My wife and I have been living in Australia now for over five years. ‘An amazing experience’ we’d reply when asked about living here. However, it is definitely not without its downsides.

A close family member passed away hours ago. Fucking cancer! A horrible disease and one which has now claimed too many people I’ve been close to.

It’s hard, especially at this time of the year. My father passed away only 15 months ago, I find myself each day thinking about him.

I’ve been checking flights for the past few hours. The cheapest flight was going to cost double the regular fare and would take over 30 - 40 hours to get to Ireland. I’d likely miss the funeral. I despise being away from my family during these difficult times.

What a way to start 2014! Goodbye Paddy, you’re already missed by so many!