When We Decided to Tie the Knot
For the record, it was Steve who asked Phil (Phil was planning to ask Steve, but didn't want to risk turning that particular day - his 50th Birthday - into a total bummer if he'd said no!). But more important than who was how!
main birthday present from Steve turned out to be an afternoon in a
sporty little helicopter along the south coast of our adopted Devon and then
back across Dartmoor.
We first hit Lyme Bay at Sidmouth, before turning west to fly over the series of coastal towns which became more and more familiar as we approached Torquay itself. Phil concentrated on taking pictures for the hotel website as the pilot tried to get as close to the Haytor as he could. As we were directly over the car park, a square white shape - a bedsheet - could be seen spread out. And there was writing on it. Phil started to thank Steve (through the headsets we were wearing) for the best birthday greeting he had ever had, and was trying to get a shot of the message when Steve demanded the camera off of him and told him to actually read what was written. Which turned out to be "Will You Marry Me, Phil?!
Phil said .... well after 10 years together what did you think?
The rest of the trip was a bit of a blur, although luckily Phil remembered to get the camera back and take the accompanying photos!
Back home, we started to work out the practicalities. The law in the UK changed on December 5th 2005 with the introduction of the Partnership Act so that, from that date, we could 'register our intention' to get married (although the earliest appointment we could get was the sixth, given the popularity of the changes in Torbay). We were able however to book a slot at Oldway Mansions - the registry office for Torbay - and applied for 11:00 on Saturday January the 21st 2006...
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