This is a diary right? Because I remember exactly what I was doing this time eight years ago. Eight? Is it really eight? Since 9th May 2006? Yep.
It was one of those defining moments in life that becomes a flashbulb memory.
Yes. I remember it all! I remember how the day started, and how it ended, and all the bits in-between.
That day, we awoke at 5am, in time to greet the sunrise as the ship pulled in to Port Said, Egypt. I took a photograph of the scene; a modern-day version of Monet's Impression Sunrise, the orange of the sun melting into the murky blue waves. It was hazy and dreamy, just like an Impressionist painting.
We were on a 3-day trip to Egypt from Cyprus; our first holiday together.
We journeyed into Cairo, in convoy, with a ship-load of other tourists. Even when we were wandering through the treasures of the museum, amidst the jewels and artifacts and sarcophagi, I could feel the rocking motion of the waves as if we were still at sea.
We saw the pyramids at Giza, leaving a little disappointed by the McDonald's so close by, and the scaffolding surrounding the Sphinx, and the street kids that could ask for money in multiple languages. But, it was still an experience to be there, at the foot of the great pyramids - an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience.
And then we had lunch on the Nile. It was wider than I had thought it would be, and a murky turquoise blue.
And we went to a Papyrus factory to watch some papyrus being made. And bought some traditional Egyptian images on papyrus. And collected the Egyptian gold ring that spelled out my name in hieroglyphics.
22-carat Egyptian gold.
One of two rings that was bought for me that day.
And the day whirled on; a dizzying unfolding of heat and wonder and dust and learning about the Egyptian culture and then back to the ship. Sleep. Wash. Dress for dinner.
After dinner we went on deck to get some air and it felt like the day we had just experienced was more than just one day - at least two days or three. The wine went to my head and I was happy and in love and on holiday, soaking it all up.
And then he proposed to me. He proposed to me. And I said 'Yes'.
And I put on the ring. And it was a certified conflict-free diamond in a classic princess cut. And we went to the bar and ordered drinks and we giggled, giddy, happy. I wanted to phone my Mum.
And there was a live band and they started singing a Simon & Garfunkel song (I LOVE Simon & Garfunkel! This is love!) and the song they sang, right after we got engaged, was... 'Bye Bye Love'. And I LOVE that song...but it wasn't the song I would have chosen or imagined at that moment, that moment, but we looked at each other and laughed and it was funny and we didn't care and we were ENGAGED. Eight years ago today.
And then we thought it might be nice if we made our wedding day 9th May (2009). It seemed fitting somehow. But then I realised I wasn't a 'planner'. I wanted it to be about love, LOVE, LOVE! And my favourite season is Autumn.
So we moved the wedding. Forward. And got married in October 2008. The 9th May 2009 didn't turn out to be the day we got married. But it WAS the day that I got engaged.
Here's a 9th May poem I wrote in 2009, which would have, could have, been my wedding day, (it rained that day too):
I looked out of the window and it was dark and grey and dank. Dark and grey and dank; and raining.
Trees blustered in the wind. They were green - green and grey and wet. The trees were green and grey and the day was dark and dank.
It should have been my wedding day.