Mar 1, 2013

Where do you find love?

At the end of every summer, my partner-in-parenting-crime’s winery puts on a fantastic outdoor concert. The weather’s still balmy, the vines are beginning to groan under their bounty, and half the town turns out with picnic hampers and blankets to hear some great music.

One of the performers this year was a local girl, Clara van Wel. Clara lives next to the winery and this year she won our nationwide TV talent quest. She’s only fifteen and yet she wrote and performed all her own songs on the show.

Here is her performance in the finals:

I hope you loved that song as much as I do. While I was listening to it live on Sunday night it got me thinking about all the amazing places people DO find love. Finding great ways for my characters to meet is something I love to plan out and truth can be just as interesting as fiction.

My grandfather, for example, fell in love with my grandmother when she used to drive her pony trap miles into the country to teach his sister the piano. I wonder if Gran got stuck there one day by bad weather and they finally struck up a conversation....

My father-in-law's mother came all the way to New Zealand from Greece to marry a man she'd never met. I wonder how love developed for them and what those first few years must have been like? 

As for me, I met the partner-in-parenting-crime the very first day of University and I can still remember the way he grinned at me on the stairs and the way my heart hammered in my chest. {:o)

Do you have a special story about you or someone you know finding love? I'd love to hear about it.


  1. Barbara, the vineyards at harvest time are fantastic, aren't they? I live near a wine growing area and it's lovely.

    For some reason the falling in love story that appeals to me belongs to friends of mine and isn't dramatic but still surprised me. She's from Canada and he's from Australia. They got to know each other on a under 25s camping tour of Europe. Their friends had steamy romances on the trip but they didn't. They kept in contact via letter afterwards (and with others too) and over a period of time the letters got more frequent instead of less. They felt closer to each other than to the people around them. Finally he went to visit her in Canada to see if they were attracted in person, rather than just at a distance. 2 months later they married. 25 years and 3 children later they're still in love. There's something nice about the sense of love growing over time.

  2. A love developing over time is one of my favourites, too, Annie. I also love the idea of letters being written. I've kept a few of those myself {;o) And I didn't know you lived near vineyards!

  3. I LOVE hearing how people met. It may not be dramatic but it's such a momentous occasion. I still remember the first time I clapped eyes on my dh. Yum. Mind you, I don't think he even noticed me. :-)

    One funny story -- an older member of my family was trying to chose b/w 2 men. They had a bout of fisticuffs and she felt so bad for the loser she chose him. Laughed and laughed when I heard that.

  4. Michelle, what a brilliant story!!
    And, Annie, that is just so, so romantic.

    Barb, my grandparents got together when my granpa asked granma if she'd like a ride on his Harley-Davidson. Smooth, huh ;)

    Many many years later, after Granpa had passed away and Granma was something like 75, this frail, softly-spoken woman got on the back of her son-in-law's motorbike for one last burl.

    There's a lot to be said for being young at heart!

  5. Hi Barbara. There's a chuch in Dublin, my native place, where St Valentine's remains are said to be held. My mother went in there one day, not knowing about St. Valentine's bones being there. She was sick of dating the wrong guy every time and prayed to God to send her a good, hard working man who would be kind, faithful and down to earth. Not long afterwards she met my father. Sadly, their marriage was not long lasting as he died after fourteen years, but she never remarried and has never forgotten him while living a full, happy life. It was only a few years ago she told me about that trip to the church and I told her about St. Valentine's bones being interred there. NOT that that makes any difference, but it sounds kind of romantic.


  6. Michelle, I loved hearing about the fisticuffs! How romantic to have two men ready to duel for love and for the object of the desire to choose the loser! I bet the victor had a wee rethink of his wooing strategy after that {;o)

  7. Robyn, your granma sounds like a real character. Being driven on the back of a motorbike has to be one of the most romantic meets ever! All snuggled up together...Lovely.

  8. Maria, your story is breathtaking and made me all teary. What a wonderful story to treasure. Those are the sorts of moments in life that show the power of love. Thanks so much for sharing.

  9. Barbara...mine is a tale from WWII. My mom was on a train heading back to her job with the Western Union Telegraph, my dad was on leave between ships. My dad's brother, walked up and down the train asking if any of the "pretty girls" would take pity on this poor navy man, who's girlfriend had just ditched him. My mom was game. They dated a couple of times while he was home and wrote when he went back to the ship. Mom was 20, Dad 25. They were married a few months later despite my mother not having written permission from her mother. Yes 20 was underage. They would have celebrated 60 years together, but sadly my mom passed away suddenly, 6 weeks before their anniversary.

    What I remember most, is that the older they got, the more they showed their love for each other, often holding hands.

  10. Wow! Barb, that girl is amazing... a beautiful song, beautiful voice, beautiful soul!

    Hey, I love the sound of your outdoor concert - this is going on my list of things to do!

    I've also loving the romantic meeting stories - yours and the ones in your comments. I was told a few from my family when I was researching... my grandmother was an identical twin and she and her sister used to play tricks on their boyfriends... so my granddad actually started out as my great-aunt's boyfriend. I wish I'd been bolder with my questions way back then and asked how my great-aunt felt about that - my nana had passed away by that time.

  11. Rita, your story is just beautiful! Your mother sounds so full of fun - taking a chance on the guy on the train certainly paid off. How incredible that they had such a long and obviously happy life together. Thank you so much for sharing.

  12. She's very talented, isn't she Sharon? Interestingly she talks about the fact that she's never been in love herself but feels she can write such poignant songs because she's read so much about love in books. She's a huge reader. The story about your nana and great aunt had me laughing. As a mum to identical twin girls I can imagine the fun your nan and her sister had together.

  13. Wow Barb...that girl can sing. Brought tears to my eyes.

    The second time I met my DH (five years after the first), we looked across the room at a party and that was it! There was the tiny issue that I lived in London and he lived in Brisbane!!! Took us the next two years to get into the same country, let alone the same city!

  14. Barb, I *love* that you had that immediate reaction to your future-partner-in-parenting-crime.

    I'm late commenting on this post which is very sad for me because the video clip in your post is gone. It says something about the youtube account being terminated for copyright reasons. Might have to go look for her elsewhere. :)