“Thank you for keeping me alive”, were the first words “Sugar Man” Rodriguez said to the crowd going crazy in South Africa at his first concert there. He had completely disappeared from the face of the earth when for whatever reason his music became a soundtrack of the anti-apartheid movement and some people decided to find out what had happened to this contemporary of Bob Dylan – who everybody thought had committed suicide. Turned out that he was alive and kicking. If you have a few minutes watch the Searching for Sugar Man trailer and listen to a short recording of his first concert in South Africa. – It’s an incredible story!

First day back swimming after having been away for some weeks. It was good to see all our friends again in the pool. And it was brilliant to get back in the water. Pádraig had not forgotten anything. To the contrary, I felt that Bootcamp Germany has really made a difference. There wasn’t really any problem for him putting one foot in front of the other, of stretching that leg, of putting his weight on that leg and moving the other leg in front. Walking. Sure, it’s different doing it in the water than on ‘land’, but the patterns are the same. It was a fun afternoon in the pool.

Followed by another edition of his long-lasting birthday party in the garden, this time with a home-made cake, candle, and birthday songs – this time by the family. There will be another dash with his friends this coming Saturday in the Conradh, starting at 5pm.

Pádraig also got an absolutely brilliant birthday present today, completely unexpected, from a real good friend, poet and musician (the one who wrote Pádraig, IMLÉ’s debut single, at a time when they hadn’t even met): tickets to Nick Cave and Patti Smith tonight! It was this friend who told me about Rodriguez and this really great story of someone re-appearing out of nowhere, someone who was believed to be dead, becoming a voice of a popular movement on the other side of the world.

Thank you for keeping me alive.