The First Taste

I'm lucky enough to have a photograph of the precise moment when I realised I was falling in lurve.

There's a bit in the Dietgirl book in which Gareth is the only non-Aussie at a tea party and bravely volunteers join in a Vegemite Taste Test (page 201, UK ed.). Our friends Jane and Rory wanted to see if I could tell the difference between Australia and New Zealand-manufactured Vegemite so they made up some sample sandwiches.

  • Frame 1 – Tentative sniffing of the samples.
  • Frame 2 – Shauna takes the exercise very seriously while Gareth seems nervous to dive in.
  • Frame 3 – Gareth is a blur of shock and awe as he takes his first bite.
  • Frame 4 – Shauna is triumphant after correctly identifying the Kiwi Vegemite, while Gareth reels from the flava.

I felt stupidly happy throughout the whole exercise, marveling at how the seating-arrangements gods had conspired to let Gareth sit next to me that afternoon when there was at least one other chair and a whole floor he could have sat on instead. I stole little glances at his lovely forearms, tried to understand his accent and wondered if it meant something that I didn't want to be anywhere else.

That was August 2003. Little did we know that just a month later Gareth would be a Vegemite addict and eat nothing but Vegemite on toast for a whole week after his PhD grant ran out. Little did we know that 18 months later we'd be married. SUCKAS!

Today is our fourth wedding anniversary and Dr G will no doubt spew at the cheese level of this post but… I still don't want to be anywhere else. And furthermore, Vegemite RULES and is an excellent source of Vitamin B. Hurrah!

88 thoughts on “The First Taste

  1. Wow, 4 years already? HUGE Congratulations you guys. May you have lots & lots more happy years together. x

  2. Shauna — new reader here!
    Congratulations to you and Dr. G on 4 years of marriage. I send my most sincere wishes to you both for many many more.

  3. Happy Anniversary!

    I assume this is the Las Vegas/Elvis wedding anniversary? Do you celebrate them all? If not, you should!

  4. FULL ON cheeeeese – I LOVE it!!! You’re soooo allowed to be a cheese monger on your anniversary! What a gorgeous post! I love how you’re sneakin a glance at him in frame 3 – awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!

    Huge congrats to you and Dr G!!!!

    Love BFP xxxx

  5. Shauna congrats on anniversary,married 33 years this year love is a wonderful thing.Seen you on TV last night thought would take a look at your page.Well done with the weight loss,You look brill.Have fought weight prob all my life.Lost 5 stone last year still some to lose I am winning my battle at last.Best wishes Mags.

  6. What a treat to see a scene from the book unfold right before my very eyes!! I’m so glad you posted these! πŸ™‚

  7. Happy anniversary! Everyone needs a little cheese in their life, so I think this post is wonderful. πŸ™‚

  8. Thanks dear comrades!

    speaking of CHEESE and VEGEMITE i should add that they are sublime together – preferably on toast, mature cheddar… hubba hubba!

  9. How lovely that you have such a momento from your early days together! I love that Dr G’s face is blurred in horror.

    May there be many more ahppy years to come :0)

    CP x

  10. Happy Anniversary! My husband and I celebrated our 18th yesterday (3/2)! You guys make a cute couple. Have a wonderful day!

  11. Happy Anniversary to you both! I’m lucky enough to have a sweet Scottish husband too and we just celebrated our 4th this past October. Love is grand!

  12. I JUST read that story in your book two nights ago. So cool to see photos of the actual event!

    Congrats on 4 years of marriage…you give me hope. If DietGirl can find true love, so can I! LOL

  13. Congrats! You beat us to the alter(s) by exactly 6 months. I love the good humor – enjoy many more excruciating trips ’round the sun!

  14. Happy anniversary! πŸ™‚

    I’ve seen Marmite in the supermarket here (in the US), but it’s not Vegemite. Is there a difference between the two?

  15. I just read your book a few months ago so to know that you’ve been together 4 years is like a time warp (a la LOST). Congratulations on a happy life filled with lots and lots of Vegemite.

  16. Congrats! I agree with the comment above – having read your book recently, it was a shocker to discover it’s been 4 years for you already!

    Interesting to note that Vegemite actually has redeeming nutritional value…I don’t even know if we can get it here in the States, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t know what it’s made of! Apart from something fairly smelly, no?

  17. Lovely post, I have to admit when I recently reread your book, it was more for the love story than the diet stuff. You guys are so Cinderellery, yada yada. I’m happy for you both.

