UnknownThere were some emotions when I drove back to the village where my mother lived for the past few years to return the Picanto to my sister and brother-in-law who had made the car available to us when we arrived in Germany. For the last time in the Ferrari-red Korean racer down the autobahn at the dawn of the day. Thinking all the time that I was going to visit my mother.

Instead, we went to a cemetery to visit and clean up my grandparents’ grave, and then on to my parent’s and my sister’s graves on a different cemetery.

I know people who make a point in visiting cemeteries in the countries they visit because, they say, that’s the best place to go to if you want to find out about the culture of a country.

German cemeteries are showcases of straight lines, immaculate flower arrangements, uniform styles of gravestones, kept really well to show everybody how much you care. When I didn’t pick up the smallest leaf, tear out the tiniest speck of grass from my father’s grave, my mother often told me of her horror when imagining what the grave would look like after her death. Today, I tried my best but am sure that in my mother’s eyes, if she was looking, it was a job very badly done measured against her standards.

Pádraig today managed to pull his leg back into bed when it had slipped out. He also managed to eat well with one of his carers – which is not always a given. The morning was a bit hectic, Wednesday is the day the speech therapist arrives just when the physio is leaving. But it’s a good kind of busi-ness.

German train drivers are on strike today and the rest of the week so I was lucky that I made it to Cologne airport by train and back home just before midnight. I’ll collect Pádraig’s car tomorrow morning. Can’t wait to get it to Hamburg to go on a spin with him.