It was a Dark and Stormy Night (Part 1)

“It was a dark and stormy night”

Always wanted to start a novel with that!!

I met Julie in December 2009, on a dark and stormy night. We had actually “connected” on line several days before, but the stormy night was the first time that we had met in person.

She had just walked away from a marriage of 25 years where she had been unhappy for several years. She had left him by stealth, apparently.

Moving out, bit by bit. Renting a flat, and then slowing filling it with bits and pieces from home.

He never noticed.

She couldn’t stand being with him and moved out on New Year’s Eve 2006.

When he called her to say  “Where are you?”  She told him that she had moved out.  I thought that was very ballsy.

She never saw him again.



I’d spent the last 25 years getting married, getting divorced and generally being a bit of a knob.

It was time to sort ourselves out.

So, as they say, two worlds collided.


Pissed off great woman meets a bit of a knob and connect on the internet.”

She was on and I was on …. Pfffff.


We had both been on a few internet dates with other people until we met. What I liked about Jules was her picture, her blue eyes and big smile.

 “So, when are we going to meet then?” is what she put in one of our earliest Emails.

Straight to the point, instead of pussy footing around.

We met mid December 2009 (Jules remembers the exact date) in a Pub high upon the Moors above Lancashire.

One of those “American Werewolf in London” type Pubs. Very isolated and complete with resident ghost.

She was wearing Black Trousers and a Red Leather Top with wispy long blond hair. I remember wearing a black leather jacket, scarf and jeans, well Jules tells me that’s what it was !!

Not very James Bond – but good enough.

We chatted all night about this that and the other. The funny thing was that at the time I smoked (I know !!) so was twitchy all night and pretending not to smoke. Jules makes a big play of the fact that we both knew, but ignored it at the time.

Now, it, obviously, seems stupid in hindsight. – I have stopped, by the way!!!

We had a great night and both drove home to our respective homes in a horrendous downpour. Aquaplaning on moorland roads is not a good thing to do, but is apparently part of the dating process “de nos jours” .

Anyway, I got back home and spent about an hour on the phone to Jules saying what a great time we had had. Could have taken two minutes, but there you go.


A couple of days later we arranged to see each other again. What we didn’t reckon on was that was going to be one of the worst winters in living memory.

It snowed and snowed and snowed. It snowed to the point where kids were building igloos behind my house and the road was completely blocked for days. We arranged to meet a few days later but the snow was still blocking the roads. At the appointed date, I phoned Jules and said that we should postpone. However, I didn’t reckon on Jules’s tenacity.

Roads were blocked but she said “I’m coming anyway !!” So, off she came over ten miles of snow blocked roads and met me in my local Pub.


What I didn’t know was that she loved driving and in ANY conditions. Julie had grown up helping her Dad with his transport company and could drive comfortably at nine years old. She loves being around Tractors, Lorries, Steam Engines and Massive Cranes !!

She went on to become General Manager of a large transport Company and got her HGV Class 1, which means she can drive those Monster Articulated Trucks that criss-cross the world nowadays.

Not a girl to be messed with, in short.

The next couple of weeks was a bit of a cold snowy blur. Most of England was just about managing to shuffle itself about, carving its way through icy channels of compacted snow.

I finally managed to make the drive to Julie’s house on the evening of Christmas Day 2009 for a roast chicken dinner. It was about two weeks later when I eventually returned home !

Little did we know that eighteen months later did we anticipate that Julie would we diagnosed with Cancer with a much shorter life expectancy than previously thought !!

She immediately rejected the concepts of Chemotherapy, Radiation treatment and Drugs, in favour of alternative therapies.

We knew nothing of the latter, but we knew that the former had killed off some of our dearest friends.

So began “the second long, long dark and stormy night “– the story of this blog.

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