Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A rather belated entry on our Sixth Anniversary

I had something beautifully sappy written for our six-year anniversary, but then the day itself proved to be exceptionally magical. So—our last anniversary as "single persons" and our first anniversary abroad:

By some happy twist of fate (or math) our anniversary ended up on the same day of the week that it did the first year we went out. And since this day of the week happens to be a Saturday we had the very happy experience of being free for the entire day.

In the morning David made breakfast while I ran to the bakery for fresh bread (and cookies). The morning then unfolded like most Saturdays, by which I mean we strolled to town, stopping at the butchers on the way, and ran errands both fun and mundane. We did a little shopping, and this included getting a toaster. Why did it take us six months to buy a toaster? Because this is not just any toaster. No, this is a polka dot toaster. And having seen said toaster in December I was unwilling to settle for a cheaper, boring, white toaster. One has to have standards in these things! So I convinced David to go halves with me.

Then home for a relaxing afternoon. We had plans to go to The Old Spring, which could be described as a gastro-pub, for dinner, but due to a long-lasting Skype call we didn't even leave until close to 7. And since the Old Spring has a 3 hour window for serving food and just happens to be immensely popular we were unable to get a table (not knowing you could make reservations). Undaunted we walked back to town in the hopes of finding a restaurant…and in Cambridge eateries are dime a dozen, but finding the right one can be of epic proportions. I think we turned down about 10 potentials (too Italian, too expensive, not special enough) before a happy chance took us down Pembroke Street, and an even happier chance (and my habit of peering in windows) showed us the glint of candlelight. And there it was: Fitzbillies. Otherwise advertised as "Cambridge's best kept secret".

The restaurant looked way out of our price range, yet fate decreed otherwise and the menu just happened to have three mains (out of six) that fit our student budget. So we entered, and were swiftly seated in a small intimate room lit by candles and stained glass art deco sconces. The view out the large window was of a very European (ie: old in all the right ways) street. And then we commenced one of the best meals we've had since coming to England—smoked cheese, artichoke, pancetta, & tomato tart on a bed of sautéed green beans & rocket for me; pear, walnut, & blue cheese salad for David. We both had the beef bourguignon with mash & green beans for our main course. There was also perfectly fresh sliced baguette and creamy butter. Yet a good meal is not enough to take this dinner to extraordinary proportions for an anniversary—David surprised me with a bottle of champagne. It sort of tipped the balance into romantic overload, particularly as the ice bucket was held in a wrought iron stand that looked perfectly gothic.

So there I was, enjoying five-star food in an old restaurant on an old street in the heart of Cambridge, drinking fine champagne and just enjoying a completely carefree anniversary with my fiancé. And I realised—it doesn't get much better than this. In fact this is one of those things that always seems to be happening to other people (skewed reality from books, movies, and people who travel) and which I never thought would happen to me. I am so *not* the type of person to ever plan to move to a foreign country. It was a great moment. Hell, it was a great evening!

After dinner we walked home, and the streets were bright with moonlight and some of the colleges stood out from the shadows like medieval castles. When we got to the fields by our flat the sky was huge with billowing clouds and a full moon. It was breathtaking, and so silent out… just lovely.

So here is to six happy years, and hopes for at least sixty more! Neither of us suspected that as we struggled to make non-awkward conversation over Vietnamese food on our first date that we'd be dining together in an English restaurant six years later. And I love it, because not only do I find it amazing I also find it so essential to one of the things I love about being with David—life is a constant adventure, because we seek new things and fun times wherever we are. It's pretty damn great.

I know you'd rather see a picture of my super-awesome-toaster than a picture of me & David!


  1. I envied it myself until I bought it. Alas that the electrical plugs in North America are different!