Thirteen and counting

Friday 10th March,2006. I’m sitting in a pub in Southwark–The Stamford Arms, now rebranded as The Hungry Bear of all names–and in walks Karen.


Karen and I knew each other slightly from a Compuserve forum: UK News and Current Affairs and we had, in fact, had a beer a couple of years previously along with another member, Lee “Budgie” Barnett, but mostly we knew each other online.

A couple of months earlier I’d posted a question about a detail of the BBC’s entertaining SF detective series Life on Mars. A minor plot point involved a game at Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground and I was surprised at the very low price on the ticket. I asked if that had been the going rate at OT in the early 70s. Karen not only knew the answer but, being a Moo fan, had a more or less contemporary ticket to prove it.

Well it started a long running discussion that ranged all over the place, so far beyond the remit of the forum and the other members that we soon took it private, and somewhere in there she mentioned that she was going to see a classic Buster Keaton silent film one Friday at the NFT, which wasn’t far from where she was then working on the South Bank

“Oh, ” typed, “want to kill the time before the film with a pint? “

“If you’re going to come to the pub, why not come to the film as well?”

Seemed like a plan. She bought tickets.

So she walked into the Stamford Arms, looked round and said ” ‘Ow’s my favourite snapper?”

The film was The Cameraman, in which Buster’s character trades in his tintype for a newsreel camera in order to impress the love of his life. It was an appropriate choice; being silent it posed no problems for my hearing and I did rather enjoy watching Buster more or less invent all the tripod related slapstick that I regret to say we were still doing in the industry 80 years later. (No I don’t)

After that we went for a meal and…

…we still haven’t stopped talking. And a couple of months later I realised we’d shifted from “Want to do something this weekend” to “What shall we do this weekend?”

I could bang on about how we discovered a shared love of the classic The Perishers cartoon from the Daily Mirror and bonded over a strip featuring Ole Boot at the Cartoon Museum. Or the day out in Brighton that was nearly scuppered because my car got stolen. But I probably wouldn’t be able to stop so I’ll leave it at “…haven’t stopped talking.”

So we adopted the 10th of March as our anniversary, which handily gives us an excuse to swerve celebrating Valentine’s Day. We just do it four weeks later

That was thirteen years ago. This year will be different, though. As you probably know, we finally took the next step and got married last April, so we’ll mark it properly in a few weeks.

But for now, Happy Anniversary, me dear.




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