Monthly Archives: September 2012

Some diary entries … March to May 1995

1/3/95 – I did a Chinese stir fry, helped by Sean.

4/3/95 – Sean went to Elaine’s birthday party … At one point Sean and Louise came running up to the front door blowing bubbles, and Sean, on the doorstep, somehow spilled some of the mixture into his eyes. There was much screaming. I tried to wash it out of his eyes and calm him down, then changed his shirt. When I was going to bring him back to the party, I slipped on the doorstep and fell, with Susanna in my arms. She bumped her head, but only slightly.

5/3/95 – Sean went to Brad’s birthday party. Continue reading


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Filed under Death, Ireland

Blue shades of green

I mentioned in the last post that after Rory Gallagher died in June 1995, The Guardian published an appreciation that I sent them … I wrote in my diary at the time that it was ‘quite heavily edited down, and somewhat disappointing’. Anyway, Milo expressed an interest, so I’m posting it here for him – he has an excellent Gallagher tribute blog here. This is the edited-down version, for what it’s worth; I no longer have the longer piece that I wrote originally.


Blue shades of green

If asked to choose seminal music footage from my teenage 1970s, when my part of Ireland was a single-channel area lacking even Top of the Pops, I might consider Planxty, Horslips, Bob Dylan or Steely Dan. But in the end I would choose Rory Gallagher, probably performing in a three-piece band at some festival on the European mainland with the song title misspelt on the screen; singing, seeming to play rhythm and lead guitar simultaneously, or acoustic guitar and harmonica, or maybe mandolin. Long hair, check shirt, closed eyes, jeans, sweat, wild rhythm and blues. This was as exciting as music could get. It still is. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Music

Some diary entries … June to August 1995

2/6/95 – Pauline took the kids and Louise to Bushy Park in the afternoon.

3/6/95 – I got up with Susanna around 7.45. Took Sean and Susanna out to the shop, Susanna mainly in her buggy, Sean on his bike … [later] Pauline and Sean went to see a film called Little Rascals in Stillorgan.

8/6/95 – Pauline went with a playschool group to the zoo, taking the car. Susanna went too, and Sean of course … [later] At 8 we left Sean and Susanna over to Marnia and went to a parents’ meeting at St Attracta’s, to be told everything we needed to know about Sean’s school start. It was good – we also had a look around, and were suitably impressed. Continue reading


Filed under Ireland, Memories

The Well

A new song, sung by Pauline and me. My first for a while, and not explicitly about Sean this time. But I’ve put in a nice debs photo from 2008 anyway.

To listen, please click on The Well.

Lyrics here: Continue reading


Filed under Music

Diary of Sean O’Brien, aged eight

Pauline found an old diary of Sean’s in the attic recently, from 1999–2000, when he was eight years old. It has just four written entries, as well as a 20p coin stuck on a page, and some loose-leaf drawings by himself. I suspect that he asked me for help with some of the spellings early on.

We moved house the Friday after he started it, and it may have been mislaid for a while – he resumed it, briefly, the following April; his beloved Grandad, Peter, had died in the meantime.

One of the drawings is of a bird, probably an eagle, perched on a cliff and outlined against a large sun. It is signed Sean O’Brien 10/12/99 and in a corner is written, in an adult hand, 1st Prize. Pauline remembers that it was done for a Community Games competition in Virginia, but Sean never got the prize because he lived outside the area and should have entered a more local competition. Still, she remembers, he was very happy that he had won. Sean always liked to win.


It’s Friday the tenth of Dec 1999. I have had a hard days work at school and was happy to get home. I played a game of monopoly with Daddy. He won by miles even though I said that I would win him. I Had pizza for lunch and after I had apple pie and ice-crem. Christian (a boy in my class) won a competition today and will be getting an award on Tus the 14th of Dec. My girlfriend is Elaine she dosn’t know that so shhhhhh! She has black hair and white skin. She is beautiful and I am going to mary her. And have children together. Today I went to micel Fagan and the hole school was chering for me. I was capten of my team. We won by miles. The final score was eight nill. All the Enmes where girls including Ela oh! I can’t say it. All my team where boys. Hear is an e.g. of a twenty peas coin. It is dated 1999. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories