Recently my brother came to visit me in New York and brought with him a diary he found at home which belonged to me. Reading through it I found myself amazed at how I could still remember certain times and events but also how generally happy and carefree I was. I’ve always said that the years I lived in Donaghmede up to my thirteenth birthday were my happiest and my time in New York is a close second.
I decided to write the entries here because recently I have had writers bock and needed to do something and also because the diary was falling apart and fit for the trash.
The one thing I find funny is my new found interest in girls, falling in love with them on sight and also my obsession with Ghostbusters.
Upon opening up the Diary I noticed that I had filled in an information page as follows:
Organization: Evil Spies Club*
*A club I made with friends and was currently writing about until writers block occurred.
Occupation: To rid the world of evil.
In case of accident please contact: Mrs Dempsey but don’t worry I’ll never have one.
I nearly had to write a poem out 20 times but I knew it in the end. John had to write his on the way to Kerry.
Thursday, March 17th
Went to St. Patrick’s parade. Had a good time. Americans asked to get on our step ladder to take photographs.
Stephen’s* birthday. He got lots of lovely presents. I was a bit jealous. I didn’t know where to look. I got a new computer game.
*My younger brother.
Dad got robbed. They took his Flymo (Lawnmower) and hedge cutter. We saw them in the fields later.
Went to Mass. Went to airport and saw a big Jumbo jet.
Done revision for test. Saw Red Dwarf. I got a great joke from the telly “I look so good if I looked any better I’d be illegal”
Done music test. I got 81% in music. Didn’t get results in maths though. Started model making for a project.
Watched Ghostbusters*. It was great. Done choir practice in church.
*The Real Ghostbusters was a cartoon that I was obsessed with.
Done Irish test & Geography, probably done bad. Got a note home for nothing that I can think of. Confirmation tomorrow. I’ll be singing for it.
Sung for choir in mass. Got a half day. Nearly invented a solar panel. Mam went to have a talk with my teacher.
Watched Smokey and The Bandit 3. I gave it 7/10 stars
Put all the clocks forward and went to mass.
Stephen was sick (pain in his stomach). Dad kept looking at all the nurses in the hospital. Came home at 12.00
Asked Michelle* to go out with me** but it got confusing and she said yes but i’m not sure. Going to ask her again next Tuesday.
*There were several Michelles in my school, all of which I fancied, not sure which one I was referring to here.
**To be my girlfriend
Saw Ghostbusters. Had Easter party in school. It was great. Played with Sam* in the fields with Graham and got dirty.
*Sam was my dog growing up. He was known for being able to play soccer and score goals and also for being able to eat everything except lettuce.
April 7th, Thursday
I saw a girl, love at first sight. She was gorgeous and was about 13 or 14. I love that girl. Saw her at the garage
Went swimming. Dad’s birthday. There was fire works at the Phoenix park but I missed it.
Saw police academy 1. It was great. 10/10 stars
Went to school. Got lots of homework. I love Michelle. xxxxxxxx
Saw Ghostbusters, it was great. I will ask Michelle to go out with me again on Friday.
I’m going to ask Michelle tomorrow.
I asked Michelle and she said “I’ll think about it”. I suppose she’ll say yes. Wait and see.
Granny came over and minded us. She was great.
Very embarrassed going to school. She (Michelle) didn’t say anything.
Michele didn’t still say anything and I was a bit embarrassed. Bye.
Michelle didn’t say anything and mam told me about blood coming out of her vagina.*
*My mother explained to me about the Menstrual cycle on this particular day
Missed Ghostbusters. First day back at school after weekend. Very tired.
Good day at school. I beat the teacher in a race back to the school.
Saw Ghostbusters. It was great. I got 50 lines to get signed for swinging a chair. Ah fuck off!
Showed teacher lines. Got terrible headache when I fell off my bike.
Sunday, May 1st 1988
Dad slapped me for nothing. Crap day.
Watched James Bond and got stuff ready for mams’ birthday tomorrow. She’s 35.
