For those who don't believe in love at first sight, I can tell you it really does happen and it can happen when you are young. 'Too young for all that stuff and nonsense', I can almost hear my mother telling me.
We met in a farmyard kitchen and gazed at each other for the first time across a heavy wooden table. It was not the Aga which brought a flush to my cheeks but the heat of my very first love. I smiled; he grinned. My eyes lowered but he moved towards me and I felt the warmth of his body against mine.
Mother and I were visiting the farmer's wife together. They were her friends. I could not utter a word, just kept my eyes angled at his feet.
'Well, one of us is going to have to make a decision,' my mother uttered 'so I suppose it will have to be me. Jimmy can come with us and stay the night, let's see how you two get along'.
We got along well in the car going home; cuddling in the back seat just jumping apart when my mother frowned into the rear view mirror.
She would take no truck from me about sleeping arrangements:
'You are thirteen; no he is not sleeping in your room. You've got school in the morning. Bring a sleeping bag and pillow in here and we'll make him comfortable'.
If I managed five minutes sleep that night, it was all I could manage and I heard my love pacing downstairs. I thought deeply of our future together and imagined how every moment would be. That is, until . . .
'Get down here this minute and see what he has done'.
With slipperless feet I tore into the kitchen and saw him cowering by the back door. Everything from the tables and the tabletops had been flung to the floor. There were broken mugs, casserole dishes, plates and bowls. The cupboards had been prised apart and their contents scattered.
'You'd better start sweeping up, my girl' my mother insisted, but I saw the laughter in her eyes and knew that we were forgiven; the love which had started in a farmyard kitchen was to stay with us for life.
Jimmy the Retriever had a brand new collar and lead when he came to our wedding. He was decorated with tiny rosebuds. Who did I marry? Why the farmer's son of course.