In the beginning …
originally published on www.thegledaproject.com on 20th March 2014
I met @FoolishNeil (as he is calling himself at the moment) back in 1997 when I moved back to Leamington from South Wales. We were both working for Gerflor, a vinyl flooring manufacturer, in Warwick. At a company event a couple of months after I joined, I got very drunk and lost a couple of hours of my life, I surfaced kissing Neil. Prior to this moment, I do remember being on a canal barge where the event started and saying that I wanted to see the stars as we see them on the TV over Africa, or Australia where it looks like glitter has been sprinkled over an inky blackness. Neil assured me that the night sky could really look like that and was not CGI’d as was my thinking.
Anyway, back to the kissing part. We had a couple of dates but being the good girl I was didn’t let things go too far. One day in work, after he had been away for the weekend in Cornwall, he gave me a plastic litre bottle of scrumpy cider and told me that ‘I was like a bus’. WTF! Apparently after many months without any female interest there were two of us (hence the bus reference) and that he had chosen the other bus. Obviously I was most put out having lost out to a barmaid who put out. So much for having morals.
Anyway a number of years later, after I had left Gerflor and then returned and Neil had been in the relationship with bus nr 2 which had not lasted, we eventually got together again at Christmas 2006. This time, sod the morals I wasn’t about to lose him again. As I tell him, I waited for him for nearly 10 years.
In December 2006 Neil had just bought the plans for a Wharram Tiki 38 catamaran and had picked her name, Gleda, and started his blog. From the very beginning I knew that Gleda was now the other woman and that Neil’s long term plan was to leave land and Gleda was to become his home. At the time this was a 4-5 year plan and I had land locked Neil for at least this long.
So started the longest 5 years ever; oh yeah, it was 7.