Kindness is an early-morning ceremony on the Cutty Sark (I think the registrar and some runners got up at 5am) that involved road closure teams, guests dressed for sports day and a jelly baby bouquet made for me by an incredible friend so that I could be a bride, but an 'on message' one.
Life has a way of tripping us up, changing the path and the focus of our lives when we (usually) least want it to. It breaks the heating when we're running a fever. The internet goes down when we're on a deadline. The trains stop running when we make a special effort to get to work early.
It worries me that I can identify a proper one from a supermarket fake on a blind taste test (and that I have actually conducted said test). It worries me that I ordered a kilo bag from Amazon the week before a race and there weren't any left by the time we got to the start line. It worries me that I choose to eat them before dinner as a snack - along with my parents.
How do you thank people for going out of their way to be kind when you face huge challenges in your life? For someone who likes to give, it was a question that plagued me as my living room was turned into a garden centre and my shelves filled with beautiful cards and messages during treatment for breast cancer.
Hope got me out in my trainers and into the fresh air. Hope got me through my first 10k on chemo. Hope gave me the confidence to book a wedding ceremony an hour before the London Marathon (which for someone with a hip full of metal is a risky strategy). And, it is hope that is what has me smiling again today.
So I searched locally for the dogs in my area and there were plenty of all shapes and sizes, but one handsome man caught my eye. Sue, Bertie's owner, had just moved to the village so we messaged a few times and decided to meet. As they say, the rest is history.
When you've fought for your life, it's hard to plan too far ahead and rest your happiness on one day in the future. So, when we started talking about our wedding earlier this year, I knew there was only one way to do it. There wouldn't be an aisle. There wouldn't be a first dance. There wouldn't be a day in the Cotswolds.