It is my husband Mick’s birthday next week, also the anniversary of our first kiss in 2003, so I felt it was time to pay tribute to the love of my life, no, not chocolate, but actually Mick.

After a series of non-entity relationships, that always brought heart-ache, nursed with wine, chocolate and a good weepy movie, I thought it might be time to follow my Mum’s advice and find myself a “nice boy, not an ass hole”. 

My Mum had always said that as soon as she saw my Dad, she knew there was something lovely about him.  Not a ‘love at first sight’ kind of way, but just she felt compelled to meet him.  On their second date he dropped his false teeth in her lap, clearly not a charmer, but she was hooked. 

I moved to Ireland with my job in 2002 and I met Mick on my first night out, and made benign conversation with him in Flynn’s Bar.  I kept noticing him around work and there was just something about him I was drawn to, an itch I had to scratch. 

Cliffs of Moher in my dark phase

He was totally oblivious to my pathetic efforts at flirting and six months went by without him barely saying anything to me, except telling me off when I lost my expenses cheque (twice). 

Then finally, on Valentine’s Day 2003 we had our first kiss, in ‘Cartown’, the most romantic venue Leitrim has to offer – sticky carpets and all.  But like any good, real life romance story, that is where it all began…

My contract in Ireland ended after 2 years, but I became a local hire as at that stage we were already engaged.

We have been together for 17 years.

It’s amazing really that we ever got together at all, what with me being a Brit and all. It wasn’t too bad as I was born the right side of the fence, Wales, and chose to become an Irish citizen in 2012, although I still annoy him by saying things like cupboard (press) and pavement (path).  

I’m not going to bore you with any longwinded Facebook rubbish about how wonderful he is, he just is!  He isn’t perfect, but he is strong, kind and loving.  He cooks, cleans and cares for the children, without being nagged to do so.  

He doesn’t do conventional romance.  On our second anniversary/Valentine’s Day – he gave me the free Daniel O’Donnell CD from the paper and a card he’d made himself. I still have the card in my underwear draw, it’s precious to me. The Daniel O’Donnell CD, however, went straight in the bin!  

He is a very generous and thoughtful man, particularly with his time, and never complains when I need space, or when I’m heading out again to some meeting of one of the many clubs/committees I’ve joined and I’ll never forget the time ordered in Almond M&Ms in from America, when I was pregnant and couldn’t eat the peanut ones.

Mick does have one vice – Rugby!! 

He is totally obsessed and loves nothing more than going up to Dublin to watch his beloved Leinster play.  Although to be fair, we bought a junior season ticket this year and he always brings one of our gang with him. 

They have zero interest in the full 80 minutes and only go for the ice-cream, but it is good quality time. 

The important man in my life,

Mick is the strong silent type and doesn’t speak if he doesn’t have anything to say. This works well in our relationship as I never stop talking, so I fill in any gaps in the conversation.

But when the rugby is on TV, it all changes, shouting and screaming at the TV.  I’d like to consider myself a Scrummy, but in reality, I’m actually just a Rugby Widow who looks more like Paul O’Connell than Posh Spice.

I believe that if we have a strong marriage; it is made so by Mick. He knows me well enough to let me wallow and lose the plot when I need to, but always knows when to pull me back from the brink.

With our life being as it is, we have to function as a team to survive and I feel we do a pretty good job.

Most of the time! 

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