This one's for you, mum :-)

Or “Turning Twenty-Five in the San Francisco Bay Area”

As the quarter-century creeps steadily up on me, I’ve been having a blast seeing the sights and meeting friends old and new. I can’t help thinking back to all the things I’ve enjoyed (and suffered through!) along the way. I’ve been incredibly lucky, and I hope that the next 25 years are as fun as the past 25 have been!

The following are just a few of the things that have set me off down memory lane :-)

  • Winetasting in Napa made me reminisce about collecting Michelin stars with the Ellerays when all we (the kids!) wanted to do was see who could grow the biggest, coolest, oldest Tamagotchi.
  • A going-away party for the coolest kernel hacker around reminded me of the weekend I spent with Natasha, trying to create a working Linux boot floppy for a hand-me-down machine that didn’t have a bootable CD drive.
  • Hot-tubbing with engineers, dancers, and a girl who “does circus” was fun – but when we jumped in the (relatively) freezing pool, I was brought straight back to Ennareilly and our “punch, punch, punch-punch-punch” strategy for surviving the cold!
  • Paddling in the Pacific, well, I’ve done that before – on the other side! Remember Caloundra, and the pelicans?
  • Of course, the hour-long commute (in a very well-kitted-out bus) puts me more in mind of the camper van. Remember the ginger beer all over the camper? The flies all over the rest stop? The sugar-cane we begged for and then never got through?
  • Wandering around San Francisco, taking the cable-car to Ghirardelli Square, puts me in mind of our wanderings in Zurich, and all the wonderful times you’ve come to see me. I guess this year it’s my turn to come to you!
  • On the other hand, getting settled in the corporate apartment, checking out the farmers’ market for lunch, looking for the laundry room, and settling in to a glass of wine and a home-made dinner is more like Munich. That spag bol was great, although I’m glad to have graduated to a slightly bigger kitchen!
  • When Steve destroyed my new top in the laundry, how could I help but remember that beautiful white Susst top? And how could I help but be grateful for the thousands of loads of laundry you’ve done for me? Thanks mum!
  • Of course, the trip to Liz Claiborne afterwards? Let’s just say there are still things in your wardrobe I wish I could borrow :-)

I haven’t found anything as good as your bread yet, and I miss our long, evening dinners catching up. I hope your year on the island is as fulfilling as all our childhood expeditions were – from the Giant’s Causeway to the Wicklow lighthouse, from Kilmainham to the Cliffs of Moher.

Thank you, mum and dad, for twenty-five wonderful years. (And Eoin & Rosie, for almost 45 between you ;-) )

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