By rinoagozzino

Chapter 7 - 1994

This was the year that maturity started to creep in. I had now spent six years with my fiancé, Cathy’s family, being fortunate enough to have been welcomed as one of their own. I was inspired by their hard work and continuous drive for personal development. My competitive streak shifted from adolescent pursuits of leisure, to my place of work and after discussing the options with my employees, they agreed to sponsor my attendance of evening classes where I would start studying towards membership of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. Not a career I would have chosen particularly but I had a lot of years to catch up on, the support of my employees and a new found ambition that I am fortunate to still have now.

This change however fueled my smoking habit even more and I hadn’t completely abandoned those leisurely pursuits, it was after all a FIFA World Cup year.  Despite initial concerns about taking the event to the United States, huge crowds ensured the tournament was a great success. Italy with Roberto Baggio were stumbling through to the final and the "Divine Ponytail" was Italy's best player throughout the tournament, but the final was to be a bitter disappointment when Brazil beat Italy 3 – 2 in a penalty shootout, after he shot the decider into the crowd. The game ended 0-0 after extra time, the first World Cup final to be decided on penalties which made Brazil the first nation to win four World Cup titles.
It was the year when the Channel Tunnel, joining France and England opened and the Eurostar rail service carrying passengers between London, Paris and Brussels was launched. Lisa Marie Presley married Michael Jackson. Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain commits suicide. Retired American Football player OJ Simpson fled from the police following the murder of his ex-wife and Ayrton Senna of Brazil, aged 34, was tragically killed during the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy.

Wet Wet Wet reached number 1 with "Love Is All Around", from the film Four Weddings and a Funeral. It would remain at number 1 for fifteen weeks, the second longest consecutive run at No. 1 ever in the UK Singles Chart, and become the biggest selling single of the year.

1994 was also the year that Cathy was introduced to the Sicilian side of my family. One of my cousins was getting married and we had been invited. Back then it was expected that Cigarettes were amongst the gifts offered to family and friends and it is fair to say that the small village, in the South West of Sicily was not accustomed to tourists. Power and water shortages were commonplace and it was like travelling back in time. It therefore wasn’t a complete surprise when the locals considered the appearance of a 21 year old, pale white blonde in short skirts and high heels as a bit of an event. She certainly drew an audience and despite the cultural clash, she was welcomed with open arms.
they keep getting better and better
so inspiring seeing you do the quest!
your career change made you smoke more?
Wasn't really a career change. More like a commitment to further education for career progression. The commitment was to 2 evening classes a week and two 3 hour exams at the end of each 3 month course on top of the day job. So it would of been another excuse for me not to quit.