5 October 1996. That’s the date our lives changed. Why? Coz that’s the day Elaine found out she was pregnant. We’d married in May 1992 but we were a bit skint, living in a tenement in Stirling; plus we wanted to travel, visiting Menorca, Tenerife, Kos and then the west coast of America in ’95.
In late August ’96 we had gone on a camping trip to Arisaig, Eigg and Skye before spending the last 3 nights in a lovely BnB near Elgol, Strathaird House. The lady owner told us the Yellow Room was famous for conception…nudge nudge wink wink say no more aha.
So that Saturday morning, 5 October 1996, when Elaine gave me the news we were ecstatic. From then on it wasn’t just the two of us, we had a tiny third person in our lives.
However, I had a big Scottish Cup tie to play that day. Doune Castle Ams were away to Cambusbarron Rovers and major underdogs. Our manager was ex Cambusbarron and, one year after the film came out, he gave us the Braveheart team talk. Well, we went out there and won 3-2, I remember clearing a shot off the line. I got man of the match so it was a happy bunch that went to The Forresters for post match refreshments. What a day so far!
Scotland were playing a World Cup qualifier and we watched that in the pub as the celebrations began. To add to the mood,Scotland won 2-0 away to Latvia*, the start of the journey towards France ’98.
So it was a happy pub when Elaine came to pick me up. Someone offered to buy Elaine a drink and, upon hearing a diet coke, asked if she was pregnant. We both did a double take! Luckily, our man was very discreet but he was the first person to know (by default).
So that was Saturday 5 October ’96. 8 months later, on 1 June 1997, our Sean was born in Stirling Royal Infirmary (6lbs 3oz), but that’s another story. Sean is now 22 and living in London, England.
* The Latvia v Scotland fixture is the reason I can be so precise about the date.