I went to Lidl to beat the crowd. And there it was.


The TV Simulator has arrived in Ireland!

Get one and you won’t ever be afraid of a break in when you’re out because this gadget will make the burglars believe you’re in watching the Late Late or Ray d’Arcy.

IMG_3212Pádraig got a really really lovely present today. Maria brought it in: a hand knit blanket , so nice, so exactly the right size, it must have taken weeks to make this. In ‘rojo y negro’ (the colours of our favourite hangout in Salamanca:).

We had a meeting with builders this morning to get the outstanding items resolved. There’s so little left to bring this project over the line! And it looks now that we’ll do this over the next week or so. And as soon as the weather will get a bit better, Pádraig’s sensory garden will be prepared.

I’ve been thinking about the last 16-17 weeks. It’a all still a bit too close for comfort what happened. A bit raw. But I think, in years to come, these weeks will turn into folklore. In their very own way, they were epic. A real manifestation of what our health system and, to an extend, our country is about. We’ll look back and mark the day the first ever standing bed arrived in Ireland. (That day hasn’t come yet, but soon will!)

We’ll look back and wonder how on Earth this country could ever have allowed it’s children with a severe acquired brain injury to be kept, or “maintained”, under intolerable conditions. Where they were hydrated, sedated, and nourished — and not much more. Because the limited resources of the health system could not be ‘wasted’ on them. When we’ll look at this kind of treatment of the most vulnerable of our brothers in the same way as we look now at child abuse that, in the past, was apparently perfectly acceptable.

Got two phone calls from Germany today, from fellow Lourdes pilgrims who both were wondering how Pádraig was getting on. One is aiming for her 60th pilgrim train – she’s done 57 already. 57! The other is in charge of the carers and got in touch to see whether I thought that her son who is currently studying in an Irish secondary school could help with Irish pilgrims. We can’t wait to meet our dear friends again who took Pádraig and us on the most wonder-ful, miraculous journey ever.

In Ireland: The Room
When I moved, many years ago, from one university job to another, bringing along some sizeable EU projects, I needed to find office space for researchers. I went filled in a form, sent it off and waited. Then I rang, Later, I emailed, and rang someone else. I talked to one of my colleagues in desperation, exhausted, loosing hope of ever getting anywhwere — when he asked: “why didn’t you tell me earlier? I know Sean. He’s in charge of the rooms, is about to retire, and he owes me one.” Next day, I had the room.

German Music Tip
Otto Waalkes, Am Arsch vorbei, Otto acts Udo ‘singing’ Udo’s original “Wenn Du durchhängst” using the story of Hänsel und Gretel — you wonder which version is better:)