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Friday, January 11, 2019 7 comments

"Travelling for a few months..." 30 years on


30 years ago, yesterday, I left Ireland to live in Amsterdam "for a few months," so to mark the occasion, here's 30 pictures, some memories and a few thoughts.

[Wonders why everyone suddenly runs, screaming for the hills!]

If you know me, or read my blog posts over the last seven years, I've led... eh yeah, an interesting life, to put it mildly. The friends I made and saved, and those few friendships I ruined. The true love I have, and the ones I lost, and walked away from, too. The jobs earned and career opportunities missed.

Moving, moving and moving again. Not even in a Witness Protection program! Nearly sixty moves in thirty years, but I have peace now and understand why I ran so much. Three boys, and one true love later, I'm truly blessed to be here -- and have them in my life.

I'm moving to Holland soon... in 1989

After Holland, it's Spain for me...

...To work as a hotel entertainer in 1991 :)

Years spent in England, contemplating the meaning of life.

Then, the U.S. and my first car in 1997.

Chicago. Y2K. A good place with great people...

...And I even met the Greatest of them all!

Fantastic times when an old friend from EuroDisney came to visit in 2003.

My byline in a newspaper for the first time in 2005.

Time with Oma in 2006, telling her I would soon be a Papa.

Discovering baseball and one day meeting my favorite player

Blessed with this miracle baby in 2007

...Wondering how I'd ever cope!

Still smiling after a ride in Fat Albert with the Blue Angels.

Driving across the U.S. again. Amazing road trips.

The other Angels won a play-off game in 2009 (very rare these days!)

A second, seriously squishable boy in 2010.

Who took after his brother :)

Somebody's happy to see Papa finish another marathon...

Time to move again in 2010

But brought me Ma to see the back of the Statue of Liberty first.

Started 2011 off like this...

And nearly finished the year with this view...

But the last day of 2011 gave us this present :)

No. I don't scream like my brothers!

While they played in the waters of Hawaii in 2014...
...I managed to publish a book in 2015. Bucket list item: Done!

Chilling at the Florida pool in 2016

My 3 big lads in Virginia in 2017

And, I got engaged to my One in 2018. 

With only a handful of deep regrets, (I can't wish different the past no matter the depth of the stare at the now-empty glass,) I let it go. Mostly. If my boys read this one day, I hope the photos offer a small, added insight into my good, bad (and several) ugly adventures on the road from Rialto to Reality.

Even better if we're lucky to all sit down one day when they're older. I'll share the dodgy stories not pictured here, answer the real questions and enjoy another day surrounded by the ones I love most - and who love me.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019 6 comments

Midweek Moments - Spain & Ireland


Here's two weeks of Midweek Moments, and I blame the holidays for my recent laziness.

Enjoy and hope your week is going well.

This region has seen much political upheaval, and it continues, even if the initial enthusiasm has flagged..

Sneaking a peek at the exterior of a church being restored.

The old man by the sea - again!

I love finding these number changes, and always wonder why and when?

Walking home one night (in Dublin) and the swans glided over to see if I had any bread.

Relaxing on the patio with my beloved :)

Definitely some cultural food differences, but Spain is the world's #4 for life expectancy... 

...maybe because it's nice to relax in the sun and watch the world go by?

A picture of me Da smiling! (Normally, he acts like a grumpy git!) 

When your ground-floor hotel room doesn't come equipped with a fridge, use the ledge!

Christmas reunion in Dublin. I know these four lads for a combined 180+ years :)

Monday, January 7, 2019 7 comments

Monday's Musings - Christmas memories


I spent Christmas Day with my small, but immediate family for the first time in awhile, and as the gathering ebbed and flowed, I wondered exactly how long was it since I'd last sat in the front room of the corner house my Ma has called home for her entire 69 years.

"It's got to be at least 10 years since I was actually home for Christmas Day," I said.

Having arrived home, it was time to go for a pint!

"I can't remember, son," said Ma, "but it's definitely been years."

Next time my Da walked into the room, I asked him the same question, and he also couldn't remember when, so I got intrigued and between the three of us, we eventually figured out I hadn't been home for Christmas Day since 1991.

Bloody hell, that's 27 years ago!

I was shocked, and while I'd been home a few times before Christmas, and after Christmas, I was sad that I'd missed so many chances to make silly, family memories that only happen on Christmas Day.

Me brother listens as me Da shares a memory of his days sailing the seven seas.

After 8 days, I left home to go home, but am already looking forward to our next Christmas Day together. We had a lovely, quiet day and all promised to do it again this year. Of course, life has many ups and downs and who knows what will happen, but I loved being there, especially at that magical time of the year - and hope you also created new memories to treasure with your loved ones.

Happy New Year, and wishing you the very best for 2019.

The "Facebook Picture"

The Reality :)

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