I met my “current” husband Alberto way back in 2010 when our eyes met across a crowded smoking room at The Bodega in Cork. He had travelled down from Dublin with friends for the Cork Film Festival and I had been out all evening with my sister and some friends so I was after a few.
A friend of mine spotted Alberto across the pub and thought he would be perfect for me. As I was slightly tipsy and full of dutch courage, I beckoned at him to come over.
Thankfully he walked across the room to me and the rest, as they say, is history.
We ended up back at a house party in my native Ballincollig and chatted together all night. Alberto doesn’t drink so God only knows what waffling I was doing, but it seemed to work. We shared a cab home in the early hours and as he dropped me off at home, he turned around to look out the back window of the taxi as it drove off. It was a complete ‘cheese on toast’ moment but I knew at that moment that he was ‘the one’.
The following week, he came down to Cork and we had our first meal together in Cornstore and drinks in The Roundy. We got on fantastically and just seemed to click immediately.
Three months later, we were looking at wedding venues and we were married a year-and-a-half after we met.
We had our wedding in Alberto’s native Spain in Frigiliana/Nerja and had an incredible time with family and friends.
We go back there every year and this summer we will travel there for the first time with our three smallies Beckett, Javi, and Amira.
After the wedding, Alberto had to fly back to Dublin where he worked with AIB, and I flew home to Cork.
Those first few months long distance were very tough, but thankfully the bank soon transferred him to Cork.
We had never lived together before we were married so that was a major eye opener. I was fond of partying, he was fond of the gym.
We were complete opposites but we persevered and while we argued a lot of the time in those early years, we had a very deep connection, which always brought us back together.
Ours is a relationship that has evolved massively over the years. We have learned to live with each other and respect each other’s differences, despite being polar opposites.
I have to say I’m very glad we pushed through the first few years because he is an incredible dad and the best life partner I could ever have asked for.
I was living in Dublin when I met Emer, having moved over from Spain a few years previously.
One of my friends in Dublin, Pedro, was the consul at the Embassy of Mexico in Dublin and he had invited me to come to Cork for the Cork Film Festival to meet a Mexican film director.
On the morning we were due to drive to Cork, I was very sick and I rang Pedro three times to cancel. Luckily for me he forced me into the car and made me travel with him to Cork.
After watching a couple of films at the Opera House, I tried to escape to come back to my hotel as my fever had raised, but once again, Pedro didn’t allow me to leave and made me join a group of friends in a post festival party at The Bodega.
That is where I spotted Emer for the first time across the room. We got talking at the pub and for the rest of the night, we spoke about everything and anything. It was just easy and it felt so natural from the second we met.
It was already bright when we got a taxi home together. We said our goodbyes and I hoped that I’d see her again soon.
There was definitely a special connection there from the very beginning. On my way back to Dublin I texted her a few times and that week, we arranged to meet each other the following weekend.
I took the train back to Cork the following weekend and I knew then that it would be the first of many weekends travelling to Cork. I still have that very first train ticket in my wallet.
Within the first two weeks of meeting, we were already joking about weddings and getting married. I knew from very early on that I wanted Emer in my life so within five months of that first date, I organised a weekend in Norway to watch the Northern Lights and proposed to her in the snow.
I got down on one knee and thankfully she said yes. Thirteen years later, we’re still going strong and we’ve now been joined on our journey by three beautiful kids.
I have Pedro to thank for forcing me into the car from Dublin to Cork all those years ago.