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.
Its Sat the 11th of Dec 1999. Just woke up thingking that it was a school day. Mum and dad are still in bed. We whent up the felds but it got to whet and we had to tern back. We had a game of monopoly. And Susanna cept on bashing her head against the wooden arm off the arm chair. Susanna was very giddy she made me laugh so much that I did a wee in my pants. I had a chickny flavered dinner and ice-cream. Chickn is my favrot food it makes my mouth wather thingking about it. Daddy is setting up another game of mnopoly as I speck I meen right woch out theres a giddy susanna about. Thes pichers are an eg. of what sort of pichers I draw. Did I mechen that I was eight.
Its sun the 12/12/99. Its 10.15 and I am having my breakfast shreddies and afterwards we are going over to the site.
It’s April the 5 00. I know I sciped the millnnem I’m sorry! I went to Kristyens house to play tome rader. Oh! yes I’m sitting across from Elaine. Well I had A bad day at school as usual. Bye!