A book-related proposal of marriage (EEK!)

I’m going to go off on a bit of a tangent here, book-crew. I got engaged at the weekend. ‘NOT RELEVANT. BOG OFF TURNER!’ I hear you cry. And you would be right. But please bear with. For this was a BOOK-RELATED PROPOSAL OF MARRIAGE.

On Saturday I woke up very excited as I thought my boyfriend-who-I-must-remember-to-now-call-fiance (BWIMRTNCF) and I were going to a book fair at my favourite spot in London, St Dunstan-in-the-East. I was totally pumped for a book fair.  I gave clear thought to how many books I could reasonably buy without my BWIMRTNCF feeling inclined to remind me that we are moving house in less than two weeks’ time and that this was all Extra Stuff For The Removal Van. I thought deeply about the number of cloth bags required, based on potential book purchases. In front of the mirror, I reminded myself of the classic book fair moves one can employ when a bargain is spotted but other book-fairers are in the way (elbows) and practised the ‘hands off that one’s mine luv’ face that has wrought terror in many an Oxfam bookshop. I made sure I had casherooney. Jason put on his shirt with the book print to display dedication to the cause and thus help with the intimidation of other bargain book hunters. Bargain book fairs can feel like battle. In my mind, as I walked up Cannon Street, I could hear the referee bloke off of Gladiators hollering ‘Book-Fairers, READY! Three! Two! One!’ I was READY.

So we got to St Dunstan-in-the-East, but I could not see any book fair. Anxiety kicked in. Perhaps we had the wrong day. Perhaps we had the wrong location. Perhaps, elsewhere, there were jammy bookworms getting their greasy mitts on the books that my pre-book fair battle talk had convinced me were rightly mine. The dreaded FOMOOB (Fear Of Missing Out On Books) kicked in. You know the feeling. It’s not very nice at all.

But we had not made a mistake. The reason I couldn’t see any book fair was because the ‘World ‘O’ Books’ fair, with its Facebook page, the confirmation email, the details about second-hand books about 20th century female authors, was a complete ruse dreamed up by BWIMRTNCF – ok that acronym is becoming tiring, I was trying to be all undercover and secretive, but he is called Jason (not Jason Donovan, as my mum genuinely asked when I told her I was seeing a man called Jason, just under four years ago).  Instead, what I could see,  was a bench full of roses and champagne, accompanied by Bryan Adams blaring out of an iPod (don’t judge me; you know full well that Everything I Do is the greatest love song ever written, and its international resonance meant that it was appreciated by the surrounding tourists) and Jason getting down on one knee to propose. The tourists, clearly moved by the scene and the rugged tones of Bryan Adams, all applauded, and then in turn came up to congratulate us/tell us they had been crying for twenty minutes/offer to take our picture. The City of London gardener, who I expected to have seen it all, given the strange things I’ve seen happen on London park benches,  told us that she had been crying too and that we must come back for the wedding. We made the gardener cry, and we were engaged. Not bad for midday on a Saturday.

So I asked Jason how he had got all this Romance Stuff here without my knowledge, and he said his dad and sisters had helped, and that we were going to meet them in a pub round the corner. However, when we got to the pub, it wasn’t just my new in-laws, but a humongous group of our family and friends all ready for a surprise engagement party (see pic below). Because it turns out that as well as a fake book fair, there was a secret Facebook page called ‘Operation Blow Brontë’s Mind’ and family and friends had known about this plan for months. At that stage I sobbed like a baby too, but told myself that it was ok to be emotional, as if a hard nut like a City of London gardener can cry too, then I am in good company and my tough nut image may remain unblemished. To top it all off,  my mother, knowing me so well, had even baked me a cake of books (see below) ‘to make up for the fact you didn’t get to buy any books today!’ The womb connection is real even after 35 years, my friends.

What a weekend. Apologies for the diversion. But as you can see, this whole engagement thing is (kind of) relevant to a book blog. Plus I really need to get the message to Daniel Day Lewis that I’m officially off the market and I’m hoping this might help. Please tell him to stop calling.

