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Second star on the right I can remember it like it was just yesterday It was the mid-eighties and I was just an awe-stricken young eight-year-old as I accompanied my aunt to Shannon Airport She was the second of my relations that was travelling to spend a summer in Australia and I can still remember the look in her eyes as we saw her off To me she exuded an air of nervous anticipation tinged with the excitement of what was no doubt going to be one of the most memorable summers of her young life As we entered through the cavernous doors of Shannon International Airport you can imagine what the place must have looked like through the captivated eyes of a child I could not stop looking around and twice my grandfather had to reprimand me for wandering off Whether I was enthralled in the wake of a visiting Spanish football team with their strange skin and even stranger language or mesmerised in the pursuit of a Jamaican couple who sported an outlandish hairstyle which perfectly accentuated their strange multicoloured clothes all it took was a mere word from my grandfathers weather worn lips and his faithful companion would return to his side I instantly loved it a bizarre place where a weird or wonderful sight lay just around the next corner and there were more than enough sights to keep a curious young boy racing ahead to peer furtively around that corner We watched my aunt walk to the plane from the viewing lounge situated above the runway and though I could hardly keep my eyes on one spot for more than a few seconds in this fascinating mix of cultures my youthful mind noted the solemn sadness of the occasion My grandparents looked on with a smile on their face yet their eyes looked tired She paused for a moment to turn back and give a
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