Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The OTs

I appreciate it when people actually listen to me instead of pretending that they do. The OTs here have wanted the’red room’ for ages and nothing was going to stop them getting it. That’s why they didn’t bother asking anyone and just took it instead. If they HAD have asked, the residents here (the ones who used the ‘red room’ quite a bit) would have told them to fuck off. They weren’t asked, though. The OTs who entered my room this week and demanded it so they could do Lisa’s training WERE told to fuck off. I want nothing more to do with them and the sooner they realise that they won’t always get their own way, the better.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Going for broke...

Danny Simmons ... goalscorer: The Midbeats: Barwell scoring against Quorn at Leicester City: Jimmy & Stacey.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Few more...

One of my favourite. Altogether, six photos were used to get this one shot.

The mead, Hinckley.

Station Road, as seen from the church. Hinckley.

Pickle, our cat.

Chris with his daughter, taken in 2012.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Just a few photos...

until i load a few more on.

A house near Shenton in Leicestershire. I used a special programme to get the clouds to look llike that.
The programme cost £50 but i had to have it. I didn’t stay too long in case they saw me, thought i was casing the joint and called the pigs on me.

My son, Jon. I used a special programme to make it look as though there was three of him. Just one was bad enough.

My broher saw the picture of Jon and wanted something for himself..

My nieces’ wedding.

Daz, my mate, in action during a match. There was a player behind him, but i made him disappear. Just like magic.

Football’s a funny old game...

Before I had the stroke i was a very keen photographer but that’s all changed now. I’m not very happy about it, but what can you do?
I quite like this photo here, but I took loads more and i’m not really sure which one i prefer to show you because i took some good photographs, some not so good, and some which just made me hold my head in head in my hands in shame. The main thing is that, for many years, i became a fervent supporter of the team in yellow. The team won a total of three promotions while i was taking pictures of them. It was very unprecedented for any set of players to have the success that they had. They won every week and nobody could seem to stop them. It was very enjoyable to watch, though.

The guy wearing the brown tee shirt was the manager of the team which, unfortunately, doesn’t exist anymore. The success they achieved is down to this man and the influence that he exerted on them. Two of his sons played for the team and they were superstars at what they did, which was to score goals.
The guy wearing the yellow shirt, and in the background of the picture, is Luke. He was the best player in the team and went on to play for Hinckley United. A few of us, who knew how good a player Luke was, kept telling the Hinckley manager until he came down and saw Luke for himself. It caused quite a stir to see him on the sidelines.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

They won’t be kids forever...

The best piece of advice i could give to new parents - having been one myself - is to stop your children from eating any sweets. You’ll think that i’m being cruel but i’m really not. Allowing your kids to have cans of pop (they are packed with sugar), as well as letting them eat sweets is the biggest mistake you’ll make. Diet drinks are even worse because they’re filled full of sweeteners (which are the daftest thing that’s ever been invented). If you don’t believe me about the effects that sugar can have on your kids just see it for yourself. Dr Jekyll will turn into Mr Hyde before your very eyes. But be warned. Sugar is very addictive.

Something else you can do is to stop them from smoking. The way that you do that is to stop smoking, yourself. If you, or your partner smoke - it’s highly likely that your kids will too. There’s help from your local health centre. so don’t be afraid to ask them about it. Do something positive for your kids. They will thank you for it and when you’ve quit smoking just look at how much money you will have saved.

Next, be a better human being. Do things to help people out. Don’t do them because you want to make some money. Teach this to your kids. Be an example to them.
Show your kids who’s the boss but do it in a good way. Don’t let them be spoilt. Ever. Treat them the way you want others to treat you. It’s a very important lesson. Spend as much time with your kids as you can. They won’t be kids forever.

Parenthood is a thankless task and a lot of people won’t have a clue what to do but, hopefully, this post will help you make better, much more informed decisions. I know my dad would have agreed with what i’ve done. He’s helped me out loads of times and i’ve always been there for my mother. Maybe the days when we put other people before ourselves has gone. i hope not. My mate Chris has always given his time and energy to help other people. He’d look shocked if anyone offered him any money for doing it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A day that was like no other...

Jon was 21 when i had the stroke. If he’d been any younger i’d have missed out on going down to the park with him. If he’d been really young he’d have been very frightened by the way i talked. I know my nephews were. I still talk the same way now. Mandy would’ve had a hell of a burden to carry. As it was, Jon was an integral part in me getting better: he made sure that i was in the recovery position back then and that an ambulance was on its way. He did a hell of a job and proved to me how much he’d grown up. His quick actions that day gave me a chance of survival, and were exactly what i needed. Without him i reckon that i would’ve had two chances of living, slim and none.

i had no idea what was happening to me, but Jon did. He looked as though he knew exactly what was going on, but he couldn’t have. Most of peoples’ impressions of him were made when he was a 14 year-old kid. He’d been thrown out of school because he liked to get his own way all of the time and, looking back at his behaviour, i’d say that his sugar consumption was definitely at a dangerous level. He couldn’t be controlled and he slept his way through detention when he should have been at school, working.

i think there comes a point in their life when everybody feels the need to grow up and be somebody different. That was the case with Jon, and i think he put his teenage years behind him on that day. I did a certain kind of growing up too. It was the start of a journey that would last for five years. I don’t remember seeing Jon until he turned up one evening, out of the blue, at the hospital in Leamington about a year later. He still needs to show some people that he’s a different kind of person today than he was when he was that 14-year old kid. He will do if he’s determined to do it.

