“An Interrupted Proposal”
-Midsummer Mosquitoes & Rings of Rosewood-
Fittingly perhaps, the only people besides Amki to meet James on his first visit to Stockholm were her sister, Anna (Maid of Honour), and her best friend and flat-mate, Tilda (Best Man).
By June of 2012 however, James had visited many times, met most of Amki’s nearest and dearest, and was getting ready to enjoy a Swedish midsummer festival with several of them.
It was during this visit that James had planned to ask Amki a very big question. It felt odd doing so without a ring, but visiting Stockholm every few weeks is a very expensive business, and it doesn’t leave much room for ring-buying. So… taking some elastic bands and the motor from an old Dremel power-tool, he built a very small, and dangerous-looking lathe, and used it to make an engagement ring from the rosewood fretboard of an old guitar.
After a crash-course in Swedish tradition, James asked Amki if she wanted to go into the night air for a walk. He had been online, and found out how to ask the question in Swedish, but realised the problem with reading the words on a page is that you can never be completely sure how it is pronounced. Obviously, this is one question you want to be sure to get right, so he opted for English, found the ring in his pocket, and was about to ask… when Anna came outside to see what they were doing. James motioned with his hands to Anna, when Amki turned around, but hastily improvised sign language proved difficult to understand and Amki began following Anna back inside, in an attempt to get away from the mosquito-filled night air. Thinking as quickly as his poor English brain would let him, James waited for Anna to go through the door, asked Amki to stop and turn around, got down on one knee and asked… in English… on the front porch of the house in which Amki had grown up… if she would let him be her husband.
-James later told Amki about the Swedish version… He would have pronounced it incorrectly after all.