Last night ended with a long review of how our event had worked out and a dinner with some friends and colleagues. By the time I got to the hostel and had sorted everything out, like where to get the 4h28am bus to Trafalgar Square, it was almost 1h30am. I was so worked up still that I couldn’t sleep. I also had the room by myself (had been sharing the two previous nights), so there was no need to be concerned about leaving the lights on and tinkering about.

From Trafalgar Square, it was down to the Thames and as Big Ben struck 5, I was crossing the Jubilee foot bridge with a fabulous view across the river towards Big Ben and the London Eye. Coffee on the go, bus to Gatwick, EasyJet to Hamburg, S1 to Friedrichsberg and back to Pádraig.

I had been missing him and while Pat had been telling me how he was doing, that he had been coughing quite a bit, but had been very much awake with not just his right eye, but also his left one, open for very long periods, I needed to get back. The last few days felt much longer, there was so much going on, so many people, new ideas, plans, plans, how can I still believe in plans?

Today, Pádraig was sneezing, not coughing. As it was also a cold and wet day, we didn’t go out onto the roof terrace but staid in the room. He was moving his feet quite a bit today, his tongue, and he kept trying to make more controlled sounds. There are concrete plans for tomorrow, I believe, to change the catheter for one less intrusive and to lower the doses of anti-seizure medication. All good.

Tried to listen to Amhrán do Phádraig again but couldn’t anymore. Maybe it was just a dream last night that I managed to listen to the songs without having bought them?

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Wouldn’t this be the ideal, most beautiful and rewarding Christmas present ever?