He’s 26 now and, naturally, i want him to succeed at everything that he does. Growing up in this world is going to be a lot tougher for him than growing up was for me. Everything seems to have changed so much right now that you hardly recognise it but you know it will never be the same again. It only seems like 5 minutes ago that i was heading home from my mum’s place but it wasn’t. It was 5 years ago. It’s like no time at all in the grand scheme of things. We’ll never forget what happened on that day, though.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Loneliness (by Kate Leaver)

Loneliness is a stealthy bastard. It can settle in on your soul without you even noticing, until the texture of the words appear on your tongue one day: “I’m lonely.” It’s a hollow melancholy that wraps itself around your heart and stays there, whispering fear of social rejection in your ear and growing stronger, feeding on your insecurities.

As much as we may like to think it is a symptom of old age – the kind of thing that only happens when everyone you loved is laying supine six feet under – it can touch anyone from any age or demographic. Loneliness does not discriminate; it is so prolific that you could say it is an inevitable quirk of human existence. In loneliness, my friend, you are not alone: a Red Cross study revealed that 9 million people in the UK are always or often lonely.

You are right to want to cure your loneliness, of course. It is not just stifling and frightening and tedious; it is dangerous. According to researchers at Brigham Young University in Utah, US, (who reviewed data from studies that included 3.4 million people), loneliness can increase the risk of death by at least 30%. It is as dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and more tightly linked to our mortality than better-known lifestyle risks like obesity and lack of exercise.

Loneliness ravages our immune system, leaves us more vulnerable to cancer, affects our heart health, lowers our pain threshold, raises our blood pressure, tightens our arteries and puts us at greater risk of dementia. It is, as I said, a real bastard.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


I knew it was the name of a rock group..Not Boyzone though.

Being in hospital is what i remember most - well i DID spend nine months there. For most of the time i shared a room with people who were in a coma. That was a bad experience for them (being in a coma), and knowing that they’d never get better. They still had visitors but the conversations were totally one-sided, as you’d expect. Then, i remember sharing with another guy who was in a coma. He was from Scotland. I used to make up stories, for my visitors, about him being a ruthless gangland leader. The stories were only fiction but at least they made him smile when he heard them. My visitors used to recoil in horror when they listened to what he had done and was capable of doing. It was quite funny to hear and always brought a smile to his face.

Next, was a room shared by four people and i was one of them. I was put next to a young guy called Sunni. He was in a coma and used to have a terrible habit of grinding his teeth when he was awake, during the day. I used to wonder why he did it. Now i know why, as i often do it myself. it’s to let other people know that you’re there.
i spent the long, hot summer of 2013 at Leamington Spa but was keen to leave there. As hospitals go, it was ok, i just wanted to get away. I felt almost institutionalised and needed to go back home, or as near to it as i could. I’d spent nine months in Leamington but It was Hinckley where i belonged. I remember the day we left the hospital. It was 9 o’clock in the morning when i was ready to go and 10 o’clock at night when i actually left.

Eventually, we got there and i had some sandwiches made for me to keep me going. I knew Mount Road and i knew Kingly House, Years ago. It wasn’t called that - it was called Kings Restaurant.
The next day i had a good look around and saw my mum and my wife. In nine months at Leamington i’d seen my mum once and my wife every Saturday. Now, i could see them everyday if i wanted to. I had a couple of friends come to visit me but the biggest difference i felt, was the way people kept staring at me. I call it The Elephant Man syndrome. The elephant man was me. Kingly House is excellent though. Definitely no elephants there.

i’ve had to make sacrifices. Out went the fags and out went the wine gums. I could put up with that. I’ve got to die sometime and i very nearly went when i had the stroke. I didn’t expect a death like that though. But looking back over life since the stroke, i have to say how valuable the experience at Leamington was. I realise that now. Everything i’ve ever been through has been for a reason.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Cockney Rhyming Slang...

I scored 6 out of 6

Having large breasts, and how to avoid getting a stroke...

It’s not quite me, but there are some similarities. I’m not wearing jeans, i don’t have extremely large breasts, my right hand doesn’t work, my chair is electric, and i’m using an ipad. The similarities? Good question. Well, we’re both disabled for a start off. I’m not going to be so dependant on the ipad, in future. Nighttime is for sleeping. Daytime is for the other stuff i do. Not drinking coffee now means that i get some proper sleep at night, when i should do. It’s easy to get into bad habits, it’s not so easy to get out of them, though.

