Dublin is covered by a deep blanket of snow with temperatures well below zero, bringing the country to a stand-still. Winter has truly arrived.

To be honest – that’s not entirely true. Although the picture above is real and I just took it a few minutes ago when I brought out the bins. It is cold and there was some snow to cover the cars, but that’s it. I’m sure it’ll all be gone by tomorrow morning.

Before I brought out the bins tonight, I watched Ireland’s premier investigative news programme, Primetime, where the case of Catherine O’Leary was highlighted. She lives, according to her father, with a locked-in syndrome at home and has 10 staff, eight of them full-time, working with her. The staff has been paid out of a 2.5m euro settlement over the past four years. Apparently, the money will run out in about seven months. The father appealed to the HSE and the Department of Health to make sufficient funding available to him to keep his daughter at home. The problem is that his daughter has outlived the life-expectancy on which the settlement was based; and the settlement is final.

The programme highlighted the fact that Catherine’s case demonstrates a shortcoming in the way that settlements are made currently in Ireland: they are final and are often based on assumptions – when the assumptions are shown to be wrong, the settlement cannot be adjusted.

The programme, however, only touched briefly on another anomaly in the irish system and that is that the level of care Catherine receives at home could only have ever been  sustained because of the settlement that was made – by the looks of it, 500,000 euro were made available to her every year to care for her over five years, her assumed life-expectancy. Now that she has outlived that life expectancy, maybe because of the great care that very settlement made possible, there is going to be a big problem. No settlement money – no adequate home care.

This is a reality, and I think an incredible injustice, that Pádraig have had to live with since his accident in Cape Cod.

I’m feeling better and i’m back with Pádraig tonight. It is great and feels so good and familiar. I really missed his company. The last week, when I was ‘out’ sick, has taken so much out of ‘the other carer’ that she has spent most of the day resting, which is good and very necessary, but just shows. It is a bit frightening to see what happens when both of us aren’t that well. But we’ll get over it. Of course we will.

Even if tonight the most unlikely thing happened and Dublin really got snowed under:)