It is 1999 and we settled into life in Ireland, with David commuting into Dublin every day, whilst I built up my business in Drogheda. Every morning Sam and I would get in the car and drive a few miles to Bettystown beach and walk in the dunes and along the sand… Sam by this time had made some friends and so had we. There were some lovely people living in the lane and they made us most welcome.
I had also spent the last few months editing my book Size Matters and was ready to try and get it published. I contacted a well known Dublin agent in early 1999 and he kindly said he would represent me. He read the book and made some suggested changes which I was grateful for. By the end of the year he began to send out manuscripts out to the top publishers in Ireland and the UK.
David joined the mountain running club and at weekends we would head out across the country for a race and stay in rented cottages that allowed dogs. Sam and I would wait in the car, usually in wet, freezing weather and then head to the finish line at the bottom of that weekend’s particular mountain and cheer the runners on as they hurtled downwards, often leaping from rock to rock. They all benefited for an excited collie’s barked encouragement that usually drove any other dogs into a frenzy too.
He was also a great father…. to some kittens that I brought home as company for him. He was a year old and he already loved Henry the feral cat. However, Henry did not want to come in the house and I thought these two kittens would be the answer. I was a bit tentative when I introduced them but I needn’t have worried. He was every bit the attentive and protective father and even allowed them to eat his dinner.
Everything was great and we felt very happy and settled. Then a bombshell… The company that David worked for decided to sell the division that he ran and instead of growing the business, he was now put in charge of selling it. This was unsettling although the parent company promised to find him a position with them. However, once word got out, he began to receive calls from recruitment consultants and one job was too good to refuse.
However, it was in Madrid and was for initially a two year contract. We looked at our current situation and my business was just breaking even after buying it, we would have lost money on the house if we sold it, and I was reluctant to sell up and move to Spain until David was settled and likely to be there for more than a couple of years.
We agreed that I would stay in Ireland and David would go ahead and for the first year anyway we would see each other every three weeks for a long weekend. His company agreed to pay for our flights and this meant that I would travel to Madrid every six weeks.
With all the driving back and forth to the beach and to the mountain running events, we listened to a lot of music in the car.
There were some forgettable hits in the charts in 1999, but there were also some classics including I Want It That Way by The Backstreet Boys, Fly Away by Lennie Kravitz, That Don’t Impress Me Much Shania Twain, When You Believe by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, When The Going Gets Tough by Boyzone and the solo from Ronan Keating with When You Say Nothing At All from the soundtrack from Notting Hill. But the song that I have chosen sums up our year… and since the title is also Spanish…...Livin’ la Vida Loca by Ricky Martin. Courtesy Ricky Martin
Buy Music by Ricky Martin Amazon
Next time… finding Sam a family to look after him the weekends I was in Madrid…a new home, the publishers respond and family reunions.