 

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Actual best engagement cake ever, baked by my mother, who is wont to hide her light under a bushel,  but is very creative and clever.
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I had no idea. And they all turned up. THE POWER OF LOVE.
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The gardens at St Dunstan-in-the-East. The church was heavily bombed during WW2 and gardens were created within its ruins.
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44 Comments Add yours

  1. Congrats! How sweet and exciting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations! That is such a sweet story!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. SJJ says:

    Congratulations! It was a complete surprise? My proposal was also, but everyone always seems to think I must have suspected! Amazing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, complete and utter surprise! Not sure it’s sunk in yet! Congrats to you too!

      Like

  4. luvtoread says:

    That is so very sweet! Congratulations!! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes I debated a while about whether to share as it’s quote soppy and personal, but then thought what the heck, it’s sort of book-related ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tara says:

    I LOVE this post. Congratulations! What an amazing proposal, so much effort.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes it was a sterling effort. I have a feeling any argument in our future marriage will be shut down with ‘yeah but remember how great that whole proposal thing was, wifely one’ and I may have to concede defeat on more occasions than I would care to!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. OOOOh. I just loved reading through. What a lovely day. Congrats. And that cake is just amazing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you liked it, I wasn’t sure about sharing at first. Yes it was a super cake. Tasted good too.

      Like

  7. ThemisAthena says:

    Congratulations! What a great story. And the perfect setting, too … I love St. Dunstan’s in the East. BWIMRTNCF sounds like quite the catch, as do your future in-laws!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a great little place isn’t it? Thank you for your kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. How lovely – congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Seemita Das says:

    Congratulations! Stay blessed 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Aww! So much gush! Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. How lovely!! Congratulations 🙂 And I didn’t mind the diversion at all 🙂 What an awesome cake too baked by your Mum!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I will pass that on to mum. She will be chuffed!

      Like

  12. bookheathen says:

    What an imaginative and thrilling proposal. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you bookheathen!

      Like

  13. bookheathen says:

    And, BTWIHYWBVHWBWIMRTNCF
    Will leave you to work it out …..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Nice one! And thank you! I hope we will be happy but know this marriage thing takes work – as my parents, who have been married over 40 years, keep reminding me!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. DIANE GEORGE says:

    A beautiful day for 2 beautiful people. Congrats & lots of love to you both, It was an honor to share it with you. xx The cake was divine…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Diane! It made it even better having you all there! X ps my mum will be pleased about the cake!

      Like

  15. Congratulation, love! That was really sweet and I wish I knew someone as considerate and loving as him. May you have a happy, blissful and blessed life and may your smile bring about many wonderful memories to come. Once again, congrats, mate xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thank you for those beautiful words and I WISH YOU WELL ON THE LOVE QUEST! (It is a sort of quest after all) Also – you probably think I have forgotten about responding to your wonderful prize – but I promise I haven’t! I have begin to draft it and will respond soon. Turner is slow but Turner does not forget lol. xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awww.. Thank you for the wish! ❤ and it shows how much of a wonderful person you are to not forget about little me even throughout the rollercoaster of emotions you're going through at the moment. Honestly, God bless you, mate xx

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Sarah G. says:

    I just found your blog because you found my blog, but that aside… I love happy engagements…. congratulations!!!! =D I don’t think you’ll ever forget that moment. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are right! Hope you enjoy the blog m’lady!

      Like

  17. B says:

    Congratulations! That’s fantastic news. I can see that there’s a whole lot of love there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words B!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Anu Joy says:

    Congrats! You look so radiant and happy in the pictures 🙂 Wish you a blessed life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for those wonderful words! Very kind.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. mwanawapate says:

    Congratulations….a few months later. What a great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, on both fronts! It was a happy post to write.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Just got to plan a bloomin’ wedding now…

      Like

  20. Oh my god! I’m just now reading this after seeing the Liebster Award and wow!!!! Belated congratulations!!!! I also have a deep love for the music of Bryan Adams and am definitely crying (probably less than the London gardener, though). I hope you and the BWIMRTNCF are very happy! Congrats again!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thank you!! It was a great day. Bryan Adams made it so.

      Liked by 1 person

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