The first time I ever kissed the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine it was by a toilet, in a sticky-carpeted nightclub in the romantic hotspot that is Reading. Later, he warned me he wasn’t the “slushy” type, because “Where I’m from – in Rochdale – we aren’t like that.”
Two years later we welcomed our baby girl into the world and a year after that we got married.
That will be three years ago this summer but, in many ways, it feels like much longer. We’ve been through lots together in the past three years: saving up for a house, moving 200 miles to another part of the UK, buying a house, working hard in different jobs, getting pregnant with baby number two.
Throughout it all the NLM has continued to support me in his undemonstrative, quiet way. He doesn’t do big romantic gestures – for Valentine’s Day one year I got a Brita water filter and a pair of slippers. He rarely holds my hand in public and I know he *hates* it when I go all “slushy” on him. Instead, he does banter, cups of tea and regularly buys me family-sized bags of salt and vinegar Kettle Chips.
I recently mentioned in passing that I fancied a “proper burger” for tea on Friday night. He spent the next week diligently researching recipes online, watching YouTube tutorials and even discussing the matter at great length with work colleagues. He came home that Friday night with a fancy gadget he’d borrowed from a friend and a bunch of paper with scribbled notes on it – he’d been trying to work out how to make the top secret sauce that makes fast food burgers so tasty. It was the best burger I’d ever tasted.
We don’t tend to go in big for things like Father’s Day in this house. A home-made card is usually as far as it goes and, perhaps, a bottle of the NLM’s favourite vintage cider. But this year is a bit special. The NLM has gone above and beyond, often working 65+ hours a week in his job as a teacher, then coming home to take on dad duties while I rest my tired, pregnant feet.
We’re a team, and our nearly-four year old often complains that she misses Daddy when she gets home from pre-school and finds he isn’t here. She always greets him with a huge grin and a “HI DAAAAAAAAD!” as soon as he walks through the door.
So, rather than just do the hastily scribbled card this year, we’re going to give the NLM a few little presents too. We were sent some goodies from the website Getting Personal which I know the NLM will love. As a computer geek (he devours computer games like I devour books) this mug is a sure hit:
The hidden (personalised) image appears when the mug is filled with hot water. Pretty cool, huh?!
Then there’s the slate cheeseboard (I could never have married a man who didn’t like cheese), the personalised pint glass, extra large bowl and posh coffee. There’s also a key finder to stop the NLM constantly losing his car keys but it is well hidden for the time being as it keeps going off!
Once ordered, the gifts arrived within a few days and each one is exactly what I’d hoped it would be. There are a trillion other things I could have chosen from the site too, but those will have to wait until next year.
Of course the NLM doesn’t read my blog (“Why do I want to read about us? I’m in the house every day, I know what goes on here!”) and he only recently set up a Facebook account which he never goes on, so I’m pretty sure the surprise won’t be ruined.
In the meantime, has anyone got any good burger recipes? I think I may need to return the favour and cook him a gourmet burger for a special Father’s Day tea…
Disclosure: The products featured in this post were sent to me for the purpose of review.