HANG on a minute… mad scramble to look out of window… the world didn’t end after all!
Uh oh, it seems I’m now in a whole heap of trouble.
You see, with the fear of impending doom I might just have done something a tad crazy…
Of course I’m kidding.
In the early afternoon of Monday 17th December 2012, at the very top of the ascension of the London Eye, looking out over my nation’s capital, I went down on one knee and asked Iliana Jaqueline Pantoja if she’d marry me.
I cried. She laughed, and then cried. And then the other people in the Eye’s capsule applauded, laughed, and cried too.
My proposal went something like this: “If the world truly does end in four days I don’t want to think that I missed the opportunity to ask if you’d marry me… So, with that in mind, will you marry me?”
Her immediate response was “Oh my god, oh my GOD…”
I obviously had to ask, “is that a yes or a no?!”
Jacks then said ‘yes’ not once, but six times.
“Yes, yes, yes… si, si, SI!!!!” she replied.
|On top of the world|
|"If you like it then you should put a ring on it"|
All those months of me freaking out about the slightest of details quickly dissolved into laughable anecdotes.
The moment was perfect. The weather on that day was crisp, clear and beautiful. We were together alone in our own private universe and, of course, she said ‘yes’.
|Jacky could be heard again muttering "oh my god, oh my GOD!!!!"|
That day marked the culmination of pretty much nine months of planning and preparation on my part.
From the very moment I met Jacks back in March I knew I had to have her.
After those sunny days in Playa Del Carmen for me, everything was leading up to this magical moment.
Our story is so unique and perfect. Even we find it all hard to believe. (For those who are unaware of the background click on the first blog entry).
I had a few ideas of how I wanted to propose, but I settled on proposing on the London Eye.
I liked the idea of traditionalism.
I bought the ring in Tijuana having shopped around in the UK, the US and Mexico. I liked the idea that she would be wearing something sourced from her home.
I wanted to signify our cross-Atlantic connection by proposing in my home country – and doing so while suspended above the country’s capital seemed perfect.
|Moments before the proposal|
|My beautiful fiancée|
Of course there was also the nice hook of Jacky's Mayan ancestors predicting the world ending in a few days’ time.
I know some people have raised eyebrows mentioning that we’ve only been together for little over 10 months but hey, in the (sort of) words of Beyonce “if you like it then you should put a ring on it”.
Those people can, quite simply, bugger off.
Yes, our relationship is under a year old, but the fact is I've spent 34 years looking for her. When you know, I guess, you know.
It’s funny how things work out. And it was truly bizarre that I actually bought and picked up the ring on the same day as Jacky’s sister’s boyfriend proposed to her.
Oh talking of traditions, the moment I asked Jacky’s dad for permission for his daughter’s hand in marriage was a moment of comedy genius.
I tried to ask in Spanish. But, having quickly realized I could quite easily slip up and ask for the family dog’s paw in marriage I resorted to my native tongue.
As history now dictates he agreed – he even mentioned it first which pre-empted my question.
Oh and here’s a reflection and a point that’s very rarely mentioned.
Everyone talks about THAT moment. You know, how exactly did you propose? Where were you? Did you go down on one knee? That sort of thing.
But what no-one ever talks about is what happens AFTER that moment.
Sure, there’s the hugging, kissing and crying bit. And the round of applause, if it’s a public proposal.
But how do you maintain the buzz? How do you match that level of intensity having asked the one question you hope never to ask again?
I have to admit to feeling a bit lost and in a slight flutter in the hour or so after that moment.
Should I have packed champagne? Should I be carrying her? Should I burst into song?!
Jacks was a little less intimidated it seemed, and made what now appears to be the obvious choice – to continue smiling and laughing.
There, a short distance away from the London Eye was a Mr Bean lookalike.
So we initially celebrated our engagement by goofing around with the character in front of an audience of dozens.
|Mr Bean strikes again|
I think that says a lot about us.
Oh, and just in case anyone thinks I’m a tight b*stard for not buying champagne, we then went on a boat cruise down the Thames followed by ice skating at the Natural History Museum. (Note: my practical interpretation of ice 'skating' was more ice falling).
|Ice ice baby|
|Skating on thin ice|
We then had dinner at an Italian restaurant at Leicester Square to reflect on the craziest day of our lives yet.
Fun times indeed.
So there you have it.
Before any more people ask ‘do you have a date?’ The answer is ‘no’.
It won’t be this year (obviously), and probably not next year.
I need to sort this job/visa thing out, and we need to save some serious cash.
Oh, and the ring is a traditional diamond solitaire ring. The ‘rock’ is just short of half a carat and the ring is 14ct white gold.
For now though I hope this brings a smile to some faces and I, well… we, hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year.
Keep dreaming guys.
Crazy beautiful madness.
P.S. Holy shit, I have a fiancée!!!!!!!!!