25. Victorian opal ring
In my final spring term as a student I secured a lectureship, specializing in drawing, at an art school in the Midlands, to start in September. Peter, still a post-grad in Leeds, was accepted for a similar post at an art school near Liverpool. We would be spending another year in different parts of the country. Because, or in spite of this, we decided to get engaged.
I chose my engagement ring in a small antique shop on Lewisham High Street. Opals are said to be unlucky, probably because they are soft stones that can easily be damaged and broken. However, if they are your birthstone, and I am a Libran, then, apparently, they are fine!
At Easter we traveled to my parents' home so that Peter could formally ask my father for his daughter's hand in marriage. He picked his moment carefully, choosing the day that my nephew was born, my parents' first grandchild. My father, already euphoric and not really paying attention, thought that Peter was asking to borrow his old Land Rover.
"Aye, lad," he said. "Take it, take it!"