Monthly Archives: December 2014


Why is it than when you can’t sleep you are never kept awake by really happy thoughts?

Perhaps kids are ?

I’m not. I think of my pre accident life. Lots of skiing, in particular, then a whole variety of active stuff. Running down sand dunes just now, sky diving after that.
They aren’t helpful thoughts for a fella who can’t even sit up my himself now, but short of having a brain transplant, how can I stop the memories teasing me?
They are fond memories, but are laced with sadness.
Then the prospect of 5 months in America again, in ‘solitary’…. That’s a recurring one. I’m going to miss a lot of people, most of all Lily and Amber.

I try not to imagine how that’s going to feel.


Kids ( mostly boys ) make me laugh, with their somewhat morbid fascination with my condition.

‘So can you feel this?’ – pressing in my leg..


‘What about this?’ – pressing harder.


What if I stabbed you?

No, wouldn’t feel it.
But I would bleed.

What if I set fire to your leg?

No, wouldn’t hurt at all.

Wow, that must be SOOO cool…!

Not really, to be honest.

Thank you

… To my friend ( and ex staff member ), Sheila, who found out about my accident the other day, and then drove from a long way away to come and see me – even bringing wine and chocolates.

Was lovely to see you, Sheila!

As it was Mike Smith, desert runner and beer drinker, who got me safely home after our introductory night out last week.
Top guy!

Xmas Eve at Rich and Trudy’s house was special too – Im at my happiest when with my family and friends – and there were lots of them there, as there were on Xmas Day at our flat.
Using my stand up wheelchair makes a big difference to my psyche in company – I’d forgotten how it is to be taller than most people, down there in a chair for 18 months.

It’s been a while since I was out on my arm bike, so Tuesday is pencilled in
My calamitous luck with accidents is in the back of my mind, so I’ll go easy on the downhills.

I think I said that to myself one day 18 months ago.
This time I’ll stick to it.

It was a lovely Xmas, spent not really doing very much.

In days gone by, I made a point every Xmas Day of going for a run, or a canoe, as a point of principle.

It definitely got on my wife’s nerves, that routine.
This year, in my new life, circumstances have rather cramped my style in that respect , so indoors I stayed, missing the old days, sure, but also NOT missing the non stop smiling of my children, as they loved every minute of the day.
I can’t help but think about how it almost was – me not here at all, dying in France, as I oh so nearly did.
My girls may have spent their Xmas day in tears, missing their Dad.

That’s a painful thought to even contemplate.

My youngest daughter has that rare gift of unselfishness and charity.

She’d rather give her pocket money to good causes, or for buying others gifts than spend it on herself.

She’s asked if we can go round the houses and collect money for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
I looked online to see what the official requirements are.
So you need to be over 18 ( I am ) and have a licence from the council.
It takes at least a month, by which time I’ll be in America….

At the risk of arrest,we’ll get a tin and take our chances out there on the streets. If you see a little girl and a bloke in a wheelchair collecting pennies around Chiswick, it’s not ‘official’ but it’ll all get to Battersea.
If you’re moved to help Amber’s cause and donate yourself and then tell me you have, and maybe how much ( optional ) then it’ll make a little girl very happy.

And that’ll make me smile too.


Thank you to everyone that’s helped me, my family, my charity, my workplace arrangements, my sanity.. over these last 18 months.

I couldn’t have got this far without your help and kindness and compassion.

I could type the names of probably hundreds of generous people who’ve devoted time and energy to push me forwards and upwards, but inevitably I’d miss someone out, and then feel terrible that I had.

You’ll know who you are if you read these words- if you think you’ve done anything at all to assist my cause, then for sure you have, and I’m grateful to you.

I never thought that I’d ever be anywhere close to being happy again, yet I am. Not as content as I was pre injury, but so much closer than I imagined I’d ever get.

Last Xmas was a strange one inside my head – there just as an observer it seemed of everyone else having fun – but this time around it’s not like that.
For better or for worse, I’m so much more like the guy I used to be, on June 12th 2013, the day before my world stopped.

It’s started again now, and I’m not sad and afraid anymore.

I hope all my family and friends ( anyone reading this is included in that group) have a good Christmas, and appreciate all the good things in their lives, as I do more than ever before.


Standing up.

I now am the proud owner of a Stand Up Wheelchair.
I transfer onto it, strap myself in (across knees and chest), hit the switch and hey presto, I’m 6foot 1.
Which is considerably better than 3foot 6.

Last night I went to the pub in it, and was aware of the reaction from ‘on lookers’ to my slow elevation… Pretty positive I’d say.

I’d forgotten what it was like to stand around and have a beer.

Fellas, there’s one experience you definitely shouldn’t take for granted.

The bloody thing weighs a ton.

So thanks to Dan and Adam for pushing me there and back, and to the nice bloke that helped lift my wheels up the large step into the George 1V pub on Chiswick High Road.


And thanks to Wendy for inviting me to her birthday party last night.

It’s 3.30 am and my legs are doing their twitching thing, keeping me awake.

Gone are the days of going out and then sleeping very heavily… There always seems to be a payback for having a good time now.

But it was lovely to see most of Dani’s side of the family, so close to Xmas – they’re a lovely lot.

I did get to see a few of mine at the Strictly night on Saturday too – an equally lovely lot, for the record!


…was where I was on Thursday, at the Varsity match, no less.

Oxford beat Cambridge by a record score, 44-7 I think.
I was interested, as a friend, Ed Doe, was playing on the wing for Oxford. So as well as being my cycle outrider in the summer, turns out Ed can play rugby as well.

Thanks to Ed’s girlfriend, Issy, and her folks, Janet and Jay, plus Jacqui and Tom, for inviting me and looking after me.

And trust me, I need looking after.

Nice picture of Ed and Issy enclosed. image

I’d pretty much forgotten that I applied for Oxford, at 17 years of age, to study Biochemistry.
Obviously I wasn’t clever enough to get in, but I wonder where my life would have gone if I had.

It would have been totally different of course, and I’d never have been near Toulon in June 2013, and now not paraplegic either.

Sliding doors…