Valentine’s

Our first week living together couldn’t have been better. The planets aligned and even put Valentine’s Day slap-bang in the middle of our cohabiting bliss. Every moment of our relationship to date had been filled with romance and thoughtful little surprises. We were both keen to see that continue after moving in together.

Megan was getting on really well with her new job, the guys she was in training with were a friendly bunch. We were both walking distance from work, Megan’s office was en-route for my slightly longer walk. When she’d finish her training Megan would start shift work, yet for the first few weeks we could share our morning walk.

It was one of those little things that I simply loved. It was not much more than five minutes from our front door but we enjoyed the walk every morning either hand in hand or huddled together to keep warm. Megan wouldn’t even think twice about stealing a kiss outside her new office on her way in for the day, often leaving me with a smile from ear to ear and the inevitable lipgloss transfer.

I was constantly on cloud nine. When I was at work I talked about how happy I was, my friends and colleagues were happy for me. A lot of them had seen me move through some difficult times just a year before, it was a radical change. My valentine’s the year before had ended up being celebrated with Spanish Maria and we all know how that turned out (hint, hint!)

I wanted Megan to know how truly happy I was that we had taken this step together. Better yet, it was our first Valentine’s Day together, I wanted to make sure it would be one to remember. I bought us tickets to The View at the Shard which we would have to go to later in the month. It just didn’t feel like it was enough. So I decided to get out of work as early as possible to arrange our new home with a few romantic touches.

When I arrived home I was floored, Megan had beaten me to it. Right in the middle of the room was a single red rose in a vase, heart-shaped confetti and the valentines cards that we had swapped earlier that day. I had opted to send a custom-designed masterpiece with a sickeningly lovey-dovey handwritten poem inside.

I had come home myself armed with a bunch of flowers and even more heart-shaped confetti and some of Megan’s favourite things. Nothing amazing, just stuff like DrPepper and her favourite chocolates then when we were settled in for the evening I’d surprise her with the tickets for the Shard.

The Shard was London’s newest attraction, the tallest building on the London skyline that boasted magnificent views across London. You can literally see the building from miles away as you begin to enter London. We were scheduled to visit during it’s opening week, we had our day and time slot booked and we were both looking forward to it.

When the day came around it was cold and the weather had been unpredictable. There was the occasional shower but the clouds soon passed. We’d be at the top of the shard at night when we’d be able to look at over the city and see it all lit up and sprawling beneath us.

The elevator ride up to the top is supercharged and pretty swish as far as a ride in an elevator goes. The building is too tall to do it in one go, so over halfway up you have to change into another lift that takes you the rest of the way. During the ascent the graphics on the walls and ceilings give you a feel for how quickly you’re rising by comparing the ascent to other notable landmarks in the area.

Once we arrived at the top we stepped out into a cloud. We literally couldn’t see anything. It was still an intriguing experience, it was oddly still and quiet up there. We were surrounded by people, all of us willing the clouds to pass so that we could glimpse London in all its glory. It never did.

We sat up in the clouds for at least an hour or two, wandered down to the gift shop and back again. If the clouds shifted it was only infinitesimal and all that was revealed of the world below were the lights of the cars on the roads directly below us and the trains coming and going from London Bridge.

It wasn’t long before we gave up any hope of seeing the view. We still laughed about it and took some snaps of each other standing in a cloud. It would make for a funny story to tell the next day. When we returned to the ground floor there was a massive queue streaming through the gift-shop towards the exit. It soon became apparent that because of the abysmal view (which is what everyone came for) that they would honour your tickets for a return visit at any time over the next 12 months.

We decided that was worth joining a queue for, we were certain we’d come back. Perhaps in summer when we could make the most of the late sunset. As ever, any moment with Megan seemed perfect, whether it went to plan or not. I hadn’t really ever made a big deal out of Valentine’s Day before, Megan had a way of making me want to go the extra mile for her. I always did.

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