“Kat and I got talking about blogging, she said a certain other person (present) blogs and asked for mine, which I was perfectly happy to give her. Anyway, we drifted up the road to Macca’s after and I was talking to him about it (blogging) note: I did not ask for his blog-address.Tonight when I got home I did something extremely stupid. “Google is your friend” All the time I was telling myself, “Don’t you dare Rebecca! You wouldn’t like it, don’t do it!” and I went and found it. Now I feel traitorous and rather bad and so will have to get to him asap to apologise. I am quite embarassed actually. I shall not read it until I get permission and I certainly don’t deserve it. It was very stupid and I rather regret it, because despite not really knowing him all that well I have a lot of respect for him. Stupid, stupid”
– Taken from “Departing markedly from the usual or customary; extreme“
The above excerpt comes from Rebecca’s post on the 26th of April 2006, notable not only for being just barely less than a year ago, but also for what it represents. A beginning. A brief flirtation. Just a very little thing. Not much at all really. The sort of little thing that could easily just get dismissed and forgotten. But it wasn’t.
Yesterday, Sunday the 22nd of April, I started the day with the express purpose of proposing to my dearest Rebecca. I, in this case and unlike any other post currently found on this blog, refers to me Geoff. Given that Bec’s allowing me to write this as a guest poster, (and given the picture in the top left handside) you probably already can guess what the ending looks like in this story. But allow me a little indulgence as I relate to you my best attempt at retelling the story. After all – I did just get engaged: it’s the least you can do.
The day began with a building a little anticipation (albeit a little unintentionally) with a quick phone call to (the very beautiful) Rebecca before she headed off to church: requiring that she bring with her a warm jumper, the camera and comfortable walking shoes on her feet. Suffice to say this may have aroused some suspicion.
Having held on through a ripper sermon from visiting preacher (and Tabor classmate) Gordon Lingard: ironically on “What do we do in the meantime?”, we headed off for lunch. I drove Rebecca to “The Stonehouse”, the place where we shared our first date many moons ago. It’s fair to say that any doubts Bec might have had regarding my purpose for the remainder of the day were well and truly put to rest when she found out we were having lunch there. So we shared a wonderful time of chatting and laughing and nervousness (although ironically less nervousness than the first time we were there).
Once we had eaten, it was time for us to head off for the afternoon’s main outing. After taking a detour through some Lilydale-ian side-streets, we made our way to Steavenson’s Falls, where we had spent a day previously. As we parked the car I had very sneakily placed my car key behind the front wheel, but once we realised that we’d left the camera in the car, my sneakiness quickly became sheepishness.
After a cursory glance or fifty at the waterfall (which for anyone thinking about heading up there, is no longer being lit of an evening due to low water levels), we headed off on the 4km walk to Keppels Lookout. The walk is remarkably steep for the first kilometre, but once you reach “De La Rue Lookout” the hard work is done. So after a joke or two about making her work for it; it was a lovely time of just really enjoying each other’s company and the beautiful views.
Once we eventually arrived at Keppels, we ended up needing to wait about 20 minutes for Anita, Mark, Stu and Robyn (my brother and sister and their respective partners) to arrive. It’s probably worth mentioning that this was entirely due to a piece of poor direction-writing by myself (don’t trust Google Maps). Once the two cars arrived (you might have guessed, as Bec did, that we weren’t going to be doing the walk back, thus the car key thing), we were quickly and sensitively hugged then shunted into the car to wait while they set up. Unfortunately our intrepid helpers had to carefully shoo away a lovely tourist couple.
So we sat in the car and the realisation came that this was all about to happen. Suffice to say that after I was asked to choose a song for Bec (“Green Eyes” by Coldplay – can’t go wrong), we both shed a few tears and had a bit of a pray. It was a very beautiful moment, both being keenly aware of what was about to happen. About 10 minutes later, we were ready to get the show on the road.
Mark, Anita, Stu and Robyn had brought the stew (yes, that stew) which I’d made the day before and Stuart had intelligently thought to bring a camping stove so that our stew could be beautiful and warm. They’d set out a rug for us to sit on, candles, champagne (from Ringwood Jewellers – the best engagement ring sellers I’ve ever bought from!) and very selflessly left me to do the rest.
There was a brief moment of excitement as I half opened the champagne bottle, only to get distracted by the stew on the stove and then suddenly heard a “BOOM” as the cork left it’s pressurised confines and made its way skyward. That broke a little of the tension and lost us a little of the champagne, but once that was dealt with and the stew served, we sat down to eat and enjoyed a lovely stew (even if the dumplings were a little dense).
Once the main course had finished, I snuck the ring box out of the plastic mug it was sitting in, and asked Bec to sit up on the bench. She – looking inexplicably oblivious – obliged. I got down on one knee, gave my spiel (again with a couple of tears) and asked Rebecca to marry me. She said “yes”! We hugged for quite a while, both a little bit giggly, and then I slid the engagement ring on her finger (after panicking internally because I momentarily couldn’t work out which was her left hand).
We had our dessert (Creme Caramel that was just a little more runny than I might have liked), and packed up our things. We were engaged! We still are!!
After the most excitable car trip I can ever remember, we arrived back to my house and both of the families together shared some more champagne, and told the whole story from start to finish (much like you have just read). If you’ve managed to make it this far, congratulations. If you feel like reading what actually happened, you’ll have to read the post being published simultaneously by Rebecca over at TheGeoffRe(y)port.