1/9/00 – The kids’ first day back at school – Sean going into 4th class and Susanna into 1st … Sean was disgusted to get homework on his first day, and generally wasn’t happy to be back at school, whereas Susanna was … Pauline read Harry Potter to the kids in bed.
2/9/00 – Sean had football (i.e. soccer) training.
3/9/00 – Pauline and the kids went to Ballyjamesduff after lunch – Pauline was doing a stained-glass demonstration at the museum … the kids had a great time and had a ride in the pick-up truck from The Waltons.
4/9/00 – Sean and Susanna had homework – Sean is getting better at all aspects of school work, and is pleased when we tell him this. He’s getting pretty good at pool as well.
6/9/00 – Sean had soccer training … he really enjoys it.
10/9/00 – Sean watched The World’s Most Amazing Videos, which is now banned in our house due to excessive nastiness and violence.
13/9/00 – Pauline read Harry Potter to the kids, with the result that they were scared and went to sleep in our bed.
20/9/00 – Sean watched football on TV, enthusiastic about Arsenal.
23/9/00 – We got up around 8.45; the kids had a horse-riding lesson at 9.45. I went along – they did very well, and did some trotting … Pauline and the kids headed for Dublin – Sean wanted to buy a Game Boy and Pauline wanted to buy glass … They got home around 6 – Sean complete with Game Boy, and very happy … Sean, Susanna and I rounded up the ducks and hens and put them in Maire’s shed for the night.
24/9/00 – Sean hurt his finger playing basketball, and it was very sore.
25/9/0 – Sean came home with his finger strapped by the doctor – it’s probably just bruised … Played pool with Sean.
1/10/00 – Sean and Susanna played a game they also played last night, which involved stuffing pillows into their pyjamas so they looked very fat … AJ and Andy called, and played Monopoly with the kids and Pauline … We sat in front of the fire and watched a film called Volcano, which was quite entertaining. Sean loved it.
3/10/00 – Sean had his first music lesson of the school year.
5/10/00 – Siobhan dropped the kids home around 8 – Sean was shattered, and very upset because we wouldn’t let him watch a James Bond movie, but calmed down and apologized – bed was the best place for him.
16/10/00 – We got the kids out to school – they wore their new uniform tracksuits for the first time. Sean decided he didn’t like his, and made a huge fuss about it – he was very tired … By the time Sean got home, he loved his tracksuit.
18/10/00 – AJ, Sean, Susanna and Romy went up the fields; I went up part of the way. A little later I went up to get them, as it was getting towards dark and there was a bull in one of the fields.
26/10/00 – Sean and I watched some football; we all listened to Susanna reading a whole book – she’s got very good at reading.
29/10/00 – Pauline and the kids sorted out their Hallowe’en costumes. In the afternoon they went to Erika’s, where Susanna proved to have a remarkable talent for ducking for money.
9/11/00 – Sean and I played ‘defending’, a very physical football game, in the hall.
13/11/00 – Played chess with Sean.
17/11/00 – Sean and I had four games of chess – he beat me in the last one, which was a very big thing for him, and it’s the first time he’s beaten me.
18/11/00 – I had a few more games of chess with Sean, in one of which he beat me.
23/11/00 – Fluffy caught a mouse outside, and played with the unfortunate creature for a long time before it died – Sean and I had at first tried to rescue it.
28/11/00 – Sean and I had a game of chess, which was hard fought – he burst into tears when I regained my queen, and was inconsolable for some time.