Bitesize Episode 25 - Not your average British proposal

Charlie Baxter

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By Charlie Baxter

Bitesize Episodes (17-32)

What's this episode about?

A British person decides to declare his love for his long term girlfriend by popping the question in a way that even James Bond might nod his head to. Listen to an episode of "Charlie Chatter" to hear how a once in a lifetime moment went down for the host of The British English Podcast. Listen out for the 50 native expressions that are defined in the glossary.
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Transcript of Bitesize Ep 25 - Transcript

Hello and welcome to the British English podcast with your host, me, Charlie Baxter. And today is an episode all around Charlie chatter chatter with Charlie. And if you don't really know me yet, if you haven't really heard many episodes, I recommend you listen to this one another time perhaps because this is conversations revolving around me, my thoughts, my life, a bit like a blog in the form of a podcast. This is because something has happened for me recently, and I wanted to get it off my chest to tell you about it. It's a big part of my life, and I feel like you, as a listener of The British English Podcast, are well and truly a big part of my life because, you know, this is my full time job now. It's been my full time job for, I'd say, almost a year now. And so, yeah, we're going to talk about things that have been going on in my life, and there is a little bit of a cultural element to it as always, but mainly we're going to be focussing on a blog style conversation, and plenty of language will pop up naturally. So, yeah, welcome to Charlie chatter.

This episode comes with a free worksheet over on the website, the British English podcast, so grab that and you can listen along whilst using it.

Where should we begin? So I'm currently sat in a little cupboard in the office, in my apartment. It's a little bit more glamorous than a cupboard because it has foam all around it and a laptop in there, and it's called my sound booth.

And I've grown very fond of it over the year that has been the British English podcast. Yeah. So I'm sat here catching up with you guys, telling you about the last couple of weeks because they've been pretty exciting for me. I've been planning on proposing to my girlfriend or now my fiancee because I asked her to marry me two days ago. But let's rewind. Let's get in the time machine together and go back a couple of weeks. This was just before her birthday, and that was the plan to trick her to, you know, make her think that it was just going to be a birthday present kind of event. I decided to book an Airbnb down in a beach resort about three hours south of Sydney. I book that thinking fantastic. She'll be thinking that, you know, he surprised me with a lovely birthday present, and maybe he'll ask me to marry him. He'll pop the question down there because we've been together eight or so years. She knows that I want to ask her, but it's just about figuring out when and where. And also, there's a tradition with, mostly within the UK. I've asked some other people from different cultures, and they said that it's kind of like a tradition that they think is a little bit outdated but within my group of friends and family, it's the done thing to ask for the father's permission before you ask the daughter to marry you.

You know, we're talking about traditional heterosexual marriages here, and for that reason, you normally need to do it face to face. But I'm in Australia. Her parents are in the UK, so yeah, I've been waiting for a while, but you know, COVID 'n' that I had to swallow a bitter pill and do it via video skyping him. But actually, I Skyped him and her mum, so I Skyped both parents because, you know, we're in the 21st century now. It's not all about the man. You know, the the mum probably wants to know who her daughter is, is marrying as well. So yes, I asked both of them. And the conversation went pretty smoothly. I felt like I had a lot to say to them because I wanted to explain why it's been so long. And you know, it's not. Not because I didn't love her or anything like that, because of various other reasons. And yeah, I had a little thought about what I'd want to say. I was worried about not being able to say what I wanted to say, because when I get a bit emotional, I start to fuck things up. But things worked out. I managed to say exactly what I wanted to say. It was great. And they seemed to receive it well, so they gave me their blessing to go and ask her for her hand in marriage.

