Contrary to what my sixteen year old self would have believed, my life has followed a somewhat conventional path up to this point. I left school at eighteen with a couple of below average A-levels and an idea that I would work and do a degree a at the same time. I was fortunate in that a family friend offered me a job at his engineering factory. I jumped at this chance as the money and prospects were way better than the waitressing job I had been doing while I was in school.
I began my job at the factory in October 2012. I had been working at weekends since I was 15, but this was my first “real” job and I was excited. Things went well and I enjoyed the work. I was in the inspection and packing department. A few weeks into the job I met one of the boys who worked the machines at the other end of the factory. His name was Ryan and he was South African. We caught each others eye right away and it wasn’t long before we had arranged our first date, dinner and a movie. We had a fantastic time despite discovering our 12 year age gap (he looked young and I looked old apparently). We instantly clicked and ever since that first date we haven’t spent more than a few days apart. By December I was spending every weekend staying with him at his sisters house, where he lived. Things were pretty serious and we arranged to meet each others parents. I feel like this was much easier for him as I had to fly half way round the world to meet his mum and dad and all he had to do was drive round the corner!
We planned our trip to South Africa for the September of 2013. I was very excited as I had never been much further than France. We spent three and an half weeks there and I met all the extended family and saw loads of the country Ryan had grown up in.
After this holiday I moved in with Ry and we lived with his sister, Bobby, and her family. This was the arrangement for about two years until we decided to buy our first house. The house hunt was a short one. I think we only viewed about 4 or 5 houses before we settled on the house we now live in. It needed some work but we were excited to make it our own.
Two years passed happily in our little home when Ryan decided to organise a trip to Iceland with my family for Christmas. I had always wanted to go as I am very into geology and I’ve always thought it was a beautiful and alien place. We had a fabulous time. On the 23rd December, Ry organised a trip for just the two of us. He had researched a hot spring that was off the beaten track for us to hike to. I was very excited as this is exactly the sort of thing that interests me. The hike to the top of the mountain where the hot springs were located was an adventure. The snow was deep and the path treacherous. There is only four hours of daylight in Iceland at that time of year too so time was of the essence. I remember getting a bit nervous about all these factors as we made the assent but Ryan was adamant we had to make it to the top and swim in the hot river. I’m glad we did! The scenery was spectacular and it really was an adventure with mild to moderate peril.
Once we reached the river we prised off our frozen clothes and shoes ( it was about minus seven degrees Celsius) and jumped in the water. Ryan offered me a drink from our supplies which I declined, but as I turned to look at him I saw him there in the hot river on one knee. No wonder he was so desperate to get to the top! I said yes, and the next stage of our life together began.
We returned home just after Christmas and I went into full bride mode. We set a date and I attempted to plan my wedding. We gave ourselves eighteen months to get the wedding sorted and chose the twentieth May 2017 to marry. The day was perfect. My mother made our wedding cake and Ryan’s best friend sang “Say You Won’t Let Go” as our first dance. We honeymooned in Mauritius and it was beautiful. We had entered yet another stage of our lives together and we couldn’t have been happier.
Nine months on from our wedding we once again levelled up our life together when we decided to start trying for a child. This is where Alistair’s story begins!