London Love Story, Rants and Whimsy

My wedding anniversary

November 6, 2015
Mark decided at 6am that we as a couple needed a logo. A F + M + heart

Mark decided at 6am that we as a couple needed a logo. A F + M + heart

When I grow up I want to be Bill Bryson. I originally wanted to be Ernest Hemingway, but then I decided not to shoot myself in the head. There is the small matter of a lack of talent on my part with which to compare to either of these great writers, but I suppose that’s what aspiration is all about.

This also made it easy for my husband, Mark, to decide what to get me as an anniversary gift, what with Bill Bryson being very much alive and doing a book signing in London on our actual anniversary day.

Bill was actually signing hard cover copies of his new book The Road to Little Dribbling, but Mark didn’t purchase this. I prefer to read new books on my eReader, as it means I can take them with me on the tube without compromising space in my handbag usually reserved for lunch. This is important. Without a proper filling of lunch I get angry and then I kill people and then the world explodes. (I mean, I assume that’s what happens. I’ve never actually gotten to the killing people stage. People usually find it’s in their best interests to just give me lunch at the angry stage and long may this continue).

A Walk in the Woods

Instead, Mark bought A Walk in the Woods, a wonderful book I’ve already read on the tube that was recently turned into a film starring Robert Redford. This is especially fitting for the occasion as Mark has previously been described (by a somewhat outspoken acquaintance who lives proudly on the fringe of society) as “a poor man’s Robert Redford”.Β  I’ll take that.

Bill was also kind enough to sign a drawing for Mark:

Bill Bryson

And here’s some more proof that he actually met him:

#Bill Bryson signing copies of #theroadtolittledribbling:morenotesfromasmallisland #stanfords #London yesterday

A photo posted by Mark Winter / Chicane (@chicanepictures) on Nov 5, 2015 at 11:47pm PST


Afterwards Mark met with me and we continued our tradition of seeing Shakespeare performed on our wedding anniversary with Measure for Measure at The Young Vic. This ignited a longing I didn’t know I had for swimming in an enormous pile of inflatable sex dolls, some with penises that go *doooooing*.

Unfortunately, I was also seated next to a young man wearing a deodorant favoured by my boyfriend from my teenage years. As smell is so closely linked to memory I was stuck in a rather interesting juxtaposition between celebrating four years of marriage with my husband, jubilant sex doll mirth and flashbacks of 16 year old me doing dodgy things in public parks with a boy in a puffy vest.

We ended the night eating bad Chinese food on the night bus while I bitched about being on a night bus at a time when the tube network was still running. That’s how I roll. You should be thankful you didn’t marry me.

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  • What a great gift, did you know about it or was it a surprise? I know what you mean abotu scents though, they can evoke crazy memories. Occasionally I’ll walk past someone and they’ll have the exact smell of someone else I know and I’ll be convinced that they’re there. Alice xx

    • He tried to make it a surprise, but I know him too well! πŸ˜‰

  • I love your couples logo! I’m very disappointed to hear that you were two minutes from my office (down the road from the Young Vic) and didn’t let me be a gooseberry in your anniversary celebrations πŸ˜‰

    • You would have really enjoyed all the blow up dolls XD

  • adales8

    That’s such an thoughtful gift. Dammit. Mark wins at gift giving. x

    • He now has a habit of buying me signed books. He’s previously bought me a signed Geri Halliwell book (my favourite Spice Girl) XD hahaha

  • Happy anniversary!!! What a great, thoughtful gift. Love the ending to this little story, who said romance is dead? πŸ™‚

    Polly xx

    • Yep, who needs fine dining when you can eat bad Chinese food on a bus.

  • Pingback: Drawing: Bill Bryson | ChicanePictures()

  • 1) Happy Anniversary to you and Mark!
    2) Who knew Bill Bryson looked so dang huggable in real life??? This is not at all what I was expecting to take away from this post.

  • Your husband is so thoughtful! A Bill Bryson signing, your own logo and a Shakespeare play, how cool

    • We always do the Shakespeare. The rest was his design πŸ˜‰

  • Oh you two are such cool cats!

  • This is simply true love – it’s the old Shakespearean adage “marry the woman you want to eat Chinese food on a night bus with.”

  • Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    Such an amazing gift! And I think a blog written by the 16 year old version of yourself could be a massive hit you know! πŸ˜€

    • Ha. I’m not sure it would be entirely different to this…

  • Ahhhh, happy anniversary to you two. The Shakespeare tradition sounds very high brow!

    • Haha, it is. Until the blow up dolls arrive…

  • Happy belated anniversary! Loving the couple logo x

  • What a thoughtful present, I love Bill Bryson. Shame about the person you were sitting next to, smell can really take you back in time, music does the same. Lucy x

    • Haha yeah, oh well, still a good night for the most part x