Due to Covid and work restraints, I hadn't been back home to Ireland since the beginning of the pandemic. It meant that my trip planned for late November of this year (2023) was intended to be a special one. I was excited about it. I was planning to spend a few days alone in the capital to walk the city, visit outlying suburbs, to take a look, from the exterior at least, of the house where my late aunt had lived, as well as various other places from my childhood where I had spent time with my mother and other members of the family. This was before hiring a car to drive south to the Midland region, which includes the counties of Laois and Offaly, where several members of my family still live on the 'McCormack farm', close to where my mother was born and where so many wonderful memories from my childhood had unfolded.