For many years I wrote novels where the heroine was really put through many adversities before finally finding the man who is the love of her life, and is allowed to live happily ever after.
I wrote these novels when my personal life wasn't that happy. I was married and raising a family, but I wasn't living with the love of my life. I was simply existing, getting by, making sure my kids were happy.
However, inevitably, the time came when I realised that life was too short to not be living it as I wish to, as I should do! I always told my kids to explore the world, to chase their dreams, yet I wasn't listening to my own advice.
So with my children grown and wishing to go their own way, I left my marriage and my country and went seeking to find who I was, (yes, all very Hollywood movie like, but the truth). I needed to see what was beyond my current life and was it even possible to find true happiness?
I left Australia and moved to England to be close to other family and my best friends, and to explore and to see if I could be a single woman in the world with a year or two of having no cares or responsibilities. To be honest it was hard, and I had a lot of mother's guilt at leaving my three kids behind, but I knew I needed to do this. I'd been with my ex since I was 17 and a mum at 19. I was now nearly 41 and for the first time in my life I was simply going to be take care of myself, and again, find myself, or at least find who I could be.
I got work in a bar at a local golf course. I'd never worked behind a bar in my life and it was all very new and exciting and damn hard work too, with long hours, but I loved it. I enjoyed the socialising with customers and club members, I enjoyed working weddings and seeing people happy and excited for their futures.
And I learned to play golf, badly, but I loved it all the same.
I spent the first year in England working and partying hard. I was doing all the things I should have done as a teenager and as someone in their twenties.
I was living.
I was exploring.
I had no thoughts to anything other than what was my next shift and when was I next doing something exciting.
Imagine my surprise when one day, a quiet, tall, dark, handsome man, (a club member I had been serving all year) suddenly started staying behind when his friends left.
Imagine my surprise when this said man started actually talking to me beyond asking for a drink? All this from a man who was known as a quiet man, even aloof, some would say arrogant.
At first I didn't think anything of it, he was simply a golf member, but as the weeks went by and he still stayed behind to talk to me I became a little confused as to why. Someone told me that he fancied me. Really? I laughed. No, that couldn't be right, as I usually can tell when a man is interested. Usually there is a lot of chatting up, a lot of flirtation and banter. I had none of this. Just a quiet man standing on the other side of the bar drinking a beer.
Then on a cold evening, it was Remembrance Day, November 11th 2012, as he was leaving the clubhouse, the quiet man asked for my phone number. Shocked, I gave it to him. Within half an hour of him leaving, he texted me. That started a conversation that lasted until nearly midnight.
Three nights later, the 14th , we went on our first date. He took me to the fanciest restaurant in our town. He dressed in a suit. He wined and dined me. And at the end of the night we had our first kiss.
The following day, flowers turned up at work for me.
I was hooked.
And so began our romance.
And just over a year and a half later, this wonderful man surprised me again by bending down on one knee in the middle of Manchester airport and asking me to marry him.
I said yes.
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