Le Grande Interview – part one

How do I look? No spinach in between my teeth or holes in my trousers, I hope! Good… I’m ready for my interview with the very funny Po aka the South African Sea Monkey. She had a lot of questions, so after a quick cup of coffee, we got started. I was going to offer her some home-baked cakes, but she declined. I wonder why?

pulling-leg-cakeHow did you meet Sir Pe and how long before you got married?

Gosh – she does know how to pick them! Well, I had just written a Student’s Book (to learn English as a Foreign Language)Β  for a large Swedish educational publisher’s and they invited me over to Stockholm to write the Teacher’s Guide as well as other educational goodies for kids at Swedish schools.

So, I took a three-month sabbatical from my teaching job in England, and without a single word of Swedish in my baggage, turned up in Stockholm one sunny day in April back in 1996. After a couple of weeks, I decided that I ought to at least know some phrases in Swedish (it gets a bit monotonous saying Hej! all the time and sounding like the Swedish chef out of Sesame Street). So, I enrolled in a Swedish class for beginners. I found myself sitting next to the only Englishman in the class: his bow tie was a dead give-away!

This gentleman invited me to his 40th birthday party in The Limerick, a good old Irish pub in Stockholm. The date: 14th May. We went there after class, and some of Bow Tie’s workmates were there – including Sir Pe.

Now, I thought Sir Pe was a native Swede because he hadn’t spoken English for so long that when he did, HE sounded like the Swedish Chef with really bad English. Turns out he was a Swedish citizen (still is), but came originally from England.

We exchanged e-mail addresses (he was one of the few people I knew back in 1996 who actually had an e-mail address), corresponded for a couple of weeks and finally went out on a date sometime near the end of May.

Dazzled by my wit, modesty, good English and cooking skills (I burnt a hole in his coffee pot the first time I made coffee), we got engaged on 1st July 1996.

The words whirlwind romance perhaps spring toΒ  mind. Either that or: They’re nuts! After my three months were up, I went back to England, resigned from my job, packed up everything and found someone to rent my flat.

We didn’t get married in haste though – and waited for nearly a year before tying the knot in England on May 17th, 1997.

Oh my – doesn’t time fly by when reminiscing? Only time for the one question… Po had to get back to her place PDQ because she is hosting Strange Shores #4. So, visit her blog for a plethora of more real-life tales from nutty ex-pats.

23 responses

  1. Nigel Tomm

    I’m Nigel Tomm – thanks for interesting thoughts.


    February 23, 2009 at 08:48

  2. Wow….whirlwind indeed!!

    C x


    February 23, 2009 at 09:12

  3. Po

    Wow romantic and whirlwind. Thanks for answering my nosy questions πŸ™‚


    February 23, 2009 at 11:15

  4. I’m here from Po’s blog. What a cool story! Love hearing “how we met” details πŸ˜‰


    February 23, 2009 at 11:33

  5. Engaged on Canada Day! What a sweet story. Does he let you make the coffee anymore? LOL

    Random co-inky-dink: One of my two wedding anniversaries (the real one as we like to call it) is May 16th! It was Victoria Day weekend. πŸ™‚


    February 23, 2009 at 11:55

  6. There is an award for you over at mine

    C x


    February 23, 2009 at 12:42

  7. Amy

    I met the Captain in January and we were married by July and having a baby the following January- whirlwind- yes- but I also like to call it destiny…Glad Destiny found you also!!!


    February 23, 2009 at 14:25

  8. You’re a Harlequin novel couple!


    February 23, 2009 at 14:55

  9. I love hearing about how people met their other halves – and this one did not disappoint.


    February 23, 2009 at 15:57

  10. Jen

    What a interesting story, love that you guys met, loved, and married. See emails are a good thing. I adore “how we met” stories. I have been collecting them for years.

    The flowers on the blog are phalenopsis orchids, also known as moth orchids.

    Super easy to grow, the flower for about 3 – 4 months from start to finish. And are well worth the money.



    February 23, 2009 at 16:08

  11. I LOVE this story!! and it gives us all another glimpse into the mysterious Lady Fi!! What a whirlwind! And coming from the Texan who met her Danish husband when he was on holiday in Texas, I never ever doubt destiny!!


    February 23, 2009 at 16:55

  12. Reminds me a little of me and Peter. Ours was a whirlwind romance because once we met each other, we just knew we were meant for each other.

    Either that or I was really drunk.


    February 23, 2009 at 16:58

  13. Wow, thati s a whirlwind, but makes for a great story!


    February 23, 2009 at 17:27

  14. There were obviously no false pretenses about your cooking so it’s blantantly obvious he deserves all the yogurt and ketchup/catsup you can fling together!

    Just something you probably would never need or care to know so let me share it: when my son was about 5, he spent the good part of the summer saying everything just like the swedish chef from Sesame Street. See? Isn’t that fascinating?


    February 23, 2009 at 17:45

  15. SirPe

    And the moral of the story is: if you want to buy a stove-top espresso maker, stainless steel is much less likely to melt than aluminium. Yep, she melted it, then she melted my heart πŸ˜‰


    February 23, 2009 at 20:00

  16. I love a good “how we met” story. This was great.


    February 23, 2009 at 21:07

  17. I feel like you two would be SO incredibly interesting to go out to dinner with! and did you REALLY burn a hole in a coffee pot? HOW? I mean… I remember your burnt cabbage story…but a coffee pot??? im impressed!


    February 24, 2009 at 02:50

  18. Awww that is so wonderful πŸ™‚

    And don’t worry, the first time i cooked a FROZEN PIZZA, I caught the oven on fire and Sid’s apartment. I think that’s what reels em in πŸ˜‰ haha


    February 24, 2009 at 04:38

  19. Kata

    I can absolutely verify for those of you sceptical about ladyfi(AKA my big sis)’s ability to burn a hole in a coffeepot: the miracle would have been if she had made it with no problems!!
    Those of you who read her blog regularly will know by now her skills do not lie in the kitchen, but in her pen and her wit!!
    Ladyfi- you need to write that book!!


    February 24, 2009 at 04:53

  20. I thinks it is agood thing you invite us to your blog and not dinner! LOL A wonderful How I met you story..engaged
    almost a year..not in any hurry were you! πŸ™‚


    February 24, 2009 at 05:32

  21. Cool, lovely romantic story. Dont think you want to hear mine. lol


    February 24, 2009 at 07:39

  22. Whirlwind or just plain crazy? I’m betting on the last one…

    Actually, it’s very easy to burn a hole in a coffee pot.. Place on hot stove top. Leave there until all the water boils dry. Leave there for another hour. Bang – there’s the hole!


    February 24, 2009 at 08:33

  23. Very interesting! I love hearing how people get together! And sometimes you just KNOW!


    February 25, 2009 at 02:00

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