You take off your boots at the end of a long journey.

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Mine were so badly broken that I decided to dump them.

I started wearing them in Dublin just before we left for Germany almost to the day two years ago (it was the 11 of November we left). I wore them almost every day and in a way they became part of me. They changed over the years. And they were, as I always wanted them to be, Spanish Boots of Spanish Leather, one of my favourite songs for a long time.

Today was the day we (almost) emptied the flat. Two really good friends from Hamburg, an Irish woman and her German partner – both brilliant and very generous people.

I had rented the biggest truck I’d ever driven, a 7.5 ton Mercedes Benz – Oh Lord, would you buy me a Mercedes Benz! This one was really long, high, wide, big… Everything we wanted to move and it went up to Tating, our old and new place of residence in Germany.

Tomorrow morning, I will need to clean up the apartment, squeeze more stuff into the Doblo, make sure the city of Hamburg old furniture squad arrives in the morning, and hand the apartment over to my Genossenschaft.

It feels like the end of a long journey and time to get rid of the old boots.

I’ve got another pair back home. For the next leg.

Oh – yesterday, while I was packing, Pat rang and told me that Maitíu O’Casaide was being interviewed by Kieran Hanrahan on Céilí House on RTÉ Radio One, and that they were talking about Pádraig. Listen back to that section of the programme here or the full programme here.

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