Monthly Archives: July 2019

And ..

I think it’s probably reasonable of me to say out loud, or at least write down, that parents care about their children more than children care about their parents. That’s hard for parents to read, let alone accept, but I do think ( know ) that it’s correct. This post was prompted by 2 interactions on the same day ( yesterday ) One was with my mother and the other one of my daughters. One sent me a message that was so loving and caring that it made me tearful, and the other ( in a brief conversation ) was so dismissive and ‘terminal sounding ‘ that it took my breath away. The second one was later retracted ( slightly ) but the effects nonetheless are certainly going have a lasting effect.

In nature a mother ( animal or bird ) will fiercely protect her young, but that doesn’t apply in reverse at all.
In Britain it’s quite standard for the parents of a child that is born with a defect, or acquires one, to then look after that child ( possibly all their lives ) but in reverse that would hardly ever be the case. It’s the norm that the ‘ kids’ would opt to put the parent ‘ into care’, rather than having them live with them. That’s not true across the board, and not so true in Asian and black families, but it is in ‘ white British ‘ families in 2019. The whites think it acceptable to do that, and their friends will not condemn them for it, as they’d do it themselves. The standard of ‘ care’ in Care Homes varies from reasonable to absolutely shocking, and people know that, yet park that in their ‘ let’s just ignore that ‘ part of their brains. I know from various forums that I have belonged to and Wendy has too ( as a partner of someone disabled ) that the wives and husbands generally keep ‘ caring ‘ for the injured party for a period ( but definitely find it hard, and more definitely were not prepared for that eventuality when they first met their partner, who at that time wasn’t disabled ). Some ‘ can’t take any more ‘ and send their partner into ‘ care’ and when they do no one is publicly disapproving, as most people know full well that that is precisely what they would do ( or want to do ). It’s also true that amongst older white people in Britain there definitely isn’t such a rush to get rid of the burden. I can’t imagine my grandparents doing that to each other, or my parents, or aunties and uncles either, but perhaps that generation is the last one to feel ‘responsible’ for afflicted partners and parents needing looking after? The state patently can’t afford to though, and already it’s almost collapsing under the pressure, so perhaps in the future state help won’t exist at all, and it’ll be down to the partners and kids that really don’t want to do it. What then I wonder? If euthanasia becomes normal then that might be the afflicted person’s choice, or perhaps it’ll also become legal to give lethal injections out? That looks pretty extreme, but who knows how this already uncaring society may act in a hundred years time? Perhaps the ‘logical disposal’ of the invalid may become acceptable?

Progress, I think they call it.

How it is.

Yesterday I had a text ‘discussion ‘ with someone I have known for maybe 10 years. I knew him and his family, and got invited to different stuff by them, and would have said that we were good friends, and there was genuine affection both ways. I was aware that he ‘ was impressed ‘ by various elements of my physical life, let’s say, but as he wasn’t at all athletic, the relationship wasn’t about sport at all.

I became aware quite quickly in this conversation that he wasn’t actually interested in anything I wrote, and that seemed odd, as he was never like that previously. It then eventually dawned on me that actually he had almost no interest in me at all, that being because now I’m not the person I was before, that is I can’t do endurance sport, can’t go out to bars easily without help, can’t do lots of stuff. To him therefore the me he ‘ liked’ doesn’t exist now, so he has no need to know me or talk to me ( at all ). And neither does his family. I’m sure if he saw a member of my family he’d ‘ ask after me’ and send me his best, but those are just ‘ the done things ‘ Beyond that there is actually nothing at all, he literally doesn’t care.

Because I’m just not wired that way, until now I actually haven’t realised that that is how is is for most people. The ones that actually care are very few. When something bad happens to you, and you are altered, the abilities you had before now being absent, you cease to be useful to many people, so they see no reason to continue contact with you.

It’s good for me to finally see it, as I genuinely have been confused for a long time. Over the years I’ve spent too much time wondering what I might have done to ‘ upset people ‘ who are no longer in touch. The reality is that I didn’t do anything at all, other than have an accident which left me different, so that I was no longer valid ( yes, the word invalid is no accident ) to them, so they disappeared. They probably don’t speak Ill of me, well why should they, and probably say ‘ it’s a shame what happened to him’ by way of expressing care, but that’s the sum total. But at the same time that this dawned on me, I realised that those same people immediately became far less important to me, and I no longer ‘ missed them’, as the memory of good times together was still there in the past ( and still valid ) but as irrelevant to now as are the things I did say in school many years ago ( that remain happy memories but are from a totally different time and impossible to revisit )

Yes, it’s going to happen to you too, as and when and if something changes you. Don’t fool yourself and expect anything else. Friends aren’t really friends ( and this applies to some family members also ) as you expect them to be, they let you down in their droves. The sooner you accept that, the better it is. I genuinely feel a sense of relief that it’s properly dawned on me, as ‘ awful ‘ as that appears at first to be!

