Many of you will have heard via other channels, but just in case you missed it: I have gotten engaged to Anna.

I first met Anna early last year, on a dive trip. We got on well from the start – just as well since we were doing a lot of work together as we began working towards being PADI Divemasters. It wasn’t until the middle of the year that we became an item. This worked out well, as we got to know each other in a more relaxed, friendly manner, before we started going out together.

Obviously my trip to South America put some strain on the relationship, but we got through that, and I moved in with Anna on my return. Things have been going well, and so I decided to make the next step. You can just drift along otherwise.

Anna didn’t know it was coming, but I first sought approval from her father, then surprised her by asking her to marry me, on the banks of the Hatea River in Whangarei. Once she established I was being serious, she agreed with almost unseemly haste. Now we just need to plan the details, of which there are many, but few resolved.

It turns out that men just say “Congratulations” while women go straight into planning mode, discussing outfits, arrangements, flowers…best I just keep out of all of that.

Someone asked me what it was that attracted me to Anna. The best way I can describe it is that she lights up a room, if not the whole house. You know when she’s entered a room, it is full of laughter and noise. The house is quiet when she’s not around. Anna’s social functions are a highlight, with great lengths gone to, to ensure everyone is enjoying themselves. There’s the bright, vibrant Anna that most people see, but there’s also the quieter, determined Anna, that would do anything for her friends. She’ll help you, but she won’t stand for bullshit from you.

She’s good for me – I just need to be good for her.