Granny came over. Good craic. We talked about World War 2. Great day.
Saw Ghostbusters. It was great. Sang in choir. I was on stage with lots of people. Great day.
Good day at school. Saw Battlestar Galactica. It was great also. Brilliant day.
Done lots of work* in school. Shifting furniture to a different school while old school gets repaired. Had a fight with Jason Shaw. I won.
*My school was being renovated. We were moved to a nearby school as a temporary measure. Instead of hiring professionals our school decided to use the pupils to move all the furniture to our new location. To this day I remember it being on a par with moving apartments in New York. The work was that tough.
Got a windbreaker. Shitty fuck day and a bolloxy choir practice.
Went to airport. Great time. Excellent day.
Great day. Got into an argument with Ann*. Just remembered about Aileen**.S.E.X.
*Insane religious woman who lived down the end of my street.
**Girl I fancied in school who moved to another part of Ireland.
Me and Patrick went on a voyage* to the train tracks and had a great time. Went to airport later. Seen two jumbo jets. Great day.
*A voyage was what we called leaving the house at 9am and returning at 6pm after exploring the fields near where I lived. Not sure you could do that now even as an adult but in the 1980’s it was safe enough. We would bring sandwiches.
Went to the airport with granny and dad and myself. Stephen didn’t come.
Good day. I slept in. Me and Jason made a bicycle gang (Called The 7 Hawks). Found a swing in a tree. Day ended badly.
Brought Sam to the vet because he broke his foot. Yesterday a car ran over his foot. Done shopping, got a Ghostbusters comic.
Played chasing with Karl, Simon etc. Me, Johnathon and Stephen went to the fields later.
Saw Ghostbusters. It was all about an Irish legend. People sponsored me for 100 spellings. I’ll probably get 80 or 75. Excellent day.
Good day at school, done art – EXPLODING PICTURES. Spelling test tomorrow. Dad brought a man over to study* with. Good day.
*My father decided to get a college education as a mature student.
Got army hats and a box for my music tapes.
Day started shitty but then was okay. I got chased by a boy, probably 14, he beat me up.
Saw Ghostbusters. Went to out to play. Saw a girl. Fell in love. Her name is Dorothy. Good day.
Spelling results. I got 70/100. Excellent day. I love Edele*.
*Another girl I fancied in school.
Went to airport.
Different teacher at school because teacher is sick. Saw the film Tootsie. Fell in love with a nurse at the hospital. Good day.
The diary for the next few days is ineligible. My handwriting was as bad then as it is now.
Sunday 19th, June 1988
Forgot about father’s day. Went to mass.
Went to see Paul* in hospital. It’s his birthday, he is 3. Went to mass.
*My cousin Paul was sick for a long time.
Tuesday 28th, June 1988
Had to go to the shop for mam’s birthday. Just fed up. Nothing goes right.
Missed Ghostbusters because it wasn’t on. Bad day, hurt my knee. BAD DAY.
Had to stay in bed because of my sore knee. Boring day but good week.
Friday 1st, July 1988
Good day. Swapped three gliders for an old fashioned car.
Seen James Bond. Good Day.
Went to bed early because I’m trying not to be scared* and am trying to get asleep. Good day.
* I was obsessed with ghosts.
I helped dad do the garden. I played out the back garden. It was a wet day. Good day.
Stupid day. Went to a carnival. Shity fucking arse holey day.
Went looking for a summer job and no luck. I even tried the industrial estate. Good day.
I went to Dunnes Stores* looking for a job. Went on a voyage to the fields. Bad day. I had to go to bed at 9pm.
* Ireland’s largest grocery outlet.
Planning to go see Three Men and a Baby. I got a kite. I had a good day.
Had party*. Paul is back in hospital. Went to see police academy 5. Not that funny. good day.
*A party was being allowed stay up late and watch TV well past my bedtime with a packet of dry roasted peanuts. A weird ritual I insisted upon every Friday night
I saw half of “You Only Live Twice”. Good day.
I found out how to work “beyond” on my computer and it is brilliant. Good day.