  18. Love the pics, the story and hoping that you will be just as happy for many years to come.
    Happy anniversary!!!

  19. Happy anniversary to you and Dr. G, and many more!!!

    I just took a detour to read many fun facts about Vegemite over on Wikipedia. Did you know that Kraft once upon a time combined it with “cheese” (if you can call the processed stuff by that name) to make Vegemite singles? Bizarro.

  20. Happy Anniversary to you and best wishes for many more years of happiness… and Vegemite!

    I just started your book last night, and I may not be able to read it on my morning commute. It is so similar to my own story (340 pounds at my highest and 156 pounds now…) and I can relate so well that I keep finding myself teary eyed. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself!

  21. Congratulations!
    BTW a phrase I’m trialing after reading your book is: ‘by the power of dietgirl’
    Bound to catch on!

  22. How can this be four years already? Amazing. Congratulations and I suppose you get to celebrate the other two remarriage anniversaries as well!

  23. Cheese goes brilliantly with Vegemite anyway. πŸ™‚

    Congrats to you both! The fact that he likes Vegemite just proves what a good bloke Dr G is.

  24. Hey Shauna – CONGRATULATIONS on four happy years.
    Best to you both for many more πŸ˜€

    I’ve ordered your book and it should be here any day – SO excited!

    Annie. (New Zealand – and I can’t taste the difference!)

  25. thanks very much for your comments folks!

    @Diana – Vegemite is a by-product beer manufacturing… how minging does that sound? Yet somehow, it is tasty!

    @M – I’ve never tried Marmite but apparently it’s sweeter with more of a grainy texture?

    @Annie – thank youuuu! i hope you enjoy it.

    @pubsgal – Vegemite singles, ahhh very convenient! i personally like vegemite in a tube, very handy when travelling!

    @SweetiePie – thank you πŸ™‚ and wow, well done you on your own lardbusting!

    @Rachael – nice one πŸ™‚ i think i need to use that on myself!

  26. 4 years – gee time has flown! (But then I only read your book a year ago…) Love the fact you have those photos – I think the problem non-Aussies (and I guess non-Kiwis) make with vegemite is eating an entire spoonful in one go.

  27. oh dear i can’t imagine eating it by the spoonful… that would surely destroy your tastebuds for life hehe… a thin scrape on your toast is all ya need πŸ™‚

  28. Congrats-vegemite couldn’t have happened to a nicer couple! Happy Anniversary!

  29. happy anniversary to you and Dr.G!
    I love that Dr.G now hooks into the Vegemite – you’ve got a good un! LOL
    I have to sat that the cheese and vegemite go rather well together πŸ™‚ (especially when it’s mersey valley sharp and crumbly on toast with vegemite!)
    I love the wedding pics – all weddings looked like a lot of fun was had. I am hoping my wedding will be as fun and relaxed πŸ™‚

  30. Happy Anniversary!! How gorgeous to fall in love over Vegemite. 4 weeks until our dinner – yipee πŸ™‚

  31. We had 2 weddings, but only celebrate the 2nd. (Most don’t even know about the first!) I’d love to hear the story from the other seat on the couch… Sitting in the open spot next to you for a reason, I’d guess! Adorable!

  32. Congrats on four years of wedded bliss! Have just read your book and got a blanket load of warm fuzzies afterwards. Bless!

    Can I also recommend Vegemite and chip sammies, ye-um. When I was a kiddywink and we were allowed to buy our lunches on Fridays I always ordered a Vegemite and chippie roll with an apple pie adorned in fake cream to follow. Ah, memories…

    And I mean chips as in crisps.

    But you knew that already.

  33. Congrats! I can’t believe it’s been 4 years. Maybe that’s cuz I read your entire archives in the space of about 3 weeks. πŸ˜‰

  34. I had cheese(yes, mature cheddar) and vegemite on Vita-weets for lunch today!

    That is SO rockin’ that you have that series of pictures. Happy Anniversary, you two! I hear ya totally on the wouldn’t be anywhere else factor. πŸ˜€

    Hmmm.. did I ever show you the picture of Alaskaboy with his 1.2kg BUCKET of Vegemite? LOL

  35. Congratulations!!! What a great, happy post!

    I hope you also celebrated with fruit and flowers (to mark the number 4!).

    Have you really NOT tried Marmite???? OMG! Get tasting!

