Playback brought back a bit of anger this morning. (In case you don’t live in Ireland or you don’t know the programme: it’s an hour of the ‘best’ of the past week’s RTÉ Radio One programming.) During the week, an old lady rang Joe (Duffy) – probably the most popular phone-in radio show in the country.

She rang Joe because she is in a nursing home. A nice nursing home. The food is ok. The people are treating her ok. But, it’s not the place where she wants to be. She wants to be at home. And she was told that she can only leave the nursing home if her daughter signs her out. Something that the daughters is not doing. This lady appeared to be mentally fine and she reassured Joe that she was physically fine too. Now, how on God’s earth can a person be held in a nursing home against her will without the owners being brought to court for false imprisonment? I felt what the Spaniards call, very aptly, deep ‘rabia’, real anger. What kind of world are we living in?

Then the day got busy. In a really good way. No carers today. None of the ones Pádraig has do Saturdays, and only one of them does one hour on a Sunday. The upside of this is that the days are not structured by the carers’ timetable, but by what suits all of us: a lengthy breakfast, easy, nice long stretches, a lovely lunch, a visit with Pádraig’s grandaunt, calling in to a cousin’s (twice removed?) confirmation family party, a film back home during dinner.

In a way, life is literally hopeless. There is only one outcome. But there are good moments. Moments that make Pádraig smile. Like when he met his grandaunts today. Maybe he remembered one of them leading the whole family up the strip in Las Vegas many years ago. Really remarkable women! Early Dreamboaters!

Pádraig meeting his grandaunts today

Pádraig meeting his grandaunts today

There are days like this when everything falls into place like the flick of a switch. When it’s not always raining…