Tag Archives: anniversaries

With No Maps To Guide Us We Steered Our Own Course

On this day back in 1985 Mrs Tin (or Miss Not-tin, as she then was) and I got married.

It was the Saturday before Live Aid, that’s how far back it was.

We were basically children. I was twenty-seven, while Mrs Tin was just twenty-two, younger than any of our own children are now.

But that was what you did back then. There was no living-in-sin – and at that time it was still called living-in-sin – so if you’d been going out together a few years and decided that you were in love, you got a ring, you got a mortgage, and you got married.

Plus life-expectancy was about forty-eight, so it didn’t do to hang about.

And here we are, thirty-five years later, still together, still in our same first house, and still in love.

Google tells me that this is our Coral Anniversary. I have no idea what to do with this information. Google also tells me that corals form reefs, which I already knew, and that they breed by ‘broadcast spawning’, which I did not. Perhaps it’s intended to give us something to talk about during our long day together.

Because we will be spending it together. Although lockdown is theoretically over, I’m still being urged to work from home, so today will be the one hundred and fifteenth consecutive day on which we have spent all day together.

If ever you want to test a relationship, that must surely be how.

And it has gone brilliantly. In the first place we get to sleep for two hours longer each morning now that I don’t have to get the bus into Dublin, but in addition we go for a walk together every day, we watch crap together on the telly each evening and we’ve been having a wonderful, calmer, more joyful time.

Young and all as we were, it looks like we made the right decision all those years ago.

Happy Anniversary Mrs Tin, wife, lover and soulmate.

I Dreamed Last Night That We Were Married

The above was the prompt at our Inksplinters Writing Group last week, and this post is based on what I wrote for it…


I dreamed last night that we were married, that we’d moved on to the next stage, moved on from deep infatuation, and finishing each others sentences, and going to the pictures no matter what shite was on, just so we could snog in the dark.

I dreamed that we’d moved on from feeling that we were soulmates, and being able to use the word “soulmates” to our friends without being mortified at how sickeningly sweet we sounded, the romantic equivalent of sixteen sugars in your tea. I dreamed that we’d moved on from long phone-calls about nothing, calls that ended, eventually, after a long round of “you hang up”, “no, you hang up”. I dreamed that we’d moved on from Valentine cards the size of front doors, from sudden kisses on the cheek for no reason, from you practising writing my surname after your first name, and me pretending that I didn’t know you’d done it.

I dreamed that we’d moved on from dreaming about being married, to being married.

I dreamed that we’d no money, struggling with a mortgage on a house thrown together by a cowboy during the building boom, a house built from Weetabix held together with snot, a house that leaked rain inwards and heat outwards, a house that always needed some shit done to its roof, or some shit done to its gutters, or some shit taken from its drains.

I dreamed that we bickered in this stressful place, that we found our own selves in a stressful place, that we squabbled over the telly, and why could I not give up cigarettes, and why it was the most important thing on earth, more important than world peace, or the rain forests, or global warming, that the toilet seat be left down.

And I woke, and looked at you, asleep beside me, and realised that it hadn’t been a dream, that we had indeed married, and bickered, and squabbled. That we had fought together, so many times.

But that sentence has two meanings. We have fought together, you and I against the world, and against everything that life could throw at us, and we’ve generally won.

And we have laughed together, so, so many times, and still do. And we do still give sudden kisses on the cheek for no reason. And we do still finish each others sentences, indeed increasingly over time we start them, one of us saying something just as the other person is thinking it. We’ve stayed as soulmates, though we’re too grown-up now to say that in public.

We moved on from dreaming of being married, to being married. And it’s been great.


Oh, and today is our Wedding Anniversary, celebrating 32 years of being married to my soulmate, the one-and-only, wonderful Mrs Tin. 



Pick A Card, Any Card

As Jane Austen almost said, “It is a truth universally occasionally acknowledged, that a marrried man in possession of a good wife, must be in want of a card”.

I went to the card shop near our house yesterday evening, and emerged defeated. Had Mrs Tin been a child of any age from 1 to 12, had she been 18, 21, 30, 50 or 107 I would have been able to buy her a birthday card.

Had her name been Anne, Sophie, or Mutter (unlikely but you never know, perhaps her parents spoke quietly at the Christening), I would have been able to get her a birthday card.

It is not, in fact, her birthday, but at least I would have had options.

This is clearly Wedding Season, as there was a huge array of really expensive cards congratulating happy couples. These range in size from ones the size of a protest placard to the ones the size of that board that Rolf Harris can get a tune out of, and seem to say “ok, we only bought you a toaster while your other friends bought you a car, but look at the size of our card compared to theirs”.

There are cards about the fact that you are sick, that you are moving home, or that you’ve got a new job. Each of these cards is basically glad that you are pissing off out of the giver’s life.

