Loads of pictures today.

IMG_2325Yesterday, when the ferry was leaving Cherbourg, we went out for a walk on the deck of boat that would take us back to Ireland. It was a lovely, sunny afternoon. I could hardly believe that we had made it onto the boat and were now heading for Rosslare.

The three of us had dinner and went for an early night. I suppose we were trying to recover a bit from the long drive and the lack of sleep in the (in)famous Formula 1 Hotel. In comparison, the cabin on the ferry was pure luxury. Clean sheets. Good mattresses. No smell of cold cigarette smoke.

We caught a bit of the magic full moon over the dark, calm waters of the Channel and got up early to be ready to look out for the coast.

IMG_2352There is no better place to arrive in Ireland than Rosslare. It’s small, welcoming, and feels very homely.

When we finally left the ferry (we were the last car off) I heart some beeping and honking in the distance, but didn’t pay any attention. As we were driving through passport control and then customs, I thought I saw some balloons up in the air.

And then, when we got to the roundabout, just after all the police and customs checkpoints, there they were. In the middle of the roundabout.

It was truly unbelievable. About a dozen of his friends had taken a day off work, had not slept the previous night or had got up at 4am, and driven down to Rosslare to be there when their friend was coming back home.

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Pádraig did not stop smiling! It must have been the best day for a long time for him!

We drove up to Kelly’s Hotel where Pat had just about managed to book a room for the three of us. All his friends came along and had the best ever breakfast. While we were still getting ready to get into the hotel and I was parking the car, a lady who just passed by handed over an envelope to one of Pádraig’s friends. It had a lovely card in it with some really nice wishes for Pádraig – and money with a note to say that it would hopefully buy us a nice ‘welcome Pádraig’ breakfast.

The card was just signed “S.” and I have no idea who this lovely lady was. I know she reads the block though – so: thank you very very much for your extremely kind words, your good wishes and your very welcome support for this morning’s breakfast!

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In the hotel itself, there was an extremely helpful gentleman who arranged tables and breakfast for our group. He then said that he wanted to show me the room we were going to stay in – he though it might be a little small for Pádraig’s wheelchair. We went upstairs where he showed me a different room, indeed a fabulous room with a little balcony and a wonderful sea view! When I realised that this was Mr Kelly, I thanked him – and he said, “Bill” and not to worry about it. That it was a pleasure for him to be able to help

And then Joe Duffy rang and, schwupdiwup, I was talking live on Ireland’s most listened to radio show, Liveline. You can listen back to the interview here. Thank you, Joe, for your support and continuous follow-up.

There are so many more things I could continue to write about. But I am so tired. And so happy. What a day! What a journey!

Thank you to everyone who helped us to make this happen! There ain’t nothing like a Dreamboat. And there ain’t nothing but the Dreamboaters! Whatever you want. You can make it happen if you really want it. With the love and the energy of your friends!