Let it be said, I don't let my sister down lightly, not now, not then.
So the inevitable conversation: "Prawn, I really like this dude, I think I might stay behind for a few months…" wasn't really ideal. I went to the airport with her. We've since had many many airport moments, me and Nomie.
But back to Adam.
There he was, admiring my floor to ceiling books (he may have come to regret those once we turned into a frequently moving family but they looked quite lovely in that room, by candlelight.)
He knew I was going away.
I thought he was simply too good to be true.
Truly. I expected the fabulousness to fade and find he was boring. Or cheap. Or shallow. Or have a horrible mother.
Nothing. None of it. (Particularly not the last one.)
I told him I was going to go 'next year', six months time, assuming it would have fallen apart by then and I would attempt to catch up with Nomie.
He cooked me lemon chicken risotto. Perfectly made lasagne. Quite awesome bread and butter pudding. And very impressive sundried tomato bread. It took another four years for me to figure out that this was actually the extent of his repertoire. I'll cook if you want me to! He says. But no. Turns out he had another impressive skill.
I discovered it when he brought his sister, Rachel, around to my house to meet me. I cooked dinner (I love cooking, you may already know this), and introduced me at the door then continued to call her Julie for the rest of the night. I was so damn confused.
In the kitchen, I finally whispered, I thought you said her name was Rachel? WHO is Julie? Only to discover Choolie is a brotherly nickname. Still confuses the kids today.
Anyway, as I sat across the table from this fabulously interesting gorgeous environmental lawyer sister, I turned around to get another bottle of wine and there he was, stacking the dishwasher.
It was something about the way it was totally unprompted. Completely un-self-conscious. Just cleaning up my kitchen. A skill above all others. I wanted to meet his mother.
I did. And she was wonderful. I adore her. Same too, Rach/Choolie. Basically his whole family rocks and what are the odds of finding a fella with a family you love and who stacks the dishwasher and cleans up as a matter of course?
London was looking less likely.
Then he turned up at my work one day with a vegetarian toasted focaccia (it was the 90's, go easy) and said over grilled kumera and pesto: could I come with you on your overseas adventure?
And the rest, folks, is history.
Two years in London with two summer stints in Edinburgh, sharing a tiny Bethnal Green flat with both Naomi and Rachel, the four of us travelling to New York, Naomi and I flitting off to Italy and to Wales. It was beyond awesome.
Then Ad and I travelled for eight months, which is another story for another time. Wonderful travelling months living out of backpacks, living in each other's pockets for that whole time. I used to wonder early on if we'd ever run out of things to talk about. And we never did.
Back to Sydney and fast forward a few years and kaboom, welcome Henry. Another move with all those books to Brisbane and hello, Tilly! And here we are. Twelve years later, a five year old and a two year old and still haven't exhausted our conversation.
Oh yeah. And we got married in the middle.
I'll post a photo tomorrow, I promise.