Naomi Lewis was nursing a broken heart at the start of 2005, after splitting up with her boyfriend a few months earlier. She had recently moved into a new flat in Swansea, alone, and befriended Saffron, a woman who lived above her in the building. “In January, Saffron went on a bad blind date to a salsa class,” she says. “Although there was no spark, she loved the dancing and begged me to go back with her. I’ve got two left feet and didn’t fancy it, but she persuaded me.”
When they arrived, Saffron’s date from the previous week was there – and he had brought a friend. “I’d not long broken up with someone and I went with my friend Julian because it seemed like something to do on a Wednesday night,” says Huw Lewis. While Saffron told Naomi that Julian’s friend “was cute”, Naomi insisted Huw wasn’t her type. But after the class they got chatting and realised they had a lot in common. “We discovered we were both teachers and that both our parents were from the Welsh valleys,” remembers Naomi. Their personalities clicked; when Huw went to the toilet, Naomi told her friend she was going to marry him. “I must have had a special power,” laughs Huw. “I don’t think she’d even had a drink. When I started talking to her, I really liked her. She was quirky and interesting.”
They became friends over the next few weeks of salsa classes and even discovered that their families knew each other. “One day, I asked him back to my flat to see my jam collection, as an excuse to speak to him for longer,” laughs Naomi. Although he liked her, Huw was freshly out of a relationship and told her he didn’t feel ready for them to get closer. “I told him not to worry because jam keeps.”
In February 2005, they decided to give things a go and went on their first date, to a pub. From then on, they became a couple. “We’d go to each other’s houses for dinner, as well as to gigs and festivals. We also loved going to the beach,” says Huw. “Then, in 2006, my mum sadly passed away. I think we just knew we wanted to be together and didn’t want to waste time.” They moved into Huw’s house, a pink cottage overlooking the sea. The following year, they went on a trip to Cornwall, where Huw proposed. “It wasn’t a fancy diamond ring and down on one knee thing,” says Naomi. “We both love real ale and we were drinking in a pub. He said if I wasn’t so drunk he’d ask me to marry him. I told him to ask anyway.”
In 2008, they celebrated their wedding in a converted farm in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire. They had two boys, Alfie and George, in 2010 and 2012. “We’re very outdoorsy. We love going camping, walking, cycling and spending time at the beach together as a family,” says Naomi. Although they miss friends and family, not too much has changed for the couple during the past year. “We’re still taking the dog out a lot and both still teaching,” says Huw.
Since getting together, the couple have realised they have many old connections. “Once, we were looking through a box of photographs at my parents’ house and found a picture of me on the beach at the age of 10. Huw was teaching windsurfing at the time and his car can be seen in the background!” says Naomi. “I had also been told by a fortune teller, a long time ago, that I would meet my partner while learning a new skill. I thought she was talking nonsense, but I wrote it down and found it years later.”
Naomi feels lucky to have met Huw when she did. “What I love most about him is that he’s very kind and generous and always thinks about other people,” she says. Huw enjoys his wife’s sense of humour. “Naomi’s funny, but she’s also loyal and really committed to her work and family. She’s mad as a box of frogs, but in a good way.”