How we met: ‘He played his tambourine and made chilli con carne. It felt like coming home’

In early 2019, Kate was too busy juggling her working life in Bradford to give much thought to romance. “As well as a role with a charity, I had another job working in mental health,” she says. One night, she bumped into an old friend at a gig. Nick was a music promoter looking for unusual spaces in Yorkshire for bands to perform in. “The charity I work for is based at St Clement’s church in Bradford, with this beautiful William Morris ceiling,” she says. “I knew the vicar was looking for new ways to raise revenue so I asked if he’d like to visit.” Nick thought it would be the perfect venue for the comeback gig for Fiat Lux – a recently reformed 80s synth pop band.

That summer, he brought the lead singer to have a look. “I was working as a freelance television director and I hadn’t performed with the band in over 35 years,” says Steve. “I was a bit apprehensive about doing live shows again.” As soon as he arrived, Kate put him at ease. “She was very welcoming but it was a fleeting visit.” She showed him round the venue and he checked the acoustics. “I was checking for a wedding ring and wishing I’d put on some makeup,” laughs Kate.

A few months later, they met again when the band performed at the church. “When I saw him at the gig, I was doubly attracted because he was talented as well,” she says. “The band had a bit of a cult following, so people from all over Europe came.” Although they didn’t have much time to talk, Kate felt a spark. After the gig, she added the band on social media and asked if there were any photos from the event. “My daughter had taken some – we added each other as Facebook friends so I could share them,” says Steve. “We ended up chatting about the gig and what a fun night it had been.”

On their wedding day in September 2022 at the church where they first met.

In December that year, Steve sent a message inviting her over for a cup of tea. “My heart was all a-flutter,” says Kate. “I suggested we meet the next day.” The cup of tea quickly became dinner and they didn’t stop talking all night. “He played his tambourine for me and made chilli con carne. It was like I’d known him for ever. For me, it felt like coming home.” Steve was also smitten. “It seemed so natural and we had so much in common – even mutual friends in the folk music scene. Our relationship formed from that moment on,” he says.

When lockdown hit in March 2020, they began to spend more time together. “I was living with my adult children in Bradford and they suggested I go and stay with Steve in Grassington,” says Kate. “We thought it would be for a few weeks.” The weeks turned into months, but their bond continued to grow. By summer, she had moved in for good. While Steve’s work in television dried up during the pandemic, he found a new job at a local cave tourist attraction.

In September 2022, the couple got married back at St Clement’s church. “We had a bagpiper because Steve is from Scotland and one of our Eritrean guests was ululating, which is a celebratory sound,” says Kate. “It was such an incredible occasion.” Kate describes her partner as “sickeningly good at everything”. “You put a kite in his hand and he flies it, give him a pencil and he’ll draw an amazing picture. He’s really quick-witted and he sings like an angel.” Steve appreciates his partner’s intelligence and humour. “Some people who meet later in life say they wish they had met 20 years ago, but she wouldn’t be the person she is now. So, actually, the timing has been perfect.”

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