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Daniel and I met in December 1999 in Cheltenham, England, a few weeks after my arrival in the UK on my first time living here. A university friend of my then boyfriend, David, Daniel showed us around Cheltenham (where he was residing at the time), Bristol, Oxford, and on subsequent occasions, pockets of London that he favoured.
Previous to our visit, I'd never been able to drink more than about 1.5 glasses of red wine in one sitting. I had a strange gagging sensation if I tried to drink more than that. However, Daniel welcomed us to the UK with a bottle of Louis Jadot Beaujolais, brie and camembert, and for the first time I enjoyed red wine.
Unfortunately Daniel had to return to Australia whilst we were still living in the UK, but on our return to Melbourne, we met again and, along with Anthony Horan, were two of the founding members of the Dick Laurent Remembrance Society: a regular team at the trivia nights at The Mitre Tavern. Where mine and Anthony's geography let the team down, Daniel's saved our skins. He joked one time that our geography was so bad, he wondered how we found our way to the pub each week. Of course, we responded it was thanks to the well-worn trail and the scent of alcohol.
On breaking up with David in late 2003, Daniel and I decided to become housemates and found a two bedroom apartment in one of the old converted MacRobertson buildings in the heart of Fitzroy. Our living quarters only being shared for 11 months, as the landlady decided she wanted to move family into the apartment, we managed surprisingly well together, given we have very different conceptions of "hot" and "cold" when it comes to room temperature, and we were surviving on an off-peak hot water system which barely sufficed for one person's shower.
An improvisational whiz in the kitchen, Dan has a knack with creating unusual and delicious meals (What?! You can put fruit in pasta dishes?! Genius!); he is astoundingly intelligent, but able to explain complex concepts, from philosophy to computing and science, in a way that even a dolt like me can usually understand; an utter coffee, music and food snob, but endearingly so; and someone who actually managed to make smoking a pipe at age 23 (and probably younger) seem cool.
Taken at his wedding reception when he married Mia (my next "victim") in July 2009 at the Little Zephyr Kitchen in North Carlton, Dan was probably the happiest and healthiest I've ever seen him. I was pleased to be a part of their special day.