We struck it lucky and got to the beer garden on ‘Schnitzeltag’. We went all out and ordered, for auld times sake, a ‘Hamburgerschnitzel’, a schnitzel in butter with Bratkartoffeln, the German version of fried potatoes. The server knew what to do. We didn’t even have to ask. One dish (German size), three sets of cutlery, one each. We shared it square and fair. We even shared the pils – though Pádraig got a smaller cup. He didn’t mind.

Before you think that I’m missing the point of what intensive therapy is all about, be re-assured that I know that it’s not all about going out and having meals and beer on really warm spring/summer evenings in beautiful beer gardens. But going out to have a Schnitzel with Bratkartoffeln and a Pils is the result. Last year, Pádraig was not able to do this.

This year, Pádraig is with a really brilliant speech and language therapist (SLT), at least this week. One thing they have been working on yesterday and today has been using a straw for drinking. It Pádraig continues to progress as he did yesterday and today, he surely will be able to use a straw for drinking – which would make a huge difference for him (though not when drinking beer:). In addition to the SLT, he has his three hours of intensive physio and an hour in the robotic walking machine, the Lokomat — similar to the one that was donated to the NRH but which it can hardly make available to their patients, never mind to persons like Pádraig (or the An Saol Foundation who offered to get the personnel to operate it).

We also got a bit of bad news: apparently, the SNCF, the French railway, are on strike and won’t allow our pilgrim’s train pass through France next week — which means  that our trip to Lourdes has been cancelled, just a little more than one week before we were scheduled to go.

We’ll sleep over it. Tomorrow is another day.