10 Best things to happen to me. Okay, make it eight.

Getting a Speccy in 1983

Christmas is depressing to me at the best of times, but last Christmas was even worse. It was 20 years since I was given my first computer.

Like every other kid in the country, I looked for my presents in October-ish, and I found in the bottom of my brothers wardrobe a little black box on it, didn’t have a clue what it was or how shit it would make life in the future.

Seeing U2 at Wembley

I got two tickets for their Pop Mart tour but was really pissed at reading the reviews for the start of the tour. The reviews slammed U2 for not playing older material and stop-starting on their new stuff.

But when we went to see them, they were just out of this world. Sung so much and so loudly I couldn’t speak for a day or two after.

One thing that spoiled it was missing the last train back from Paddington station so I slept on the platform until the 8am one. Part from that, top day.

Discovering alcohol

I discovered alcohol when I was young, five years old. My brother had a bottle of Clan Dew whiskey in his wardrobe and not realising what it was, I drank what was left in a bottle. It was in winter 1976 and my mother had to call out the doctor because she was worried about what was wrong with me. God knows what went through my parents head when the doctor said I was pissed, but it’s become a story that comes out whenever my mother gets the chance.

I never lost the taste for alcohol from those small beginnings, but I never touched whiskey again for some reason.

First vector in assembler on the Amiga

A little sad I know, but I was chuffed to fuck when I saw my first vector spinning on all three axis, zooming in and out, and I should add that it was under 50fps as well. My first attempts were crap to say the least.

Now for those of you out there who’s saying “oh is that all”, you have to remember that at this time, there was no internet, BBS’s were not easy to get on and the only way you could learn to code was having a friend who learnt, some crappy coder tutorial disks that were invariably Seka only, resourcing other peoples demos or looking at the hardware reference library book.

We were in contact with fellow coders, someone from the Mighty Druids and Dan of Anarchy, who pointed us in the right direction with formulas and theory.

My girlfriend

As you can imagine, it take someone with particular qualities to live with me – patience, tolerance and more patience. Get the sick bag ready, here comes the mushy bit. When I first met Amanda (that’s my girlfriend in case you cared) I realised what love was – “Ah!” – not lust with my previous relationships. We’ve been together six years and I’m as happy now as I’ve ever been.

Discovering The Beatles

A seminal moment in my life that has turned into an obsession.

Leaving school

I hated school, hated the teachers, hated the studying, I hated every fucking last part of it. You couldn’t see me for dust when it finished. Always remember the drips going around school with autograph books and crying because they’d never see each other again. News for you, I couldn’t wait to leave the fuckers behind and get on with life.

The FA Cup Final in 1979

This was, in my opinion, the last classic FA Cup Final and I’m sure anyone who watched it (especially those fine Arsenal fans) won’t forget it either.

Arsenal were playing Manchester United on a blistering hot day, and Arsenal went 2-0 up. McIlroy decided to spoil the party a little by scoring twice in two minutes. It looked like a replay was almost certain until a low cross went past United keeper Gary Bailey and Alan Sunderland threw himself at the ball and knocked it in the back of the net.

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