Forward wind a couple of weeks. Stacey, my girlfriend at the time, was saying, Hey, you know what? We should go to Jarvis Bay. This is the bay that I just booked for her birthday. So she was looking at Airbnbs trying book to go away before her birthday to the same place that I was booked to go on her birthday. So I was like, right, I've got to confess that I've booked to go away there. So the cat was out of the bag for the fact that she was knowing that she was going to a beach resort. And I don't just book beach resorts willy nilly. So she very much was, you know, suspicious of this. She was like, It's not my 30th. It's just a 32nd birthday. It's not a big birthday. So I reckon he's going to ask me to, you know, marry him. But I had a trick up my sleeve because I was not planning on asking her on that weekend. I let her assume that she was going to be asked at some point. And during that weekend when we went away, it was absolutely pissing it down. So it was really not the most romantic setting. We were at a beach resort and we had nothing to do other than go in some sea kayaks while it was really chucking it down. So we had our anoraks on. We were in a group of other people and it was more action packed rather than romantic in any sense. And there were a couple of moments where I think she thought that I was going to ask the the question going to pop the question, and I knew that she would hate it because she doesn't like to be in, you know, in public with this kind of thing.

She she would hate that, like if I asked her in a restaurant, she would find it very upsetting that she was causing a scene. So I've managed to trick her for those two days before her birthday. Then her birthday was on the Monday, so we came back from the beach resort and I had planned for her to go on a bloody seaplane. So I found a pilot that did a seaplane. You know, one of these planes that lands on the sea and then flies off on the sea. I've never been in one before. It was just a complete novelty to me, but I thought, Wow, what a grand gesture that would be. And in Sydney, you see this sea plane coming in and coming out of the harbour most days, or I do at least, and I thought, Wow, that would be really special. So I got in touch with that pilot. He cost an absolute fortune, but you know, it's a bloody sea plane. So I kind of thought, fair enough. So I booked that didn't tell her. And then comes to her birthday. She's like, So you know, we don't have any plans and I've booked the day off. Shall I? Shall I book something for us to do? And I was like, Yeah, yeah, yeah, OK.

Yeah, that sounds alright. Yeah, what do you have in mind? And she said, Oh, I'd love to do some more sea kayaking at four in the morning to see the sunrise under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Wouldn't that be nice?

And I'm not the biggest morning person, so 4:00 a.m. That was pushing it for me, but obviously it's the day that I've got to make her say yes to me. No, she's not a diva. She sounds like a diva right now. She's not. She's she's a very, very easy to get along with delightful human that I'm very, very happy to now be engaged to. But yeah, on her day, I wanted to make it special, so I said yes. I said yes to that and I booked it. That wasn't cheap. And then I also booked for her to have a birthday cake on the sea kayak. They give you this coffee as well is pretty impressive. They give you coffee and cake on the harbour, in a kayak, in a little small group. And again, there was a moment where the the the leader of the group brought me and Stacey over exclusively to give us the cake. But he was hiding the cake and he said, Right, I've got something for you. Stacey, come on over here and Charlie, yet you come over here. And I knew she was like, Oh my God, he's going to do it now. He's going to ask, he's going to ask now. No, no, no, not in front of these six strangers. But I didn't. I didn't. It was just the cake.

So it was a happy birthday cake. Lovely job done tick. But she gets back. She's like, Oh, I want to book an exercise class. Yeah, I'm going to book an exercise class at around 11 o'clock. I'll do some pilates. Lovely, lovely. Now the sea plane was taking off at 11:15, so I had another little predicament on my hands. I had to somehow tell her, No, you can't exercise and we're going to go to a place 30 minutes away by car. So I thought, OK. She likes to see family on a birthday, so I'm going to pretend that I've booked brunch with my cousins who live in Sydney, over in that direction, and there was a restaurant right next to the Sea Planes Dock, if you will. And so I thought that that actually works out well. I told her that she said, OK, that's lovely that you surprised me. Thank you very much. I won't book the Pilates. And then she opened up Instagram, and she had already posted about the sea kayak, and I had given her a happy birthday little hat. And my cousin had commented, saying, Oh, whose birthday is it? Oh, for God's sake, I couldn't catch a break. So then she goes, Does he know that we're coming to see him? And I had to pretend that he was pretending I was like, Oh, he's he's bluffing. You there. He knows what he's doing. Very good. Well done him. But secretly I was, you know, clenching my fists thinking, Damn him, damn him for doing this to me.

