An eclectic mix of stories were shared with the Evening Echo on the bus this week as young and old retold of Christmases spent at home or afar.
Stephen Delaney from Bishopstown spent his Christmas on a cruise liner in Alaska working as a marine engineer.
Stephen, who was going into town to get a haircut, told the Evening Echo he had been away at sea for the past four and a half months.
“It was grand, there was just 20 of us on board so it wasn’t too hectic, we had our Christmas dinner and everything.”
Mr Delaney is newly qualified and loving his career which is taking him to new places around the world.
“I love the work, it is very challenging, but it is a chance to see some of the world. This is my second Christmas away from home, I was away for placement as well.
“My mom and my younger sister were at home, we host everyone for Christmas, all the aunts, uncles, cousins, they all come to our house for Christmas, it is a big affair. I face timed them and skyped them.”
Stephen is now home for three months, although he told us he will be training and upskilling for work during his time off. The young marine engineer said it is great to come home after being away for so long.
“A lot of my friends are spread out now, I have friends in Canada and Australia. There is a good few back at the moment, It is a bit of craic.”
Una Kingston spent her Christmas at home on Bere Island, where she grew up. Ms Kingston celebrated the festivities with her husband Pat, her three children and four grandchildren.
“We were all on the island for Christmas, we had a great time. Bere Island is home to me. I love everything about it there. I grew up there and went to primary school on the island.”
Una, who has a home away from home in Bishopstown, splits her time between the two hubs.
“I am as free as a bird, I can spend as much or as little time as I want in Bishopstown or Bere Island.
“I am happy out living in Bishopstown, my family live in Cork and it is very convenient.”
Una said she didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions this year. “I don’t need any!” she said.
Andrew Lane from the city centre was also on the bus, heading home from Marymount where he had been visiting his wife.
Andrew said he spent Christmas with his four children.
“I don’t really like big occasions," he said. "The love of my life, Síola, went into Marymount in 2016. She loved big occasions, she used to make a big fuss. I find Christmas tough. I visit her every day, if I am at home I am just thinking about her.”
Andrew said the staff at Marymount were fantastic and the care they provide for his wife Síola is second to none.
“I have to mention the staff at Marymount, I have never seen staff like them in all my life, they are so caring and loving and genuine.”
Greg Muldowney from Shandon was on the bus to do a bit of shopping. Greg said he had a good Christmas.
“I spent it in Midleton with my three children and four grandchildren. I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions, I am happy with life. I’m 76 now, all I can do is keep on going!”
Greg said that he thinks the free travel card for over 66’s is brilliant.
“I love the free travel, it is a huge bonus, it’s incredible for older people. I used to go all over the country with my granddaughter Tamzin.
“She is 17 and she just came seventh in the All Ireland Cross Country two weeks ago. I am very proud of her, she keeps me going.”
Finally, on the buses, the Evening Echo bumped into Patricia Hodge, from Togher.
“I was just In town shopping, picking up some bits and pieces for the kids.” Patricia has two boys, Dean, 19 and Paul, 14.
“I’m a full-time mom, it can be tough, sometimes you just want to be working.”
Patricia said she and her husband David had a great Christmas with their two boys.
“Christmas was fabulous, we had a surprise visit from my uncle, who was home from Boston. New Year’s was good as well, my New Year’s Resolution is to cut down on rubbish food and be healthy.”