I don’t recall the first time I set eyes on Ashley, I’m afraid, but I do remember at some point when I first knew him thinking he was very selfish and a bit ‘up himself’, to use a term I dislike immensely!
In 1988, I moved down to Torquay to live with Jon, a boyfriend I’d met at the Polytechnic of Wales.
Ashley was a friend of a friend of Jon’s, and we became quite pally with him and his long-term girlfriend, Tracey. Jon and I were very ‘on and off’ during that time and after a year of on/off living together, I got a job with P&O Cruises and went away to sea. I was away six months, and we kept in touch, but by the time I came back, we knew it was all over bar the shouting (and boy, was there a LOT of shouting. And crying. I still shudder when I think back to the actual last horrible splitting up with Jon. It was awful.)
Very shortly afterwards (days rather than weeks), Ashley discovered Jon and his girlfriend Tracey in bed together. Which, as you can imagine, was a bit of a shock all round. And quite a scandal as well – I was quite relieved that I was going back to sea and leaving the whole sorry mess behind.
But I did keep in touch with Ashley, despite the fact I was away at sea/living back in Bournemouth for the next three years. And when I eventually left P&O in 1994, Ashley and I got together. After a year of having a long-distance relationship, I once again moved down to Devon, and the rest, as they say, is history ….
I should probably add to the end of this story, that Jon and Tracey are still happily together and have a son of about 14. We don’t keep in touch, though …