So we got to the the restaurant. I can see the sea plane. The pilot is like thinking, Hang on, where's this guy? He's meant to be here. We're going to be taking off any second. In my head I thought it would be fun to say, Oh no, they've just text saying they can't make it. And then I'd say, Oh, I'm so sorry, love. Well, hang on. Why don't we just get a sea plane? That would be fun. And then she'd be like, Whoa, you're crazy. That is so expensive and you've got to book like a month in advance. God. And then I'd take her there and and then she'd be amazed that we were able to just step into this tiny little aircraft, just us and the pilot and fly around the harbour and up to the northern beaches. Unfortunately, it came out a bit different. I said, Oh no. They just texted to say that there'll be thirty minutes late to brunch, which Stacey responded with. Oh, OK, well, let's just wait here then. Stupid. Oh, Charlie. I was in a stalemate situation with a sea plane pilot ready to take off and a girlfriend who was just happy to wait outside the restaurant for my cousins. Luckily, a celebrity walked past at that exact moment and distracted us, which allowed my brain to kick into gear and for me to reach into my pocket and pretend to get another text saying what I originally wanted to say.

So I said, Oh no, they've just texted again and said that they actually don't think they can make it, after all. Her response was, OK, well, let's just go in and eat together. I prefer it just being you and me. At that point, I gave up. I said, Stacey, I booked a seaplane. We're going on a seaplane. There was no brunch. Forget the restaurant. We're going down this walkway here. Come on. And thankfully, her response was well worth it. She was absolutely gobsmacked and it was really sweet to see her reaction, so then we met the pilot, who was probably the most charismatic seaplane pilot I have and will ever meet. And he invited us in to the tiny little fuselage, just literally two seats and then the pilot's seats up in front. So he yeah, turned the motors on, whooshed us up into the sky. And then we travelled north, weaving in and out of the the bays, which was absolutely stunning. I'm normally a bit stingy with my money, but I thought this is actually worth every single penny. So, yeah, I was very happy. I was a little bit nervous coming towards the landing part. But yeah, surprisingly smooth. Very, very smooth indeed. And he landed right next to Palm Beach, which is close to where they film an Aussie soap opera called Home and Away, which actually threw another spanner in the works because I was planning on asking her, asking Stacey to marry me on that beach.

But a big section of it was roped off for filming. And again, if you remember, Stacey certainly doesn't like to cause a scene, so I was needing to find a way around this cornered off section to get to the location where I thought would be suitable. We eventually managed to find a way through, but it was on sand and at the moment, Stacey is suffering with a problem with her Achilles. She's torn something in her Achilles, and she's not allowed to do any yoga at the moment or anything that involves using an extension of the ankle and walking on sand, going uphill is definitely not advised by her physio. So she was a little bit cautious of that, but I managed to encourage her to do it. We got to this spot and then there was loads of seaweed and it was really windy. It was almost no, it wasn't cold, but it was just very loud. That was the other thing. So I had a video. I made a video of all of her friends from home and family members saying Happy birthday to her. And the plan was to get her up here on seaplane, sit her down in a nice spot, show her the video of her friends and family, and then ask her after the video. So I needed to find a place that was suitable for her to be able to hear this video. And yet it was just really, really loud.

So I suggested that we hike up the hill, which didn't go down well again because of her injury. Plus, I had told her that we had a booking with a fancy little restaurant that was, yeah, in about 30 minutes, and she is much better at calculating times than me. And she was like, It will take us 45 minutes to get up the hill and 45 minutes plus extra five minutes to get down. So we will actually miss the restaurant booking entirely. So I don't think we can actually go, sorry, love. I was like, Yeah, yeah, fair enough. Okay, fine. So I was a little bit lost as to where to take her. I kept going, though, and then miraculously, this perfect little, almost like a garden, but in the form of a beach, it was like just set back from the the main beach. There was like a row of trees and bushes. And then, yeah, this secluded little patch of beach, it was almost like a sand dune and no one was around. It was a Monday so it was it was pretty quiet. No one was around. There was no sound. You know, the sound of the waves crashing down were removed because of the sound barrier of the bushes and the trees and stuff. So it was perfectly silent. And it was it wasn't even windy. It was absolutely perfect. So I sat her down on the picnic blanket, gave her my iPad that had the video loaded and ready to play, and she bloody loved it.

