And another year passes…

Well, it’s my 33rd birthday, and there’s a lot to tell really about the last few weeks.

Obviously, Becky flew over on the 28th. We settled down for a quiet drink in the Point in Ballyhackamore, then headed off to decentbloke‘s house. Thursday I tried to get to town before Becky – and failed. I then proceeded to keep her waiting while I failed to get her the rest of her present: a copy of Friends till the end (US edition) in Bargain Books, something McLaren related from the former F1 shop, and a new copy of Pride & Prejudice. Not very successful…

We settled down in CafĂ© Perk (formerly Gloria Jeans) and chatted through all the issues over two large bowls of delicious hot chocolate. We’ve decided to make a go of things and work on the issues – for me, it’s stuff that if I don’t pay attention to and it continues to piss Becky off that will mean not only will I lose Becky, but the next girl is going to be annoyed by too, all reasonable stuff. And you all know how I feel about Becky… she’s worth it.

Thursday afternoon we visited the Ulster Museum (to go back another time to see the bottom two floors), then in the evening we went to see Narnia. Friday lunchtime we saw Wallace & Gromit and failed to go Ten Pin Bowling in the Odyssey… so we walked back over the Lagan lookout (we had taken a rather zigzaggy route from Yorkgate to the Odyssey) and into town where we got microphones for our computers. The evening was spent teaching Becky to play Risk – which she won. She seemed to get a good deal in the cards…

Saturday afternoon (we like our late starts) we headed for Bangor, where we tried to get iTunes to talk to Becky’s iPod. We’ll work on that later, we didn’t have enough time to figure it out properly, but it’s due to playlist confusion I think. The evening was spent at Peter and Kate’s house for New Year – only Lois, Alex, Conor Bell and Michael Taylor came, so it was quiet but good.

Sunday morning I headed off to church, expecting to do sound – but because we had no singers, I played bass and sang instead, and Nathan did sound. Worked out fine, and that’s me off doing sound now altogether. We had lunch with decentbloke, then a quiet afternoon. David slept for a while, during which I beat Becky at Risk, and later since I was falling asleep quite badly I slept in her bed before she woke me up to grab a quick bite to eat before heading to the Point – again!

Monday was a long day – getting up at 4.45am is not fun, but that’s what Becky and I both did, and she sounded as groggy as I felt when I rang her. Still, I made it to the airport on my bike, while Becky was held up waiting for her taxi – the driver who eventually came had been called in in an emergency. She then had to face the check-in queue, and I was called away to move my bike – and I now know where the bicycle stands are. Not very well signposted to be honest…

The check-in queue was a mile long. By the time that we reached the self check-in machines they had closed because it was less than half an hour to go to the flight’s departure at 6.45, and Becky herself wasn’t checked in and heading through security until 6.30am. There were others behind her in the check-in queue as well… so she told me later that the flight had left a few minutes late.

Later, after breakfast, I got on my bike again and cycled to Graeme Kerr’s, from where we went to Phil Maxwell’s old field for clay pigeon shooting. I only hit 2 or 3 out of about 22 clays, but Phil said it was harder than usual anyway due to being a different angle. Other more experienced people didn’t have a good day’s shooting either – but it was good craic, and it stayed nicely dry all day. It was good to see everyone again…

I was back at work on Tuesday, after which there is little more to tell. I made it to the Boiler Room meeting on Thursday night, where we met some YWAMers on the Discipleship Training School course, going round Ireland, and yesterday I was supposed to be doing Powerpoint in the morning, but ended up singing and playing bass – again.

Today I learnt that I’m not in the first three names to be published for promotion at work – apparently one board is to reconvene at the end of the month, and another three names will be published on 6 February. I live in hope, but to be honest it’s time to get a new job. There are simply no prospects in the Civil Service now.

So… me and Becky. What next?

The answer is… we don’t really know. For everything I’ve said above, and regardless of the love we have for each other, we are finally taking things slowly and thinking about things. I have a lot to think about in terms of what I do and say and how I do and say it, and Becky’s anxious to ensure she doesn’t mess me around. It’s a long road, but we both think the other is worth it – and as we work at the relationship, we just keep praying that it is indeed God’s will.

Because hoping and praying is all we can do. God is in control, way beyond what we think we “let” him be in control of. He brought us together for however long – and we hope that can be for ever in this life, provided we can genuinely put up with each other, and it’s important to us that we get that sorted before we start doing things that can only be undone with great pain later. Ultimately, he will also split us at the right time – we can hope and pray that it will be possible, realistic and his will for us to be split only by death due to old age, but he will choose that right time, not us.

Keep praying.

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