Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Thursday, January 13, 2005

1994: The Worst Year Of My Life...
As 2004 has just drawn to a close it has given me a chance to reflect. Reflect upon some of the good stuff and some of the bad stuff in the previous twelve months. But as I did I couldn't help but recall doing the same thing ten years ago.

Ten years ago was the worse year of my life. It was a year when nothing seemed to go right. Terrible things befell both me and many people near and dear to me. It was a year I now look back on with some much sadness and more than a little amazement.

The year started with an inexplicable bout of depression that just wouldn't shift. For nearly three weeks I was miserable as hell. A black cloud had descended and would not lift. Even now I don't know why but something must have triggered it - a hopelessness and feeling of emptiness. At the time I saw no way out. But as inexplicably as it came - it went. The sun rose one day and so did my mood.

Coinciding with this funk of '94 I was told I was to be made redundant. I was left for over twelve months not knowing whether I'd be offered 'alternative employment', signing on the dole or padding out the dreaded CV and hawking my bones round the recruitment agencies. It was a scary time not knowing.

In February 1994 I was mugged outside my own front door. They didn't take much - but left me with little self-confidence. I was petrified of leaving home after that, and didn't do so for ten days.

Many people close to me died in 1994. My granny died. Three very close friends died of AIDS related illnesses. A childhood friend died in a tragic motorcycle accident. My best friend from school died after a bizarre accident of falling out of a tree.

I had a few run-ins with the law too. I was stopped by the police in the spring and failed a breathaliser test. They didn't prosecute. However I was taken to court by the police for not producing insurance documents within seven days (the Christmas post meant the duplicate only arrived on the eighth day). The case was later dismissed but not after a further court appearance three months later.

While I was on holiday in the summer of 1994 my car was stolen from outside my flat by joy riders and written off leaving one of the four passengers dead and another in a persistent vegetative state. I was later sued by her family who claimed the car didn't have working seat-belts - the case didn't succeed as the belts had only recently been checked and were working fine. As you might appreciate I was not particularly sympathetic to this court action. But it represented all that was bad for me in 1994. An inexplicable series of unfortunate events.

Sure many other things went right but on the whole it's a ten year anniversary I don't care to celebrate.

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