Do you like time travel? But don’t know how to do it?

Here are just some possibilities.

Go to Lourdes. There are some new buildings (not that many), but the place as a whole has not changed in decades. The love, the processions, the songs, even the tacky shops. And there’s people here who have been coming for decades. It’s quite incredible.

Use your nose, smell. Once, when I was going through old papers, I opened one of the envelopes with newspaper cuttings my father used to send me regularly so I could keep up with the news at home (pre-internet times:) and there was just a whiff, but strong enough to catch it, of cigar smoke. And as the smoke was emerging from that envelope my father was appearing in front of me – well, not quite, but you know what I mean. He was never without a cigar, much to the annoyance of my mother who was worried about the white curtains turning yellow from the smoke (he had switched to cigars during the war when he found it easy to swap his allocation of relatively few cigarettes to relatively many cigars). And no: nobody was ever worried about our lungs back then, it was the curtains who were under attack from the yellow smoke.

Listen to music. – Last Friday, just about as we were heading off to the airport for Lourdes, the postman rang and delivered a package for Pádraig, one that had been announced to him by a really good friend in America who in her generosity had decided to share her playlist with Pádraig – and to send it to him in a really impressive iPad wrapped in a beautiful calendar towel with the birds of America (and a super-dooper security case) with his name edged into the iPad.

The first song that came up when we started the iPad and the playlist was Luba’s 1987 song The Best is yet to Come. It’s a real eighties song and comes with a real eighties video. Pure brilliance.

I might be down
But don’t count me out
There’s a world
I want to know all about

You can say I’m just dreaming
I’ve always been an optimistic one
I can’t help feeling
That the best is yet to come
Oh, oh, oh, oh

There comes a time
Ain’t nothing you can do to stop it
Right now is mine
I’m gonna make the best time of it
Don’t hold your breath
If you’re waiting for me
Today is just tomorrows history

I like two lines a lot: “Don’t count me out” and “You can say I’m just dreaming“….

Time travelling into the future, I know that I’ll be listening to this song the day we’ll open the An Saol Project Day Centre.

Pádraig had another great day in Lourdes. The fabulous youth mass in the morning.

A picnic in the afternoon. And the candle light procession in the evening. And against the odds, the weather kept up for all of these events.