I just did it for the pictures. What other reason could you possibly have to meet up at 9 am on New Year’s Day at the 40 Foot to go for a swim? It was still dark, it was quite windy, there was a bit of a swell, and it was really cold! Luckily, the water was a bit warmer than the air! – 9 degrees celsius versus just 3 degrees! I was on the lookout for icebergs.

In the end it turned out that this was the best thing I’d ever done on New Year’s Day! It was brilliant ice-coldplay! Pushing myself to do something I’d never done before, something pretty mad and insane felt like a great start to the New Year! And I would never have done it without the company! Tonight, I’m happy to say that I can feel my feet again (just about) although I think my body is still in a slight state of shock.

Tomorrow is a public holiday in Ireland, Tuesday will be a ‘normal’ day again. We’ve been spending a lot of ‘lazy’ time together as a family over the past week, really relaxed. I feel like as if I were about to explode, don’t think I’ve ever eaten as much in my life as I did over the past week. What a great change this has been compared to the past few years. We met family, friends, and neighbours and it was life back in a great community.

But we’ve also been planning the new year. Things we want to build into Pádraig’s daily and weekly routine to achieve his goals of being able to participate more and more in activities of daily life. We’ve been looking at possible trips for the coming year. We’re not there yet, but even being able to do this is a big change.

In a world that changes at the blink of an eye, there is one constant: the Vienna New Year’s Day concert. Seeing it and listening to the Blue Danube Waltz as well as to the Radetzki March made me feel as if I was sitting with my parents back in Dortmund, my father smoking one cigar after the other and my mother worrying about what the smoke was going to do to her white curtains – in those days nobody was worried about what the smoke would do to your lungs. Today, I made new memories to this music with Pádraig. Neither of us smoked, the curtains were wide opened, and the sun was shining outside!

What’s the new year going to bring? Can we influence this – can we design the future? Whatever it will be, we’ll continue the journey on the Dreamboat, we won’t accept existing boundaries nor a system status quo, and we’ll continue to play the non-zero-sum game of An Saol, of Life!