"THE time I get up on a Sunday depends entirely on what plans we've made for the day. If it's a usual wintry weekend, that normally means struggling up at about nine with my wife Suzanne and then taking the mandatory three to four hours to get ready. We have twin daughters aged two so it's like a military operation to get us, them and Rolf the dog fed, dressed, into the car and off to mass.
Once in a while I might rise very early, around seven, and hit the golf course. That way I'm back at a reasonable time, with 18 holes under my belt, but I still have the day with the family.
Just after noon, we'll head to Sandymount or Killiney Hill for a walk and a bit of a play, getting home in time for the mother of all Sunday lunches. When Suzanne and I were doing our premarriage course, there was always a lot of talk about 'family values'. I seemed to be always picked on for answers, probably due to my height, but when I was asked what my ideal family value was, I said a big, proper Sunday dinner. I want my home to be the place where there's always a roast going on in the house and all my friends might call over to get drunk by the fire.
We're not quite at that stage yet, but we do a version of it where friends and their kids will join us and we'll while away the afternoon and early evening.
There might be a few guitars involved and the kids will probably settle in front of Postman Pat or something. It's a real winter activity and the controlled chaos will carry on into the evening, until one of the children . . . or adults . . .
Because this spread will happen in the late afternoon, we bundle the girls off for a rest beforehand. This gives me time to make a first attack on the papers. With my business in publishing, coupled with the course I'm currently doing in journalism, I like to keep up with what's going on. I'll also use this 'down time' to plan my week ahead. A lot of people get wound up on a Sunday but I'm a firm believer in lists. If you have a few balls in the air, like I do, it pays dividends to write it out, organise your week and schedule everything in.
Then I can sit back and enjoy the rest of my weekend.
I'll try not to do any 'proper' work, but recently it's been crazy. I organise The Money Show exhibitions and we've had shows in Dublin and Galway recently, with the Belfast leg happening in November.
As the evening draws in, I'll hit the papers again and we'll veg in front of the TV with a bottle of wine. I love watching golf, or Suzanne and I might get stuck into a movie. It's at this stage I'm reminded that, yet again, I've done nothing in the garden. My last thought for the day usually depends on what's been happening and what's ahead for the week, but it's usually a contented feeling of focus for Monday morning."