A walk down memory lane

A walk down memory lane

They say that school days are the best days of your life, well I never subscribed to that but over the last couple of weeks I have connected with past classmates of mine via FB. This got me thinking about my school days and my childhood back home in Ireland. I lived in an area called Inchicore, right beside Kilmainham Gaol, which was at the center of Irish history in 1916. 

I attended primary (elementary?) school in St Michael’s CBS, also in Inchicore and across the road from Richmond Park, the the home to St Patrick’s Athletic and McDowells pub, two places I would frequent a lot in my adult life. St Michael’s CBS was also steeped in the history of 1916 and between there and Kilmainham, it’s no wonder I have a huge interest in not only Irish history, but 1916 and the fight for Irish independence. School back then was completely different to the way it is today, teachers didn’t think twice about taking out a leather strap or hurling a duster the length of the classroom at you if you weren’t paying attention. 

As a young lad my sporting interest was football (soccer) , but I also played hurling and rugby but more times than not I was out with a ball having a kick about with friends and playing matches on the weekends. I was quite small but quick and I really loved playing football and as a little 10 year old I was part of a great team who nearly all attended the same school and lived in the same local area. Now below is a photo of me in the team photo and it was the year I was named player of the year. It was the highlight of career! 

As I said I have recently connected with some lads I attended secondary (high school) with on FB and this weekend they are meeting up for a few beers back in Dublin. I seen a photo of our class that was taken just before we finished school for good and I have absolutely no memory of the photo ever been taken and it was the first time I ever seen it. It was taken in 1984, before we sat our final exams in June of that year. 

I hope you have enjoyed my brief walk down memory lane and I am delighted I have been able to reconnect with my ex classmates and that I am still in touch with some of the lads in the football team photo nearly 40 years later. 

Its not difficult….but can be lonely

A bit of a thoughtful post today. As I have stated recently, I am only 3 months in the USA and still can’t work as I await paperwork to clear. As a new immigrant to the country and someone who had either been in school or work constantly since I was 17, not working is difficult but with structure and support from loved ones it can be done.

I worked for Irish Rail for 3 years, the Irish Defence  Forces for 23 and Dublin Airport for 2, as well as attending college in the last few years, so I have always been busy. I did take 8 months off back in 2011 when I retired from the military and that was more to get what I had planned going and every day had a certain amount of structure.

2nd Cav Sqn Exercise Carlisle (121)
Me while serving in the Military

Its very easy to fall into a life of day time TV, which i hate, or just staying in bed till noon. Neither of those options appeal to me so a plan was needed. As we have 2 dogs that helped with any plan as they love to go on walks. Also I love to drive my wife into work so that means most mornings we are out the door by 7.15am.

My day starts once I drop Leanne to work and come home with the dogs. A quick walk around the neighborhood is followed by breakfast and a mug of tea. I now have a subscription to Lynda.com which allows me to learn new skills with the aid of video online lessons. Normally i will do 90 mins at a time, 2-3 times over the day, depending on what else i need to do.

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Walking the dogs

The real difficulty is loneliness, being on my own most of the day it takes discipline to make sure I keep at what I am doing. The dogs keep me company but its a chat with someone that I miss the most. I do keep in contact with friends at home via Viber but there is a 5 hour time difference s that can be difficult at times. I am lucky as i have a few things on my side, firstly I have the support of my lovely wife, secondly i am quite disciplined to keep at what I am doing and finally daytime TV sucks!

If you are in the same situation as me, make a plan, stick to it and have structure for you day. Yes take a day off, go for lunch but have a plan of what to do. In a few short months I hope the paperwork comes through and I can start following my dream of being self employed as a photographer, but for now the planned and structured days of being at home and a house husband will continue.