4/5/02 – [The four of us went to Lansdowne Road …] Sean got Ronan O’Gara’s autograph (O’Gara is injured at present) … It was a warm, sunny day, and we enjoyed the match. Shannon beat Cork Con 21–17, and it provided good entertainment. Sean did a lot of shouting for Shannon. Afterwards we went down on the pitch (and got separated from Sean for some time) … Sean and Susanna had been given small blow-up rugby balls, and Sean enjoyed diving over the try-line and so on.
12/5/02 – Late in the evening Sean, Susanna and I had to retrieve Woolie from a hedge in Ned’s field, into which she had fallen from the ditch.
[Much playing of pool with numerous children in the house in these days, and of soccer on the lawn.]
17/5/02 – They bought videos – Sean got K9 and Susanna got Harry Potter. They watched K9 and Pauline and I watched part of it – garbage, but Sean loves it.
25/5/02 – Sean and I watched the Heineken Cup final, in which Leicester beat Munster 15–9. Munster didn’t get the breaks – they could easily have scored a winner near the end. Sean was very upset, and did a lot of crying.
28/5/02 – Sean went to the farm with Andy.
13/6/02 – Sean had to leave early for his school tour … he was at the National Gallery, the National Museum and Blanchardstown Leisureplex (for Quasar).
27/6/02 – Stuart took Amy, Andy, Sean and Susanna up the fields to do some shooting (i.e. Stuart did the shooting). This was late in the evening. They returned with a dead rabbit.
7/7/02 – Christine and I took the kids up the fields to the sheep’s graveyard etc., led by ‘tour guide’ Sean. We saw a fox up there.
19/7/02 – Pauline, Sean and I sat in the sitting-room till 1 – I played the guitar, and we sang and told stories by candlelight. Sean thought this was wonderful, and in fact it was a good outcome of the power cut.
20/7/02 – Pauline had a bright idea – that we should pave the area to the south-east of the house, near Susanna’s playhouse, to make a second patio. To this end, Sean started to fill it with stones. He seems to be revelling in the extra attention he gets in Susanna’s absence … Mark came over to ask us if we would take two hens. They had got them from somebody, and the existing hens had attacked them viciously. We said ‘yes’. So we now have two hens and a small coop. Sean is delighted.
21/7/02 – We had a walk, and Pauline and Sean called to Eamonn and Nora’s with eggs to exchange for straw for the hens. Sean went to the farm for the evening; he got home quite late and in great spirits … I was laughing out loud at the Liam Clancy book, and read out some funny bits to Pauline and Sean.
25/7/02 – Sean had a great day at Robert and Martin’s, swimming in the pond and so on. He, Pauline and I played ‘catch’ on the lawn.
27/7/02 – Pauline cooked a big roast chicken dinner, plus an apple pie and a gooseberry pie … We ate late and then the five of us had a walk down the road in twilight, with bats swooping close to us, much to the kids’ amusement. Granny told some ghost stories by candlelight before the kids went to bed.