|How A and E became Æ|
|Mad Scotsman : AARDVARK!!||
E* : *wrinkles nose*
Ah the VIP has much to answer for! I was sat at university in sunny Stoke on Trent, somewhere between 96/97 when I first encountered mi'lady Esther vie the ether. The VIP is a Virtual Irish Pub. A chat room in essence, and indeed in actuality, but in 96/97 this was a new thing. There came together a group of regulars who, over the years, grew to know each other, via this chat, and then via MSN. A group who still regularly frequent said chat room and confer upon others their own wisdoms.
With my picture looking suspiciously like a male Mona Lisa, and a penchant for shouting anteater subspecies, I wasn't easy to miss, but i'm led to believe Esther's original icon was Pinky, from Pinky and the Brain, which, due to copyrite laws I'm not going to add, but it was the Icon above which I remember her by, which surfaced around 2000!
The friendship which we built from that was strictly platonic. Difficult to get involved with someone who lives in another country and really only existed as my version of interpretation of her text on a screen. God help the world if my idea of who everyone is was correct! However, over the years, we talked about all manner of stuff. The birth of my son in Australia, the subsequent betrayal of me by my parents, my return to Oz to try to be father to Jack, only to be sent straight back home again and left without Son, Job, Home, Money, Identity and Future. My dad died, my second child killed in the womb, and then the slow recovery back to the person I am. All this time we remained able to discuss anything with a frankness that could only be acceptable to good friends.
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However, situations change. Esther became newly single, and Xmas 06 came around, and having only spoken on the phone once, I wound up with just about enough funds scraped together to be able to grab a flight over to Amsterdam on the 21st December, to spend Xmas n New Year there. Sounded good in theory.. but no, things couldn't run that easily. Coventry was shrouded in fog, and all flights were cancelled cept for the one i wanted when I arrived at the airport. 2 hours passed, and then came the announcement that my flight was cancelled too. A mightily annoyed and disconsolate me found my way back to Wolves where I landed at Julia's in a mood that would've stopped planes too if they flew through the cloud over my head.
The time is now 7.50pm and, in a vain hope, I shufti on the net for a coach. There's one, tonight, 2.30am. Booking closes at 8pm. I ring up, knowing that I am not due to be paid until tomorrow, knowing that phone booking lines close early. I get a seat, and amazingly, i've been paid early, so I can pay on my card. My first transaction with a debit card that i'd only just received. Suffice to say that I arrived, and all went amazingly, asides from the wonderful airline people cancelling my return flight because they assumed I'd not managed to get to Amsterdam without them. This actually led to me having more days there than I was expecting. Bonus! lol
In truth I returned back to the UK pretty much expecting that to be that. Practicalities etc etc. Much was needed to be done, both in Holland with Esther's personal life, and in the Uk with mine. However, fate through its hand at us again, and a death in Esther's family and flights for under 50euros meant I flew back over at the start of February. From then on, we began to talk seriously about the prospects of me moving over to Holland, and seeing what happened. Another visit in April followed until, the second week in May I leave Julia on Wolverhampton bus station on a coach at 2.30am in the morning, heading over to Holland to live, Chasing cars and Shine playing on my music player, as not for the first time I put my life in the hands of another.
Two weeks later, we move into our new house. There are photo's on the MSN page which is linked to on the homepage as we've made the house a home. Time passed, and it became obvious this was working, and working well. Talks of future and children arose, logistics and complications to be dealt with in the future and everything pointed to things being far easier if we were married. You reach a point where you're sure about what you want, and thats where we were, and so the trail we followed led us to conclude logic and feelings were running the same course.
|That's not to say there was no romance involved. There was. Esther booked some time off while I was eyeing up Gretna Green in the style of many couples gone before us, but me being me, I was open to other ideas. Oddly, it worked out it was cheaper to fly to Las Vegas, get married there in a chapel, (the legal ramifications and costs of this alone made it hugely viable), and stay in a casino hotel for a week! Plus this meant it was done without a fuss on the home front too, Esther not wanting the fancy wedding and actually, it was very much in the style of what we had become. Two people with minds set, doing what they felt was right and not needing nor wanting approval from others.|