“Julian Spain for you”, said Pat to me, “Maria, go on” and caused the biggest smile on Pádraig’s face for some time! – He thought it was so incredibly funny because I had asked at least three times who on earth the two of them were talking about. Julian de Spáinn? Julian who?? – Of course, EVERYBODY knows Julian de Spáinn! That is: except me poor eejit! (Well, he *is* the Secretary General of Conradh na Gaeilge after all. I had to google him though.)

That was a really great moment. Because that was him there.


Another great moment (which I missed) was when his physio asked him to lift his arm twice. She asked him just once. And he lifted him twice. You might think its not a big deal, but think about it! – Definitely another first!

So, what’s our day like?

I try to leave the house at 9am to get to the NRH for around 10am by which time Pádraig has been washed and dressed. I give him his breakfast, then there are therapies or just time to talk, lunch just after noon, more therapies or time to go for a short walk and get a bit of fresh air. Pat arrives in the afternoon and the idea is that I make my way home then and do a bit of work here (‘dust bowl attack’).

Sounds good.

In theory.

In practice it hasn’t worked like this yet. Not one day. Yet.

You will have noticed that I haven’t posted any more pictures of the extension and our kitchen. I also haven’t posted any more links to German songs. And, I haven’t highlighted any strange things I came across in hospitals or on my way to one.

The main reason for this is that the past few weeks have been very tiring. It’s funny: each time I think it couldn’t get any worse in terms of running out of time or of getting tired – someone somewhere turn it up a notch. Just to teach me a lesson.

Although – I am convinced that uncertainty, improvisation, lack of routine, all of this is coming to an end. A few more weeks, and Pádraig will be with us in Iona Road.

That day will just be unbelievable. I know that arriving in Rosslare just about two weeks ago was incredible. Coming back to the house to stay with us will be at least equally fantastic.

I don’t want to exaggerate but the last two years of Pádraig’s life have been and incredible demonstration of persistence, proof that you can achieve almost anything if you put your mind to it, and a source of love so great that it swept away any obstacles put in his way.

And this is true also for the NRH. We are just learning about and finding out how much people are prepared to go out of their way to help Pádraig and us to make our new life together possible. An Saol. Dream boaters.