Monthly Archives: February 2011

Four months

It is four months today since Sean died. It also happens to be his mother’s birthday (last year on her birthday card he wrote: ‘Happy B-day Mam. Hope you have a great day and a great year. I really do appreciate everything you have done, and continue to do for me. I love you as much as a son could love his mother. Sean. PS. Sorry about the horrible card.’)

What would Sean be doing now if he hadn’t died? Well, he would probably still be here living with us, although it’s possible that he and Clio would have got a place of their own. He would have been trying to get work, and might have been working in a bar, for example. He had been offered a place at Dublin City University for next year, and wanted to save money to fund it. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Philosophy of life

Sean’s music 18 … Cold War Kids

I think Sean first became aware of this Californian band when ‘Hospital Beds’ was featured on Scrubs. He used to play this track a lot a couple of years ago; I associate it with a large batch of songs by other people, such as the Kings of Leon, Against Me! and Eagle-Eye Cherry, that he was also playing at the time – he would often say that he wanted to ‘show’ me a new song, or play something and ask me to guess who it was. Happy days and nights.

‘Hang Me Up to Dry’ became another favourite – I think these are two great tracks. ‘Hospital Beds’ will always be one of the songs that most remind me of Sean – one of the couple of hundred songs that can make me cry, as I wrote in a song of my own. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Music, Uncategorized

Words Cannot

I put a tune to a poem I posted here before … just half a minute long. It’s for Sean, of course.

Words Cannot

The poem is here.


Filed under Ireland, Memories, Music, Philosophy of life, Poems

Some diary extracts … July to December 2002

28/7/02 – Sean’s 11th birthday … Pauline and I gave him the ‘Art of War’ Cossacks add-on – he was thrilled with it. Susanna got Sean a rugby ball for his birthday. AJ, Andy, Robert and Martin were here from about 2, running around with Sean and firing pellet guns. Pauline took them all, and Susanna, to the cinema in Navan, where they saw The Crocodile Hunter, and then to McDonald’s.

12/8/02 – Sean had a great time at the summer camp.

13/8/02 – I concreted some posts in position for the chicken run, with some help from Sean.

14/8/02 – Sean had another good day at the summer camp – they did hurling, which he loves.

22/8/02 – Pauline, Sean, Susanna and I got a taxi to the station, and went to London. We went to the Natural History Museum, and had lunch there (Sean got into a prolonged huff because he wanted to go to the Science Museum.) [We met some friends in the London Bridge area and had something to eat …] Around 8.30 we walked down the riverside to the London Eye – the kids and I went up it. Wonderful views of London. This whole episode had a magical, romantic feel – London was relaxed and at its best. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, The music of what happened


A photo by Sean.


Filed under Ireland, Memories, Photography

Sean’s music 17 … Jimmy Cliff

Sean liked Jimmy Cliff as part of his general fondness for Jamaican music. The first clip in his YouTube ‘favourites’ is ‘The Harder They Come’ (I don’t know whether he ever watched the movie of the same name). His downloaded music includes the Cliff tracks ‘Many Rivers to Cross’, ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’, ‘Vietnam’ and ‘Wild World’, as well as ‘The Harder They Come’ (Cliff’s version of ‘Wild World’ was on the CD that Clio made to be played at Sean’s wake). He especially admired Cliff’s stunning performance of ‘Many Rivers to Cross’ on a ‘Hootenanny’ edition of Jools Holland’s Later from 2003 or so, and often mentioned it to me. Continue reading

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Filed under Death, Memories, Music

Some diary extracts … January to April 2003

1/1/03 – We went to Navan, to the second part of The Lord of the Rings, which was nearly three hours long. It proved to be very good. The kids really enjoyed it – Sean thought it was the best movie he’d ever seen.

7/1/03 – I helped the kids with their homework – Sean’s grasp of Irish is still rather poor, and he gets frustrated at this. They are showing some interest in the guitar; Sean played the electric guitar; and Susanna ‘played’ his.

11/1/03 – Sean and I watched the Perpignan–Munster match in the afternoon, which Perpignan won, much to our disappointment.

18/1/03 – [Munster’s ‘miracle match’ against Gloucester] Sean rang [from his granny’s] at half-time and full-time. He was as exhilarated as I was.

27/1/03 – Found a very small field mouse in the hens’ feed, which Sean picked up and freed. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories