The early days and my nascent Diving career.

Diving

Some fifty five years ago, I was seven, and while on a family holiday in Killala Co Mayo, my parents bought me, after much whining on my part, a full diving kit consisting of snorkel, mask and fins.

The memory of my first diving equipment is clear. Blue rubbery type plastic, but not modern pliable rubbery plastic, the old stuff, that was almost as unflinchingly non-malleable as the material used in the making of buckets.

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A history of my families on Dublin’s Quays.

Dublin’s Quays

Introduction

Ever since the early Viking settlers built wooden quays at the dark pool on the river Liffey, Dublin’s future as an important trading city, of the Norse empire, the native Irish and then the Norman and British empires, and now for the Irish again, seemed assured.

The river was straight and navigable for several miles inland, making it an ideal artery, first for carrying raiding parties and then for trade.

After the expulsion of the Norse men in the eleventh century, Dublin while not yet the capital, was the east coasts most important trading hub.

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Sandymount Strand.

Sandymount Strand

Sandymount in Dublin Ireland is where I grew up and lived for the first 30 years of my life.

It is a seaside district on the south side of Dublin Bay, with the greatest expanse of open sand imaginable at low tide.

It’s been a while but I thought that I’d go down recently to visit my childhood.

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Five years in the reserve Armed Forces FCA (In Case of War Add Five Years.)

Chapter 1

You’re a Man Now.

When I joined the FCA (An Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil) Local Defence Force in 1970, I was just fourteen. The rules in those days were somewhat flexible. I should have been seventeen, so the officer with whom I filled out my application forms in Griffith barracks on the S. Circular Rd, told me to put 1953 down as my year of birth.

Did I look seventeen when I was actually fourteen? Did I hell !

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The Rose Window in Notre Dame Cathedral.

It was like a kick in the stomach when I received a BBC alert on my phone last year in April, telling of the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

The Great Rose

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I felt physically sick watching the news reports as the spire collapsed and the fire consumed those ancient timbers and who knows how much irreplaceable artwork. The drone shot of the entire cathedral roofless and blazing from end to end filled me with despair. I thought it was a total loss.

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A Surprise Trip to Paris in October 1979.

An Surprise Trip to Paris in 1979.

It was in October 1979, that over a foggy winter weekend I drove my bosses, 80% seatless  Peugeot 604, crammed to the roof with dress  jewellery, from A  Ltd., the consignor, to A  SARL , the consignee, in Rantigny, France about 60 km north of Paris.

I was the manager of the Ro-Ro and Deep Sea Export Department in R  Ltd., based in South West Dublin.

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Running Dublin’s Docks Winter 1975 / 76

Running Dublin’s Docks.

The closer we get to a no-deal Brexit, with its implicit threat of a border, either hard, around the six counties of Northern Ireland, or wet down the Irish Sea, the more my dock running PTSD affects me.

Hard or wet, the imposition of a border between Ireland and Britain, means the re-imposition of customs formalities, hence my Post Traumatic Stress Disorderdness..