When I was 38

Stick with me.

Only 2 more of these to go and we’re back to normal service.

As I’ve been getting closer to the end I’ve realised that it takes about 10 years to get perspective on a year. I have been having trouble sorting out the important things from the last 10 years (my 30’s) .

10 years ago none of my family were married and we had no children. Now we’re all married (bar one) and there are 10 grandchildren. I haven’t mentioned any of them except my own yet in 10 years time they will obviously have been the most important thing in my life and the lives of my family.

And here I am boring you about how shit I am at running.

I suppose the fact that they are keeping us from our wine and beer and scribbling on the walls isn’t helping their cause but on the other hand, in 10 years when they’re crashing our cars and drinking our wine and beer we’ll still be growling at them.


I was no longer a marathon virgin. I was in a phase of my running that would take me on and upward path for about 18 months.

Before January was out though I had the joy of having child number 3 born healthy and well. We’d had a roaring row over Hannah’s name (Alison, Kim, Millie) – I had a particular problem with Millie having been a reader of Viz for the past 20 years – so we had this baby sexed before the delivery date and agreed on the name.

Tom Xavier.

Tom is after lots of different people (not least among them Tom Waits)

and Xavier is my father’s middle name (exotic for 1930’s Ireland  – in a kind of latin catholic way).


Tom 1 day old


Of course he looks nothing like that now. Only last night he was washing all the family toothbrushes in a basin full of shit and water – he had taken a dump on the floor, tidied it up and decided to wash his hands and toothbrushes at the same time -reminds me of the thieves who took the photo.

The rest of 2008 was made up of running and economic melt down.

On the running front I had 2 marathons – Cork in 3:35 and Dublin in 3:20. That 3:20 was the first and last time where I ran blind and stunned myself.

The following are two images that remind me most of 2008. The first one is the place we went on holidays (and have gone back every year since) – Brisighella.


the second one is taken on the 17th of October in the garden behind St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. I was drinking coffee with a very good friend of mine who knows lots more about markets and money than I do (or ever will). He was describing to me the economic Siberia that would beset ordinary people in the years after 2008. I was mainly ignoring him but it was soaking in all the same.


Holidays - Brisighella



October 2008



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