It was fantastic and I was amazed. I was like, Oh my God, this plan is actually working out. And then just before the end, her mum said something along the lines of Make sure that you enjoy your day today, and I think Charlie's got something to say to you. So why don't you look up now? And I was there on one knee with a ring in my hand, and I managed to say a very romantic couple of words, not too much made it succinct, which I thought was important. And yeah, we had success. We had a yes from Stacey and we had a crying Charlie because I get a bit emotional about these things. But going back to the succinct thing, I had written a whole little blurb about it a couple of days before and then I came back to it. I was like, This is so long. This is like an essay. She's going to be awkwardly waiting for me to say the question. You know, I'll be on one knee, I'll have the ring in hand. She'll just be waiting for me to say, Will you marry me? So yeah, let's scrap all that. I'll just say two sentences about how I would feel like the luckies man alive to call her my wife. And so, Stacey, will you marry me? So I went straight to it and very happy that I did, and then put the ring on and realised the video went on for sixteen minutes and we're late for dinner.

So as she said, in true Charlie style, we had to hurry down the hill. We got very sweaty, actually, because it's pretty hot by then. And then we arrived at the restaurant 10 minutes late and the flight was probably in forty. Yeah, forty five minutes. So we had we had about 40 minutes to scoff our way through a ridiculously nice meal, which as one of my friends pointed out, the best way to enjoy a gourmet meal is to shove it down your face within five minutes. So, yeah, that was a bit of a shame, but nonetheless it was a success. Yeah. So we got back on the sea plane and went back home. Amazing trip back. And then we had another meal in the evening, which, to be honest, we didn't really focus on because we were just busy telling everybody, you know, that we just got engaged.

So, yeah, I feel like is the end of my story. I'm now engaged. Can't believe it. It's it's been- so we met in 2012, so we've been dating for almost 10 years and we've been living together, I think, six or seven years. So it's been a long time coming for me. And yeah, it's a little bit weird to call her my fiancé. That word, most people react to it as if it's a little bit of a cringy word. It's a little bit pretentious to say, Oh yes, my fiancé say, Oh yeah, my fiancé say, Does this? My fiancé works in banking. My fiancé went on a business trip the other day, Oh, did you know that my fiancé does this?

So, yeah, most people find it a bit annoying, but I- it probably says something about me. I actually quite like the word fiancé. She's my fiancé cos I feel a little bit childish saying that she's my girlfriend. You know, I'm 31, she's 32, she's not getting any younger. She's a bloody fiancé. So yeah, she's my wife-to-be. We're engaged. Hallelujah.

And that is the end of this bitesize episode I think. We'll leave it there. Thank you very much for listening until the end. I hope that it wasn't too much of a ramble and that you enjoyed some of the vocabulary that I used along the journey. Normally, I script things a little bit more, but this one I just went for it just, yeah, tried to see what I could come up with. So you'll probably notice that it was a little bit more clunky than usual, but there we go. Remember that this episode comes with transcripts and glossaries. So if you wanted to get that, head over to the Premium podcast on the British English podcast dot com. And yeah, I hope you have a lovely week ahead of you. I'll see you next time. My name is Charlie, and you've been listening to the British English podcast.

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Podcast host: Charlie:
This will be quite a bit harder for you to understand, as there are a number of accents in the conversation, some poorly delivered at times, as you will notice.

Podcast host: Charlie:
But the aim is to give you a variety of dialects in one conversation and some dialogue to give you native expressions in context. So enter, if you will, to Charlie's pub and his imaginary world.

Character: Mike:
Alright geezer, how's it going?

Character: Chris:
Yes, I'm well thanks. How about you? Have you had a good day?

Character: Mike:
Can't say good mate. No my old man he's been giving me a right old earful for what happened on site last week.

Character: Chris:
Oh that's a pity. Are you back on your dad's building project again?

Character: Mike:
Sad to say mate, but yeah, I am. Couldn't resist this one though. Cash in hand, you know.

Character: Chris:
Oh fair play, hard to resist those I imagine. Oh, here she is.

Character: Emily:
Oh, hi.

Character: Chris:
I was wondering if you're ever going to join us tonight.

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