1/12/01 – Sean had an unfortunate episode where he got extremely upset that Susanna was allowed to put a banana skin on the fire. 99% of the time he is great company; the other 1% he seems to lose control and get something entirely out of proportion.
2/12/01 – We all did some ‘relaxation’ in the sitting room with lots of candles and whale music – this was the kids’ idea. Pauline and I drank a bottle of wine in the candlelight.
8/12/01 – Sean rang to ask if he could have a sleepover at Martin’s; I said yes.
15/12/01 – Sean and I watched Leinster v. Munster in the Celtic League final – Leinster won 24–20, much to Sean’s delight.
17/12/01 – The nativity play went well. Susanna was singing in the choir; Sean had an important part as one of the two children who are shown the true meaning of Christmas. He did very well.
18/12/01 – Pauline’s soldering iron broke, and she went to Dublin to get a new one, taking the kids … They arrived home with various bits and pieces – Sean had bought a rugby ball. He’s mad keen to play rugby.
19/12/01 – Sean and I kicked the rugby ball around in the garden before school … When the kids got home from school I kicked the rugby ball with Sean, first in the garden and then in the field. He had brought it to school and they had had a rugby match of some sort.
21/12/01 – We watched Britain at War in Colour, a very good series that Sean particularly likes.
22/12/01 – The kids and I rescued a mouse from Fluffy on the patio.
23/12/01 – Sean and I watched a programme about the Armada.
25/12/01 – Sean woke at 8.30, which wasn’t bad. We all got up and opened our presents … The most interesting of the kids’ presents, from my point of view, was Sean’s guitar, which he likes very much.
26/12/01 – Sean and I played our guitars.
29/12/01 – Pauline dropped off Sean and me to do some fishing at the nine-eyed bridge. It was bitterly cold … There was no sign of a fish, so we just got pretty frozen.
30/12/01 – The kids got up quite late and went out to the snow, where they played with their friends for hours.
5/1/02 – [on Donegal trip] We decided to go to Malin Head, and drove up there, although we had some difficulty in deciding exactly where Ireland’s most northerly point was … For a while we were the most northerly people in Ireland, although Susanna got very upset because Pauline and I wouldn’t let her go what appeared to be the last 100m or so – it was getting dark and the terrain was uncertain.
15/1/02 – Pauline collected Orla in Ballyjamesduff, who gave Sean his first guitar lesson. This seemed to go very well.
16/1/02 – Sean and I played our guitars (‘Me and Bobby McGee’). Susanna wants to get a guitar for next Christmas.
21/1/02 – Sean had tripped over a shoelace at school, and bumped his head badly on a wall.
24/1/02 – Sean did hurling with Terry – he’s on a hurling team for a tournament on Saturday.
26/1/02 – Sean’s team got to the final of the tournament – Pauline said that Sean was very enthusiastic and unafraid.
28/1/02 – Sean and I practised the guitar, and all four of us sang ‘The Fields of Athenry’.
3/2/02 – Sean, Susanna and I watched the Ireland–Wales rugby match, which Ireland won 54–10. There was much rejoicing.
5/2/02 – Sean and I did some guitar practice (not much because he had a sore thumb – perhaps because we had already done rugby practice).
6/2/02 – Pauline collected Sean and Susanna from school and took them to see The Wizard of Oz in the Ramor Theatre; she then dropped them back to school … Sean, Susanna and I practised some indoor rugby moves.