Some days just work out. Today did.

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An Saol’s 2016 Pledge campaign is gaining momentum and quite dramatic reactions from some stakeholders who do not see this as an opportunity to really make an impact together — to provide a life and living environment  for survivors of a severe brain injury. The number of TD’s, Senators, and MEPs signing the pledge is growing by the day. Things are beginning to move!

Pádraig is getting on well with his PAs and it seems they are ok with him too. He hasn’t met them all (apart from that well-attended training day), but if the first couple of days are an indication, it’ll all be good. There’s still a bit of getting used to each other and getting used to the circumstances and getting used to the routine (routine? which routine?), but that’ll come.

We’re still not clear about the equipment recommended but not financed. But that will be resolved one way or the other too some time soon.

I got a phone call from my supporters in the Little Sport Bike Shop in Fairview to attend an urgent meeting (yes, another one:), with a rep. Only that this time it was the rep of a Californian bicycle manufacturer, Marin (as in Marin County). They are going to sponsor me for the two cycles in the US, Boston to Brewster (in June) and Hollywood to Napa (originally planned for around Eastern, but postponed to the autumn because my companion fell ill and won’t be able to get fit in time for Eastern). They are going to provide a first class brand new road bike along with all the equipment needed. Under one condition: that’ll I’ll raffle the bike after the cycles and pass the proceeds on to An Saol. — To be honest: I should have come up with this brilliant idea myself but then – I didn’t know they were going to supply the bike!

The best thing today, however, was Pádraig showing us, after we had asked him to do this, a ‘thumbs up’ first with his right, then with his left hand, and then proceeding to operate the switch with different fingers of both hands. Movement and control are coming back to his fingers. He is continues getting better and inspiring us. These are all small steps but so significant! And he keeps trying as hard as he possibly can. He won’t ever give up. And neither will we.

In Ireland: Big Problem Solving in no Time
From a distance, the world looks blues and green. From a distance, there is harmony. That’s probably the way Ireland, and especially the North, was looking to me. In the mid-eighties, when I arrived in Dublin, my parents thought I was moving into a war zone. People were bombing and killing each other. In my new job in a large multi-national, I talked to everybody who wanted to talk to me about religion, the North, and abortion. It was all perfectly clear how all this could be resolve — until one of my colleagues told me that I didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. That made me shut up. For a while.

German Music Tip
Otto Waalkes sings one of Germany’s best ever songs, Männer by Herbert Grönemeyer, but not about Männer (men) but “Hexen” (witches). Really, really well done.