World of Chig   

The happiest days of my life - 10 years on

It's the 300th anniversary of the act of union today. Celebrations seem a bit muted don't they?

Never mind, it's a much more important anniversary period we've entered today. I don't think anyone has ever asked me what the best three day period of my life was, but I just wanted to note that we're entering the tenth anniversary of it today. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd of May 1997 were incredible, joyous, sunny days and have wedged themselves firmly in my mind as the best of times.

Thursday 1st May was general election day, and the false dawn (and abandoned party) of the previous election was about to be wiped away forever. I had a party in my flat on election night. I was about to leave the rented flat (in July) to move into my first bought house, so life was on the up. A handful of us put stickers on a constituency map that I had bought and stuck to the wall. We watched the country turn red through the night and greeted the daylight as Labour did with their Things Can Only Get Better moment. It was joyous, with the sun streaming through my flat's window. One friend then stayed over and we slept for few hours during the morning, getting up in the afternoon as I had taken the day off work, enjoying the first day of my adult life under a Labour government; a day that at times under the darkness of Thatcherism as a student I had feared we would never see.

Friday 2nd passed by and then on Saturday 3rd, we went and won the Eurovision Song Contest! Katrina and The Waves broke our 16 year dry spell. She had always been the hot favourite to win in Ireland, so it probably would have happened anyway, but I remain convinced that the whole of Europe was giving the UK a goodwill message and the benefit of the doubt for getting rid of the Tories the day before.

If Katrina hadn't won on 3 May 1997, Eurovision would never have come to my home city the next year, I would never have known about journalist accreditation, and I may never have gone to six more Eurovisions since and had a fantastic time in six different countries. I have a lot to thank that 72 hours in 1997 for. If only we'd known how unpopular that government would become...

Labour winning a general election and the UK winning Eurovision. Don't they seem distant possibilities now?

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