One Sunday morning back in early October last year (2013), I awoke to find an email from Paddy Waldron in county Clare, Ireland, asking me if I would be interested in a project commissioned by the Ennis Town Council in Clare, in the writing of a history of Waterpark House.
And so the Waterpark project was born, and this voyage of discovery began!
Waterpark House was then the offices of the Ennis Town Council, but in a previous life it was the home of my Pilkington family for much of the 19th century.
The Clare Roots Society in Ennis have produced a great collection of local history books, and the Waterpark booklet, written by Larry Brennan, was to be another in the series.
Many months of activity followed, with drafts, corrections and additions flowing backwards & forwards by email, a process I thoroughly enjoyed and learnt a lot from. The Town Councils in Ireland were set to be disbanded in June of 2014, so the release of the Waterpark book was targeted to coincide with the Ennis Councils last official meeting in May.
Then came the dilemma - could I go to Ireland for the launch? should I go? could I negotiate leave from work? could I leave the family? And then, when exactly was the launch to be? After much deliberation, and encouragement from family and friends, and despite several changes of heart, I booked my flights and proceeded to plan for a month in Ireland.
And what an adventure it turned out to be!