To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.

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Patrick & Aaron

I doubt if Patrick and Aaron realize how proud I am of them; how much I love them and was looking forward to seeing them.

Aaron was a somewhat 'problematic" teenager but he seems to have found some of the best qualities of my father.and got his act together. He astounds and delights me with his "social skills".

Patrick and I have yet to square things off and it was a shock when he walked into Doheny & Nesbit's. I was not expecting him to be SO tall even though I had been warned. One of the consequence is that now when I look at a girl I simply discount on the basis that they would be too short. rather than considering whether I would approve if he brought her home (not that I expect him to seek approval)

I don't think either of them realised that when we went to Ron Blacks in Dawson Street, I found it a somewhat surreal experience. Aaron rolled past the bouncers totally oblivious to his body language: he always has had a sort of provocative swagger. This woke up the bouncers. Patrick was following walking softly like a tensed tiger. The bouncer, who has missed his opportunity with AJ, moved towards Patrick, who promptly stared him down (literally) and challenged as to whether he (the bouncer) wanted to see his (Patrick’s) identification. I am following in their wake with visions of a brawl breaking out. Fortunately Patrick's size intimidated the bouncer (it showed in his eyes) and he backed off. .And I only used to worry about AJ:

In the pub we talked about this and that; Patrick, as ever, was measured with his words; and in his eyes were flashes of Australia. Aaron was forward with his opinions. There was a little segue when Patrick asked me if I could program in java (I have difficulty writing let alone programming!!) He failed to mention that he had a college project to develop a screen saver using java to simulate a pint of Guinness settling. If I had know I would have asked how he and his teammates had tested and verified the accuracy of the simulation and how it stacked up to the Beamish advert which covers similar ground.

We had an animated conversation about the contents of a filing cabinet containing photos of my grandfather (mums side) which he has decided to appropriate. I am looking forward to copies, which I asked him to send me.

We talked about the possibility that he might go with his mother to visit Australia next January. If Susan, uncle Norman’s daughter or any of my other cousins in Australasia leaves a message on the tag board maybe he can arrange to visit (and find out more about mums side of the family)

We talked about mum - both of them gave me a hard time about the fact that I left it so long before visiting: I promised regular future visits. Aaron tasked me about Equitable life : I haven’t forgotten.

I was surprised to find that the boys had developed a passing interest in politics: AJ, who was born in Dublin, is apparently a true blue Tory and a supporter of Bush, (hopefully he will grow out of it ) . Both were surprised to find that I was one of the 500,000 peaceful protesters who periodically demonstrate for democracy in HK. Patrick knew that Tung had gone in but thought that he had died ( I think confusing Tung stepping down with death of Zhou Ziyang) Patrick asked about how difficult it is to travel in china. (who knows maybe when he has finished his course he will visit - I will try to send him some stuff for him this summer) hopefully Aaron will come this year with Alissia (?) There is a standing invitation.

Patrick tried to get us to go to a pub in Temple Bar but Aaron was resistant which is a pity because i would have liked to have seen where Patrick likes to drink his erdinger.

Instead Aaron showed off his "campus". We had an Italian meal (which was naff); Patrick enhanced his glass collection and we ended up in O'Niels where I had originally met their mother.

Aaron checked out the photos on my camera and to my surprise recognized Hampton Court. (I wonder if he went to ogle American tourists?) Neither talked about their girlfriends although both made relatively favourable noises about the other’s former (?) (none of my business really)

Patrick was amused that I now use glasses and they were both were surprised that I had an iPod (but neither asked what music I liked !! ) Aaron thought my phone was neat (?) They both complained about this blog and in particular fact that they couldn’t get the Korean Films that I had posted about – so I will have to send them the VCDs. Aaron also complained about fact that he still hadn’t got used to the cold in Ireland and Patrick painted a picture of Aaron wrapped up like a lollipop;

Touchingly when we left to go home they showed concern as to whether I would get home safely without being mugged. Maybe after all they had picked up on the surrealism at Ron Blacks ??

I got a photo of each but the quality was iffy.

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