It’s the end of the decade… I suppose I should post something!
Thanks to the ever prolific Mr Pickard I have the kick up the arse to post my personal review of the decade. Quite a lot has happened.
I was still university at this point. I blew a lot of loan on a quality mountain bike. Our uni footy team, the mighty Byrom Palace, completed their only season of competition.
I spent the summer working at Max Spielmann and discovered just how many people took pornographic photos of themselves.
I also reached the pinnacle of my DJing career by playing in front of several thousand people at the BMX arena at the Birmingham NEC during the Bike2000 exhibition.
A big year this one. I met Claire for the first time… and after a bit of faffing around she eventually became my girlfriend! In the mean time I finished my useless uni course and celebrated by going to New York with the lads. A quality holiday.
Two months later I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, on the same day as the Twin Towers we had been standing on came down. Sedatives + Apocalyptic images = The most bizarre day of my life!
I tried to find a proper job to use my degree with, but the dot com bubble bursting made it tough. I eventually got a Christmas job at HMV and enjoyed it hugely.
I finished at HMV and started looking for work again. Struggled all year long before landing a job at Sony testing games.
That was as good as it sounds. But better.
Alas it was another temporary contract and just before Christmas I was back for another enjoyable stint at HMV.
Finally I managed to get a proper web designing job! After another couple of months I landed a job in local government, and I’m still doing it today!
It was also the year that this here site thing came into being. I think!
This was the year I finally learned to drive. It was something I found incredibly difficult and frustrating because I couldn’t practice in between lessons. Every lesson I would start rusty, slowly find my groove, only for the lesson to finish putting me be back at square one.
I passed first time. Just. With something like 13 minor faults!
After this Claire and I took the major step of buying a car together. A brand new lovely little Citroen C2.
We also went on first major holiday together with a fortnight in Portugal. Praia da Luz to be exact, the same lovely little village that Madeline McCann disappeared from.
So we’d had the car for a few months, we’d had a holiday. It was getting a bit daft living in our parents’ houses. So in 2005 we managed to buy a flat.
We weren’t looking for a flat in Birkenhead overlooking the Liverpool waterfront. We never could have afforded it. But we stumbled on this brand new shared ownership development and bought it pretty much off plan.
Car? Check. Mortgage? Check. Going out for nearly 4 years? Check.
Better get engaged then :D
So now we were engaged to be married most of 2006 was about planning the wedding really. Well planning and booking the honeymoon.
We did book our venue, and decided that February would be a good month to get married. We still don’t really know why!
So after the gongs rang in 2007 we instantly remembered that we had a wedding to organise and spent most of the next few weeks in something approaching a blind panic.
Eventually though we ended up having an absolutely cracking day. We can fully recommend the whole wedding thing as well worth the effort.
We headed off on a glorious fortnight on Antigua. It’s a lovely little island and we loved exploring and relaxing on it’s beaches. We also stayed in the hotel next to where British couple Catherine and Benjamin Mullany we’re shot dead on their honeymoon. (I do wonder whether I do something to these places…). It doesn’t half make you think.
After the highs of the first part of the year there were some downs too, but things finished nicely with Claire reaching her 30th year and celebrating with about a months worth of festivities!
2008 was another massive year.
In February we celebrated our first anniversary by heading up to Aviemore. An area we both adore. We’d done this a couple of times already, but this time we hired a convertible to get us up and around. The Renault Megane Coupe Cabriolet was never a car I coveted, in fact I didn’t like it all, but after a week of swanning around the Scottish highlands it became clear our little C2 had seen it’s days.
So we bought a cracking 2005 one of our own. With red leather seats, 17″ alloys, Xenon headlamps… lovely.
As Claire took ownership of the vehicle I was up in Scotland again. This time for an absolutely stonking weekend on the Island of Arran to Stag it up for my cousins impending nuptials. Everything was perfect for that weekend: awesome weather, cracking location, free flowing liquid refreshment, a distillery, deer…
I arrived home from that cracking weekend to a lovely new two (plus two) seater convertible… and, a day later, a positive pregnancy test!
The car was great while it lasted… it sadly that was little more than 6 months before we traded it in for a more sensible bog standard Megane. A car which I have no positive feelings for what so ever.
Unfortunately it wasn’t all good news in 2008. It also saw the death of my Dad. It’s not something I’ve talked about much, and it still effects me greatly…. but I like to think his passing at half time helped Liverpool overturn the 0-1 they were suffering at the time. It’s just a pity even he couldn’t help them win the title.
So it was Valentine’s night. Claire was a week overdue. I made a special curry for tea, Nothing hot, but very tasty. We were just getting cosy in bed, then at 23.59 Claire rushed to the loo feeling ‘weird’. 00:01 I was shakily phoning the maternity ward about broken waters.
For various reasons we had to go straight in to hospital.
Just 32 short hours later (meaning we had been awake for a mere 50 or so) Elodie was born at 08:01 weighing exactly 9lbs!
My God it changes your life. Every bit of it. It’s no coincidence that my last blog post was about a week before she arrived!
My God she’s worth it.
This year I did find time to register myself for self-employment. It’s early days yet, we’ll see where it goes. I’m certainly not looking to leave my day job, but it does offer something exciting for the next decade!