And so the list goes on. With Sympathy On The Death Of Your Goldfish. Congatulations On Running Off With The Milkman. I’m Sorry That You Became A Blogger.

As regards something as simple as a Wedding Anniversary, then unless it’s a Ruby, Diamond, Platinum or Uranium one then they seem to feel that there just isn’t a market.

In the end I went to the small grocery shop across the road, and chose a card from their selection of, well, one. It has two little birds on the front, because, as Jane says, it is a truth blah, blah, that a couple who are married will transmogrify into cute teddy bears, or puppies, or in this case what look like kingfishers.

I took the card. I didn’t look at the verse inside, for all I cared at that stage it could have said “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, trust me on this, I’m a Botanist” and I’d still have bought it.

Anyway, we are 27 years married today.

Happy Anniversary, Mrs Tin.


Another Year

Blog posts may be few and far between this week because of more late nights at work (yes, I know you’re all seething at me for putting up with it but, as the Coke ad says, holidays are comin’) but I do have to mark today.

On February 28th 1981 Miss Non-Tin and I went out for the very first time.

Happy Anniversary, Mrs Tin.


As Time Goes By

Mrs Tin and I met in a club called Rotaract. This was a junior arm of Rotary, for people aged 18 to 28, and was a part social, part charitable organisation. For example sometimes we’d have inter-club sport or quiz challenges, sometimes we’d fund-raise, or paint houses for elderly people. I had originally planned to say more about Rotaract here than just that, but I realise now that it was such a great organisation, and one that did me so much good, that it deserves its own post at some future date.

Mrs Tin joined about 4 months after I did, and we soon became good friends, and it became accepted by everybody that any time we’d to drive (at terrifying speeds, when I look back) to another club’s fundraiser anywhere in the country, that Mrs Tin would travel in my car, and that she would sit in the front beside me, where we’d happily chat for the entire journey.

One weekend we held a careers exhibition for young people in the area. Each of us had a little stand where we talked about the jobs that we did, from the point of view of someone who was just really starting out in the career and could still remember how tough the exams were, how crap the pay was to begin with, exactly how long you’d have to spend at college, rather than bring some person who’d risen to the top of the tree and who’d say, “oh, it’s a great career, I have two cars and we spend our summers in our mobile home in Courttown ” (the height of high-living in the 1980s, no-one had an apartment in Spain, except for people who’d got really drunk at Timeshare events in Marbella).

After the exhibition was over we went, as we always did, for a meal, then to the pub, then to a disco (that’s what they were called back then). We were all on a high after the success of the event, I was on a special high because I’d been on national radio to talk about it, and so I decided  to try (oh God, I’ve written about my blackouts, my pacemaker, my derealisation, my depression, but this is a truly mortifying post) to make this the evening on which Mrs Tin and I would become more than friends.

It did not start well. She was sitting in the pub on one of those long sofas that run along the wall, a friend was talking to her but sitting about two feet away. I strolled over and planted myself  nonchalantly between them.

What I hadn’t realised was that Mrs Tin was sitting at the very end of the sofa, my friend was sitting on a stool, there was no seat between the two and I dropped into the gap like a stone.

Anyway, we moved on to the disco, we danced in a circle like looners to the fast songs, and then the “slow set” started, and Mrs Tin and I slow-danced together as we had many times before since, as I’ve said, we were good friends. I should be able to remember the song (I’m trying to suppress this awful feeling that it was “I only have eyes for you”), but you rarely recognise the moment when your life is going to change forever, so I have no idea what was playing when we kissed for the first time, and became girlfriend and boyfriend.

The date was February 28th, 1981, thirty years ago today.

Happy anniversary, Mrs Tin.

Close to My Heart

A birthday wish to part of me,
My pacemaker today is three.
I hate it still, this metal cube
That looks like I’ve a third man-boob.
(At least it means I’ll never flirt,
Because I won’t remove my shirt,
Nor will I hang round singles bars
Coz actually chicks do NOT dig scars).
My dignity I quickly lose
When I get pulled from airport queues
Because I can’t use their x-ray
(Got FIRMLY frisked at JFK).
I will not swim, or use a gym,
Lest others catch a glimpse of him
(And those of you who know me well
Will know I miss the gym – like hell).
And finally, it really smarts
When it turns on…. like nipple-farts.

And yet…

I’m free to cycle, and to drive
I’m even free to deep-sea dive
(I’d never want to, but I can
Coz I can do like any man).
I do not black-out anymore
And smack my face upon the floor.
For if I am about to fall
– Because my heart-rate’s sweet-fuck-all-
My pacemaker will fill the void
Now that I’m a part android.
So though it’s still an ugly lump,
My battery-operated pump,
Today I’ll toast it with a beer –
Without it I might not be here.

Hi Ho Silver

Another milestone today, one that’s been far harder to achieve than giving up the fags a piece of piss (she does sometimes read this).

