Three years ago today, Tom and I were married at Stroud Registry office. For those of you who have not followed this saga from the outset, Tom was in America when we were first put together by a publishing house. As we could neither afford nor feel comfortable about commuting back and forth across the Atlantic, he moved to marry me. There are no halfway options available, no interim testing periods. If you’ve got an international romance and you want to explore it, it’s either commuting, or moving to marry. We were sure enough of each other to take that plunge.
From the point at which the visa to enter the country was issued, we had six months to get him here, get married and get the next round of paperwork handed in. There was no time for anything elaborate. It was a mad dash to get everything done in time with the added pressure of knowing that if we failed, or were too slow, we would be forcibly separated from each other.
The last three years have kept us on our toes with many challenges of numerous different shapes and sizes. We made Hopeless Maine Book 2 whilst living on a narrow boat, with nothing like enough electricity or internet access to get the job done. We survived setbacks, and all kinds of external pressures. Faced with hardships and trials, we pulled together, hung onto each other, coped, survived, made the most of the good bits. In the last few months we’ve emerged into an easier life, the good contracts and the royalty cheques are coming in, and it’s all getting a lot more viable and comfortable. I do not imagine that success is going to put much strain on us, but it looks like we’ve some scope for exploring that.
During the last three years we also made some fabulous friendships, met some amazing people, had wild and incredible low budget adventures, shared stories and laughter and delights. We’ve spent very little of that time apart, working side by side in all things, and find we are able to live closely, intensely without suffocating each other. We’ve deepened our knowledge of each other, and our mutual trust and I know we have both changed a lot, becoming more able to relax, laugh and play. We both have shadows in our past. Big, serious shadows, the sort that will follow you about and suck on the marrow of your life if you aren’t careful. Rather than be consumed by the amount of darkness we both brought with us, we’ve been able to make hefty changes, and that’s been a truly remarkable sort of process.
There are no huge or dramatic gestures planned for today. That’s fine. One of the things we have found along the way is that if you get the small things right, if daily life is rich with love, with gestures of affection and things enjoyed, then there’s much less pressure on the ‘big days’ to deliver some spectacular proof that all is well. We know where we are with each other, and it is a good place. So, I did serenade him with an impromptu song this morning (a silly one) and we are going out for lunch, and we leap into the next year of being together with joyful enthusiasm.
Thank you everyone who has shared the journey with us so far.