What would you prefer listening to when going for a walk: music or a podcast? — I’ll come back to that in a minute.

For the next three days, Pádraig and I will be on our own here in Pforzheim. It’ll be a lot of work and less time off for both of us, but it’s also an opportunity. Because of the intensity of the support Pádraig requires there are alway people around. There will, of course, still be the daily therapy and routine, but there will also be time for just sitting down and connect, I hope.

It’s our third week in Pforzheim and there are now less than two weeks to go. Next week, we’ll be thinking about packing our bags, planning the trip to the railway station and on to the airport. If all goes according to plan, the flight back home willl be Pádraig’s (and mine) first flight without Pat (and another helper instead).

When Pádraig is doing his daily hour in the Lokomat, I’m trying to make that hour a little less boring by playing something on the phone for him using his headphones. The biggest challenge for me, I had thought, was to find music he would like. To be fair, he has a very varied taste and is generous when listening to music, but I didn’t want to bombard him with stuff I thought would be nice to listen to while ‘walking’ for an hour. – That is until I saw, by accident, that spotify also offers podcasts that look really interesting. So I asked him. And guess what — for the past week Pádraig decided to listed to podcasts rather than music. Real ‘heavy’ stuff like new cultural developments, Brexit, gender issues, history. In my simple mind and, to be honest, not really thinking about it too much, I had assumed music would be the thing, because it’s relaxing, distracting, and, in most cases, just nice to listen to. But he prefers to keep his mind busy during that hour of his ‘walk’.

The president of the University of Limerick today circulated and email:

Dear Colleagues

I am delighted to announce that the winner of the 2018 Award for Excellence in Service to the Community is Reinhard Schäler.

Reinhard, a Lecturer in the CSIS Department, was nominated for his work with the Rosetta Foundation and An Saol.  Reinhard is founder and former CEO of the Rosetta Foundation, a charitable organisation whose mission is to relieve poverty and to develop healthcare and education through equal access to information and knowledge across the languages of the world. It helps not-for-profit organisations by connecting them with a worldwide network of volunteer translators.

Reinhard is also the CEO and co-founder of An Saol , an organisation which raises awareness of the challenges facing survivors and families of severe Acquired Brain Injury.  He is currently leading a pilot project to establish a day-care centre which will offer an intensive neurological rehabilitation programme to survivors.

I know that you will join me in congratulating Reinhard on this outstanding achievement which recognises the depth, breadth and impact of his work in our local and global communities.

Kind regards


Not sure what to think or to say.