2004: how was it for you…

2.5 shopping days to Christmas, and I’m blogging with one hand, rocking a cradle with the other and keeping two dogs at bay with my feet. Reading between the lines you’ll guess that I’m not going to be doing a lot of blogging over the next few days. I do hope to put together a few retrospective pieces, with highlights from the last four months. In the meantime tell us what your own high and low lights of the year have been?

  • Ziznivy

    I’d like to nominate the Northern Ireland football team as one of the highpoints of the year. From Lawrie Sanchez’s arrival there’s been a buzz about the international team. david Healy scored our first goal in 1297 minutes in front of a packed Windsor Park precipitating hysterical celebrations despite a 4-1 defeat against Norway. The next game against Estonia saw a long awaited win that nearly brought a tear to my eye!

    Healy subsequently went on to set a new Northern Ireland goal-scoring record, and the Autumn saw huge excitement with action packed games against Wales and Austria. Two sendings off, a shock 2 goal lead, a controversial referee and 4000 travelling Ulstermen in full voice – the match in Cardiff will live in the memory of Northern Ireland fans who were there until their dying day. Radio 5 called the game against Austria “the international match of the year” and it was hard to argue. A 6 goal thriller, one of the finest goals EVER by a Northern Ireland player from that man Healy again and a dramatic last gasp equaliser from Stuart Elliot.

    We may not be the best team in the world just yet, but this year has seen the Northern Ireland side regain respect and pride. If football is about excitement and entertainment (and of course it should be) then we’ve been the luckiest fans in the world this year. Let’s hope 2005 is as good!

  • willowfield

    I would like to echo Ziznivy’s comments. The NI football team has also been my favourite feature of 2004.

    Two of the best football games I’ve ever been to, in 25 years of watching football, took place in 2004: Wales v NI and NI v Austria.

  • Henry94

    willowfield and Ziznivy

    Happy Christmas

  • Ziznivy

    Thanks Henry. Happy Christmas to you too!

  • Christopher Stalford

    It was great. I finished Queens, got married, started the column at the News Letter and didn’t have to look at Trimble on the TV nearly as much!

  • Davros

    Nollaig shona agus athbhliain faoi mhaise duit!

  • Stephen Warke

    ok Chris,

    Hoghlights: Finishing Queens

    Lowlights: Getting married (time will tell) 😉
    the column, and not seeing DT on Tv.

    Christopher, have you shown the Doc your Honeymoon pics, he’s real big on pics at the moment, i’m sure he’d love to seem them, just to verify were you were etc.

    I jest, my friend.

    Anyhow… me, well its been an eventful year…

    Highlights:

    I joined the Ulster Unionist Party, yes, a young person joining the UUP, do believe it, i was just one of many.

    My beloved Glentoran doing so well, winning the Irish Cup and ending the year top of the table and very much looking forward to defeating Linfield next Monday

    And as mentioned the heroics of the NI squad under big Lawrie Sanchez. Quite apropriate for this trhread and this time of year…

    Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord jesus laid down his sweet head, the stars in the bright sky looked hown where HEALY HEALY HEALY!!!!

    Lowlights:

    In inability of the DUP to do a deal, the ability of the DUP to let side-deals go unnoticed and the inability of Mr. Paisley to use any other word than ‘NO’.

    Anyhow, another year has gone and here we are.

    May i take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Prosperous New Year!

    Best Wishes

    Stephen

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Christopher

    Isn’t it strange that next year’s Laganbank council candidates seem to be getting married this year?! One of your potential opponents got hitched last weekend.

  • Davros

    Belated Congratulations on the wedding Stephen.

  • Fraggle

    “Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord jesus laid down his sweet head, the stars in the bright sky looked hown where HEALY HEALY HEALY!!!!”

    that’s just terrible. I’d cringe. even worse than:

    Noel, Noel! Born is the KING of the Brandywell!

  • Ziznivy

    Harsh Fraggle! Some of my Christmas cards had that version of Away on the Manger on them complete with a pic of King David! 😛

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Belated Congratulations on the wedding Stephen.

    Eh? Think you’ve got yer wires crossed maybe.

  • CavanMan

    Highlight of the year for 2004:It has to be the victory of the Irish Rugby team over the ”world champions” in twickenham,What a day.Although Fermanaghs run for the All-Ireland,and ROI against France in Paris came a close second and third respectively.
    Happy Christmas to you all,and may you all have a peaceful and enjoyable New Year . 🙂

  • Emily

    At the risk of urging the LAPD Anti-Holiday and Celebration That Might Cause Offense Division to knock down my door and haul me off to Santa’s Gulag, I’d like to wish everybody at Slugger a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2005.

