Introducing the SB couple Penelope and Edward aka Penny & Ted.
It’s always a nightmare deciding what to do for Valentines day, but Ted was particularly nervous about this one because it’s date number three and he really likes this girl. Penny is funny, bright and utterly gorgeous. He’s never met anyone like her before.
After what seemed like hundreds of disasters Penny was tempted to give up on the dating game – but then she met Ted. On their second date he’d offered to take her dog for a walk. And then she’d kissed him…
Date number three was a big success. Such a success in fact, that date number four is already in the diary… Now we’re all on tenterhooks to hear, what’s next for Penny and Ted?
It’s Penny’s 30th birthday and she’s getting ready for dinner (Ted won’t tell her where, it’s a surprise) — silk Rixo dress, wedges, blow dry and, best of all, new birthday earrings.
He’s full of surprises these days. He wouldn’t let her open the beautifully-wrapped box that has been sitting tantalisingly on her dressing table until the actual day of her birthday. It took all of her willpower not to peek. Inside were the pink champagne diamond SB earrings she’d fallen in love with months ago. How did he know? She suspects he’s been plotting with her flatmate.
When the doorbell goes at seven thirty it’s Ted and she has no idea where they’re going…
Penny’s taken Ted to her family home in Wiltshire to ‘meet the parents.’ G-U-L-P.
She’d had enough of her mum asking “met anyone nice?” So this time,
Penny enjoyed (for once) replying –
“yes, I have actually!”
Then came a million questions… and the inevitable invite to bring him home for the weekend. Penny loves her parents: Dad gets more and more eccentric as he gets older and seems to increasingly live in the garden shed since he retired. Mum’s always in a cashmere jumper, dripping with beautiful old family jewels (Penny knows every one off by heart), glass of Rosé in hand. They are both forever doing up the house (how many times can you repaint the kitchen?), a gorgeous Georgian farmhouse, full of happy memories, set into the Wiltshire hills.
She shouldn’t have worried too much though, they aren’t doing anything too embarrassing: Mum pulled out all the stops for Sunday lunch and Ted is now discussing classic cars with Dad. Typical!
You really get to know someone on holiday. For instance, Penny learnt that Ted has to be at the airport at least three hours before a flight, whereas she usually only makes it by the skin of her teeth… Ted learnt that Penny packs everything she could conceivably need for any weather condition, occasion, activity or eventuality, in the most enormous suitcase he has ever seen. He can’t understand why she could possibly need eight pairs of high heels in Sri Lanka – on the beach!
Neither of them ended up wearing shoes at all for most of the holiday. Instead they lay happily on brightly coloured sun loungers, sipping cocktails or went for long walks barefoot along the beach and never ran out of things to say.
They did manage to fit in some sightseeing. It was one of the most beautiful places they’d ever seen: the landscapes, the temples, the markets (where Ted ate so much he worried he wouldn’t fit back into his work clothes).
Penny managed to ferret out a few treasures of her own in the market. She’d always assumed buying gemstones was somewhat out of her price range; but she was surprised to find stunning stones that were very much affordable. Ted enjoyed watching her barter with the good-natured gem dealer. In the end she picked up some sapphires, a large aquamarine and a couple of amethysts.
Coming back from holiday is always painful, especially if, like Ted, you can no longer do up your suit trousers. But Penny was excited at the thought of using her new gems: she had the amethysts – her goddaughter’s February birthstone – made into earrings and added the sapphire to an SB initial disk for her sister’s 30th birthday. The aquamarine Penny transformed into a cocktail ring for herself, as a memento for the perfect holiday.
Penny and Ted had been at a friend’s house for dinner on Friday night and it had been rather a late one… After a well-deserved lie-in, they decided to wander through Westbourne Park to their new favourite lunch spot, Gold.
As they strolled up up Powis Terrace Penny stopped dead in her tracks at number 24. ––
“Sophie Breitmeyer’s opened a studio” Penny was almost hopping up and down with excitement.
“Oh really?” replied Ted, offhand, but there was a twinkle in his eye.
“Yeah! Remember my favourite earrings? The ones you got me for my birthday? They’re SB, this is her! Can we go in?” She looked at him hopefully: she’d spotted something she liked sparkling in the window. But Ted shook his head.
“I’m starving, Penny. Come on, we’ll visit Sophie another time.”
Penny could barely contain her disappointment. Ted looked at her with the faintest hint of a smile as they walked away; but she was too busy staring at the pavement to notice. Little did she know Ted had booked his own appointment with the very same Sophie Breitmeyer for the following week…
Penny decided there was nowhere quite like London at Christmas. The lights on Piccadilly, the window displays, red-cheeked Christmas shoppers wrapped up warm against the cold, Fortnums hampers, carol singing – it was all just a little bit magical.
Silly season had well and truly begun. Since they’d met each other the festive partying seemed to double. Penny went to Ted’s friends’ parties and Ted to Penny’s. You couldn’t help but get into the spirit: everywhere they turned Penny and Ted were confronted with mulled wine, mince pies, popping corks and someone’s drunk uncle in a too-tight Christmas jumper.
Everyone wanted to meet the respective other half. Ted only wished he could get a chance to chat to Penny; but she kept on being whisked away to meet another old friend. He fell in love with her all over again as he watched her charm every single one. Thankfully they always found each other at the end of the night as the clock struck twelve, under the mistletoe.