1/10/03 – Sean baked a large batch of very good flapjacks.
9/10/03 – We bought a Munster rugby jersey for Sean (a present from his Auntie A).
11/10/03 – Sean and I got up early to watch Ireland v. Romania in the World Cup … Ireland won 45–17, and generally performed well.
15/10/03 – Both kids are enjoying life at present – Sean because of his new school and his sports; Susanna because her new teacher has them doing projects, discussions in class, and so on.
17/10/03 – We got Sean out to school; Susanna is staying off today to play with her cousins. Sean wouldn’t want to miss a day’s school.
21/10/03 – Sean and I watched Arsenal lose to Dynamo Kiev, much to his disappointment.
23/10/03 – Sean was in a race over a mile or so in Cavan, and says that he finished 17th out of 94 or so first-year boys from various schools.
26/10/03 – We watched the concluding part of 100 Most Scary Moments on Film or some such – Sean is very into the scary stuff.
27/10/03 – Sean and Susanna bought ‘single’ CDs by The Darkness and Pink respectively.
31/10/03 – Sean went trick-or-treating with M & co.; both he and Susanna got enormous amounts of stuff.
18/11/03 – Sean is doing well in any tests at school, and is pleased with himself. His transition to secondary-school life has been everything that Pauline and I could have hoped for.
20/11/03 – Pauline and Susanna went to Cavan for the launch of a book of kids’ poems. Sean and Susanna each have a poem in it.
23/11/03 – Sean and I played three games of chess, of which he won two – the series score now stands at 7–7.
28/11/03 – Sean is doing a 24-hour fast for Concern today, so he didn’t have breakfast … Pauline cooked a midnight feast for Sean to break his fast with.
16/12/03 – Sean’s headmaster rang to say that Sean had been in a fight today. He was very tired, and got quite upset when we asked him about it.
27/12/03 – Sean and I played chess – his form has dropped over Christmas, and I now lead 18–13.
16/1/04 – Pauline and I dropped the younger kids to the youth club, plus Sean, who was chess coach for the night.
17/1/04 – Sean and I watched Munster beat Gloucester 35–14 – one of those wonderful, never-to-be-forgotten occasions when Munster repay all the faith we have in them. It did our hearts good.
22/1/04 – Sean had his report from school – it’s extremely good, and Pauline and I are very happy with his progress at secondary school so far.
28/1/04 – Pauline and I had a series of meetings with nearly all Sean’s teachers. The reports were very good – his work is very good, he contributes well to class, he is very well mannered, and so on. The only slightly negative notes were from his English and French teachers, who said that he is sometimes too laid-back and doesn’t concentrate on what’s going on (probably thinking about rugby).
26/2/04 – Sean went to an open night at his school, to talk to prospective first years.
27/2/04 – Sean was up till 11.30 or so, watching a programme on Johnny Cash with Pauline and me.
9/3/04 – Sean and Susanna played the two guitars – they have become very keen guitarists.