Alex and Sophie, 2006

Married, one child

alex-and-sophie-01 alex-and-sophie-02


Alex and I met for the first time on camp in north Yorkshire. We were looking after different groups and really just passed by each other completely. We knew each other well enough to say hello to, but it never went further than that. I knew his brother and his mum better than I knew him – he was just the tall hairy one who was in Lily and Kat’s group.

Then a month later we were both on postcamps and there were loads of people from our camp there, in a sort of big muddled pile of reunion and joy to see each other again. And then I noticed Alex properly – not sure what had changed but something had. It was dark, there was a campfire, there were stars and there was gin, and then the hand-holding started. That amazing moment where you’re not holding hands like friends any more because the other person has just run their thumb along the palm of your hand and it’s made you shiver. It makes you hyper-aware of the other person’s whole body and its position in relation to yours. There were about 3 hours of just hand-holding, hand-stroking, neck-stroking, back-stroking, leg-stroking in the dark by the light of the fire… all very delicate and all very discrete, at some points literally behind people’s backs.

Alex got up to go for a pee and I got up slightly drunkenly hoping to intercept him on the way back. We walked (staggered) into each other in the dark and just started kissing. I don’t know who made the first move, but it had clearly been on the cards since the first thumb stroke down the palm of a hand.

I lured him away from the fire and the people by offering to show him my new tent (!). It is a very nice tent and worth looking at and nicely designed, so not entirely just an excuse to get him on his own because I’m that big a tent-geek. But we lay outside the tent on the grass under the stars and kissed for hours and hours. Just kissed. And I spilt my gin.

And that was the beginning of an unlikely but extraordinarily wonderful and life-altering thing.


Sophie and I met camping in Yorkshire in the summer of 06. We managed to spend two weeks together without any suggestion of anything happening. We next saw each other around a month later with friends from the summer for a weekend of camping (and drinking). It was this weeekend that we both noticed each other, sitting around a fire drinking spiced rum and gin with our friends we just slowly moved together and there was hand holding and head stroking, before we went and sat outside Sophie’s tent, watching the stars and chatting, before we had our first kiss. We met once a month after that each time camping with friends until we took the plunge and met up in London for the first time.

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