I was coming back in the dark last week with Marky P as my cyclist outrider when I saw a cyclist ahead of me with a flashing triangle on the back of his helmet.

I’ve not been too good at wearing a helmet for a while, mostly as I just didn’t give a flying F about crashing and dying, but oddly I’ve always insisted on lights so I can be seen. I don’t want to cause an accident for someone else, do I ?

Suddenly here I had lights though which were ever so visible, and to boot on a helmet ⛑. Kaboom- sold.

The Lumos helmet has loads of flashing LED’s back and front, and even has indicators that you work by pressing a Bluetooth switch on the handlebars. All of a sudden I’m a lot safer…

AND I got some ‘ spy’ glasses – they have mirrors in the lens periphery that enable you to see behind you. £9.99 on Amazon…and yes, it does work!


The relief of seeing my daughter for a little of her birthday did take a big toll on me. It’s odd how something good can lead to an adverse reaction on a person. I wasn’t sure if I should write about that, but decided I would.

I’ve been writing about my mental health before it became trendy to do so. I’m glad I’m still on antidepressants, as I’m sure they prevent me from the most serious consequences of sadness. It’s definitely not like they make you really chirpy or anything, they just take the top off the tin and spoon away the top layer, that otherwise might suffocate you.


It was my daughter’s 18th birthday yesterday. I had thought that I wouldn’t see her on or around the day, but as luck would have it we were both in Portugal at the same time, so we did meet. Her and her boyfriend came to where Wendy and I are, the evening before her actual birthday, and we had an evening together. They stayed long enough at my place for the last hour to actually be on her 18th birthday.

For me that was a very special thing, having missed quite a lot ( well most ) of her life these last 6 years. She was just 11 when I had my accident and our lives changed significantly from that moment.

Despite having her world sent spinning into another orbit altogether, by my accident, the divorce of her parents, her home changing 4 times, and the stresses of just being a teenage girl ( and the youngest in her year ) she has, through her academic focus, still managed to be offered a place at Oxford University to read English, starting in October. Hopefully her getting 3 A grades in her A levels will be just a formality, and she will go to one of the 2 most prestigious Universities in the country.

I am very proud of her for what she has done, despite everything, and love her very much. I’m glad she found the time to spend the evening with me, and hope there are many more to come.

Her boyfriend has definitely been a pillar of support for her these last 6 years ( yes, he’s definitely a mature kid ) and I thank him too for looking after her. He’s going to Cambridge. Blimey what a brainy couple!

❤️ conquers all.

And another word about Terry, the loving dad to William, both of whom I wrote about earlier.

William’s vital suction machine got left behind at the airport. I know about these machines because after I awoke from my coma in 2013 they used one on me for a few weeks. When you aren’t able to breathe deeply and cough, and in my case was also on my back for a prolonged period of time, mucous secretions build up in your lungs. As the mucous accumulates it clogs up your lungs and stops you breathing properly, which means that the amount of oxygen in your blood stream drops. As that drops, your body gradually becomes unable to function properly. Below 90 percent oxygen blood saturation seems to set alarms off, so they come and stick this tube down your throat and ask you to try and cough. It’s a horrible feeling, like you are suffocating, whilst it’s in there. The machine sucks the mucous out more efficiently. If you don’t have this done then ultimately you will die.

As Will won’t have his machine, then his dad will fashion a tube, insert it into Will’s throat and then his Dad will suck the mucous out with his mouth, and spit it out. You’d never find a doctor that would do that for a patient, or a carer that would do it for their charge – only someone so devoted would do it. When I told Wendy about Terry doing this I knew she’d say what she did say, that being ‘ I’d do that for you – of course I would! My God, without hesitation !’

Most people who read this would think ‘ I couldn’t do that ‘ That’s the Dilemma of the Day Question then – would you or wouldn’t you? And if you would, then for who?

I remember someone I know whose baby was having great difficulty breathing, as the little chap was so blocked up with snot. As there was no time to waste, this friend ( and Dad ) sucked the snot from his boy’s nose and saved his son. Not very difficult to actually physically do it, but I’d say only a small percentage of people actually would.

