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25 Years

25 years ago today is the date Beth and I have deemed that we started going out. I say that as it's complicated. We met online, on the CIX BBS in the landrover conference, and so in 1996 we were early to discover the thing that people online have continued to find since: that long distance relationships are tricky. Beth lived in Ipswich, I lived 130 miles away in Yateley on the other side of London.

Beth and Christopher
early days in Milton with Christopher (and Troc the Range Rover)

I'll skip over our first two dates, both in Ipswich while we sized each other up but for the third date Beth drove down to me in her Land Rover ex-military Lightweight with the roll cage and V8 engine, both of which she'd added. She also brought her welder as we were planning to replace the rear quarter chassis on my Land Rover. I'd spent the previous week stripping off the bodywork so we were ready to go and Beth then supervised me cutting off the old rear chassis and then she welded on the new one.

"This one's a keeper" I thought as the sparks flew both literally and metaphorically and that weekend, twenty five years ago today, was the start of our relationship ... although it took me another nine and a half years to propose so we've only been married for fifteen years.

Drinking a toast at our wedding
Celebrating after our wedding in 2005 - we dressed up specially

We've had an interesting quarter century, first living in Milton and then, after spending 20 years having almost all our holidays here (including our very first) moving to Scotland.

We've partially or completely rebuilt some Land Rovers, we've shot some guns, we've drunk dunkel Weißbier in the Englischer Garten, we've seen a solar eclipse, we've created web sites and maps, we've cycled across lumpy bits of Scotland, we've taken far too many photos with far too many cameras, we've roamed the UK in tents and, latterly, camper vans, and we've had a thoroughly fun time on the whole.


Beth on her fat bike near Grantown-on-Spey

Having said that over those years our health has caused both of us some problems and the odd near death experience. Allegedly many relationships don't survive through some of the things we went through, but ours has and I think it's stronger for it.

We've also shared our lives with a lot of bears and five dogs now, all collies or collie crosses, and we have fond memories of Tilly, Jake, Jessie and Jack, and Skye still makes our days more fun.

So ... twenty five years huh? No bad going I think.

Happy anniversary my love.

Tags: Beth Written 23/02/21


Previous comments about this article:

On 23/02/21 at 8:28pm Brian Cockburn wrote:

Well done. I remember that penguin shirt!

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