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What do you think, when you hear that word: spuds?

Childhood dinners with potatoes, vegetables and meat in the pre-pasta and pre-jasmine-rice days?

The potato blight, famine, emigration?

Home??

We decided to start experimenting with ordinary food and see how Pádraig would take it. Today was potato day. For the first time, and this was really exciting, Pádraig did what the speech therapist has been practising with him, but he did it in a ‘real-life’ situation: he moved his tongue around his mouth to look for this sticky bit of mashed potato, mixed with some fresh broccoli. He did this really really well. Yoghurt is easy. Mashed apple (Apfelmus) is easy. Mashed potato is difficult. And he managed really well. It’s still a bit boring and simple, the menu – but if we keep going like this, we’ll get to more interesting stuff soon. Food is so important, not just for nutrition, but also for taste, texture, awareness.

I said ‘good-bye’ to the old apartment in Forbacherstraße over the weekend, cleaning up the remainder of what we had left behind and getting it ready for the hand-over and the Wohnungsgenossenschaftsübergabeprotokoll which we will have to fill in. It was a sad ‘good-bye’. It made me think of the time, in December of 2013, 2013!, when we were wondering whether it was worthwhile renting an apartment near the Schön-Klinik. When we thought, well, a couple of months and all will be different. When we thought of a fast recovery, with the right treatment and care.

The hope is still there. There has been, in the grand scheme of things, significant progress. But it also has been a lesson in humility, in learning to accept life in all of its different shades and colours.

Pádraig now lives with us. There are a number of things that will need to be sorted and for which he will need to go on short hospital visits. He is getting stronger, much more alert, he is communicating better, there haven’t been any significant infections. And the tracheostomy is gone! I am imagining our life together once the ‘dust’ has settled. And sometimes, some times I feel we’ll have unbelievable fun together, with him, with you: dreamboaters, wanderers, explorers, friends.

PS: Anymore people spotted running anywhere aimlessly? Just a bit more than two months to go to the Hamburg Marathon!