    Hope you had a fabulous day together.


  36. Aww that’s a lovely post – congratulations to you both & may you have many more happy years together xxx

  37. congrats on the anniv!
    being married is such work and such fun huh?
    love that you have the pics.

    adore that I entirely inappropriately feel as though I know you both.


  38. Oh, I can’t believe it’s been four years already! You are still newlyweds. Congratulations to you both.

  39. Great post! Happy 4 year anniversary to you. I have my own 4 year anniversary to my Brit on March 16. They make ’em good in the UK don’t they?!

  40. Vegemite IS awesome and I’m so relieved I can buy it over here.

    Four years is ALSO awesome. Hey, don’t you get some sort of specific present next year? *googles* No, wait, this year you get linen and silk. πŸ˜›

    …I think it’s an indication of your patriotic spirit that you fell for someone over Vegemite. Congratulations!

  41. Happy anniversary!! I’m not one for soppy love stories, but how you and Dr. G got together is one of the coolest I’ve ever read! I hope you have many more years of happiness together!

  42. Happy Anniversary, Shauna! You’re too sweet and one can never have enough cheese πŸ˜‰ I absolutely adore your tale of lurve and awkwardness as detailed in your book, just love it! May the next 74639 years be filled with happy memories and Vegemite for you guys πŸ™‚

  43. Happy Anniversary!

    After reading your book I was curious about vegemite… but now? Really curious! I hope to try it sometime.

  44. Oh that is beautiful. Cheese is good! Soo good that you have pics – better than some random drunken night reminders of first love (I’ve had a few)! Congratulations.

  45. hey! your anniversary is on my birthday! Excellent choice of dates, madam. Happy 4th anniversary to you, happy birthday to me!

  46. Awwww! Another late convert to yeast byproduct spread. Happy Anniversary guys. I wonder how many other guys join Matt & Dr G in the “Vege/Mar-mite is a symbol of our love” club?

  47. Happy Anniversary DG and Dr G. Sooo love the sneaky peak pic…no lust in those eyes at all!!! Am coming home tonight to re-read your book cos I have slipped somewhat and put on 18lbs of the 56 I lost last year. Looked in mirror this morning and funnily enough no matter how much mascara I put on I didn’t look slimmer!

  48. Congrats! I remember that part of the book well. How cool to have pictures, too. I think your love story has got to be a big reason your book is so successful. What’s better than a girl losing weight & finding herself AND her true love all at the same time?

  49. Just wanted to add my Congrats to the mix. I just picked up your book in my local B&N (Oregon), and I loved it all the way through. As someone with, erm, food issues and a svelte husband (also bald, and also able to just refrain from cheese for a while and loose all the weight he needs) who thinks that it’s just “calories in, calories out,” it’s so helpful to read your blog and your book and realize that there are other women like me out there, who have to work a little harder. Congratulations on your anniversary and your happiness together!

  50. Aww, congratulations. March 1st was the (counts quickly in her head) 22nd anniversary of Husband and I hooking up at Uni. I have now been alive and with him longer than I was alive without him. And yet it sometimes seems like yesterday……

  51. Aww, happy anniversary gorgeous! I love that you have documented all this – can you imagine sharing this with your kids!? If you have them of course. I love hearing stories about my folks. You guys are too cute.

  52. I adore that you’ve been together for so long and Gareth still turns you into a blithering pile of goo. That’s love, baby! Photos like these are the ones to be scrapbooked, framed, and given to your grandchildren. I couldn’t be happier for you!

  53. Vegemite is mega-yukky. We kiwis prefer NZ Marmite (not the English stuff, which is also mega-yukky). I bring back several jars of NZ Marmite when I go home. We are currently onto our last jar!!! My partner, who is English, also likes NZ Marmite.

    But I liked the pics very much.

  54. This is way cool!!! To have these pictures as a memory of the time when you first noticed each other is precious in a super-sappy girls-love-it kind of way!!
    Congrats on the anniversary.

  55. OMG…I’m so behind the times…Happy Adversity you guys…um, I mean Anniversary πŸ˜‰ Sorry the well wishes are almost 2 weeks late…

    There never was an awesomer couple!!!

    Much Love,

  56. Sorry to tell you this, but the new Diet Coke commercial making fun of stupid Americans who “stand up at town hall meetings” is one of the most spontanously funny things I’ve enjoyed in months.

    If they make some $ off of it, its worth it.

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