Jobs: Founders of Ealing Distillery
Ages: Both 52
Length of time together: 30 years
Amanda: We met aged 22 on a residential course for graduates working in PR. A few weeks after the course Simon moved into a new bedsit in Ealing. Weirdly, it was the same house where I had a bedsit. It was a complete fluke! We started hanging out (Simon had a colour TV, I only had black and white) and progressed to going to the laundrette together. After a month or so we were sharing a dryer.
The first date
Simon: We went to the end of the road for a curry, drank a couple of bottles of their cheapest wine then stumbled home.
Amanda: On the course I thought Simon was fun, down-to-earth and uncool — in a good way. He had no idea what cool meant which, of course, made him cool.
Housemates with benefits
Amanda: We lived together before we even got together which was fab because we didn’t have to go through all that dating, calling, not calling stuff. We’d already seen each other at our worst in the shared bedsits. In fact Simon had held my hair while I was sick in the loo after a heavy night out — truly dedicated housemate behaviour.
Popping the question
Amanda: Simon asked me to marry him while drunk in the middle of Ealing Common after a night at the pub. It was dark and cold and he got a very muddy knee. We went to celebrate at a Greek café that was still open. The owner was very sweet and went upstairs to his flat above the café to bring down a bottle of cheap fizz for us to drink and share with the other random customers. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
The big day
Amanda: Our wedding was up north in Geordieland (where I’m from). Simon’s “posh” southern family mingled brilliantly with my working-class northern family. We danced until the early hours and were the last to leave our own wedding. Simon bumped my head on the doorpost as he tried to carry me over the threshold of the hotel room.
Simon: We’re both definitely glass-half-full, very sociable, outgoing people-people. But while I’m a whirlwind Amanda’s more calm and measured. We’ve always both been quite entrepreneurial and excited by the possibilities of life.
Couples who work together
Simon: We’re good at different things work-wise so the work flow falls very naturally between us. We sometimes argue but we always agree on the big things like when we decided on the final recipe for Ealing Gin and the design of the bottle. We want to make the brand a big success — we are donating 20 per cent of profits to good causes addressing loneliness and social isolation.
The Ealing feeling
Amanda: We’ve lived in Ealing since our bedsit days. It’s brilliantly diverse with great bars and restaurants, it’s got great cultural heritage and a very strong community.
❤ To tell your love story, email email@example.com