Once upon a time, there were two beautiful teenage girls, Jenny and Helen.
Their lovely Mum, Sarah, had died and they and their Dad, Mick, were all very sad. One day, Mick said he didn’t think he should have a holiday, but Jenny and Helen thought he deserved a break. They needed a break from him, too.
Jenny and Helen collected together all their pocket money and paid for a holiday. Mick loved to ride his bicycle, so they booked up a week-long cycling holiday in Herefordshire. It was organised by a company called Bicycle Beano, led by Rob and Jane. The food was all vegetarian which was wonderful, and a week of organised rides in the countryside with a couple of dozen other cyclists seemed to be the ideal way to spend time away from the real world. And best of all, there was cake. Lots of cake.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, there lived another beautiful lady, called Liesel. Her father, Klaus, had moved to the USA, and eventually to Alaska, from Germany, when he was a small boy. After retiring, he was organising a meet-up in Germany with some of his extended family, most of whom he hadn’t seen for many years.
Klaus wanted to take his wife and children to Germany too. But Liesel thought that spending that much time in Germany with family that she didn’t really know would be a bit boring. So she booked herself some time off, away from the family. She loved riding her bike and she booked a week-long cycling holiday in England: in Herefordshire to be precise. This cycling holiday run by Rob and Jane from Bicycle Beano. Liesel wasn’t a vegetarian, but was happy to eat veggie food for a week. Especially the cake.
This was the long, hot Summer of 2003.
Mick and Liesel cycled together sometimes, although their cycling styles were totally different. On one occasion, Liesel missed a turning and roared off downhill at a hundred miles an hour. Mick chased, caught her up, and put her back on the correct route.
In the evenings, sitting around the campfire, Mick and Liesel found themselves sitting next to each other and, towards the end of the week, their fingers would sometimes touch.
After the holiday, Mick went home to Chessington and Liesel returned to Alaska. Mick visited her there for the following Christmas.
So, in the end, he had two holidays that year.
In February 2006, two and a half years after first meeting, Mick and Liesel were married. The small ceremony took place on a frozen lake in Anchorage, Alaska. Jenny and Helen were there to witness the event.
They didn’t expect to send their father to come back from a cycling holiday with a step-mother. But that’s exactly what happened.
Mick and Liesel are now grandparents and everyone is living happily ever after!
Happy Valentine’s Day!