Matt Gemmell

TOLL is available now!

An action-thriller novel — book 2 in the KESTREL series.

★★★★★ — Amazon


personal 3 min read

As of November 5th, I’ve been married to Lauren (@coffeemuffins) for a whole year. Handily, it’s easy to remember (remember) the 5th of November, since it’s Guy Fawkes Night here in the UK. We get free fireworks every year, and we assume they’re primarily for our benefit.

At temporal milestones such as these, it’s common to say that it the time has either flown in, seeming to have passed much more quickly than expected, or that it’s difficult to believe so little time has passed. Both feel true to me in this case; it feels like both much longer and far less than a year.

I thought it’d be fun to share a mini-gallery of my wife and I throughout our relationship so far. We met whilst we were both on Summer scholarships in the Department of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow. She was in the year below.

We worked in the honours lab most of the time, and I recall that she was there for the first week, then away on holiday for two weeks, then she returned. Someone (maybe even me; I can’t remember) had a digital camera, and I decided to take a photo of her whilst she was looking through some actual printed photos from her holiday. I think she noticed me taking the shot.

Lauren supergirl tshirt

Lauren in Supergirl t-shirt.

We got together not long after the Summer, and the rest is history. Here’s a selection of photos from the intervening years, wherein you can watch me get older without Lauren appreciably ageing at all. Such is the way of things.


In the Food Factory at the student union.


In the games room of the student union, on one of hundreds of nights.

Aguamar couple

In Ibiza, I think.


Upstairs in a pub on the Byres Road in Glasgow. Those large glasses of wine lead to much illness later on.


No idea where this was taken, but I think that's my old blue fleece.


Abroad again, and me with uncharacteristically product-free hair.

Before heading out

In Edinburgh. One of the best shirts I've ever owned.

Where's my beard?

Not too many years ago. I miss the guitar t-shirt.


Self-evidently at The Colosseum.

Mirror photo

A shorter-haired Lauren.

On holiday

Evening abroad.


Our wedding.


Signing the register (or pretending to; we'd already done that bit earlier).


Out-take from our photos in the gardens.


The Gemmells, at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, the day after we were married.

Matt and Lauren in St. Andrew's

One year later, at the top of St Rule's Tower in St Andrews.

Something does change when you make a formal commitment, and there’s a different quality to it than for the various previous stages of a relationship (which for us were dating, living together, getting engaged, and buying property together, in that order). The dynamics of the situation are altered.

Acceptance of another person as a permanent part of your own life shifts from being a choice you’re making, and becomes something that has already taken place. As a fundamentally rather selfish and immature person, this was quite a revelation for me. My perception of the nature of our relationship changed in a way I hadn’t even remotely anticipated. What’s left is a sense of having a unified front, whatever your occasional internal disagreements might be. What’s left is The Team. I spent a while trying to find a less flippant term, but on reflection I think it’s perhaps the most suitable analogy.

I’d say that we’ve settled into the role of Smug Married Couple with characteristic aplomb, and I still delight in using all the terminology of matrimony at every opportunity. I love my wife dearly, and I look forward to continuing our journey through life together.