When I was 29

1999,

Hands up who remembers all the shite-ology about Y2K? Remember how the sun was going to explode and the planes would fall from the sky because somebody in the flat earth society told us they had forgotten to put a zero in the computer or something?

In the end all it was was a giant overtime scam by ‘IT professionals’ – (if that isn’t an oxymoron).

Looking back now, it’s hard to remember all the hype about 1999. I suppose it had started decades before with people discussing how they would celebrate the millennium. Would you rent the yacht? Would you be snorting coke of a hookers ass? Would you be on your knees to your maker praying?

In the end it was either sitting at home looking at the TV sucking sweets with a glass of sherry or plastered in a pub somewhere.

Anyway, before we get to that part of 1999 I’ll fly through the rest of the year. I was coming under some pressure to ‘do the decent thing’ and ‘make a proper woman of her’ and all that jazz. I was in no mood to give up my singleness so I was making mumbling noises whenever this would come up.

There were various reasons not to get married – I had a crap job so I had no money. This was starting to fail me as I had jumped ship from the knocking shop Cork Airport and was now back working for the County Council building a water supply scheme. The pay was even better but I had to get a decent set of wheels so having learnt my lesson on the Citroen I went for something that was the polar opposite. I decided to pick something that had more fresh air in the enginee bay than engine. Something that needed a 3lb lump hammer and a broken spanner to service it and that ran on an Arab’s fart.

What could be more practical than one of these puppies?

 

I had to have a shitty stick to keep the babes away

It was the most ‘honest’ car I ever owned and I drove it for years. I was sorry the day I sold it.

Anyway, another one of my excuses was that I didn’t have a house. I ruined that excuse as well in 1999 by buying my first house. Now I was gathering the possessions of what my mother would have called ‘a fine catch’. I was on the property ladder with a car in the driveway. Fuck it – I’d have married myself.

The holiday in 1999 was taking the bike to France. After years of pleading and begging I finally convinced the other half to come on a motorbike holiday to France. This was the biking equivalent of convincing your wife that a threesome was a great idea. My O/H had never been on the bike before and now we were off to France. Given her well placed fear of my skills on the bike we could have covered as much ground as we did on a Honda 50.

We made it down as far as Rochefort Sur Mere and drank grande pichets of vin rouge like tap water. I remember one occasion where we drank 3 litres of wine and had two pizzas (on each, mind you) for tea. Happy days.

We had a habit of going to the most unusual museums when we were away on these trips. We took in the national rope museum, the museum of Pierre Loti, the Hennessy Cognac museum (not that unusual that one) .

We had brought a tent on this trip – a big luggage commitment on a bike trip but managed to pass 13 of the 14 days with the tent rolled up tight. Near the end of the trip I decided we’d stay in a tent so we pitched up in a mobile home park, bought some take away pizzas and a bottle of wine and ‘roughed it’. The next morning we were up and gone by 7. My future wife explained to me that the reason she didn’t like camping was that people could see you going to the toilet block to ‘do your business’. Mother of God! She should have been in the Scouts – It was more a question of where you wouldn’t piss back then.

On a 2011 note we had the delayed party for the 5 year old today. It was one of those partied where you get the party person to come to your house and entertain the kids. The lady who came is about 5’2″ and 7 stone. She goes by the name ‘Miss Sparkle’ and I can highly recommend her.

She can also run a 3:03 marathon.

All-rounder really.

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