You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.

Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

It must have been a great night out, judging by the picture. It mightn’t look like it but this night was all about life on your terms, about leaving the well-beaten path, about marching to your own drum, and refusing to fit in.

When Pádraig’s Dublin homecoming was discussed, there were cautions about ambulances being called if necessary, about potential seizures, and about the health system taking decisions in Pádraig’s “best interest”.

Here he is, on his own with his friends/carers, inviting them to a meal, and enjoying great food himself. Friendship, banter, fun, jokes, and happiness.

The night out and the picture have meaning beyond description. Without going much beneath the surface, this is semi-independent Pádraig in a place and a situation he was not supposed to be in anymore. Ever. Refusing to conform. Dancing as though everybody is watching.

He also went out with friends to see The Banshees of Inisherin, made by the same people who made what is one of his favourite movies, In Bruges.

I haven’t seen it yet, but have been told that it is quite sad. Also very beautiful.

One quote from the movie I like is by Dominic Kearney (to Pádraic): Maybe this whole thing is just been about getting you to stand up for yourself.

Because some times things are about something completely different than they seem to be. And I like the idea of standing up for myself.

I got the bag, I got the number, and a friend sent me a picture from eight years ago when we had a well-earned pint after the run.

For the first time in three years, the Dublin marathon will be on again today. Tommy, the father of one of the An Saol families, is running it fundraising for An Saol. I had planned and prepared to do so as well, but – unfortunately – have had a cold for the past few weeks and just don’t feel well enough to give it a go today. I have no voice, a runny nose, and a splitting headache. Not a good condition to start from. I had been looking forward and preparing for the day for some time. It’s a big disappointment.

But – to compensate, I signed up for the Hamburg Marathon in April 2023. Fingers crossed. I’ll leap before I look. Laughing in the face of adversity. Dance.

Good luck to all the great people who will be running today. Especially Tommy. I’ll be with you in spirit.