Ireland, in a way, is anarchic. Would you agree?
There are no ‘real’ rules, bureaucracy doesn’t work because nobody cooperates, everything you do is as if you were doing it for the first time. If you want to get something done you need to know the right people. If you want a passport or a pension, your local T.D. (or member of parliament) will fix that for you, not the relevant office in the correct Department – I know these are clichés and they don’t always work, but they do kinda.
I had to think of that today, because Pádraig’s friends who will be running the marathon with me tomorrow (well, they will be ‘running’) went out last night in the “Sternschanze” which is where the cool people hang out. They came about a party and alternative film event organised by what they felt were anarchists – with a difference: the German anarchists were actually very organised and had managed to put together quite an impressive event… it sounded so funny. Even the anarchists are organised in Germany. Just think about it…
Pádraig is now getting in and out of bed without the lifter. With the help of another person, I am now managing to get him out of bed and into his wheelchair and back into bed. There is still a bit of tension and at times it feels a bit too close to panic, but we are clearly doing a better job every day, learning to do it slowly and securely. In the process, Pádraig has learned how to put his arms around my shoulders (with a lot of help), feel his weight on his feet while I am standing him up, and, best of all, can avoid being transferred in the lifter which works fine but must feel a bit strange.
Today, I got a phone call from a very old friend with whom I had not been in touch with for, I’d say, thirty odd years. He was in Dublin and had decided to look me up in the telephone directory. The Telephone Directory! He then tried the web and found my letter to the Taoiseach, with my telephone number and address. If you had told someone that this was the way to find an old friend 10-15 years ago, they would have told you that you were reading too much science fiction. It was great to hear his voice, his news, to know, that after all these years, we were still in each other’s mind, and hear our promise to arrange to meet some time soon.
My legs and my back already feel very tired. Time to give them a rest for the big day tomorrow.
Before I go: here is the 10th and last step to germanise yourself.