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Loads of meetings and talks over the past two days. It is good to do ‘normal’ things though I wonder… For example, this morning I bought a coffee in the cafeteria in UL where my office is. It was €1.85. Going up to our meeting, I bought another coffee in the same cafeteria and I paid €1.65. The first was a ‘sit-down’, the other was a ‘take-away’ coffee. No other difference. Then I looked at the prices of stuff on offer. Remember, this is the university, most clients are students.

In case you can’t read it: Can of Coke €1.20; Smoothie €3.45; 7up €1.70; and – talking about water charges – a bottle of water for €1.70. The coke is cheaper in a corner shop, and the water is cheaper in the airport.

Then I bought the paper and got a brilliant Martyn Turner’s 2015 calendar with it for free. For each month, there is a cartoon, with a bit of an explanation underneath.


Underneath the cartoon, he writes that he was asked once to draw a cartoon for Christian Aid. Apparently, if all the multinational companies operating in Africa were made to pay their taxes their, there would be no need to pay rent. Turner connects this to Apple in Ireland…

Pádraig was good when Pat got back this evening. She told him a few funny stories, things that had happened here in Ireland. And for each of the four stories, she got a gerat smile. So, not only did he understand what Pat was telling him, he also still has his sense of humour.

It is great to be here, to see (or at least speak with:) our daughters, and just to be at home. But it’s also as sad as it can get. There is Pádraig’s room with is stuff. When I was cooking for us tonight, I could here the door to the kitchen being pushed open and a big guy coming in asking what was for dinner and when would it, eventually, be ready… How can he be in Hamburg, in a hospital, in a bed?