On 1st May 2016, Joel came to visit me at university for the bank holiday weekend to go hiking in the Peak District. The weather forecast was not great – rain all day – so as you can imagine, I was not looking forward to it. I told Joel that if this trip was going to be anything like our bike ride the previous year, this weekend was going to involve a lot of tears. He didn’t deny it.
Joel promised that he would take me out for a pub lunch afterwards, so that was my motivation to actually agree to the walk. Once we arrived at Edale and put our wellies on, we realised that everybody else was wearing walking boots and waterproof trousers. We wore jeans and hoodies and definitely stuck out amongst the *pros*. But we decided to not let it bother us and went to buy snacks for when we got to the top. Very important.
We began the walk up the *mountain* and I began my moaning. I’m not very physically fit and I was required to initially walk up a very steep hill. My legs ached, I got a stitch, and I was out of breath in about five minutes. Joel promised me that once we got to the *top* that we could have the food. But every time I reached the *top*, he moved it. First, it was as high as we could see, then was an even higher part and then it was a large rocky area.
Eventually, we reached the really rocky section called the Ringing Roger (we didn’t know that at the time) and we had to scramble up it. The view from the top was beautiful and because it was so cold, we could see snow covering the other peaks of the mountains around us. We sat down to eat, with Joel choosing to eat some smelly cheddar and onion crisps.
We took some pictures and were shortly joined by a group of people asking us about the location. We told them that we didn’t know where we were and that we didn’t go hiking very often, hence why we clearly were not dressed for the part. Once they left, I got up, eager to start descending the mountain because it was cold and my pub trip was in sight. As I turned to leave I heard Joel say: “we might as well do this here…”
I turned back around to find him down on one knee with a ring in his hand.
He said, “Emma, will you marry me?”
I was utterly stunned. I hadn’t been expecting this at all and I couldn’t believe that it was true. I began stumbling backwards saying “no, no, no, really?” in disbelief.
Joel: “is that a yes or a no?”
I tripped over a rock and fell backwards into a pile of heather. Joel got up and came to help me, sitting down next to me and putting his arm around him. I told him “YES, of course, I will marry you” and then I cried.
Joel said, “I told you there would be tears.”
We kissed. The taste and smell of Joel’s crisps that he had eaten ten minutes earlier were particularly poignant. It was lucky that I had not chosen to eat my pickled onion Monster Munch. Ah, the romance.
After spending a few moments at the top and taking pictures, we headed back down the mountain to the pub. (In case you haven’t noticed, the pub is the most important part of the story.) It was very slippery and muddy and my hands were freezing. We eventually made it down. It was a miracle that I didn’t slip and fall.
The pub was much needed. We couldn’t wait to tell our friends and family the good news of our engagement. I was so overwhelmed and couldn’t believe our time had finally come to take our relationship to the next level. Joel explained that he chose to propose now because I was coming to the end of my time at university and it would give us something to look forward to when I came home. We are having a longer engagement because it works better for us and gives us time to save.
My best friend whom I have been dating for five and a half years asked me to marry him on the 1st May 2016 at the top of a *mountain* in the Peak District. We are planning a big family wedding for 2018. You can follow along on our engagement adventure with #THEHAPPYMITCHELLS.