Last Saturday, I got engaged to the awesomely wonderful Jennifer Siggers! Here are a few photos that mark the occasion.
Jen had been keen to show me Hampton Court Palace. I thought that the venue had some potential for asking her, so I checked the website and soon saw that the Privy Garden had plenty of cosy nooks. When we arrived there, I was horrified to find that the trees there were no more than two foot high, and the whole garden was consequently very exposed… Shedding any pretensions to being cool, calm and collected, we then went in search of a more suitable location, and found an arbour that was just right.
Shortly after we first connected, it was obvious that our relationship could really develop. Jen is a lecturer in bioengineering in London, having originally studied maths – so we do occasionally have geeky conversations about science! She’s also a regular at All Souls Langham Place (where John Stott was rector for many years) – so we’ve also been known to discuss theology…
I’ve greatly enjoyed being welcomed in by Jen’s family – which has included the privilege of meeting her nephew when he was only a few hours old! He was born on New Year’s Eve, and as I was driving Jen back home the following day, we ended up visiting Andrew (her brother) and Rachael less than a day after all the drama.
Jen and I have a shared love of wild places, which is fortunate as on an early date I asked her to crawl through a hedge. (This was near the Ullenwood long barrow – I hadn’t worked out where the field exits were!). Later I took her up into a howling gale in the Peak District. We agreed the walk would have been lovely on a hot summer’s day.
I have tried very hard not to indoctrinate Jen into the world of birdwatching, but in a bizarre but true twist I had a life tick within minutes of our getting engaged, at the very same spot! Ring-necked parakeets are unknown in Worcestershire, but very common in this part of Surrey. Indeed, later in the evening there were several small flocks of them flying around fast and squawking noisily.
The first two photos were taken by a couple of folk who happened to wander past at the right moment – and they were both really excited to be involved in marking the occasion!
Around the beginning of November we were both really wondering whether we would ever meet ‘the right person’: I could scarcely have believed that I was about to meet such a stunningly amazing lady as Jen, and it is even more incredible for us now to be able to begin to plan life together.