Friday, September 09, 2005


Well I managed to achieve everything on my list! Way to go! Will probably skein some more threads tonight while watching a DVD as one can never dye too many!
Blame the following on Gabrielle! Wicked grin! I read her post today and thought 'I can do that' and here you are! The Martin and Valeri story! Of course really its to cover up the fact that I didn't do anything today that I can post pictures of!
So the story begins way back in the 60's. Wonderful days that they were. I've never really left them in my head! I'm still a hippy chick! Anyway I was at Art College getting my degree in History of Art, and Textiles. Although I only lived about five miles from the college I was sharing a flat with a friend in my year. Much more fun! It was the top (garret) flat in an old Victorian house and was on two levels with a shared bathroom on the floor below. (the middle floor). There were students in one of the flats on the bottom floor who were also at the college. My friend and I were fascinated that one of these guys (the blond one) was repairing an old A30 car in the garden at the back and he would drive it down the drive to the road and then reverse it back again. It never went on the road though which we found strange. To cut a long story short at Easter I stayed in the flat and my friend went home to Wales. I worked in a pub during the daytime as I had a part-time job to fund my rent but at night it was pretty lonely as most of my friends lived miles away. So I thought I'd get to know the boys downstairs. So I boldly knocked on their door and Martin answered (though I didn't know he was Martin then). I had thought I'd break the ice by seeing if they had any shillings for the gas meter in exchange for my sixpences. I asked nicely and got a one word answer No! Door shut. End of that! (As Martin said later- I'd asked a question, he'd answered. If I'd said that I was all on my own did he fancy some company that would have been a different kettle of fish! Men!) Time passed...well a month or two. It was now summer and hot. We had our kitchen window open and a couple of times had knocked empty bottles out which had crashed onto the patio below. There were complaints from the guys as they had French doors which opened onto the patio and did happen to be sitting there. Then the final straw the bath which was above their kitchen started to leak .....into their sink! In the end they came and repaired it which meant they started talking to us. (By this time they and we were the only people in the building, the other tenants having left. The house was to be pulled down to make a car park but as we were students who would leave in the summer we were allowed to stay!) I really lusted after this blonde guy! I thought he was such a snappy dresser wasn't until a lot later that I realised that all his clothes were borrowed from his flat mates! I was determined to make him notice me! He did! I was leaning out of our garret window watching him in his bread van (he delivered bread as a money making exercise while waiting to get into college) when he looked up and yelled at me to say did I want to come for a drive. Did I! Well this was looking up. And then he asked me out that evening. I broke a date to go! Then when we got back to my flat Martin stayed and we talked and talked into the night. In fact we didn't go to bed at all. He made no moves on me either and I began to wonder if he was normal! The next day we went roller skating together and after that we were an item. And he was very normal! We moved into the empty flat on the middle floor and within a week we were engaged. However this handsome blonde hunk wasn' t in his 20's as I'd imagined. He was only 19 to my 21! What did I care. Here was someone who not only thought I was ace but also handed over his wage packet each week! What more could I want! We wanted to get married immediately but his folk wouldn't give their permission. One had to be 21 in those days. My parents weren't happy either as he had no prospects or money but couldn't do anything about it as I was of age. We did think about eloping to Gretna Green but couldn't afford to! So we waited a year and then got married when he was 20 and me 22 and also I'd graduated by then. We look so young in the pictures. The wedding photo is in 1966 and the other one in 1965. We were young!
My folks came round and helped organise a house in Devon for us. It was made of cob and was built circa 900AD and was listed in the Domesday book. It was quaint and tiny but fun although it was miles from anywhere. The picture is before we renovated it. We bought it for £900! I wish prices were still that good! It had two bedrooms,both double and a bathroom upstairs and downstairs a really large living room with a walk in fireplace with an enormous beam over it and a bread oven at the side of the fire, plus a largish kitchen. The stairs went up out of the living room. Also half an acre of garden...well land!
Now I have to tell you that before Martin I'd been dating a guy who was a farmer and I had sworn that I would never ever marry a farmer. So what does Martin do after five years of marriage? He commits farming and buys a dairy farm in Cornwall with my parents and I am suddenly a farmer's wife. My biggest fear has been realised. But that is another story altogether. We've been happily married ever since. He is the kindest most generous guy out with the wickedest sense of humour and I still love him to bits ! It will be our Ruby (40) wedding anniversary next year!


  1. Val, great story...laughed out loud over the bottles and bath. What fun to hear how our lives with our sweeties started.
    As to the pictures, can you believe we were ever that young? I vaguely remember it.

  2. LOVE the story of how you met your honey and love the photos. You both look so young and sweet! The house photo is cool too!

    Makes me want to tell my "love story". Maybe I will soon!

  3. Reading your story was such a treat! How adorable you both were! But I have to ask, were you and Martin "mods" or "rockers?" I'm guessing "mods."

  4. Valeri,

    Great Love story! Your first house was soooooooo romantic and OLD!!!! Any guy that cute that hands over his wage packet to you each week is definately a keeper.