There seems to be an insatiable curiosity surrounding proposals of marriage. In our case, we had discussed getting married but we both believed that it was worth taking the time to make sure we were “doing the right thing”.

We spent five years making sure that we were on the right path and then decided that we were ready to get married. For that reason (and sorry if this is a disappointment) bended knees did not come into this proposal! It seems an age ago now but we took the decision to get married on Sunday the 13th of January 2008.

Rachel was buried deep inside an Ordnance Survey map at the time and I was leaning on the fireplace. Rachel had always liked the idea of “the 8th of the 8th of the 8th” but we decided that this was going to be too complicated (that day fell on a Friday) so we decided to be flexible and aim for some time in August.

All of this was straightforward in comparison to the next duty which was to ask the permission of Rachel’s father. This is a challenge which often causes some stress to the would-be married man even at the turn of the new millennium. Nothing would be any different in our case!