And quite a short post, because I’m in a hurry. It’s 5.45 a.m. as I write this, as I need to be at work at half past seven. This is because today is the deadline for the reports that we have to produce at the end of each month, and if at all possible I want to have them finished as quickly as possible so that I don’t have to work late (I spent from 7.30a.m. to 8.30 p.m. in the office yesterday trying to make sure I achieve this).

The reason that I want to get out early is that the Tinkids, Mrs Tin and I are going out for dinner, and the reason for that is that today’s our wedding anniversary.

Our 25th.

It’s really more a milestone of achievement for Mrs Tin than it is for me, as she’s had to put up with my mental and physical issues,as well as just me being me, while all that time she’s just been her – a great, kind girl.

It’s hard to believe that a quarter of a century (to put it into perpsective, it was the Saturday before Live Aid) has passed since two very young people stood side by side taking the first step that has led to today. How quickly time passes.

Sorry, that last phrase sounded melancholic (did I mention that it’s not six o’clock yet?) and today’s not a day for that. Today’s a day to celebrate our day, our children, our life.

Happy Anniversary Mrs Tin.

Tinman x

Way Back Then

1985 was the year Knock Airport opened, the year moving statues were seen at Ballinspittle, and the year contraceptives were legalised in Ireland.

“A View to a Kill” was the current Bond film, “Back to the Future” was the hit of the summer, and the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series had reached film number…two.

I had a Ford Cortina, which I thought was really cool, and a digital watch, which I thought was even cooler. In neither case, I realise now, was I right.

So long ago, it seems like a different world. Though there was a recession, our economy was banjaxed, and the weather was shite, so perhaps not that different after all.

On July 6th that year, the weather was warmish, a bit showery, and quite breezy. Typical of what is laughingly referred to as an Irish Summer’s Day. The appalling “Sussudio”, by Phil Collins, was at Number One. Live Aid was still one week away,  and no-one had any idea how big it was going to be.

On the afternoon of July 6th, Martina Navratilova beat Chris Evert in the Ladies’ Final at Wimbledon. Mrs Tin and I didn’t see it.

We were busy getting married. Twenty-four years ago today. (I should point out that Mrs Tin was very young).

So long ago, and yet the time has flown.

Happy Anniversary, Mrs Tin.

Dead Asleep

Today, January 11th is a first anniversary of sorts for me.

Next Thursday week, the 22nd, will be the first anniversary of the day I got my pacemaker fitted, and I am planning a series of posts in the days leading up to it telling the whole eight month story (“oh, bestill my beating heart!” I hear you cry, “more bloody posts about the bestilling of Tinman’s bloody heart”).

Anyway, today is the 31st birthday of a guy I work with, and who’s wife by co-incidence is a friend of Jo’s (people overseas like you, Laughykate, must think Ireland has a population of about twelve, since we all seem to know one another).

He's also my Insurance Broker

He's also my Insurance Broker

(Sorry, brief diversion here… when I was in Manhattan in February 2006 I was in bar sitting beside a Canadian couple, and one of the TVs was showing that day’s rugby match between Scotland and England. The guy noticed I was following the game intently, and asked were Ireland playing. “No,” I said, “though the referee is Irish, and funnily enough he’s a friend of mine”. The Canadian thought this was the most amazing thing ever, that he would travel from Canada to America, sit beside a bloke who’d flown from Ireland to America, and that a game on the TV from a fourth country,  Scotland, would feature a friend of the guy from Ireland. I didn’t bother telling him that things like that seem to happen to the Irish all the time).

Anywayagain, my workmate has had a far worse 2007/8 that I’ve had, since at the age of 29, with a six-week old baby, he collapsed and was found to have a brain tumour the size of a tennis ball. Most of this was removed, but he still had to undergo six months of chemo, but thankfully he has since had the all-clear.

Anywayagainagain, those of you who can do maths will have worked out that if he’s 31 today he was 30 this day last year, and his wife arranged a surprise party for him. A number of us headed out to the Queens in Dalkey from work, and Mrs Tin arrived with the car, everyone goo’d over his delightful baby son, and we had a great time. I had a few drinks, so I fell happily into bed and straight to sleep when I got home.

At the time I’d had an internal heart monitor inserted, and was due back in four days time to have it read. During the time I’d had it I hadn’t blacked-out, and was a bit concerned that they would find nothing.

But this night I suddenly burst awake, knowing that I’d had one in my sleep. I know that sounds weird, but I always knew by the violent way I woke that my body had been fighting it’s way back awake. I knew, because I felt really shaken, that this one had been especially bad.

flatliningAnd it was. The reason I have “18” at the end of my blogname is that one night my heart stopped for eighteen seconds (try holding your breath, it’s an impressively long time).

January 11th one year ago was that night.