In April 1993, Mark was excited to be travelling to Glasgow for a comic-book convention. At the time, he was working for a magazine, and had a huge passion for comics. “The magazine was half music, half comic,” he says. “I was going to do signings with all the artists and writers.”
While having a drink with friends at the hotel bar, he spotted a beautiful girl. “There was another convention going on for orchid growers and I assumed she must be with them. There weren’t many women at comic conventions back then,” he says. About halfway through the evening, Mark’s friend Paul told him he was going to look for his sister, who was in Glasgow studying French and would be joining them for a drink. When he returned, he brought Ingrid. “She was the girl I’d been looking at earlier in the night,” says Mark.
They began to chat and hit it off straight away. “I really liked him,” says Ingrid. “He had a very deep voice because he’d been drunkenly singing the night before, I think. He was a friend of my brother’s too, so I thought he must be OK.” They sat in the hotel bar and talked until 3am. “I had come out of a long relationship and had been feeling a bit low,” says Mark. “When I met Ingrid, it was like the clouds parted and the sun came through. She was so bright and funny.”
The next day, they met up for another drink. “I was desperate to see Mark again,” says Ingrid. “I’d never really had a proper boyfriend before and it was all exhilarating and exciting.” By the end of the evening, they were holding hands under the table. “It turned into a naughty weekend,” laughs Ingrid. Mark was sharing a room with a friend, who kindly switched rooms to give them privacy. At the end of the convention, they exchanged numbers, but Ingrid admits she wasn’t sure she would see him again. “I lived in Glasgow and he was in London, I just thought it was a bit of fun.”
They stayed in touch and Ingrid agreed to visit London in the summer, after her exams were over. “I was a diligent student and I wanted to get my studies over first,” she says.
She arrived on a hot day and they spent the weekend exploring London. “I remember when I first saw him in the distance. I forgot to lick my fingers to take my chewing gum out and it stuck to my hands,” she says. “We both had a laugh about it, which was a great icebreaker.”
After that, they began a long-distance relationship, before Ingrid moved to London in 1997. “We were living life to the full in the city,” says Mark. “We went to loads of gigs, festivals and drinks events through my work, and all our friends were in creative industries.” Ingrid says they were “always” going out. “Life seemed very free, and it was really easy to find temp jobs.”
They married in Glasgow in 2000, and had their son, Felix, the following year. In 2004, they moved to Leeds, then to Glasgow in 2009. “I wanted to be closer to my mum,” says Ingrid. They have worked together to support their son, who was diagnosed with autism. “Felix is absolutely amazing. When you share something like that as a couple it’s quite empowering but it can be scary too.”
It has been almost 30 years since they met, but Mark says his wife is exactly the same. “She’s incredibly funny and always surprises me. All the things I found irresistible when I first met her are still there.” Ingrid feels the same way. “He makes me piss myself laughing and we never tire of each other. He’s a really good person and it’s been quite a ride.”
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