1989

I didn’t mean to become a Vegetarian.  It kind of happened like this, I had been working particularly long hours leading up to a handover of a couple of floors on the office we were fitting out and was feeling pretty knackered.  When I mentioned this to one of the guys I was working with, he suggested I might try looking at my diet, I was tucking into a “bacon butty” from the site canteen at the time.  I remember it well, the sandwich had been toasted and it wasn’t any more than a couple of millimetres thick, it was pointed out to me that the cheapest of cheap bacon contained in the cheapest of cheap bread “didn’t have the greatest of nutritional value”.

I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about, but my interest was piqued, I think I would have done pretty much anything to get some more energy and apparently, it was simple.  All I had to do was get the rubbish food out of my diet, I gave up the site canteen, then fast food restaurants, I started buying “quality” ingredients from the M&S around the corner and making my own sandwiches.  I noticed an immediate improvement in my energy levels, was it psychosomatic, who knows.  Who cares, I had more energy, it was easy to carry on.  I started thinking more about the food I was eating.

Being the construction industry, we would have lunch and dinner “meetings” where steak (the bigger the better) would be the order of the day.  I started to notice that it was taking me 2 to 3 days to digest the steak and that my energy levels dropped after these meals, I started looking for alternatives.  steak had gone, mince had previously been classed as “rubbish meat” and already gone, the only meat left now was that in “sauce dishes” like curry and following a couple of dodgy experiences with meat of variable quality that went as well.  Putting it in a nutshell one day I hadn’t even thought about what I was eating, then about 6 months later I was looking at menus and checking out vegetarian options.  I did carry on eating fish for a while, but I have never really liked fish, having been put off it by a grilled in milk version of my childhood, that soon went as well.

1987 (2)
Up for a party with elaborate dressing up and make up, me?

I played a few games of rugby for London Irish, about 27th team as far as I could make out.  Just like Sunday morning football, rugby at this level has its issues with getting a full side out, but it goes about it in a very different way.  Out went the racing round town, knocking on doors of people you knew with 2 legs and a pair of football boots, in came going to certain pubs and looking out for people with kit bags and asking them if they were looking for a game or trying to poach them from the team that was looking for them.  For someone who had never really played rugby before I really enjoyed the games and could have taken to it, but I’m already in my 30s and I’ve got dodgy teeth to look after.  In the end, the main thing I took away from rugby was Black Velvet.  That’s basically a Guinness “top” using champagne or sparkling wine for the “top” rather than lemonade.  Yum!

Pixies – Monkey Gone to Heaven, from the brilliant Dolittle is the track of the year.  It was back to the Town & Country Club for the gig of the year, Wedding Present, I’ve never seen a guitar roadie so busy replacing broken strings.

What else happened in 1989?

TankThe post-Cold War period begins as revolutions sweep “Eastern Bloc” Europe.  The Berlin Wall comes tumbling down and after about 9 years of war, the Russians leave Afghanistan.  In South Africa FW De Klerk comes to power and meets with Nelson Mandela.  Civil union for same-sex couples becomes legal in Denmark, the 1st legislation of its type in the world.  The “supreme leader” of Iran Ayatollah Khomeini and Emperor Hirohito of Japan, both die.  Democracy protests in China culminate in martial law being imposed and the suppression of the uprising in Tiananmen Square.

first-mobile-phone-1202x1620
A pre MicroTAC mobile

Technology; The 1st GPS satellites are launched, and the proposal document that will become the outline for the World Wide Web is issued by Tim Berners-Lee.  There had been a few mobile phones around for a couple of years, but until Motorola introduced the MicroTAC you needed to carry what amounted to a car battery with you to be able to use them.

In the UK.  Poll tax is introduced in Scotland and there are strikes everywhere, BBC journalists, passport office workers, dockworkers, ambulance crews, channel tunnel construction workers and London Underground staff are all on the picket lines.  The latter bringing the underground to a virtual standstill on a number of occasions.  Meanwhile, the last coalmine in Kent closes and red kites are reintroduced to England and Scotland and a fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie following the publication of the Satanic Verses is issued.

It’s another bad year for UK disasters with a train crash at Purley, the Marchioness incident on the River Thames and the worst of the lot “Hillsborough”, a tragedy only compounded by mistakes, lies and cover-ups lasting decades.

Sky television is launched in Europe, the House of Commons is televised live for the first-time and Doctor Who takes a break after 26 years.  Wallace and Gromit make their 1st appearance and have “A Grand Day Out.”

In golf just like buses, you have to wait forever for the 1st British Master’s winner, then another comes along straight after, Nick Faldo wins in Augusta.

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