High-flying proposal hits the spot

2008-08-27 00:00

A Richmond farmer scored high marks for romantic effort when he proposed to his girlfriend this past weekend.

Peter Nicholson (34) met Lyndal Dawson (28), an occupational therapist at a Pietermaritzburg school, just over a year and four months ago and decided it was time to propose, but he wanted to do more than drop to one knee and pop the question.

Nicholson decided to burn the words “Will you marry me?” into a farm field that had special meaning for them, then took Dawson up in an aeroplane to show her the words.

“I’d been thinking for a while of an original way to propose,” said Nicholson. “The spot where I burnt the letters into the grass has special significance for my Lyndal and I. We always go up there for sundowners as it’s the highest point on Roselands farm and affords stunning views of the Berg.

“A friend and local farmer, Tony Gooch, has always said he’d take me flying, so I thought what better way to surprise her!”

Nicholson said that Lyndal had known he had been dying to go flying for a while, so when he mentioned the flight a few weeks back she didn’t suspect a thing! “Least of all that I was going to propose!”

Nicholson said it took most of a day to spell out the letters and then burn them out in the knee-high red-grass, “which burnt like mad”.

“We had to use a water tanker to control the flames as the wind was howling, and as we finished the last letter, it started to rain — perfect timing!”

He was worried how legible the writing would be, but Lyndal read it instantly, he said. “She swung round as she was sitting in front and she had the biggest smile on her face! I think her first words were ‘Nicholson! Yes! Yes! Yes!’.”

After they landed at Himeville, a VW Touareg pulled up at the dusty little airstrip they’d landed on and made for Moorcroft Manor for a surprise champagne breakfast to celebrate their engagement.

“On arrival back in Pietermaritzburg, Lyndal thought we were just going back to the farm for the night, but I told her we were taking a shortcut to Richmond via Mooi River. We ended up at Hartford House where we spent the night to cap an unforgettable weekend!”

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, Lyndal said that she had not suspected a thing when they went for the flight and had been “blown away”.

“It was an amazing weekend and I am seriously on cloud nine.”

The happy couple are designing a special engagement ring this week, and plan to wed in April or May next year.

When The Witness asked Nicholson if he was generally romantic, he said he was “extremely” so.

“I have been saving it up for a very special person like Lyndal.”

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