over and cracked Keith’s. He had a huge grin on his face and said, “Wow! Did you see all those giant flatheads lying on top of each other?” I wasn’t in the mood to point out they weren’t flatheads, but wobbegongs. The stress of the dive, finding the anchor rope tied to a buoy and his silly grin as if totally unaware of the danger we’d been in, caught up with me. My stomach revolted and I threw up all over him.

I don’t remember much else except being grabbed under the arms and hauled into a dinghy that had miraculously appeared and thinking my dive buddy should be grateful we were in the water and he could wash the vomit off.

A few days later an enormous bunch of flowers arrived at work. Amongst the blooms was a card asking me for another date…


What’s your greatest dating disaster?

I’ll pick the best – it doesn’t even have to be yours, maybe it happened to a friend—but if it makes me laugh, I’ll give away a copy of my American Romance, “Sweet Home Colorado”   to the one I judge is best.

I’m known for being a bit unconventional, therefore writing Beth, my heroine in “The Cowboy, The Cheat, His Ex-Wife and her Vibrator” was fun. However, I let her do a lot of things I wouldn’t, but would love to!  You can read more about my latest book, my first foray into Indie publishing, on my website or on Amazon

I’m also published by Harlequin American Romance

Happy reading!



Kate Hardy said...

OMG, what a story!! Love it. Anyone who sends you flowers when you've thrown up over them (even though it was his fault) is a definitely keeper ;) Look forward to seeing you in September.

Sally Berneathy said...

I can't come up with anything even close to your story!

I met the current boyfriend by accident. I was trying to find somebody for my friend who's ten years younger. I was only a few months out of an abusive relationship and had no desire to meet anybody. However, the current bf and I had an instant connection and my friend didn't like him at all. So that worked out well. But he's 9 years younger than me. Our attraction was so strong and so immediate, I never even thought about the age thing. About the third date something came up about age, and he was surprised to find I was older.

I asked, "Is that a problem?"

He, obviously a bit shocked, said, "I just never thought about dating a woman as old as you."

That did not set well with me. I replied, "What an astonishing coincidence! I never thought about dating a man as old as you!"

Ten years later we're still together and he tries hard to keep up.

CC Coburn said...

Lovely story, Sally and I'm so glad you found yourself a keeper after what you'd been through before!

Laney4 said...

College ... constantly turned down my boyfriend, as I was 17 and not ready ... he waited three months ... rather than tell me he wasn't willing to wait any longer, he showed me ... drove me to his hometown an hour away ... took me in his friend's work's garage ... parked over hoist ... told me to stay in the car, as he'd be right back ... one of them put the car up to the top on the hoist (with me still in it) ... I was scared s**tless but not willing to show it ... I took a Harlequin out of my purse and read it to keep my mind off my fear of heights ... boyfriend (er, soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend) came back about 45 minutes later and drove me home ... we never spoke to each other again ... and he was in the "policing" program at college!

Helen said...


I loved that story I am still laughing it was great to wake up to this morning. I don't think that Hubby and I had any disasters while dating although it was many years ago we have been together for a very long time married 36 years.

Have Fun

CC Coburn said...

I'd have screamed the house down, Laney! And what was he going to show you? What is was like to wait? What a weirdo!

36 Years is indeed an achievement to be proud of Helen, congratulations! (and are they all your grand-children? lucky you!)

Anonymous said...

Vomiting on a date is an awesome way to sort out the keepers from the not-so-keen.

I don't have any terrible dating disaster stories, I'm afraid. I did have an almost-dating delight story. I went to Italy a couple of years ago and was in Florence in a bar/coffee shop trying to work out how to get a milky coffee instead of a small pot of thick espresso, when the bartender (who had little English) introduced me to a local guy who watched a lot of MTV and had reasonable English. He was SO lovely, explaining how to order what I wanted, asking about Australia, being dutifully concerned when I explained how many deadly creatures we had. Then when it was time to go he insisted on paying, and asking me out. Alas I was in a relationship so I couldn't say yes, but it became a very fond memory of my trip.

Cheryl Leigh said...

Kate, congratulations on your 40 years of marriage!

CC...O.M.G. What a story! And what a guy. So glad everything worked out for you both. :)

I'm laughing too hard at your tale to think of any dating disasters of my own. I don't think anyone can top that! I'm wondering if you taught your hubby to scuba dive. ;)

Cathleen Ross said...

C.c I'm beginning to think there is a relationship between first dates, vomit and long term marriages, unfortunately my stomach is churning too much to explain future.
Congratulations Kate on your long term marriage. Such an achievement these days.

Mary Preston said...

A man who can overcome being vomited on is a keeper!!

My worst dating disaster was a first date. He brought his Mother along. It was terribly uncomfortable to say the least. There was not a second date. I wanted no part in that particular Greek tragedy. (He was Italian actually.)

Kandy Shepherd said...

C.C. your story of your first date beats anything I've read anywhere. I really laughed! A school of floating sharks on as well!
Last time I laughed at something you'd written was your brilliant THE COWBOY, THE CHEAT, HIS EX-WIFE AND HER VIBRATOR. Such a fun story!
Congratulations Kate on your anniversary-what an achievement.

CC Coburn said...

Hi Kandy, thanks for stopping by and thanks for your lovely remarks on my latest book. I love your yummy cover!
That's hilarious, Mary! And how uncomfortable for you. What a mumma's boy he must've been!
Hi Cathleen, thanks for stopping by - I'll hear your further theories about this at some other time :-)
Hello Cheryl! Sadly, he never took to scuba diving. I think his experience with me might've soured his enthusiasm :-)
Louise, I think you should go back to Florence and look for that fella! :-)

Kaelee said...

Love this snippet of your life. I really enjoyed your O'Malley men.

None of my dating disasters can come close to yours.

My very first and last date with one fellow corresponded with my first ride on a motorcycle. I was wearing hot pink peddle pushers. We rode up the mountain all right but on the way down my peddle pushers split wide open when we took a turn rather sharply. I frantically hugged him the rest of the way down the mountain. I think we both decided that one date was enough.


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