Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.

Steve Jobs

The Crossing and Arrival in Santander

Tom Sweeney’s recent report in the Independent on the new ferry Salamanca sailing directly from Rosslare to Bilbao started like this:

Welcome to my local”, says lorry driver Mick, from Limerick, who’s clinging to the bar with one hand and to a pint of Murphy’s with the other.

I can see Mick’s point – even though our experience was slightly different.

It’s a long 30-hour crossing but it has the advantage that there are no long drives involved if you just want to explore Northwestern Spain. This was Pádraig’s second trip on that route in a row and the decision by Brittany Ferries to replace the old ship with the new Salamanca certainly made a huge difference.

It is, of course, Easter Week, Semana Santa, with processions everywhere is Spain, some lasting up to 20 hours, based on traditions that are several hundred years old.

We had a hotel booked in Santander, right beside the sea. One reason to go to Spain at Easter is that you get good weather with a bit of luck. This year, the skies have been blue, without a cloud in sight, with a bit of wind to cool down the temperatures.

Pádraig, as us, very much enjoys the Spanish food. And the walks along the sea front.


Torrelavega turned out to be a huge part of our trip to Spain. Considering that Pádraig was there for just 4 mornings of about 2 hours each, the work he and the therapists did there was pretty impressive. There was everything: pushing, pulling, stretching, weight lifting.

When the therapists started to go easy with no or very light weights, he demonstrated to them what he could do. He pulled up to 9 kilos, not just once or twice but around up to 10 times in a row. Try that yourself and you’ll quickly find out that this is quite a challenge.

We have moved to San Sebastián for the second leg of Pádraig’s Spanish tour and will stay here for a few nights before moving on to Bilbao where we’ll spend another two nights and then get the “cruise” back to Rosslare.

There are moments when you realise how lucky you are.

The last days had a few of them for Pádraig and for all of us. The dogma, in the person of a consultant, said that Pádraig would have an intolerable life. And made unthinkable suggestions.

We know that our time is limited, so we won’t waste it living someone else’s life. We won’t be trapped by dogma – we won’t be living with the results of other people’s thinking.

This is the Life. The one we’ve got.