When Tom and I decided we made a good team all those years ago, I didn’t feel the need to get married. After all, we couldn’t afford a wedding – we’d just bought a house and there simply wasn’t the money for a knees-up. But there was enough money for a diamond.
I bought a gorgeous diamond, bunged that on my finger and that was enough commitment for me. Given that I did a lot of after-dinner speaking, I found having a ring a useful to signal that I had a bloke at home waiting for me.
I’m so careless and lose about just everything that comes into my possession, but incredibly, despite a few close calls, not that ring. Not that I have it any longer. I didn’t lose it though – I gladly gave it away with much love.
When Kate and her boyfriend took Tom and I out to dinner to tell us they wanted to get married, it was a joyous occasion. Through tears and Champagne, I asked them when they were getting engaged. “When we can afford the ring,” said my future son-in-law. “What sort of ring do you want?” I asked Kate. “Well, I’d love one just like yours,” she said.
Overcome with love and happiness – and yes, probably Champagne – I tore the ring off my finger and gave it to her. And thus it was the next morning that I woke up with dry mouth, an engaged daughter and no diamond ring.
She had it cut down to fit her and, I must say, it looks a lot better on her hand than it ever did on mine. She’s repaid the favour though. When I was looking for a real, proper engagement ring, she found the right one for me. She told me she’d seen a cluster ring and it was perfect. “It’s loud, sparkly and fun – just like you,” she said. And she was right.
I asked my favourite jewellers if they could make me a cluster ring. It reminds me of the disco ball at the Chartwell Tavern in Hamilton under which I danced many years ago.
I got it just in time for the royal dinner a few weeks ago. I couldn’t think of a better way to debut a diamond ring than at the Diamond Jubilee Trust dinner. Then I had to reluctantly hand it back to the jewellers so they could give it the final touches and a couple of days later, it was mine at last.
I couldn’t believe how girlie I was about having a ring. I couldn’t wait to show people and I missed my turn off to the airport the first time I drove with it on my finger because I was so busy admiring the way the sun was making it sparkle and ash.
The best thing about engagement rings, though, is that it’s not about how much money you spend. If you get the right design to suit the personality of the wearer, cost doesn’t come into it. I’ve seen three perfect engagement rings in recent months (one is mine, of course!).
The other two are on the fingers of two gorgeous women – one of them a colleague of mine who got married last week. The other is on the finger of a fellow runner, whose husband offset the disappointment of the New York Marathon cancellation by taking her to Tiffany’s and upgrading her 30-year-old engagement ring.
Both of these lovely ladies are wearing rings that suit them perfectly – as am I – and they’re all completely different. And in case you’re wondering, Tom loves the ring too!