10 Years of Us

Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of my relationship with Mark.

BEAUTIFUL MARK!

BEAUTIFUL MARK!

I count our anniversary from when we first kissed. It was a sunny day, we’d had a picnic at Kew gardens, and I think we both realised that our series of jolly outings was turning into something really special.

playing on Camber Sands beach, 2005

a picnic on Camber Sands beach, 2005

A decade ago my arthritis was in full force but I always felt Mark was on my team. He understood when I was struggling, and endorsed my irreverent approach to being disabled.

with cider and mobility scooter, WOMAD 2006

with cider and mobility scooter, WOMAD 2006

Mark was also there cheering from the sidelines when new medication changed everything for me in 2007 and I was able to run again…

34 minute 5K run, 2007

34 minute 5K run, 2007

…and I’d been inspired to take up running because of Mark. He did a half marathon in 2006 and I was so proud that I got a t-shirt printed with his face on it to wear whilst cheering.

When I met Mark, he had two children – Jack and Sam – who were then 10 and 8 years old.
Now they are men.

Last weekend, Mark and I went to the pub with Jack for farewell pints before he headed back to University for the summer term. We talked about films, politics, jobs, studying… and I remembered an Easter a long time ago when we iced biscuits together.
It felt like ages ago. It was ages ago.

Easter biscuits, iced by Jack and Sam in 2008

Easter biscuits, iced by Jack and Sam in 2008

I am looking back with joy on many things.

On fun times spent dressing up for Birthdays and New Year’s Eve in Weymouth (fancy dress is mandatory).

Kraftwerk Mark and 80s Felix

Kraftwerk Mark and 80s Felix

Lego Mark and Lego Felix

Lego Mark and Lego Felix

Mark as a Rock God

Mark as a Rock God

And on many joyous walking adventures.

Like the time we decided to walk to Newbury along the canal towpath. (It’s about 20 miles; we’d done no training whatsoever.)

20 miles in the rain for no good reason!

20 miles in the rain for no good reason!

Or the New Year we spent in the Highlands, discovering Munros.

Glen Etive, 2009

Glen Etive, 2009

And doing The West Highland Way together – an epic and marvelous adventure if ever there was one.

Mark near Ben Nevis on the West Highland Way, 2009

Mark near Ben Nevis on the West Highland Way, 2009

The longest walking adventure was Walk 2012, in which we walked The Games Way – a 187 mile route mapped out by Mark in celebration of the London 2012 Olympic Games. It was our own personal Olympics challenge and it was epic.

7th August, Hampton Court Palace, 2012, Mark and Hodge and I on thrones!

7th August, Hampton Court Palace, 2012, Mark and Hodge and I on thrones!

I’m thinking about how animals have been important throughout the years. Few things are more joyous than finding an exciting caterpillar on a walk.

friendcaterpillar, met on West Highland Way in 2009

friendcaterpillar, met on West Highland Way in 2009

Or a greedy hungry sheep.

SHEEPFRIEND, Sussex 2009

SHEEPFRIEND, Sussex 2009

Mark is the sort of wondrous man who rescues baby pigeons from canals, and who insisted on making a sacrificial kale patch last year so that the pretty butterflies bastard cabbage whites could thrive in our garden.

Mark loves every living thing which is one of the reasons why I love Mark.

Rescuing a baby pigeon that had fallen into a canal

Rescuing a baby pigeon that had fallen into a canal

But the most important animal in our lives is Joey Muffkins.

Joey shows us how to destress

Joey shows us how to de-stress

In 10 years of being together we have achieved things. I got a PhD, Mark got an MBA, we have worked on many jobs and projects. We have each taken 10,000,000 photos of Joey Muffkins.

And we have learnt important life skillz. Like how to make beer and cider.

sterilising beer bottles in 2014

sterilising beer bottles in 2014

making cider in 2009

making cider in 2009

How to make cheese.

making cheese in 2014

making cheese in 2014

…And how to make each other laugh.

playing "the wall ate my man" in Ireland, 2008

playing “the wall ate my man” in Ireland, 2008

In 10 years we have shared many important things.

playing Firestarter on Accordion, 2006

playing Firestarter on Accordion, 2006

Campfires and silly music,

Hungover in 2008.

Hungover in 2008.

Epic hangovers,

Venice in 2011

Venice in 2011

Amazing holidays.

And though we have had our fair share of ups and downs there is nobody I’d rather share my life with. I love Mark because he is sane, optimistic, devilishly handsome, clever, funny, supportive and brilliant; I love him because he is sometimes more of a feminist than I am; I love him because we can talk and laugh and dance and play together and because he is always up for an adventure. But perhaps I love him most of all because he is the only person I have ever met who is as silly as me.

Here’s to you, partner; you are my no. 1 comrade xxx

silly faces at Breakfast in Amsterdam, 2014

silly faces at Breakfast in Amsterdam, 2014

15 Responses to 10 Years of Us

  1. Janine says:

    A lovely tribute to a life well lived together!

  2. Lara says:

    BRAVO! HURRAH! I am setting fireworks off in your honour! A fine tribute to your amazing partnership. Animals, skills, achievements and fun times – these are the things dreams are built on. Hooray for you both. Happy 10 years and here is to many many more!

    BIG LOVE AND HUG TO YOU BOTH XXXXX

  3. Helena says:

    What a lovely tribute, here’s to many more happy/silly/adventurous decades together!

  4. Susan says:

    WOW, You made me laugh with joy this morning!! What a trip and a tribute…to both of you. Thank you for letting us be part of that. hugs…..

  5. sweetea says:

    YEAH! Happy ten years! What a wonderful thing to celebrate! xo

  6. Terry says:

    Annnnd you’ve got me teary-eyed again. Annnnnd I’m totally in love with both of you. Congratulations on a wonderful partnership and all you’ve both accomplished together. Many many MANY happy returns.

  7. Elaine says:

    Congratulations on 10 years with your Soul Mate. You all are so lucky to be able to share so much together. Happiness Forever!!

  8. kaisa sammelselg says:

    Awww, such a lovely post! Mark is one lucky man to have you in his life 😉 Hugs and kisses to you and him! And Joey! 😉

  9. Pamela says:

    As someone who feels exactly the same way about my funny, lovely soulmate, this just made me grin so big. You realize how lucky we are, don’t you? Happy, Happy anniversary!
    It’s over 30 years for me, and it only gets better, and better!
    xo

  10. Freyalyn says:

    Gorgeous, loving, happy, joyful post – thank you so much for sharing, I have a whopping smile on my face now.

  11. Quinn says:

    Congratulations to you both, and wishing you all that you would wish yourselves in the next ten!

  12. Ruth says:

    Congratulations 🙂 I recently got to 10 years with my special person. It’s funny how with the right person, a decade can be so full of wonderfulness and yet feel like just the start.

  13. Vic says:

    Felix that brought a tear to my eye 4th picture in. Gorgeous blog post x

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