Sunday 21 June 2015

Summer Visits: One Down, One To Go!

The first visit of the summer. Finally, it is here again! Well it already happened, so…..finally it happened again! It feels surreal that we just had a visit after six long and arduous months! But I’m so happy we managed to have one after Davy worked so hard to make sure he could make it for his birthday, and what’s even better…he’s already booked August for my birthday too! Thank god for Megabus who makes it so much easier for us to see each other, right? ;)

So on the day Davy arrived, I was a lot more calmer about it. Usually I’d be biting the nails off of every single finger possible on the day, but I felt much calmer. Since Davy has had his new job, with longer hours and more days, I’ve gradually got accustomed to not being able to talk as much. Even though my anxiety is still quite prominent when we aren’t able to be together, it’s calmed down enough for me to think rationally during his shifts and when he is travelling. I used to be a lot worse with panicking about it, but I’m slowly getting to the point where I can think straight without automatically assuming the worst. Anyway, we picked an unshaven Davy who needed a shower and a good warm meal inside of him after roughly 20 hours of straight travelling in a coach. Safe to say, even when he hasn’t been able to wash properly…he still smells good after travelling….well, when he sprays some Dark Temptation on those lovely pits of his - I’m kidding boo, but seriously…they are lovely ;)

Most of our visit consisted of curling up on the sofa and just spending every second possible together. We wanted this visit to be much more casual and a lot less about going out everywhere, although if the weather had permitted it we would’ve probably gone at least a few more times other than to Asdas and Frankie and Benny’s (and popping into places where I can feed my book addiction…) Anyway, this visit was more about being in each other’s company, we’ve had all the visits where we’ve done so much stuff that we’ve barely been able to sit down and relax so this visit really needed those two aspects. We had fun doing things together still, but I was glad that we could just step back from constantly being everywhere and anywhere, from jumping from Costa Coffee to the cinema so I’m really glad we could just chill as a couple, in the comfort of my family’s home. Each visit, regardless of how long or not so long they are, is starting to feel more like a home-coming for Davy which is great because my baby gets to come home (well at least his future home).

The day after he arrived, we decided to pop to Asda. Well I needed to pop to Asda to buy Davy a birthday and anniversary card. Plus my parents wanted to get him a birthday cake. Last year we got one made personally for Davy but I don’t think the woman who usually makes them for us does them any more so Asda was our next stop, especially as it was last minute and I hadn’t even mentioned getting a birthday cake this time around as I thought maybe it would cost too much to get one at such short notice. And I accidentally bought books again. You see, whenever I happen to go out of the house - a rare occurrence as it is - the book offers seem to jump in my face! So I bought If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman as well as Funny Girl by Nick Hornby and One Small Act of Kindness by Lucy Dillon because why not?

Batman Party Cake (image from Asda)

For his birthday, we thought we wouldn’t do so much as we did the whole going out to dinner for his 21st last year and like we said, this visit was more relaxed so at midnight on the 12th of June, I gave him his present. As our engagement anniversary was coming up, our first one, I decided I would give him a ring to commemorate both his birthday and the anniversary! I found the ring on Not On The High Street by a small company called Notes. The ring I found was perfect, it wasn’t too chunky and it suited Davy’s tastes perfectly: simple but beautiful (just like our relationship if I must say so myself). I decided that I would like to get it engraved so thankfully, it didn’t cost any extra to get the ring I chose to be engraved as it was already able to be personalised. The engraved message says “JECS ♥ DS FOREVER 17.10.11” which is both our initials and the anniversary in which we started dating - if you didn’t know by now haha. For the rest of his birthday, we curled up on the corner sofa and watched The Dark Knight on DVD as Davy had never seen the Batman trilogy (the Nolan one at least) before, and the film was long enough to keep us amused for a few hours whilst my parents were out and about doing things.

