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» Beautiful Moments, Part Two

Chance meeting
24 years ago, I met a young lady, we started seeing each other and fell madly in love. We were together for three years, a real rollercoaster of a relationship. We were both very young and immature, we were both headstrong and though we both were very much in love, being together was the wrong thing for both of us. Eventually, after many painful arguments, we finally split, for good. Life went on for both of us, but I never really stopped thinking about her. Sometimes I'd go weeks without thinking of her, but then something would remind me of her and I'd find again, that little place inside where something was permanently missing.

July 2006, I was on my way to work, a journey I had made almost every week day for two and a half years. Train to Kings Cross, then down to the tube station to catch a train to Baker Street and then on to Marylebone to the offices of the bank I was working for. I'd left the house, expecting nothing other than to roll into work, make it to the end of the day and return home, but the day turned out significantly different to anything I could have imagined.

I walked onto the packed platform and headed to the spot where getting on the train would put me in the perfect place to get off at the stairs at Baker St. and there she was. Stood in the exact spot I always stood. My heart leapt and then almost instantly fell. We'd not parted on anything remotely approaching the best terms and I feared that she would still resent the way things had ended. I didn't know if she had seen me, so I stood behind her, waiting for the train to arrive. I couldn't talk to her, the disappointment, if she still felt angry, would be too much too bear. I would get on the train, she would get off at a different stop to me and it would be one of those wonderful moments that I would remember and treasure.

The train pulled in and we got on, I was sure that she was unaware of my presence. Euston Square, she did not get off and my nervousness rose. the longer she was on the train, the more likely was the chance that she would see me and I'd find out if she was still angry with me. Great Portland Street came and went too and my anxiety levels rose higher. I told myself that I would get off at Baker Street and she would stay on the train, heading off to who knows where and out off my life once again. If she did get off at Baker Street, however, I felt I owed it to myself to at least try to speak to her. When we arrived and she stepped off, just ahead of me, my resolve evaporated. She would be going out a different exit to me and we'd part without meeting, it would be for the best. At the top of the stairs, expecting her to turn left, she turned right and I was a mess. Fear and elation flooded through me and finally, I plucked up the courage to say something. I said her name, not knowing quite what to say, but she stopped and I saw the most beautiful thing I have every seen. She smiled at me, tears in her eyes. She'd been feeling exactly the same as I had but had not plucked up the courage to speak to me and, fearing the worst, had resigned herself to walking off, never knowing.

Our lives have changed completely since that day. We both lived lives that made us grow up, in different ways, but it turns out, we're the pretty much the same two kids that fell in love 24 years ago and last year, 22 years after I first proposed, we finally tied the knot. That's where I saw the next most beautiful thing, her on her father's arm, walking down the aisle.

Apologies if it's a bit Mills & Boon and probably a bit clichéd, just wanted to share.

*Edit* cheers for all the comments, and to all those that asked, it's 100% true. Seems funny, but sometimes the stuff of Hollywood movies, really is the sort of shit you can't make up.
(Fri 6th Aug 2010, 14:29, More)

» The most childish thing you've done as an adult

Love Hearts
I had a hankering for Love Hearts while walking round Tesco, doing the weekly shop, so in the basket they went. The missus put them on the conveyor belt first, I think it was so I would eat them and keep out of her way while she bagged the shopping. I was enjoying them so much, and keeping out of the way, I thought that the young lady on the till might enjoy one, especially as the next one out was 'Smile'. She did smile, but didn't want the sweetie, so I ate it and found that the next one was 'You're Lovely', she didn't want that either. We finished packing and I paid, leaving checkout lady with a lovely big grin on her face, chuckling to herself and me and the missus giggling like teenagers. I like to think that this 40yr old brightened her day a little bit. Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.
(Thu 17th Sep 2009, 15:37, More)

» IT Support

IT is so much duller, now there's less use of hammers...
I hate working in IT, hate it with a passion, especially since it all became so incredibly dull and mundane. Back when all of this was just fields and the internet was still but a wet dream, real computers needed hammers. My first field service toolkit contained a large rubber headed hammer. It was for fixing the 40MB hard drive of new fangled 286 desktop. The disks were faulty, because the lubricant for the heads would seize up when cold, which happened if people turned the thing off overnight. Solution, switch it on, leave it 5 mins to start warming up a bit and hit the case with the hammer. Head frees up, disk works. You could fix it by dropping the PC a couple of inches to get the same jolt, but the hammer was so much more satisfying.

