There are many things that a young boy dreams of when he grows up, and for me, this particular day was one that my adventure-filled child self would have dreamt of from watching any James Bond film! The sun was shining high above the gentle rocking waters of Lake Como, and Allison Marie and I were eagerly awaiting by the Grand Hotel Imperial’s private dock.
Suddenly, approaching from afar was a triumphant rumble in the air, getting closer and closer, breaking the silence of the lake. We looked to our right, to find that heading in our direction was an unmistakable classic Matteri wooden boat.
What was amazing was that other guests from our hotel leant against the railing to also gaze at this magnificent nautical vehicle – there was clearly a part of everyone around that appreciated what laid before them on the lake. Allison Marie and I stepped onboard, greeted by Gardino, and away we went! It literally feels like you are transported back in time, and living the life through the crackle of a vintage Hollywood blockbuster: Allison Marie was my Audrey Hepburn, and I was her Humphrey Bogart!
There was something so giddy and satisfying to feel the steering wheel in hand and accelerating this wooden beast through the centre of the lake. We threw our hands in the air with the wind rushing between our fingers. My little love was glowing on this day, radiating such beauty that shone against the twinkling waves, and her infectious smile had my heart melting inside. Every precious second felt more surreal than the last as the reality settled in for where we were.
Gardino mentioned to us that this very same boat was used in the music video of John Legend’s ‘All of Me’. We couldn’t believe where we were in this moment: 5 years before, we were lying in bed together in a student home with no functional heating, watching this very same music video for the first time. Never could we have guessed then that only a few years later we would then be here. The moment was too incomprehensible for two little lovers gazing into each other’s eyes in such a magical setting. I remember saying again and again to Allison Marie: ‘only with you my love. Only a life with you’ as I tried to make sense of this dream I was living with my darling wife.
That’s what’s amazing about life with Allison Marie. There may be dreams from childhood, dreams of adulthood, and dreams we are not even aware of yet, but she makes all of them a reality. And the best part is that the reality is and will always be more vivid than my imagination could create. This was a day my 10 year old self would never have believed, and it is a day to never forget!