On Saturday 21 April 2007 I met Emma fro the first time. I was one week from redundancy and being replaced by a machine at Blackwells (now Wiley) and we had been emailing, on a daily basis. Five years ago today I bought my current bike and my new camera was delivered. I bicycled across Bicester to my first date with Emma and she saw my big blue eyes whiz past as she sat in her car.

Five years later and I am employed again and we’re approaching our third wedding anniversary. We didn’t go into today aiming to commemorate this day but it has been a happy coincidence.

This morning we went to feed George and Gus Gus who we have been looking after this week and then we criss-crossed across Bicester collecting a parcel from the Royal Mail depot, going to the butchers, stopping off at Pets at Home to purchase an Arthur-exerciser (not that he has used it yet…) before finally ending up in Bicester for our vegetables.

This afternoon we went into Oxford to go to the excellent Romance of the Middle Ages exhibition at the Bodleian Library. I don’t pretend to have understood it all, but just see the early books – the illuminated manuscripts – including the first book ever printed in English was a joy. The narrative of the exhibition came alive for me as the chronology reached through to the current day. It somehow helped to see the ancient in context, when you can see the first draft scrawl of Philip Pullman’s The Scarecrow And His Servant (will the first drafts of Mr Tumnal ever there to be viewed in an exhibition?) as you see a collection of books by favourite writers: Diana Wynne Jones, Alan Garner, Susan Cooper, Kevin Crossley-Holland and Terry Jones and a description a 21 romantic hero – that of Harry Potter.

After the Bodleian, we had a potter around Oxford – where they were having a folk festival weekend and endded up having an impromptu fifth anniversary meal in the Golden Cross branch of Pizza Express.


A perfect day. A brilliant five years.