I’m not asking for volunteers though, but I always carry a plastic tube just in case you need one.

Where art thou?

And again my thoughts turn to Margaret; Margaret who has followed this diary from the start, and comments so often. Margaret, where are you? Are you ok? I’m worried about you, and have been for a while.

So please, if you are reading, or know Margie and what has happened to her to stop her saying her bit, write in and reassure me!



Wendy’s alarm went off today. It’s the sound of a harp being strummed, and is the same one she uses every day.

It strums, and she does a massive jump, going from sleep to waking ( I was already awake ).

Wendy – Omg what a way to wake up!!

Me – You wake up like that every day?

W- I know, but still!

Then, half asleep again very quickly-

W- Do you think rats can get up to the second floor?

M- Yes
W – How?
M- Up the stairs
W- Rats can climb stairs!?

M- They’re rats, not daleks, of course they can climb stairs Rats can climb trees…

W- They can’t?! Why would a rat climb a tree?!

M- I don’t know- to eat fruit probably

W- Rats don’t eat fruit, they eat dead meat!

M- Rats eat everything

W- Where have you seen rats climb trees? In Wales?

Me (laughing) , well I haven’t ever seen it, but I know they can.

W- Well you might have a rat here? As I gave you a kiss in the night I suddenly thought you may have a rat!

M- I don’t think so. It couldn’t get through the door

W-Yes they can!

M- How?

W-Through tiny cracks. They turn upside down and just scrabble through.

M- Where have you seen that?

W- On Tom and Gerry they do it.
And so can cats.

( Good grief. When she’s properly awake she’s normal )


Lovely to see my old mate from County rugby at Under 17 and Under 19’s the other day. Jon ( Harding ) played for Caerleon school and I was at Pontypool College ( after West Mon Grammar went comprehensive and lost its 6th form ).

We talked about all sorts of stuff ( well it’s been 31 years since I last saw him ) and I hope I’ll see him again soon.

I was quite pleased to hear something he said about the matches between our 2 school sides – he said that when they played us they had one main strategy, that bring to somehow stop me from getting the ball. It made me smile to think that my little bit of fame as a teenage force on the pitch had spread as far as Caerleon, all of 8 miles away ..

Thanks for telling me!

A ‘ holiday ‘.

And we have made it to Portugal again. Having bought a flat in a ‘ less fashionable area ‘ of the Algarve we get exactly the same weather as in the posh bits, and we actually have a town ( are in a town ) which has shops that sell provisions, and is more or less generally accessible. No muddy fields to cross here. The idea was to try to replicate my ‘ set up’ in my london flat, so that it’s just possible to get here and not have the ‘ worry’ of whether it’ll be vaguely ok for me when I arrive.

Pretty much all my spare stuff, if you like, has ended up here, and having once lived somewhere fairly grand ( you could say, all things being relative ) I had quite a bit of spare stuff. That’s all made it’s way in the odd Transit van to the town here. I’m on the second floor, in a apartment that is a new build that was repossessed from the builders by the bank, who then sold it ( to me ). There are things that don’t work, like a toilet flush and some lights, but I have a bloke coming tomorrow to hopefully make some of those things that don’t work, work. The place came with no homebuyers guarantee or anything, and if stuff is only fixable with lots of cash, then it can just stay unfixed. Stuff for me isn’t exactly working ( self ) so I don’t worry about stuff that doesn’t too, most things not being that essential in this life. My essentials now are absolute essentials, that didn’t exist in my life before, but they are also quite basic things rather than frills. I didn’t need no steps and wide doorways and charging points that are at waist level before, but now I absolutely do.

I also need a partner who is easy going, completely happy without the frills, and loves me as I am, with all my physical downsides, that accepts that it’s only gonna get more difficult, rather than easier, which is what lots ‘ expect ‘. Wendy is definitely that amazing girl.

I’d like to say hi to Terry and Sherry and George, who were next to us on the plane, and live, and love William, George’s bother, who was born with a gene linked condition that makes William need full time ( yes, full time ) care, that is in the main provided by his totally devoted family. Unlike many families in their ‘ situation ‘ they do ‘ cope’ and nurture William, resulting in him living thus far to 21, against all predictions. A nicer family you couldn’t meet, George being the dedicated brother who helps his dad to carry William off the plane. George is a fit and athletic guy in Uni for a chunk of the year, and no doubt as it gets harder for his Dad, he’ll be carrying William by himself.

The thing is – he ain’t heavy, he’s his brother…