Our last blog looked at anti-Valentine’s Day activities for anyone who feels a bit Bah Humbug! about the whole thing. In the quest for fairness, we’ve decided to leap headfirst into the spirit of things in our second Valentine’s Day blog.
What could be more romantic than proposing to your partner against the backdrop of the Thames? We’ve talked to a couple of people whose partners did just that, and for whom the South Bank will always be associated with the excitement and joy of that very special day.
My husband proposed on the River Thames in 2008. It was down on the bank, near the BFI, which is where we’d had our second date. Where, to make sure we’d have a third date, he stole one of my gloves to ensure another meeting. The wily cat!
The Thames location was symbolic because one of our early dates was on an Duck tour. During the tour, the guide said the Thames was actually clean enough to drink from*. We had a silly bet a few weeks after this, and the wager was that the loser had to drink from the Thames. I won – of course! Then he lured me to the BFI building on the premise that we finally had to settle the bet – he even had a cup in his pocket. He filled the cup from the river, but slipped the ring in there too. And yes, we both ended up drinking the muddy water. The things you do for love!
*NB Do not try this yourself! The last article we could find saying the Thames is clean enough to drink from was dated 2010. Remember how sick David Walliams got when he swam the Thames for Sports Relief? Exactly!
Marcus had arranged it all last April. We’re also business partners so he’d arranged a meeting in Central London. Afterwards, we were walking along the South Bank – where we’d had our first date – and at one point we sat on a bench. Marcus said that the South Bank was a special place where we’d created lots of good memories, so why don’t we create one more? Then he proposed.
He’d arranged for a professional photographer friend to be there too to take photos. And he’d booked a table at the Oxo Tower. I don’t think I said a word over dinner because I was still trying to process things, so, as we left the restaurant, Marcus suggested going for a drink. As it turned out, this had been arranged too. He’d organised it so our best friends met us there, with champagne, our passports and suitcases. They’d been to our home and packed for us so we could go straight off for a romantic weekend in Nice!
The irony is that the week before this all happened I was talking to a friend saying that I didn’t think Marcus was ever going to propose!