Engraved ring for Davy's birthday and our engagement anniversary 

For Saturday, the day in between Davy’s 22nd birthday and our 1st engagement anniversary we wanted to do something together, inside the house. Something that would make our bond stronger and we had never really cooked together before. The last time Davy cooked for me was Valentines 2014 and this time, we wanted to collaborate on a meal. We decided on white chicken pasta (basically if you’ve heard of Philadelphia’s special pasta sauce, it’s like that) and that I would start getting my cooking confidence up. I’m not exactly great in the kitchen but I have been in the kitchen a lot more lately so being able to cook beside the love of my life was a great experience. Davy allowed me to take control of the wok pan we were using, and to help guide me through each step as we cooked. He kept an eye on my cooking and really lifted my confidence. Usually I’m scared of the stove as I have a fear of being burned but I felt in complete control. Whilst I was making sure our chicken and mushrooms were cooking nicely, Davy added the sauce into the pan as I stirred. He then put the tagliatelle into a pan and we decided to switch roles. He would keep an eye on the sauce, whilst it thickened up and I would keep an eye on the pasta. My first experience of cooking it! And it tasted great. I was really proud of myself and us for being such a great and dynamic team in my mum’s kitchen.

Cooking in the kitchen for our anniversary meal

Davy also brought over some Dutch treats with him. I had already experienced poffertjes and stroopwafels. Now it was time for me to try hagelslag (op brood/on bread!) and speculaas (Dutch spiced biscuits that taste of cinnamon and are delicious). I quickly became very addicted to both and I even had hagelslag op brood for breakfast four days in a row! I’m converting into quite the Dutchie, hè? ;) I don’t have a picture of the speculaas he bought but, below is a shot of some hagelslag! One of my friends on facebook actually thought they were worms on bread which made me laugh haha!

Eating hagelslag op brood like a Dutchie 

A few days of constant snuggling, practising Dutch (and reading Het Achterhuis in Dutch together) and being with my amazing fiance went past and we reached Wednesday the 17th June. We hadn’t been out apart from Asda at this point of his visit so Davy really was desperate to go out for dinner at least once. It’s become sort of a tradition for us to visit Frankie and Benny’s at least once during them so why break it? We were only there for a starter and having a main as we still had dessert indoors to scoff. Thankfully we didn’t order anything after our main, we hadn’t expected our food to be so huge. I had ordered their grilled chicken sandwich which ended up being the size of my head (in length…) and Davy had half a roast chicken and baby pork ribs. We were definitely NOT expecting that, but it was still delicious. Even if our eyes were bulging out of our sockets from how much food there was! After our meal, my parents met up with us in town. Davy wanted to grab some tandoori spices to take back with him, and I went book hunting and credit for my PAYG phone. By the time we got in, we had purchased 9 books between us (Divergent Trilogy, The Maze Runner series, The Miniaturist and How To Kill A Mockingbird) . We’ll definitely have plenty to read between this visit and the next! Unfortunately my iPhone 4s’ wifi decided to poop out on me just as I got indoors, which lead to me being in a frenzy of “how are we going to communicate whilst you travel?!” until my sister let me borrow her spare iPhone 4s until I sort myself out a new phone.

Our book shopping spree!

And now we come to the sad part… the departure. We all know how this goes. We leave around 10.15pm on Thursday night, an hour or so drive from my house to Plymouth and there is the bus station. Queue tears, suddenly remembering words you forgot to say during the visit and the last few hugs before your other half gets - or in our case waits for his bus - onto a coach and travels 520 odd miles back to his native country. So far things after a visit have been more calm. More positive. Which is nice, because we already have another visit to look forward to. A visit that has already been booked way ahead in advance - instead of having to wait weeks and maybe even months before considering the next one. This is the shortest time we’ll have in between visits. The record for shortest time for us has been 4 months, but now it will only be 2 months. Things are looking great. Davy is saving plenty of money to move over. Communication is at its highest and we’re finally relaxing after so many years of hard work to make this LDR work in our favour. Here’s to summer and here’s to the future!

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