Steve and Sarah were getting on really well, they decided to get engaged just before Sarah's birthday January 2001. During the two years they were apart they became really good friends and I think this is always a good start to a good solid relationship, being friends first. Something I didn't have ,we met and married within 12 months. Marry in haste repent at leisure.
Around March time Steve and Sarah realised it was crazy to keep two houses going and decided to sell his and move into Sarah's, her house was bigger than Steve's . It would also mean they could save up to get married.
The wedding day was set for 6th July 2002 it was going to be a big wedding , as Sarah was an only child her parents wanted to go all out for her big day. Roxanne was going to be one of the bridesmaids and Frankie a pageboy, they were so excited. Jim , Lesley's husband was going to be Best Man. They were going to be married in St.Marys Church in Hemel Hempstead and reception at Breakspear BP House.
For some time I had been trying to get a house exchange back to Hemel Hempstead as I was really not settling in Milton Keynes, I felt so cut off and lonely. Being retired now meant I was spending an awful lot of time on my own. I had been registered on the council, both Milton Keynes and Hemel exchange lists for some time with no positive results. I then decided to put an advert in Hemel local paper and see if that helped.
A week after it appeared in the newspaper I received a telephone call from a young lad who lived in Hemel and wanted to move to Milton Keynes. I told him about my house and he was really interested. He lived in a 1st floor flat in a block of just 6 flats 3 on the ground floor and three on the top floor, it had security entry and was in a place called Crabtree Court in an area I wouldn't have chosen myself but I was prepared to go and see it.
I arranged for him to come and look at my house first and depending on whether he liked it or not then I would arrange to see his flat. He decided to come the next day, he seemed really keen. Evidently he had just split up from his wife and wanted a fresh start.
He came and brought the ex wife with him which surprised me but wasn't my concern. They both fell in love with the house and even more so when I said I would leave all the carpets and upstairs curtains. His name was Ian and he said he hoped I liked his flat as he would be so disappointed if it fell through.
While they were there I rang Steve to ask him to come and look at the flat with me and when we could go. He said he was on late shift so we could go any morning. I relayed this to Ian and he said how about tomorrow then. So we agreed we would be there at 10.00am.
Steve and Sarah were really pleased about me coming back to Hemel . I met Steve the next morning, we found the place with no trouble, the flats looked really nice from outside but I wasn't to keen on the area. As Steve said once you have shut your door. It really was a nice big airy flat with double aspect windows from floor to ceiling in the lounge and bedroom. The kitchen was big too and a lovely hallway. Ian said if I didn't like the decoration which was very loud ,definitely not my cup of tea, it was dark blue below the dado rail and an orange colour up to the ceiling, He said he would emulsion the lounge in magnolia and also do the kitchen. The rest of the flat was fine. It had been really well done but very loud.
One thing I forgot to mention when we knocked on Ians door Steve actually knew him they had worked together. What a coincidence. I looked at Steve and he said he thought I should take it. I told Ian and he was so pleased so we both said we would set things in motion straight away.
We promised to keep each other informed on any progress made. He was also going to leave his carpets, the one in the lounge needed replacing but the bedroom was ok, also he was leaving the curtains which was a godsend as the windows were huge and they each had wooden poles.