Monthly Archives: November 2015


  • A message from a cool guy I’ve not seen for years, that I did a team race ( 5 days ) about 7 years ago..


Seems a hell of a lot has changed since we were thrown together on remote scottish island!

Sorry to hear about the accident and to read that you are going through a particularly difficult time with it.

I realise that we only met for a short time and that I am surely not the best person to comment etc but I am sure you will get through it stronger. What I will always remember about you from that difficult week is not (just) the athletic performance but the fact that while the rest of us were falling apart mentally not only did you keep us together but it didn’t seem to phase you and you cracked on regardless. Not only that but you always did with great banter too. Without that I am sure it wouldn’t have been remotely as enjoyable as it was…. Plus Quentin may have not made it back alive as we would have surely killed him.

Easier said that done Russ but hope you can dig deep and find some of that same character,spirit and resolve I am sure you will be OK, Just forget about the scottish sheep shagging bit!


A ( quite sweary ) but lovely message.

Hello Russ, “sorry to read you’re having a particularly tough time right now” doesn’t quite cut it and yet I know you write rhetorically not expecting answers, simply expressing the (unimaginable) frustration and unanswerable agony that for you life currently is. Not going to write anything trite, just agreeing with you that your battle all along was/is mainly going to be psychological and you are putting yourself in the very best place to help yourself – and those you love. Hopefully soon you will start to see and value yourself the way others do which truly is as a very smart, funny as Fuck, articulate, talented, inspirational, loving man with so much to give. I am so looking forward to seeing you. X x x


Hey buddy. How are things with you? I had a crash on my bike two weeks ago, bloody broken collar bone and shoulder blade. Been refraining from telling you, I’m not entirely sure why.

Hit a bloody rock in the cycle path, mate I feel SO lucky, I’ve thought about you so many times, I think you were my first thought after I hit the ground. I know how much worse it could have been.

That was a message from a good friend of mine.

Although his injuries are pretty bad, they’ll all heal well and there’ll be no long term effect.

I know that a lot of people think of me every time they get on a bike, and I hope that it makes them more aware of their fragility and vulnerability, so ride more safely. Something good has to come out of my misfortune, right?

I find myself watching cyclists’ behaviour, whether it be from my car or from a pavement. Knowing what I now  know of course, I feel nervous on behalf of others.

I’m struck constantly by the number of people on bikes that seem oblivious to the dangers around them – and I’m not talking about the fast riding courier types that weave in and out of the traffic ( as they have skill and confidence, if not road etiquette ) I’m talking about the Mums without helmets going to the shops, the over 65’s who have never worn a helmet and aren’t going to start  now, that perhaps don’t have the reactions they once had or the vision they did a while ago, the guys not looking behind them as they change direction .

I see the hazards from their perspective, how close they get to calamity, how they don’t appear to notice the mobile phone wielding pedestrian or texting car driver, how when they are fiddling with something in a pocket whilst they ride causes them to veer erratically  into the danger zone.

It makes me hold my breath, how unaware they are of how near to death they are, and makes me realise how relatively safe I was on a bike, by virtue of my constant perception  of potential hazards as I approached them, and readiness to take evasive action.

It makes the unfairness of my crash all the more painful though. Why me? I didn’t deserve it.

But life isn’t like that – shit just happens, tragically.  I could have been killed countless times  on my many forays  out of safety over many years, but I wasn’t .

I maybe could count myself lucky then?


I don’t think that I truly believed that this injury would ever become more of a mental struggle than a physical one – so great and obvious  was the bodily impact on me.  Yet now I think that it has.  Today I think I reached a low point, where I stared into space with no purpose, no will, no desire to continue, no hope, no sense of duty to my loved ones, no nothing, only despair so total that I wanted the abyss to swallow me up and in doing so release me.

Today I was scheduled to see TWO psychiatric practitioners – one a psychotherapist, and the next a consultant psychiatrist. It was  coincidence that  my huge downturn  arrived on this double date day, but as I write this I’m relieved that it did, and that help was at hand.

I didn’t expect that I would be pulled from the morass, and I’m not sure that I really was pulled, but yet I am not as mortifyingly without hope as I was – just because I talked to people and received the constant love and support of Danielle, who didn’t leave my side all day.

I didn’t trust myself to drive to work without injury to myself or anyone else, so I didn’t go in today, which was the only rational thought I had up until my 6 pm appt, the day passing in a general haze.

Thanks to Dr Hopley for his help.  It’s double dose medication from now on, too.

I don’t care, I just don’t want to revisit that place I’ve seen today.

I’ve no fight left in me at all.

This is a different place from before.

The feeling of total apathy is an odd situation to be in, and is new to me.

I’ve sat in a gym bike for 30 minutes and not even turned the cranks.

Me? Exercise fanatic/ all I know about the positive effects of exercise, yet no impulse at all to even hold the pedals.

Cold out here.

Thank you to the ( very pretty ) young lady ( and total stranger )who gave me the loveliest smile just now on the high street.

To her I’m sure it was just a 2 second effort.

To me it was a ray of sunshine in the dark.

This lady didn’t know me, didn’t owe me anything, nor had no obligation to do what she did.


It won’t be the only smile I get today, but it’ll be the most priceless one.

What a lovely message.

Dearest Russ

Since your accident I have been touched and moved by your blog. It is funny, insightful and so breathtakingly honest.
We have known each other since our girls were at nursery school together, although I have never been part of your wonderful, loving group of close friends
I have always admired your energy, spirit and infectious humour. I remember some years back you managed to get an entire group of middle aged, unfit Dads back into doing regular exercise by the sheer force of
your personality. You have come on an amazing journey since your accident and I am not going to offer any patronising advice on how to cope etc but I do know you are inspiring
so many people to look at things differently – Russ you are an incredible human and the love you have from your family is amazing. You can just feel that love coming through your blog. Please stay strong –
thinking of you



Well over a year ago, I met a lovely family whilst abroad ( in my chair, obviously ).

The dad, Chris, has been in touch regularly ever since, and has evidently been moved by my story.

He lives a long way from London, but drove to see me yesterday, and we spent the whole day just talking.

What a lovely man, he is.


Good looking, too 😉





A different experience

Last night we watched a film ( I get Lovefilm by Post so you get films sent to you, lots of which aren’t yet available to stream by services like Netflix )

Going only by the picture on the front ( man in Space suit ) I ordered ‘ Interstellar ‘.

Far from it being a frivolous action adventure in orbit, it was about the death of mankind on Earth. So hardly upbeat, or that child friendly.

Dani and Amber sat either side of me, Amber cuddling into me and me giving Dani a head and shoulder massage with my one good hand.

We had tea and some After Eights as well.

We missed Lily, but were otherwise united as a family, doing what families are supposed to do.

None of us were doing anything significant, but at the same time it was massively significant that we were happy doing nothing at all except appreciating eachother.