We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Oscar Wilde

This quote by Oscar Wilde is one of Pádraig’s all time favourites. I guess it reflects his approach to life pretty accurately.

Personally, I also like True friends stab you in the front. It’s so funny!

I’ll come back to Oscar in a minute.

Last week was a week of music and amazement.

It started with a brilliant traditional music event in a packed Church, with hundreds of people, and almost an equal number of candles. Maitiu, a friend of Pádraig, had organised it. He had also reserved seats for us in the first row. He had not told us that he would perform a rendition of Dreamboat, following an introduction about the song and its origins. The evening was two hours of magic – helped a little by the Glühwein we all were offered as we entered the Church.

During the week, three therapists from the Northwest of Spain worked with Pádraig and other clients in the An Saol Foundation Santry Centre. They had brought with them many years of experience in working with neurological clients, and they brought a focus and an energy with them that was truly inspiring.

The UCD PhD student (and music technology lecturer) working with Pádraig had spent a lot of time working on a device that allows Pádraig to play music, using a ‘handshoe mouse’ and three of his fingers. What amazed everybody was that Pádraig demonstrated very convincingly how he can not only use three, but all five of the fingers of his left hand independently. He played music, he repeated the music and the rhythm of what someone else had just played. It was amazing. But what was really beautiful to watch and to feel was how happy Pádraig was to play to the rhythm of a song, to join in and to become part of a little orchestra – and to make all of us in the room so happy.

We finished the week with a brilliant concert by Bell X1, Pádraig’s favourite band, in Vicar Street.

However, the highlight of the week was the arrival of Oscar, Pádraig’s first nephew, and our first grandson. So far, I have only seen him on pictures and videos. He is only gorgeous and we cannot wait to see him in person. It will take me a while to get used to the thought that I am now a grandfather.

The future looks bright and exciting. Even from the gutter.