Jenny, by Andy

jen-treestumpI wasn’t around back then, but apparently Jen was born in 1974. I’ve been working hard to remember her birthday for over a decade, and I’m proud to have routinely managed it for three years in a row now.

When I ask Jen about what she achieved in the past, she would always mention that she was the captain of the basketball and hockey teams, and apparently broke three hockey sticks during her sporting career (I imagine over other player’s heads).

There’s still a hockey stick and ball at home in the shed, which occasionally sees the light of day when tidying up, and she’ll knock the ball around in the garden looking fearsome with her competitive angry face and gritted teeth…

Not much time for hockey any more, since she started working and has been a permanent feature at Hertfordshire County Council for at least a hundred years, and seems to get all the tough projects no-one else can do – so they call her Mrs FixIt.

One of Jen’s big loves is animals. She enjoys going for a walk around the village past the fields of horses, mainly so she can have a conversation with them. I’ve never really understood why she talks to animals, they don’t talk back – but when she talks to me I’m apparently expected to join in. Because of her love of animals Jen also can’t watch films where animals get hurt or horses fall over. The sentence ‘no animals were harmed in the making of this film’ doesn’t work on Jen so movies like ‘I am Legend’ are banned. Jen will travel anywhere in the world if there’s a zoo at the destination, particularly if there are pandas.

For as long as I can remember, Jen has been snobby about only owning German cars. I’m pretty sure this isn’t my influence, and she had a company Peugeot convertible for a few years. It rattled a lot, the roof fell off and the suspension broke. I think that cemented Jen’s preference for something teutonic. Since she’s on at least her fifth BMW now, I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Jen’s five minutes of fame came when she was the star of a 4-page spread in a “men’s special interest” magazine, where she starred in an article about her car, the BMW 5-series she bought from Ben. Apparently a woman who drives a V8-powered saloon car is unusual enough to make the press, and Jen had the enjoyment of driving around rural Hertfordshire whilst being photographed and interviewed.


When we got together, I nicknamed Jen ‘Ice Maiden’, since she was elegant and very stern – but she’s gradually warmed up over the years and now Jen even cries; but only at the Christmas John Lewis adverts on TV.

Perhaps another reason the nickname didn’t last is that from a technical perspective, Jen is definitely solar-powered (she only smiles when it’s sunny) and usually she ceases to operate below 15C.

Jen has possibly the least sociable eating habits known to man – any restaurant dish must be tailored to make it healthier in some way, and ten minutes after eating a meal she’ll be hungry again and eating crisps or biscuits. This is the one area of our relationship that can always start an argument…

Jen is probably Formula1’s biggest fan, and loves watching the races – picture her on the sofa with the remote in one hand, and her iPhone in the other hand closely watching twitter and the race timings – usually she knows the details before the commentators.

Lastly, Jen loves dancing and being with her friends. It may well be that the wedding is just an excuse for both. Strange though; when I ‘catch’ her playing her dancing game on the Wii at home, she always stops and is all embarrassed, so not sure how that’ll work in front of a hundred-odd people…

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