Some diary entries … March to May 1992

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1/3/92 – Sean woke at 7, unfortunately for Pauline, whose turn it was to get up with him.

2/3/92 – Sean was wide awake at 6. He’s got a room of his own now.

3/3/92 – Pauline and I (and Sean) went to Irish Life in the afternoon, and did quite well – it looks as though they’d be willing to lend us £45,000 … [later] Sean was troublesome (teething; one bottom tooth already through).

5/3/92 – Sean gave us a hard time during the night, so we were very tired in the morning.

7/3/92 – [Detailed account of Dave and Dervla’s wedding day – I was best man.]

8/3/92 – Hungover, of course. Pauline got up early with Sean; I found I couldn’t get back to sleep and got up quite early too. Had a shower. I cooked a fry for half the people; Christine did the other half. Peter and I went to the Central Hotel to collect Margaret and bring her back. Eventually they all went to Marley Park in two cars, while Liam and I walked to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It was nice and sunny and we had a couple of drinks sitting outside. Good chat too, which continued over a couple of cans back in the house. Then the others arrived; Peter, Nuala, Margaret and Aileen left soon after. Christine and Liam stayed for a while and we played with Sean – Aileen had bought him building cups and a dinosaur book. Then they left. I got a rather miserable takeaway in Matassa’s. We had a quiet night in.

14/3/92 – Sean gave us a difficult night. He was wide awake at 5.30 and even rocking in the pram couldn’t get him off, so Pauline got up with him. Both came back to bed around 7; I got up with Sean at 8.15. In due course I took him to Dundrum; had coffee, a bun and the Guardian in Bewley’s. Pauline slept till 12 or so … [later] After the haircut I met Pauline and Sean in Bewley’s, where we all had something to eat, then we walked up to Sandyford and toured Balally and Wedgewood, then we walked home. Good crack. The groceries were waiting for us.

15/3/92 – We’d had another difficult night with Sean. I got up in the morning with him. Took him for a walk via the Dodder and Clonskeagh; bought the Independent on Sunday as usual. Nuala, Peter and Margaret arrived early in the afternoon, having dropped Aileen off at the airport. They, Pauline and Sean went off to look at housing estates … Aileen rang from her flat in London, in ‘this land of indifference’, as she put it. The others came back with a high chair and a bath seat for Sean, having made a good bit of progress on the househunting phase 1 front … [later] Peter, Pauline and I went to see a house in Broadford. Due to a misunderstanding we couldn’t get in.

17/3/92 – We all got a bus to Ballinteer to see a house in Broadford. The décor was bad and it would have needed a lot of work, so we weren’t too impressed. Walked back via ‘shortcuts’. I had a nap for an hour and a half or so in the afternoon, then we went to the Marist park and Sean crawled on the multicoloured mat. It was a nice day. I cooked a veg stew, which was very good – one dinner for Pauline and me, and four for Sean.

18/3/92 – I met Pauline and Sean in Dundrum and walked home with them. I cooked a fry, and then we all caught a bus to Ballinteer. Went to see two more houses, in Broadford Lawn and Broadford Park. They were both impressive, especially the former; much more so than the one we’d seen yesterday. So this gave us some heart. We caught a bus home, having run for it – me running wheeling Sean in the pram.

19/3/92 – I met Pauline and Sean in Bewley’s after work, and then we got a bus to Ballinteer to view yet another house in Broadford – the third in Broadford Lawn. It was better than the first but not as good as the second and third. Walked home. Pauline spoke to her dad and he advised us to make an offer on the best one.

20/3/92 – After Pauline got up I was lying in bed with the wakeful Sean. Suddenly there was a crash – I had dozed off and he had crawled off the edge of the bed. He was upset, but to our great relief unhurt. In future I’ll get up at 7 with Pauline instead of hoping for more sleep … [later] Cycling home after work I met Pauline, Mary and Sean coming the other way in Mary’s van. Mary said ‘Uncle Tom’s’ out the window and I was there before them. We drank 2.5 pints of Budweiser between us, sitting outside, and chatted.

21/3/92 – Later we stayed in and played with the ever-more-playful Sean, who is really good fun.

28/3/92 – We got a bus into town and caught the 3.00 train to Newry – Sean was very good on the way and made friends with a 4-year-old girl.

31/3/92 – Pauline rang Ann O’Brien and offered £50,000 for 62 Broadford Lawn.

1/4/92 – Pauline rang in the afternoon with the good news that our offer for 62 Broadford Lawn had been accepted … The O’Briens won’t be moving out till 1 July.

5/4/92 – My dad had left by 5.30. He seemed to enjoy his visit – Sean had showered him with smiles, to the delight of my dad.

8/4/92 – Sean had fun in his bath, and went to sleep around 10.

10/4/92 – The news, as reported to me first by Pauline, was that the Conservatives had gained an overall majority. The polls got it completely wrong. A week ago Kinnock was the PM-in-waiting; now all has changed utterly. I was disappointed.

11/4/92 – [in Manchester for Dónal and Ruth’s wedding] During ‘James Connolly’, when Pat sang ‘Then who, then who, will lead the band?’, Jim quipped ‘John Major’.

13/4/92 – [at Dublin Airport] Peter, Nuala and Sean were late. Pauline was dying to see Sean. Then they arrived. Sean had been fine over the weekend, and hadn’t given the oldies too hard a time.

17/4/92 – Peter rang with some good news. Christine had a baby girl this afternoon. The Hankins and Sean are going up to Portstewart tomorrow to see young Sian.

18/4/92 – Pauline and Sean were in Portstewart meeting Sian.

21/4/92 – Sean was awake a good bit during the night, and ended up in our bed as usual. So we were tired in the morning.

22/4/92 – Sean had perhaps his best night’s sleep ever … I heard him crying briefly in the other room once or twice, but he didn’t have to be tended.

12/5/92 – Rang Pauline [in Warrenpoint] and spoke to Sean, who spoke back. He is clinging tight to Pauline; she is absolutely shattered.

14/5/92 – Met Pauline and Sean off the train, and we got a taxi home. Had a quiet evening in … Sean seemed glad to be home.

17/5/92 – In the afternoon we went to a sports day at the Marist Fathers and Sean crawled on the grass.

19/5/92 – Sean now stands alone from time to time. He calls Pauline ‘mama’ and me ‘dada’.

21/5/92 – My turn to subdue Sean and keep him asleep in our bed for as long as possible after he had woken in his cot at the usual 5.30 or so. Finally got up with him at 7.30 … [later] Sean had his final injection this morning, and grimaced but didn’t cry.

27/5/92 – Discovered to my disgust that my bike had been stolen from the side passage … So I walked to work.

30/5/92 – Pauline bought water wings for Sean.

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