Daily Archives: January 9, 2009


Weekends are precious when you are working.

During my schooldays, weekends started at lunchtime on Saturday.

Yes, our school day was from Monday to Friday 9.00am to 16.10pm with a lunch time break from 12.30pm until 13.55pm. Class on Saturdays started at 9.00am and finished four classes later at 12.30pm and there were hockey matches in the afternoon. I hated sport and I think it was that my body went into shock from the cold. No consideration was ever given to this and I was perpetually told to stop shivering! I avoided outdoor games at every chance I could.

I mostly worked five days a week. In some companies we finished at 4.00pm on a Friday. In winter we often adjourned to the local hostelry for a drink and wind down after a busy week. In summer people were more inclined to head away for the weekend.

In those early days one of my friends had a little Fiat 850 car and we travelled all over the country. Whoever sat in the front passenger seat needed to be careful where she put her feet as there was a large hole in the floor! We didn’t care as we tootled about all over the place. Salthill, Donegal, Bunratty, Clonakilty and Curracloe all provided adventure at some point. Achill Island off the west coast of Ireland was a favourite for a long Bank Holiday weekend.

I remember one particular weekend when four of us girls headed across to Achill all set to camp out for the weekend. One of the girls was embarking on her first weekend under canvas. Once we had the tent erected we began to unpack the car. Our newbie carried in her bag and started to empty it. I have no idea how we kept straight faces as she produced silk negligee and bedroom mules with swansdown tassels!

One time we travelled to Paris and felt so sophisticated attending a late showing of the film Last Tango in Paris with Marlon Brando – it was banned in Ireland at the time. Later that night as we walked along the Champs-Elysées a man lurched drunkenly at me and I felt the full weight of him hit me. I ducked away and as we walked on my hand seemed damp. I looked down only to discover it was blood and to my horror there was blood all down the front of my outfit! The only conclusion I could think of was that the man had been injured or stabbed. Looking back there was no sign of him and since I spoke no French, little point in making a fuss.

Another time I went to Dusseldorf, but the longest weekend journey I ever undertook was from Wiesbaden in Germany, to St Anton in Austria; a distance of 13 hours by train each way, to meet up with a cousin out there on holiday from Ireland!

So how did you spend your weekends?