All of my fonts are named after momentous events in my life. This is March, and a particularly romantic and slushy tale behind this font...
It was a warm, spring morning in March 2012 and I was staying with my sister and her now husband. I was living on my own at the time in my little flat, which I had bought when I was 22. It has a very similar surface area to a postage stamp, so proper tiny. I had split from my boyfriend at the time and my house rabbit, Sugar Venezula Bajilly had passed away (that was his actual name, no messing about. I previously had a hamster called Madonna).
I was feeling crap so I went to stay at my sisters; main reason was so my brother-in-law could make me roasts (he's a well top bloke). That morning, my sister ran into my room, waking me, screaming at the top of her voice to show me a photo online. I had been working on the side for a shoe designer and roses I had sewn for his shoes were on Beyoncé's feet (that's a story for another post). I rang my best mate to check it was true and that was the start of the BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE (apart from when Jackson, my son was born). What a way to start a week. It was a Tuesday, but it still counts as the start of that week, because it was a life changing one.
Buzzing, I got ready for work and headed for a strategy meeting alongside other managers of support service teams across the local area. At the time I was managing a team working in the community, supporting adults and families facing homelessness. Services were facing substantial government cuts; 63% of our funding was being pulled. I believe, and still do, that preventive services help the government and society to save billions, as well as transforming the lives of our most vulnerable in society. BUT the government at the time didn't feel this way and felt the deficit was more important. It may have been, but not for half the staff (including myself) who were facing redundancy.
There were about 20 of us sat around a huge table. I had walked in with a really sexy limp (I had fallen over drunk the weekend before and hurt my ankle - see picture above. We're dressed as pints of Guinness) and had my proper geek glasses on. Mr VividWire was leading the meeting. He had a pony tail.
I had met him before, but had never spoken to him. During the meeting he led the conversation into a discussion point of ideas of potential ways we could stop them from cutting our funding. I got on my soap box (of course) and explained that I had studied health care law as part of my degree and so there must be a way out. We ended the meeting after some emotional and upsetting discussions, and I promised I would email Mr VividWire some ideas of how we could fight this from a legal standpoint. MASSIVE DISCLAIMER: I didn't have a clue what I was talking about, but I felt passionate enough to want to find an answer.
At the end of the meeting I stood with my colleague doing the usual chit-chat with the managers from the other services. Mr VividWire came and stood next to me. He didn't say anything.
"Successful meeting, wasn't it?" or I said some other bollocks, to try and understand why he was standing there.
"Yep" he said in his Midlands accent.
And I thought straight away..."what are you doing, you weirdo? Why are you standing there?"
I have a very transparent face so I imagine I looked at him strangely and then he muttered "bye!" and walked off.
BUT he had somehow, by osmosis maybe or voodoo shit, got into my brain. It was so bizarre, I could not stop thinking about him. That evening my mate came over for a bit of grub and I told him all about it. I was convinced it was a rebound reaction to the split with my ex because how could I possibly fancy a bloke with a ponytail?! This was before it was all the rage to have a man-bun, which looking back, it was definitely more man-bun than ponytail. But he did fit 'the list'. After splitting with my ex, I had written a list of requirements for my next boyfriend. I had had a fair few relationships leading up to Mr VividWire, which I had invested a lot into. I'm not saying they were ALL arseholes, but I had had my heart broken into many, many pieces and I didn't want to waste my time any more. I was 27 for God's sake. At the time I felt so old, but looking back now, I realise how young I was (and still am, really).
The next day I went to work as usual and emailed him some useless information I had found on Google about health care law. Even though it didn't really help us with anything, he kept emailing me back and forth. My colleague exclaimed "he fancies you!". I was like, "WHHHAAATTTT????". She knew him a bit and he was kind of a big deal in the support service world. He chaired both the homeless and supporting people forum for the local authority and had secured lottery funding to create a hub for services in the local town centre, to help those most hard to reach. He had organised a huge launch event, had been in the local papers, won awards etc. etc., it was a long list of achievements. Mr VividWire was, and still is in fact, a local hero for how he fights homelessness on a daily basis.
So when she said he fancied me, I didn't believe it, even though I thought he was a weirdo.
That evening, I had a message on Facebook from him. It began with some chit-chat crap AND THEN HE ASKED ME OUT. Until that day, I had never been asked out on a date. I am too bolshy and loud and intimidated most men, so it was always me that did the asking out. Of course, I said "yeh ok. Sounds good" trying to sound cool, but inside I was DELIGHTED!!
The next day, I had the phone call I had been waiting for. As I said earlier, I was facing redundancy. At the time, Educating Essex was on Channel 4 and it had inspired me to become a teacher. Working in the homelessness sector, it is very clear that most homeless adults lacked security and support when they were younger. I believed that if I became a teacher, I could make more impact and prevent individuals from having chaotic and challenging adult lives. I had two options; a). become a teacher or b). go travelling. I thought if I try teaching and I can't get a job, I will go travelling. I had no money but my mentality at the time was, and still is, that it would all work itself out. I wrote letters to forty schools across the county, asking for them to employ me as an unqualified teacher and then train me up. One school got in touch and asked me to go in for an interview. When I taught that lesson in the interview, it was the most daunting experience. But thankfully, the headteacher called me and offered me a job.
By Friday morning, date day, my face ached. I remember it so vividly because I had to keep holding my cheeks. Beyoncé had worn something I had made on her shoes, I been asked out on a date by the local superhero and I had secured my teaching job; the best week ever. But could it get any better?
Mr VividWire arranged for us to meet in a real ale pub. As you can imagine, it wasn't the usual place that I would spend a Friday night, but I had worked in one during my university days, so I knew the kind of clientele it attracted. When I arrived, I was shaking. I had never been so nervous. I felt that I had to impress him, so ordered a whisky with coke and we went to sit at a table with his friends, as there were no other seats. I wasn't that keen to do this, because who goes on a first date with someone AND their friends. One of his friends actually tried to chat me up by thrusting in my face with one leg up on his chair and another was a male chauvinist prick and I ended up having an argument with him. I was really not impressed, but I was impressed by how Mr VividWire handled the whole situation. He was a gentlemen and looked after me with grace and care.
As we left the pub, he asked if he could drop me home in his taxi. I was so nervous again as I wanted to snog his face off but as he was such a gentlemen, I couldn't see a way in. In the back of the cab, I asked "can I hold your hand?" He of course said yes. Then I asked "can I kiss you?" and we had a lovely little snog. He dropped me home and I remember doing a Sex and the City 'stand against the front door' style breathe and pause. I actually did know at that point we would get married and have a whole lot of happiness. We have had some bumps in the road, as all couples do, but I wouldn't be where I am without that man. A true superhero.