“Thursdays with Pádraig” is what his friends have agreed to do. They take turns and call in to see Pádraig, to update him on what is going on and to see how he is doing. Today, as t happened, two of his friends called in, at different times.

One of them told us that he was going to walk across Ireland. Why would he do this, I ask. Was his car broken? – Probably out of courtesy, he smiled. The rest of my family just looked at each other and blamed cultural differences. He is going to do this coast to coast walk with two of his (and Pádraig’s) friends. They hope to do it in nine days.

The other (slightly older) friend is seriously ill. He had been coming over to see Pádraig regularly over the years and had made friends even with some of Pádraig’s carers. For him, he said, everything was coming together. When he left, Pádraig had one of those moments when we all new and felt how sad he was. And there was nothing we could do about it.

This morning, before Pádraig had his first physio session following his return from the Cape, I went up to our local HSE office and collected the original of the signed (!) Service Agreement with the HSE. It was an almost unreal moment, holding this document in my hands that had taken close to a year to get together, and another six months to get counter-signed by the HSE. Now, we’re just waiting for the funding to get processed and then, there will be no way back!

After many ups and downs, today we decided to work on the refurbishment of ‘Creation House’, the FABrik, the old Smurfit factory. It will take up to nine months to get planning permission, the paperwork processed and the work done, I was told today. We will need to find interim premises to start getting on the tracks after the summer. It is amazing to see things changing and turning from ideas into reality!

So what kind of day was this today? A mixed bag day? Or just: a ‘normal’ day?

I think it was the closest thing you could get to a ‘normal’ day