  • unionist_observer

    Getting married and finishing college are highlights? I’m looking forward to continuing my education as long as I possibly can and staying well clear of the old ball and chain for as long as I possibly can. But then, each to their own!!

  • willowfield

    22 is very young to be getting married. You should be out flying your kite at that age. Far too young to be “settling down”.

    Old before your time.

  • Gerry O’Sullivan

    I echo CavanMan’s sentiment about the Irish Rugby team’s win at Twickenham. I was there, and by Jesus did we celebrate that night!! It was probably the most enjoyable night I ever spent in London, and considering I lived there for ten years…

    Willowfield

    22 is very young to be getting married. You should be out flying your kite at that age. Far too young to be “settling down”.

    If a couple wants to get married at 22, what’s to stop them? If they are sure that they are suited to one another, why wait another ten years to tie the knot?

  • Davros

    I got married same year as I passed my driving test!

  • DCB

    Beating England was without a doubt a highligt, Twickenham was great and I can just about remember ending up in Sri Thai in soho, were the poor owners pondered the delima of wanting to kick out all the Irish fans for being too loud, but didn’t because of all the drink being ordered. Plus taking £50 from my English brother in law was an added bonus. The muppet also bet me that night £50 that England will win the next world cup, he was drunk but fair play to him he is standing by it.

    Also in sporting terms seeing the mighty Spurs winning four on the trot has been great too

    Speaking of getting married, going to 7 weddings this year has been both a high and a low (the low being the sunday/monday mornings)

  • Davros

    Even optimistic Spurs fans are pinching themselves DCB 😉

  • JD

    The muppet also bet me that night £50 that England will win the next world cup, he was drunk but fair play to him he is standing by it.

    I’ve a bet for a ton with my English father in law for the same thing!

    Now I’m worried he might know something I don’t…

  • Davros

    I hope you both at least had the good grace to give them some sort of odds ? Otherwise that would be taking advantage 😉

  • DCB

    Davros – so many false dawns. The last few games would have made Billy Nichs proud. Though only a few months ago we were truely woeful against an effecient but pedestrian Bolton.

    Still if Everton can get to No 2 then we can get Champions League (so won’t happen).

    Not only are we doing well but Arsenal have lost the plot and I’m hoping that Putin has plans for Abromovich – off to the gulags.

  • Davros

    You forgot something !
    Arsenal (spits)!
    I’d love to see the lads finish above Arsenal(spits)
    if for no other reason than to put Sol Campbell in his place.

  • DCB

    We’ve got Ledley, they can shove Sol Cambell….

  • Keith M

    Seeing as everyone else is doing it….

    The highlights of the year for me were
    Politics : The overwhelming “yes” vote in the citizenship referendum. The re-election of George Bush (against the wishes of the anti-everything mob and (hopefully) Yushenko’s win next Sunday. (I have a vested interest in a peaceful Kyiv next year).

    Entertainment : Lots of interesting new bands; Franz Ferdinand, Keane, The Killers etc. Damien Rice breaking through in the UK. The television series “Shameless” and “The Smoking Room” proving that the UK still produces the World’s best television.

    Sport : Despite my Limerick upbringing, I have little interest in rugby, so it would have to be Everton’s progress in the Premiership, proving you don’t have to be ridiculously rich to make an impact. Also Arsenal’s great run. The women’s Pole Valut lit up an otherwise awful Olympics.

    Personal : A week in Istanbul at Eurovision, and Cape Town sunshine in December.

    The lowlights of the year
    Politics : The fact that the IRA now appears to hold a veto on political progress in Northern Ireland. Charlie McCreevy leaving Irish politics. The Hobson’s choice of the US Presidential election.

    Entertainment : Predominently dreadful US films dominating our cinema screens and hip hop dominating our charts.

    Sport : The Olympics for 101 reasons mostly to do with drugs, Greece winning Euro 2004.

    Personal : My spare bedroom becoming increasingly overgrown with clothes and CDs!

  • willowfield

    Gerry O’Sullivan

    If a couple wants to get married at 22, what’s to stop them?

    Unless one partner is already married, has a severe learning disability, or both partners are of the same sex, absolutely nothing! Why do you ask?

    If they are sure that they are suited to one another, why wait another ten years to tie the knot?

    Because they’ll miss out on being young!

  • unionist_observer

    oh come on willowfield, lets leave christopher alone, he’s an odd boy prone to doing odd things.