Some diary entries … March to May 1993

portstewart

4/3/93 – Sean fell asleep for the night at 7.20, having had a very energetic day playing with various people, and no nap. We were apprehensive as to what time he’d wake up.

6/3/93 – We headed off down Wicklow way, and ended up in Glendalough. A beautiful, peaceful place. We had a couple of drinks in a pub, and wandered around by a lake and a graveyard. Sean had a good time, and chased some sheep – he amused many by eating sugar cubes in the pub.

8/3/93 – Sean idolizes Andrew next door.

11/3/93 – Pauline and Sean were at the playgroup in the morning. Sean had a great time … in the afternoon Pauline took him for his general check-up at the Health Centre … the nurses said that he’s doing all the things a two-year-old should be doing [Sean was around 19 months old]. He weighs 32 pounds and measures 85 cm. And he made a big impression on the nurses … Sean was also in Andrew’s house for a good while.

12/3/93 – Pauline told me that I could have both lie-ins at the weekend, as I was tired and had been working hard. Only she and I know what a big sacrifice it is to give away a lie-in.

14/3/93 – This morning Sean fell down the stairs, but fortunately wasn’t hurt much – I caught him before he reached the bottom.

16/3/93 – Pauline, Sean, Eleanor and Alan were here at lunchtime, having been to a musical playgroup in Terenure which Pauline found a bit cringe-inducing.

17/3/93 – Andrew was here, to Sean’s delight – he worships Andrew – but has now gone to the parade.

23/3/93 – Pauline is pretty sure that she’s pregnant.

24/3/93 – We had a pleasant flight – Sean’s first ever. He was very well behaved. However, things took a turn for the worse in Heathrow. Towards the bottom of the escalator down to the Tube, the right back wheel of Sean’s buggy got caught in the mechanism. It took several people and some time to free it; the escalator had to be stopped and was damaged … [later] Aileen gave us something to eat, and Sean made himself known to Scamper and Flash, Apart from some moments of communion with Flash, he was the bane of the cats’ lives over the next few days.

26/3/93 – We were all up reasonably early, and got a train from Streatham Hill to Victoria. The ticket agent (English) said to me ‘Slán agus beannacht’ … [later] We got tubes to Monument and the DLR to Heron Quays. Sean, unfortunately, fell asleep on the DLR … Pauline, Sean and I went to see the folks in TTSL. We managed to wake him up after a while. Met everybody, chatted …Sean and Joyce played on the floor with Ebby’s train.

27/3/93 – I rang Nanci, whose number I had got from James, and arranged to meet her at the Duke of Devonshire, Balham, at 12. I wheeled Sean over there in his new buggy, and he fell asleep. He’d had a very tiring day yesterday, and had been a bit cranky … I had a couple of pints of lager outside the pub with Nanci and her boyfriend Richard … [later] Sean had had a good afternoon – Shirley had been over with her two sons, who played with Sean in the back garden.

28/3/93 – [back in Dublin] Sean was obviously glad to be home, and went around touching everything and trying everything out.

1/4/93 – As if for an April Fool joke, we got a letter from Irish Life saying that our mortgage payments are to be reduced to their present level. So financial institutions have a sense of humour after all.

2/4/93 – As I was picking up the usual litre of milk from the doorstep, something gave way in my back, and I was more or less crippled for the rest of the day … Later we mainly watched TV, including the Annie Murphy interview on the Late Late. She came across very well, despite being beleaguered by some smug friends of Casey’s, who accused her of lying.

4/4/93 – Sean was imitating me holding my back and groaning, much to our amusement.

5/4/93 – Pauline and Sean were at their art class/crèche in Dundrum.

9/4/93 – Christine and Liam arrived around 8, I think. With Sian, of course, who has come on a lot and is very sweet.

10/4/93 – In the afternoon we all went to the zoo, and had a really good time. Sean loved it, of course. It was a beautiful sunny day. We spent quite a few hours there, and Sean went on the train four or five times.

11/4/93 – In the afternoon we all went to Glendalough, but it was a horrible wet day and we didn’t have much chance to do or see anything.

12/4/93 – Sat in Stephen’s Green for a time, watching a Latin-looking guy being questioned by various Guards, probably on suspicion of being the Brazilian who murdered three schoolgirls in Spain. We saw him show his arms and chest – the wanted man is heavily tattooed … We went to Wally Wabbit’s on the way home from town – Sean had a good time in the ball pools.

14/4/93 – Pauline and Sean left [for Warrenpoint] around 11.15. In the late afternoon I went into town and looked around some camera shops. Eventually, I bought a Pentax zoom camera as a present for Pauline in Hall’s of Talbot Street.

18/4/93 – Sean had a brilliant day in Portstewart.

22/4/93 – Sean was at a funeral with Nuala today, and was very good in the church. Also, he saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in Newry.

24/4/93 – They all arrived in due course … Sean looked bigger and more mature than he had done. Pauline was delighted with her new camera.

27/4/93 – I cut down the bushes by the front wall, as they were a haven for very numerous wasps and bees and we were afraid that Sean would get stung … Amusing and almost serious incident today, reported by Pauline. A friend of Sean’s [next-door neighbour] was up a wooden ladder at the top of the gable of their house (the ladder standing on our side of the wall). Sean started to go up it too, to give his friend a hammer, but the ladder broke – a nasty shock for the guy at the top. Sean managed to hold the pieces together while your man edged down. He then announced that they were abandoning the work and going to the pub.

4/5/93 – Sean was playing next door all afternoon, under the supervision of Aileen – he had a great time.

8/5/93 – I got up with Sean around 8; we played around, had breakfast and so on. Then we both got a bad fright – Sean had put two 2p coins in his mouth without me noticing; I put him flat on his back to change his nappy and he started to choke. I slapped him on the back, turned him upside down, did anything I could think of. The 2ps came out – I was afraid he might have got a penny stuck in his throat as he was still choking, but no, he was OK. I brought him up to Pauline for her to console him.

21/5/93 – Peter and I had been out to John Donnelly’s house in Killowen to collect the trailer, and brought Sean, who had a great time sitting in a tractor, being overpowered by a big dog and generally fussed over.

26/5/93 – Sean has just started to say his name, very tentatively.

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