Some of my favourite times in London are spent exploring new gems. Richmond and Richmond Park is one of them. When you just need a long country walk, muddy shoes and a day away from the tube then this is the perfect trip.
I cannot wait to take our little one here to run around in the summer with a picnic. There are beautiful lakes and wild deer roaming around as you stroll for hours around the huge park.
The Vale Fireworks. The highlight of the winter term and the day had finally come. I LOVE fireworks! Thousands of students huddled around the beautiful lake wrapped up in winter woollies watching the amazing display. Bliss. It was our last year in Birmingham and this date had been in the diary in big capitals for weeks.
I was in my bedroom getting ready to leave when he called me. Jono was not the best at managing a diary back then and so when he called me to say that he had to cancel it was no real surprise. He explained that he could not get out of this meeting and that he was really sorry. He knew how much I had been looking forward to that night and he sounded really disappointed too. I managed to say that it was fine but I was absolutely gutted. We had been to this display the previous two years; this was the first year that we would be going as a couple.
I wouldn’t have gone at all except from the fact that we had arranged to go with another couple. It was too late to cancel on them so I decided to suck it up and go.
I arrived with my friend Naomi about five minutes before the display was due to start. We were meeting her husband there but trying to find him in a crowd of 20,000 people was a nightmare. There were hundreds of people surrounding the lake who had all got there early to secure their spot and her husband was near the front. I told Naomi that there was no way we were going to find him but she was pretty determined. I held her hand as she pulled me through all the people apologising as we went along.
When we finally found her husband he suggested that we moved to a spot where we could see better and be slightly away from the crowds. Then I saw this….
It was beautiful!
But who was it for?
This was for me!
There was Jono. He was standing there alone under the tent. Was this what I thought it was? I walked along the candle lit path towards him with the weirdest shocked/happy/excited/nervous feelings.
Jono stood in front of me and checked that I was ok. He could tell that I was a bit shocked. I nodded, smiled and asked him what was going on. He got down on one knee and asked the question that I had been waiting for.
Best feeling ever.
Some of the crowds further away had noticed what was going on. I jumped into his arms and the people around us, including lots of our close friends who had turned up to watch, all cheered and clapped. He had to calm me down to hear my say yes and put the ring on. We were both so crazily excited.
Funny story –
His jeans ripped in the crotch as he got down on one knee!
Our photographer friend was there to capture the moment – he is great – *check him out here*
Amazingly just as I said YES the fireworks began – perfect timing.
Jono had even arranged this sofa and our favourite blanket to be there. Sitting watching the fireworks enjoying those first precious moments of being engaged was just perfect. To top it off the University had heard of his plan to propose at the display and had sent someone with champagne for us to enjoy as we watched the display.
Not many things are perfect – but this evening really was.
I will never forget that feeling of being totally blown away. I couldn’t believe that such a big, romantic, beautiful gesture was all for me.
Even though the proposal was incredible and exciting, the even better thing was that I was going to be marrying my best friend. That was truly incredible.
I am so blessed to be his
He did good.
Hosea 2:19 And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.