Soon after I began working for English in Action in the Marketing Department in 2008, two new staff members joined the team and I was given the task of training one of them. His name was Trevor.
On our first training trip around Austria visiting schools, we discovered that we both came from Epsom in Surrey. That was enough of a coincidence since we met in Canterbury in Kent but there were more parallels…..
Room with a view of Canterbury Cathedral
My mother had worked for a short time in the cinema in Ewell Court, a few miles from Epsom. When the cinema was demolished, a block of flats was built on that same piece of ground and Trevor’s dad bought one. After Trev moved back to the UK, he would often go and visit his dad at weekends and he stayed in that same block of flats where the cinema had once been – at the end of the road where I grew up!
As a teenager, Trevor lived very close to the grammar school I attended in Epsom, Rosebery, and he dated a number of girls there. (Or so he said.)
I did not know any of Trevor’s girlfriends because they were mostly 10 years younger than I. One of them was called Martine and when Trevor left school and began a catering business, Martine helped him out at weekends. They were 18 and shared a passion for food.
The relationship did not last. Trevor went travelling. Like me, he lived and worked in Amsterdam for a while – actually in a coffee shop close to the McDonalds restaurant where I worked.
McDonalds on Rembrandtsplain, Amsterdam, where I started my illustrious career behind the tills at age 18.
(You can read more about my life in Amsterdam in my autobiography “The Miss-Adventures of an Irreverent Reverend” and in “The Sex Goddess” too.)
After that Trev got his qualification as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher, moved to Spain, bought a house in Asturias and settled down with no thoughts of returning to the UK and much less getting married.
Trev’s house in Asturias, Spain
But, in 2008, Trev felt guided to move back to the UK permanently. He got the marketing job with English in Action in early 2009 and moved to Canterbury. Soon afterwards, thanks to Facebook, Trevor and Martine found each other and started communicating. Love was rekindled.
In 2014, I was still working for English in Action but living in Vienna, Austria. I returned to England for the school holidays in July. Trevor invited me to a barbeque at his house in Canterbury. There I met Martine for the first time and we swapped notes about Rosebery. It turned out that we had had many of the same teachers – the hardcore ones who had never left.
Before I left my full time position at English in Action in 2015, Trev shared with me that he was planning to marry Martine. He wanted me to be at the wedding but we were not sure how to work that out logistically. I was planning to move back to South Africa and did not think I would be able to afford to fly to the UK for a wedding, much as I wanted to be there.
Well, the Universe worked it out nicely…. English in Action asked me to come back to Europe in September 2018 for a one month marketing contract in Austria starting on 23 September. Trev and Martine set their wedding date for 22 September and I was able to attend the wedding with my return flight from S. Africa paid for as part of my marketing contract.
It was one of the happiest weddings I have ever attended.
Wishing you many more years of happiness, Trev and Martine.
And Happy Valentine’s Day!
Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.
“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter