Not sure what it is like in your country. In Ireland, at this time of the year, almost every second ad on the radio (they are cheaper than the TV ads; there it’s a little less frequent) is about somebody dying or starving somewhere in the world: Sudan, Syria, Yemen. Concern, Trócaire, or the Society of St. Vincent de Paul are all making urgent appeals to our conscience, often using pictures showing utter desperation.

One radio ad caught my attention because it made an appeal to listeners to donate money so that children didn’t have to go to school hungry. In Ireland. I thought I was hearing voices. But I wasn’t. They were dead serious.

I had a checkup today and spent a good part of the day in hospital. Thankfully, nothing serious. But it brought home what it means to be healthy, what it means to be ill, what it means to fear that there might be a serious illness. Hospitals are full of people with this fear. When I walked home, I decided that I will concentrate on what matters most. And that I will get rid of all baggage of all sorts. I decided to do this a few times before. But I’ll give it another go.

Pádraig is doing well. Still doing his ‘tricks’ sliding down and pushing himself back up in the chair.

About a week ago, the German parliament was forced by the courts to make “diverse” an option on the birth register. According to an article on a German news website, people whose sexual anatomy does not fit the typical definitions of male and female will be allowed to change their entry to “diverse.” The “third gender” option places Germany in line with other countries that have introduced measures to recognise intersex people or a third gender, such as Austria, Australia, New Zealand, India, Canada and Portugal.