On June 4th 2014 I drove my boyfriend to Exeter for an interview. It was for a Phd in Biomechanics, partly based with the local Premiership Rugby Club, and it was the Phd we’d thought would never come up. As such Pat was very nervous, as we’d had a couple before where they’d obviously been created for a particular student and the interviewing was just a formality (people claim this doesn’t happen, but I have seen first hand that it does!) – however I had a suspicion that they wouldn’t have made him go all that way that early in the morning if they weren’t seriously considering him, but I kept my thoughts (mostly) to myself.
I’d never been to Exeter before – it was actually my worst part of my frequent drives to Cornwall, the scariest bit in fact, especially on the occasion where I missed my slip road and the exhaust fell off my Mini, and the other time where I accidentally drove into Exeter a bit (it’s a nightmare, don’t drive in unless you have to!).
Ayway, today we drove in on purpose, Pat went for his interview and I took myself and the map I’d printed off of google towards the town.
I was really pleasantly surprised, I’m not at all religious but I do love a good Cathedral, and Exeter has a lovely one, I was also excited to see there was a Roof tour later that day and made sure to book me and Pat on it. I then wandered into town, found a lovely independent cafe and a shop chock full of postcards and books – then I got a call from Pat to say he was finished.
We eventually found each other as Pat didn’t have a map and was not in the mood for taking directions – and went to the car so he could get changed out of his suit and lucky socks. He was convinced it had gone terribly, and was quite frankly extremely grumpy for most of the day.
I pointed out that if he thought he wasn’t going to get it we’d best make the most of sightseeing as I wasn’t going to be driving into Exeter again in a hurry, and so I made him go on the roof tour, we got a pasty, went to the fantastic local museum (RAMM) – who were later to turn me down for two jobs – boo! And then decided to have dinner in the ASK next to the Cathedral as I had a voucher and we didn’t know at this point the many places to eat out in the city.
Just before our food arrived, Pat got a phone call – they wanted to give him the Phd…
And just like that we were moving to Exeter.
Dinner was shoveled in against rising nausea, a surreal feeling of bewilderment settled in. We went back to the car and rang our parents, I cried.
Then we drove home, excited and a bit nervous it wouldn’t really happen, perhaps equally nervous that it would.