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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

Our Engagement Trip

What a few days it's been. So many different emotions, with having finally had our trip, then the new lockdown announcements. So much.

Back in May I proposed to Laura, at home over afternoon tea. It was lovely, amazing and very nerve-racking. While I now wouldn't want to do it any other way, that wasn't the original plan. It wasn't even plan number two. I had asked Laura to be my girlfriend at a festival in London, and thought there could be some nice synergy with proposing at that bi-annual event. However due to funding the event was cancelled for 2020. So I thought about new ideas, going to somewhere, I tried to think and looked into a few different things. After all that I decided on having a mini break in a hotel near/ in a forest area. I found the place booked everything for May, and then... covid. I spoke to the hotel, who were great, and I rebooked new dates for this Octobers half term. However I wasn't sure I wanted to wait that long to propose, so the proposal still happened in May, and this became a lovely engagement trip.

Without going into loads of different things, I am very pleased and feel very fortunate that we were able to have our trip prior to another lockdown happening. We wore masks indoors all the time, other than when in our room or when eating. Which I think is a small concession to make to have been able to have this trip this year.

We planned a couple of walks as part of our trip and generally we were super super lucky with the weather. I did buy some walking boots and a coat for our trip, as I was pretty sure it would be wet and muddy; and it was.

We visited Hever Castle and Gardens on our first day away, Ashdown Forest on the second day, and some of the Ashdown Park Hotel grounds on the third day.

I love walking with Laura, we sometimes walk in silence. But most of the time we talk about different things; the odd bit of work, our hopes and dreams, and occasionally disagree over points of reference or insights we have. While I think you need shared values (to some extent), I so value that we have different 'takes' on certain things. It facilitates discussion, learning, evaluation and a review of your own thoughts/ values. Personally I think I would find life and a relationship quite boring and unfulfilling if I was always with people that just agreed or thought the same as me.

Our room at the hotel was lovely, it really was one of the best rooms I have ever stayed in. It was a lovely place to be to celebrate our engagement a little, but also to just have some time together away from work and our day to day lives. Particularly at a time when those days are still so similar because of covid and everything 2020.

I did feel a little like I had spent all this time looking for a room and a location for Laura and then when we got there I was almost more surprised at the room than she was, hahaha. The view from the window was breathtaking.

Obviously as part of our trip we did talk about our 2021 wedding, what it could look like and what we would prefer. There's also the who's involved decisions to make, though in truth I think I have had the same people in my mind since May, I'd just hoped that we would all be able to come together for me to ask them. But alas I think it'll be over video call (based on recent covid announcements).

This trip was great, it was special time, 'real time' with each other, and I so value that. Laura is wonderful and I am super excited for our future's and for everything to come.

And, o my gosh. I love this window view!


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