When I was 5

Ok, it’s 1975 and we only have 35 years to go. I think I can make it -visualise the optimism at the start of your first marathon.

On the running front I knocked out a laboured 8 miles this afternoon. Too much beer and spiced beef yesterday.

I was 4 1/2 when I started primary school in 1975. I was in babies. These days it’s called junior infants but we called it babies. I was in one of two babies classes in Douglas Boys National School. The school had just had a major extension that was all space aged and full of new young teachers with tight polo necks and full chests. The perfect mother substitutes 😉  The school was extended because  of all the new housing estates at the edge of the city that were feeding into the school; Shamrock Lawn, Maryborough, Grange Heights. All cool new modern estates. Obviously we didn’t live there. thes little fuckers were ROMS wearing cool kids whose dad’s works in Dunlops or Fords (check the blog post for 1984 for how this stopped being cool).

To say school was a bit of a wretch for me would be an understatement. Having been blissfully happy hanging around with my mother and being her chief helper for the previous 4 years I couldn’t see the need to spend all day in a room full of ham sandwich eating kids. To cope with this I slept through the first 4 days of school. I still vividly remember sleeping through these days of school. I used to wake up close to going home time with an elbow sleeve full of snot.  After 4 days the polo neck wearing boobstress had a chat with my mother and she had a chat with me and I stopped sleeping and started playing with the ham sandwich eaters.

The rest of the year was basically finger painting and learning to hold a pencil. Looking back on school for the first 4 years (when I had either lady teachers (the polo neck wearing ones) or a particularly good young ‘man’ teacher) I really enjoyed it – as much as you can in a fundamentalist catholic theocracy.

the other major hook in 1975 was our summer holiday. As far as I can remember this was the first year in Lahinch a seaside town in Co. Clare. These holidays in Co. Clare were the strongest memory of my 1970’s childhood. They were the perfect balance of all the things you could want in a family holiday in Ireland. Dad got to play golf every day on the links course. We got to hang around on the beach or the slots.  Mum got to sit in a ‘mobile home’ with a chemical toilet.

Also, in 1975 my godfather, John Cronin, died in Somerset. He was the eldest brother in my father’s family. I have never looked into his life in much detail but I know he was in the merchant navy and worked for Westland Helicopters (big things to a little boy). I do remember my father telling me that after he died he was my Guardian Angel. I used to wander around wondering if there was a ghost sitting on my shoulder.

In other news I am growing the Christmas beard. Wife is not happy. She says I look like a vagrant. I think I look like an ultra running hippy.


She’s right. Obviously.



2 responses to “When I was 5

  1. What, no picture of the beard?

  2. The beard will come in handy for the ultra – lots of trapped nutrients!

    No picture of the boobstress either?

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