Dave and Katherine, 2000

Katherine and Dave, married, two children


I first met Katherine in the kitchen of ‘the girls’J-block flat, in the first few days of freshers week at Uni. I was there as one of the boys, who’d invited themselves in. I think she was a bit pissed off at there being some blokes in her kitchen so she walked in, turned to me and said ‘and who are you then?’ That sparked my interest and the rest is history.

In what I now realise was a surprisingly well kept shared kitchen in Halls of Leeds University, I sat with a group of teenage boys and girls all trying to get the measure of each other. It was early in fresher’s week and this was not my kitchen, mine was round the corner. For the next year, this particular kitchen belonged to six girls.

So there I sat, unaware that my best friend, lover, wife and mother to my children was about to make her first appearance. I can’t remember what we were talking about. I’d like to believe I was impressing people with tales of my travels. In reality, I was probably trying too hard, competing with the testosterone around the table.

Then in walked Katherine. I looked up and though ‘hmmmmm, you look good’. Then she spoke to me for the first time, addressing me directly, she said ‘Who are you then?’

Now there’s not anyone better equipped to answer that question of me than her.


It was a few days after starting at Leeds university. I was in the communal kitchen in the halls of residence flat I shared with 5 other girls. I was cooking and thought I was on my own in the room but turned around and Dave was sitting at the table, in my memory he had his feet up on a table/chair and looked quite casual/comfortable for being in a kitchen that wasn’t his. Amongst my response, I registered that he was good looking. I remember asking who he was and he says I was quite challenging in the way I said it (which I hadn’t realised). He said he was a friend of one of the boys who lived in another flat in the building and with whom we had quickly established an open door policy. That was it really – I guess I went back to cooking and over the coming days we started seeing more of each other in the group and gravitating towards each other to get to know more.

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