One Friday night in September last year, my then housemate, Nicole Jensen, caught up with a friend who was visiting Brisbane for his brother's wedding the next day. They had met in a pub nearby, and decided to adjourn back to our house for more beers.
I was home editing photos and indulging in some ciders, and Nikki knocked on my bedroom door to invite me to come out and join them, as Kyle had been admiring the print of truth lies beyond hanging over the couch in our lounge room.
We ended up spending most of the remainder of the night talking art, photography, ambitions, travel, etc.
We then stayed in contact through Twitter, and met again about a month later when Kyle boarded with us for a week to do a course in Brisbane. We hung out much of the week watching Terriers, drinking cider and beer respectively, and going to the gym. On his second last morning in town, as we caught the bus together toward the city, he asked me if I wanted to catch up for dinner that night.
Having asked if Nikki was coming with us to dinner, I surmised from his answer in the negative, that he was asking me on a date; though, in case I was unsure, he confirmed my suspicions when he met me outside the gym, giving me the option to decline at that point.
Given that, were we not to go to dinner, we would just end up going back to the house and chilling on the couch watching more Terriers and hanging out together, I figured I got a good deal either way. However, I did chuckle and ask "You know I'm leaving the country, right...?"
Suffice to say, the date went well, and knowing we had only a short time together before I left for London, Kyle came down once more from Winton on Boxing Day and we spent an intense, indulgent and utterly wonderful two weeks together.
On New Year's Day I photographed him, from which this portrait is taken.
Despite my initial reluctance to undertake a long distance relationship, ten months later here we are (though officially we've just passed our eleventh month anniversary, agreeing in retrospect that first date marked the beginning of our relationship; and we won't mention that 2.5 hour break-up...)
We video chat almost every day on Skype, for hours at a time, to the point where it's almost like we live together, despite the vast distance between us. Thankfully he's a morning person and I'm a night owl, so our mornings and evenings overlap. Through the various ups and downs we've both had over the past year, we manage to keep each other going and make each other smile (though admittedly he's usually the one who has the more difficult job with this, as the past few months life has been getting me down a bit), and his encouragement and his own achievements with his weight have definitely been an inspiration in my weight loss.
This weekend he has made the move from Winton to commence a new job in Mackay. A job with more opportunities and that will give him more experience relevant to the IT degree he is currently undertaking.
All going to plan, he will visit in February for a few weeks, and I can't wait to see him in all of his high resolution, non-pixelated goodness. It will also give me a chance to take updated portraits of him as, like me, he has lost more weight and toned up more since January.
Maybe he'll also capture me in illustration, as he is a talented artist himself, though not practicing.