Yesterday was the shortest day of the year. Following months of days getting shorter and darker and more miserable, with each night getting longer, times are now changing and change is on the way! Brighter times are on the way!

Just in case you’re not living in Dublin – check out the new Luas, Dublin’s tram, blocking the view of the city’s humongous Christmas tree on the picture above. The Luas is now running down O’Connell street, turning left into Parnell Square, causing some incredible traffic jams and pedestrian pile ups!

Pádraig had another lovely dog visiting him yesterday, together with his owners (yes, the attention was on the dog:). Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to take a few snaps, but it was obvious how well Pádraig got on with the dog. I started to think (and I haven’t really be a dog-person) that if we found the right dog, with a bit of training as a companion or a therapy dog, I’d almost go for it. Two of his friends recommended a Rottweiler because of their gentle character. Gentle character!!??? Just shows how little I know! I had that picture of Rottweilers in my mind chasing away thieves from expensive properties, fletching their teeth. But gentle? Apparently so!

Every so often these days, memories are seeping through from four years ago when we had just ‘furnished’ that small apartment in Hamburg’s Forbacherstrasse and Pádraig’s lungs weren’t doing that great. He could not eating, he could not drinking, he could not move’, he was not communicating, he could not smell, he could not taste, and he was on a respirator.

Today, Pádraig is on the verge of taking control of his life back, at least to a degree, and he certainly wants to and makes that very clear. What a change that is and how much brighter the future looks today than it did back then, only four short years ago.

One of the most important things he is able to do, and he did it yesterday very obviously, which made it a first, is to do things out of his own initiative, not something anybody had asked him to do, but something he did because he wanted to. We had talked in the morning about the winter solstice and then, in the evening, when he had his dinner, they were reporting on it on the telly. When he heard it mention, he turned his head around to look at the telly. Small move, BIG independent, not-prompted decision making with subsequent initiative.