I went out and flew my kite with Jason really well. Good day. I had a fight with graham and won.
I slept at Granny’s and am now bored. I’m waiting and getting ready to go. Played with grandad. Good day.
Saw “Crocodile Dundee 2” I gave it 5/10 stars.
Good day, saw “Who’ll Save our Children”
Good day. Played guns with Stephen , played with Karl. Went to garage too.
Got two back teeth pulled out. Very sore. Gave up sweets. Bad day.
Gum still sore. I couldn’t go out at all today because of my gums. Good day.
Went to mass. Bad day, its all rush rush rush.
Tuesday 2nd August
Good day just like old times. Climbing walls and getting into trouble as well. I love my brother.
Mam’s finger bled like mad, very worried.
Monday, 8th, August 1988
Luckiest day of the century. 8-8-88.
Bad day. It was shitty went to Artane Castle* to do some shopping and dad hit me for no reason.
*A supermarket I would later work in located on the grounds of an old castle.
I love me.
Walked all the way to Portmarnock* with Patrick today. I’m not allowed play with Patrick ever again. Good day.
*A seaside town many miles away. I probably got in big trouble for this.
Broke my thumb in two places. Went to the hospital.
I have to go back to the fracture clinic. Thumb is very sore.
Went to Fracture Clinic and they took off the sling. Still throbbing.
Saw Ghostbusters and my thumb is not as bad but still sore today.
Played on the street and hit my ball at Bobby White*. He came around to have a go at mam and went away with his tail between his legs.
*A neighbor and semi-tough guy who made the big mistake of thinking he could have a go at my mother.
Thumb doesn’t hurt as much.
Had an argument with The Shaws*. Granny came over . Good day.
*Local family who hated me, I never knew why.
Bad fucking day. Tomorrow I’m getting the bandage off.
Thursday 1st, September
Played in the hay fields and made a hut.
Went to St. Ann’s park and hurt my thumb. Awake all night
Awake all night with thumb. This is the millennium , Dublin is 1000 years old on this date.
Went back to school and now have Mr. Abraham. He spoke mostly to me most of the time. Good day.
Missed Ghostbusters. Bruno got hit by a car and Bruno is dead*. Good day.
*I think Bruno was a local dog, I hope it was a dog.
I had to stay in today because mam found out about my argument with The Shaws. Piss witch fuck pubic hair vagina.
Had a party. Everyone was arguing at me. I went to Ian’s* house and had a great day
*Friend from school (Jar of Bee’s)
Good day went house hunting*.
*My family decided to leave the estate and move elsewhere. We would soon become middle class.
I told Ian about us selling our house and he said they are selling theirs too.
A man came over and offered us $25,000 for the house. We were looking for $28,000.
Another man came over to look at the house.
Monday 3rd October
I told Ian and David about my birthday party.
House was sold for 25,000 pounds.
Saw Ghostbusters, it was great. Mad day.
Getting really excited about my birthday
Sunday 9th Birthday!!!
Great day. Got a game called gunship for Commodore 64.
Monday 1st November
Lazy day. Saw a jumbo flying really low overhead.
Ashling asked to go with me so I said yes. Sex Sex Sex.
Saw a house in Woodbine Park. We are going to offer them 32,000 pounds. Good day.
Went on a jumbo jet to Shannon. Great day.
Went looking for houses and got mass.
Got house in Woodbine for 33,700 pounds.
The diary ends here. Several pages past this entry are are filled with drawings of ghosts and scribbles about how Christmas is coming.
We moved into the new house shortly afterwards and I would return as often as I could to my old estate until I eventually stopped going and tried to make new friends. I never found the new place as interesting and living on a street as opposed to living in a housing estate was a strange adjustment. We were now middle class. I was sent to an all boys school. No more girls. I picked up my fathers guitar and would spend hours in my room learning to play it. I started another diary, several in fact, but I burned them all years later. I don’t have many fond memories of Woodbine anyway, although those entries would be a lot more interesting than these ones.