The day of the week I love off is a Sunday. Sometimes I am fortunate at the gibson to get a Saturday and Sunday off together but it very much depends on what’s going on and lately there have been lots of Saturday gigs at the 3 Arena next door, Croke Park or the Aviva Stadium very close by. With 252 bedrooms & suites and a very busy food and beverage operation, weekends can be exceptionally busy so I prefer to be around to offer support to the team and meet guests.
When I do get 2 days off together I love nothing more than to jump in the car and head west to County Clare where I am originally from and where most of my family live.
I am fortunate to have a house set in the country but not far from Ennis town which I had built 10 years ago. It is in an area known as Ballyalla which has a beautiful lake where swimming is allowed and there are lovely, scenic walks around the lake. On my day off for me it is heaven to wake in my house in Clare in the peace and quiet and hear nothing but nature, birds and the occasional snore!!
Sundays are all about being leisurely, relaxed and catching up with family over a meal. With my normal weekly routine, I tend to wake at about 7.00am on a Sunday but if I can, I try to turn over and lie in until 9.00/9.30am. Once awake and as I seem to be getting more and more addicted to my I-phone, I check on emails, night Manager reports, Social media, RTE news, Trip advisor....... for a half hour of so...... Then it’s up into the running gear, Dave Fanning on the headphones on and off I go. I usually try to run 3 or 4 mornings a week mainly to keep fit and keep the weight down. My Sunday run I really enjoy. I completed the Dublin City Marathon 2 years ago and am hoping and training to do this year again but progress this year is slow and I am really only getting into the training now.
The 5 mile run I do in Clare on a Sunday is the most beautiful scenic, peaceful, run. The route takes me around the lake and past the graveyard where my dad Seamus and brother Adrian are laid to rest so I stop by, have a chat with them on where life is at and all the ups and downs going on.
I then finish my run - home for a shower and shave and ready for the Sunday papers. I have an extremely patient, kind partner who will have prepared breakfast and will have the Sunday Indo. and Business Post ready on my return - that’s service for you!!
The papers are read for an hour or so and normally then we collect my mother and take her out for Sunday lunch and a catch up with the rest of the family. My mother, like many Irish mothers does most of the talking and I think she stores everything up and let’s it all out on a Sunday!
My brothers are in the hotel business also and we generally head to our family hotel - The Atlantic in Lahinch for lunch. They have a superb Chef who produces great traditional food so quite often we have fresh Atlantic fish, Roast Beef or even Turkey & Ham which is a favourite all year round.
Occasionally and as a treat we would go to Dromoland Castle for lunch. The setting, service, food is always first class at Dromoland and as a family we have such great memories from there and many of our family worked there over the years. In fact my nephew Ryan who is studying at GMIT is on placement in Dromoland Castle at present and is really enjoying it.
After lunch and a walk on the Promenade then we would head back to Ennis at about 5.00pm and then if the weather is good, mow the lawn or generally potter around the garden. I had the front lawn landscaped some years ago and now I am planning to do a modern patio and outdoor BBQ/dining area in the back garden so have been spending some time on this lately in the hope of getting it done this summer(should the weather ever improve?!). Obviously I am not doing the work myself, as it would be a disaster but I have been researching tiles, furniture, garden designs on line etc. and finally know what I want to achieve. Work is due to start soon.
Most weekends we would travel back to Dublin on a Sunday evening at around 7.30pm and be back home by 9.30pm. Then it’s a very light bite to eat, watch some comedy TV or a nature programme and get organised for Monday morning. I always find for me it is easier to get organised the night before and have the shirt and suit chosen and shoes polished. I try to be in bed for 11.00pm and may read for a half hour or so and have lights out by midnight.
This all sounds good and healthy but if I stay out too late on a Saturday night with friends this can all go out the window!!