One day after giving a beautiful girl a ring on her finger, I gave an entirely different beautiful girl a turd on a brick.
And yes, it does delightfully make sense in context.
It's 2015 in Dubai, and I'm going ring shopping with my mate Tom. Much to many people’s surprise, this isn't finally our ‘coming out’ party – I'm planning on proposing to Kat, who I had started going out with two months previously. It took some time walking around the Gold and Diamond Souk, but I finally found the ring I wanted, it was clean, pure and simple, and just how I wanted it.
I carefully wrapped up the ring in an old receipt, and hid it in my wallet as I flew back to London… where it stayed for the next month as Frodo here carried it around, waiting for the perfect time to pop the question.
Kat and I planned on going on a trip together, to London, Cardiff, Cork, Dublin, Belfast and Reykjavik in Iceland and then into mainland Europe after that. My plan – keep the ring in my wallet until the beautiful ice caves in Iceland, then go down on one knee there. It's the videographer in me, it sounded like a beautiful image.
We crossed the UK and saw some of the beauty of this mysterious land known as ‘not London’, that I had heard very little about throughout my youth growing up in Kew Gardens, and had an ongoing lack of fascination about. It sounded like a desolate place full of scary people called tropical things like ‘Northern’ and ‘Welsh’ – but actually turned out to be a friendly, beautiful land, with few scary dragons, and people I could just about comprehend. It’s not London of course, but still not bad. I even got to eat a faggot in Cardiff.
As the ring continued to burn a hole in my pocket throughout the island of Ireland, we flew into Reykjavik, watching the beautiful volcanic lands below as the plane came in from Belfast. We hired a little camper van and set off on our trip all around the A1, Iceland’s only main highway that goes all around the island.
It's hard to describe the beauty of Iceland without a huge pile of stupendous superfluous superlatives. At one point I was curious and counted 14 waterfalls in my periphery, and mesmerised I stared out of the camper van window as cascades of water fell into beautiful green valleys below – the landscape changing into yet another completely different, beautiful scene just by turning a corner.
And it's summer, and no ice caves. There goes that plan.
We head to the Blue Lagoon, a beautiful volcanic spa that's surrounded by lava formations, and constantly steaming at a perfect warm bath temperature. It has a sign saying ‘no jewellery, any jewellery dropped in the lagoon is lost forever’. As we wade in I tell Kat I've forgotten something, and head back to the changing rooms to find the ring in my wallet. My heart is thumping. I zip the ring into my swim shorts. Meh, rules are for wimps. It's time.
I wade back into the water and catch up with Kat, who wants to go over to the facial mud packs. I suggest going over to the side for a moment – ever the videographer, it was a better frame. She insists she wants to go to the mud packs. I say let's take a photo, and get an innocent bystander to film for me.
Here goes… I look at her, kneel down as far as I can without drowning, and present the ring to her. I forget to ask a question and she giggles. Then looks mystified and says ‘seriously’? And I say ‘is that a yes?’ And it was.
She then of course runs back into the changing room to put on some make-up for the photos. Wouldn't want it any other way. I waded into the lagoon with my girlfriend, and came out of it hand-in-hand with my fiancée.
One day later we're in a different beautiful lagoon, and as I get in I see some sort of commotion going off in the distance. I go in and it turns out that someone has produced a floater, which looks like a chocolate bar heading slowly in my general direction. A pretty Icelandic security guard is looking at it with disgust and on the radio to HQ. People are moving away from it, and she's not sure what to do.
I say ‘just give me that rock’ as I see a fairly big paving slab next to her feet.
'Yes it's fine I’d rather we got rid of it”
So she gives me the paving slab, and for the second time in two days I present a girl with a gift that, on somewhat different levels, she very much appreciated.