The other hammer application was on a very old server, a Ferranti Argus, for the nerds. It had teletype terminals instead of screens, Joe 90 reel to reel half-inch tape units on the front, hexadecimal keypads for programming startup registers and lots of flashing lights. This controlled the Command and Control system for a police force, so it was a dual system, with disks controlled by one CPU and the other on hot-standby. The change over was by magnetic relays, which, if they hadn't been tested in a while, would stick, hence the inclusion of a little hook on the rear door of the system with a handy hammer hanging from it to beat the relays until the all clunked over.

The bastard IT Support, got my MCSE from a cornflake packet, 'Engineers', can barely even wield a screwdriver nowadays, let alone a hammer. Pussies.
(Fri 25th Sep 2009, 13:14, More)

» Caught!

Caught by her parents
It was the late eighties and I was seeing only my second 'proper' girlfriend. 'Proper' in the sense that we were doing it. In fact, we were doing it lots. What we lacked in experience and technique, we made up for with enthusiasm and by going for it whenever the opprtunity presented itself. Indoors, outdoors, friends' houses, wherever and whenever. This was, ultimately, to lead to our downfall.

Saturday morning, I receive a phone call from an excited girlfriend, breathlessly relating the facts that A) Her parents had gone out shopping and B) That she was terribly keen on us using the time they were out for more doing it. Needless to say, I rushed the three miles to her house as fast as my 12-speed racer could carry me.

Bike parked safely outside the front door, I rushed in, both of us removing clothing as we ascended the stairs. We headed straight to her bedroom and made ourselves comfortable.

It can only have been a matter of minutes before the front door opened. Her parents had returned from shopping early as town was too busy. Her dad shouts upstairs asking where she is, so girlfriend slips a dressing gown on and looks down the stairs "I was just having a shower", she says.
"Where's lardy then?" enquires her father.
"He's not here" she replies innocently.
"Well, why's his bike outside then?"

At this point, we knew we'd been caught. I'd used this brief exchange as a chance to dress myself and presented myself at the top of the stairs fully dressed except for pants and socks, which I hurriedly stuffed into my pockets. My face must have been a terrible shade of crimson as I ran down the stairs and out of the front door past her stunned mother, whith her father shouting "Get out of my house!"

Twenty three years later, the girlfriend and I are Mr and Mrs lardy, but it still brings a blush to my cheeks when the in-laws mention this.
(Thu 3rd Jun 2010, 14:42, More)

» Guilty Laughs

I was the victim of inappropriate laughter
A couple of years ago, the whole Lardy family went to Dorset, to a little cottage, for Easter. We took our dog Louis with us, for his first family holiday and his first trip to the seaside. Louis is not a big dog, but being a Staffie/English bull cross, he's very stocky and strong. He's also a rescue dog, so it being his first time on the beach with us, not knowing what his reaction would be, we had him on a 20ft training lead.

Well, Louis was absolutely over the moon about being on the beach, running up and down, biting at the foam on the waves, wading in the water, being sick from drinking saltwater, kicking up sand. He was having a whale of a time. Seeing that he was OK and not going to cause a fuss, we started to relax. That's where the problem started. Whilst holding his lead, I was talking to the lovely Mrs Lardy about how well Louis was doing and didn't notice him trot off to almost the full extension of the lead. I also didn't notice him get attracted by something, causing him to run, full pelt towards it. Remarkably, I also failed to notice him pass behind me, at an astounding rate of knots. I only noticed what he was doing, when the lead went suddenly taut, spinning me around, throwing my feet into the air and landing me, arm extended, right on the side of my rib cage, straight onto wet sand. I hit with a thump into what felt like concrete covered by half an inch of cotton wool. All the wind was driven from my lungs and a split second after landing, I was half submerged by an incoming wave. Barely able to breathe and now being jumped upon by our over excited dog, I managed to turn onto my back to look for assistance from my family, only to find Mrs Lardy and our two daughters doubled over in fits of laughter. It was a good couple of minutes before they noticed that I was having great difficulty breathing and couldn't manage to stand unaided. Bastards.

Mrs Lardy and the kids admit to feeling a little guilty about laughing, but that doesn't stop them from wetting themselves laughing everytime they tell the story.
(Fri 23rd Jul 2010, 12:52, More)
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