Some diary entries … June to August 2000

6/6/00 – We got Susanna out to school; Sean had lost his voice due to a cold. However, Pauline took him to Virginia to help her prepare the art exhibition.

7/6/00 – The second item [in a school show] was Susanna, with suit and briefcase, dong ‘Hello, My Name is Bob’. She didn’t quite give it as much as she had done in rehearsals, but did very well. She also played the ‘bold girl’ in a sketch, very well. Sean’s main contribution was as the boy who sits on a porcupine in the Roald Dahl poem – he did this very well (despite his sore throat), and got a lot of laughs. He also sang a Beatles medley with the others … Sean and Susanna were elated.

13/6/00 – Sean played outside at AJ’s – it was a lovely evening.

18/6/00 – The Noonans called – Sean was very glad to see Billy again.

20/6/00 – I moved a lot of soil, with some help from Sean.

24/6/00 – I had a look at the papers on the Internet and played football with Sean. The others all went fro a walk, to see Eamonn’s calves; Sean and I followed them but didn’t see them. Then Pauline rang from Nora’s to say that Sean could help to move calves if interested: I brought him down there on my crossbar.

25/6/00 – Sean and Susanna are going to some kind of fair in Virginia with Maire … We got a call from Maire: Sean and Susanna had spotted two kittens for £1 each at the fair. Pauline and I went in to view them, and agreed that we could have them. One has long brown fur and is to be called ‘Fluffy’; the other is a small tabby and is to be called ‘Tiger’.

26/6/00 – Sean had been playing baseball at Kristian’s, and loves it.

28/6/00 – The kids had a good evening – they had gone with Sinead to watch Eamonn milking.

29/6/00 – Pauline and Sean have gone for a cycle.

30/6/00 – I played football with Sean in Ned’s newly mown meadow, while Susanna hid behind bales.

1/7/00 – Sean had a football match in Mountnugent in the morning … his team won by a point, though Sean scored an own goal! … Pauline and the kids are now making puppets and suchlike.

2/7/00 – Pauline and the kids went off to a barbeque in Ballyhaise Agricultural College, organized by the Cavan–Monaghan Rural Development Association … Sean played indoor football with proper goals etc. with some new friends. He had a wonderful time.

3/7/00 – Pauline had a meeting with Mary Hanly to show her her ideas for the craft workshops; she took Sean and Susanna along. Caitriona O’Reilly was there too. Mary and Caitriona were very impressed with Pauline’s stuff, and also with Sean and Susanna, who were an all-singing, all-dancing team: they did ‘I’m my Own Grandpa’ and others … I played football with Sean in Ned’s field … Sean had been upset about Grandad again … he often gets upset about him in bed at night.

4/7/00 – Sean is claiming now that he can communicate telepathically with animals – he spent half an hour in communion with Solo, who made the correct responses to ‘If you’re happy nod your head’ etc. Sean is very impressed by this, and is taking it very seriously.

11/7/00 – I went to Eason’s [in Dublin] and bought a copy of PC Ace as a present for Sean (it has a free CD-Rom with Creatures 2) … we have decided that for his main birthday present Sean will get a computer – he was thrilled when we told him this.

20/7/00 – The kids had another great day at the summer camp – Sean was canoeing at the Lakeside Manor … Pauline and Sean went for a cycle – he fell off his bike and had quite a bad fall.

24/7/00 – Pauline took Sean to the drama workshop in Virginia … he enjoyed it.

25/7/00 – Sean went off to AJ’s – there was an American boy named Nathan there whom Sean befriended, and he spent much of the rest of the day there.

28/7/00 – Sean’s ninth birthday. We started by giving him his presents and cards, or rather Susanna gave them all – she loves such occasions. He got the Harry Potter book from Susanna, and a water gun and army pyjamas from us (in addition to the computer). Susanna also got a water gun … [later] Sean and Kristian had been in a show at the drama summer camp, which Erika said was excellent. Caitriona O’Reilly later told Pauline that Sean is a natural actor.

29/7/00 [account of birthday party] Sean really enjoyed the past couple of days.

1/8/00 – Sean had had a great time at Maire’s last night, and was there for most of the day again.

10/8/00 – Pauline and the kids went to Bailieborough again – the kids are loving the summer camp … the kids went swimming with Chris again.

12/8/00 – Pauline took the kids to Navan, where Sean bought a couple of computer games with his own money.

13/8/00 – There was a fireworks display in Oldcastle – we got Sean up (Susanna was asleep) and watched it from the spare bedroom.

16/8/00 – Sean, Susanna and I fed Maire’s cats and let out the ducks and hens.

22/8/00 – Pauline and the kids are making plasticine moulds of high crosses and the like, and filling them with plaster.

25/8/00 – Pauline dropped Sean to the soccer pitch and he was taken to Kingscourt to play a match. She went to collect him from the local pitch around 9 – his team had lost, but he had enjoyed himself.

31/8/00 – Pauline took Sean and Susanna horse-riding – they enjoyed it, especially Susanna, as it was a proper lesson.


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