Some of the good habits i’ve gotten into are the regime i now live by, and the sheer will and determination i have to succeed at what i do.
The willpower has only happened since i became disabled. Then i had a eureka moment. I went to hospital for an injection. They screwed it up and so i had to have the injection five times. Since then, nothing has ever phased me. How could it?
i’ve even had some time in hospital - some of the darkest days of my life were spent in there. I’ve lived for hours of my life, just lying in a hospital bed, wishing i was somewhere else.

if i’ve got any adviice to give it’d be 1) cut your sugar consumption down and 2) don’t ever smoke again. Hopefully, that will stop you ending up like me. Having a stroke is something you really don’t want to have, believe me.
You’ll probably ignore the advice. I did. It wasn’t the cleverest move i’ve ever made, though. The evidence that sugar is a poison is plastered all over YouTube, so don’t take my word for it.

Of course, you could take the risk that i’m wrong but do you really want to play Russian Roulette with your life?
As for smoking. Why waste your money on something that’s meant to kill you? it’s a no-brainer. The government spend millions of pounds a year on hoping that you’ll give it up. When you’re older you’ll see that i was right all along. Only, it’s too late by then.

Taking my advice is like being kissed by a Swedish nymphomaniac, ignoring it is like going 10 rounds of boxing with Mike Tyson.
What will happen in the future is anyone’s guess but, no doubt, i’ll be long gone by the time that anyone notices i’m missing. You may avoid having a stroke but i can’t help you with the large breasts. If only i could.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Religion and what it means to me...

Of everything i have done to try and make myself a better person, (and i’ve tried quite a few things...) i’d say that religion definitely comes at the bottom of the pile. There’s a perfectly good reason for that. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. Maybe it makes sense to you. Who knows?
I don’t believe that there is a God. I never have done and i never will. It doesn’t make me particularly proud to say that. But there again i’m not ashamed, either. I’ve looked at Islam, Christianity and buddism and, quite frankly, i’m not impressed with any of them. That doesn’t mean i’m right. I just don’t know.

i’m a disabled person and want something that fulfills my needs and ambitions. I have goals and it seems that only i can achieve them. It takes some doing, but i always get there in the end. Talking of goals and achieving them, the religion of football (and it IS a religion) seems to be much stronger and more appealing than going to church, if i’m being honest about it. Football stadiums are more like churches to the average football fan than they should be and churches must be envious of the crowds that football stadiums get.

I’m much more interested in Positive Mental Attitude. I’ve given up smoking and sugar using this method. It’s very effective for me but not necessarily for you.
The first time i heard about it was from Anthony Joshua, the English boxer. He uses it as part of his training regime and he has been very successful in doing so.
i don’t know if he thought anyone else would use it, it but i have.

I would never describe myself as a religious person but i wouldn’t knock it either. Other people may have a different opinion about religion but who am i to say what is right? I just know what is right for me. Positive Mental Attitude is all about using willpower to succeed at something. I use it every morning to take my mind off the pain i feel.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Flying high

Here’s a picture of something that you’ll never see me doing, but, putting the reasons for that aside, i’d still like to try it one day.
Health and Safety would drop dead with shock and they’d insist on a parachute being fitted to the wheelchair, one that would open automatically, as soon aa i left the plane. On the ground will be emergency support staff who will check to see that i’m still breathing when i landed. SALT will find a reason to be there - they always do!.

Stranger things have occured though, and they always will. Where would we be without the hope, that one day, they will actually become a reality? The answer is to never stop dreaming.
Who would have thought that such a simple thing as the telephone would become what it has today?. It used to be a device you used to talk into but now it’s reached a whole new level. You can take photographs with a phone, take video clips with it or even send text messages with it. The future is amazing and, so it seems, always will be.

What it means to be disabled these days, as opposed to a hundred years ago, is massive. The changes are there for all to see. Now we have electric wheelchairs with as much technology as a jumbo jet. The digital age, also called the information age, is defined as the time period starting in the 1970s with the introduction of the personal computer with subsequent technology introduced providing the ability to transfer information freely and quickly. It was the kind of change that the world had never seen and one that we wished we had been prepared for.

They ask me what i want to do. There’s very little i can do,actually. Go for a coffee? Er, no that’s not possible. Play a game of pool? I can’t stand up. Go for a walk? See the answer to the previous question. I can read a book but do very little else that would interest me.I would try sky-diving but i’m stuck in a wheelchair. I knowi it sounds like a daft thing to say but thank goodness i wasn’t disabled in the 60s.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Shooting the breeze...

Looking back over my life, i’m happy with some of the things i’ve done. There are some things i’d have done differently though. You can’t ever change what’s happened, so don’t even try to!
I started off as a clueless kid and often wished i’d had some advice to help me get to the direction i needed to go to. Getting a two-bedroomed flat on my ownsome would’ve helped, but what could i have done to get help when i had the stroke? Being on my own and unable to raise the alarm was just asking for trouble. Maybe i was meant to go out that way, though.

Being single is what I wanted all my life. None of my genes would have been passed on and my depression would have ended right there with me. It would have been for the best.
I always lived life like it was my last day. In hindsight i should have planned for a longer one, but i never really cared for myself. That’s what depression does to you. I just wanted out.
Talking to people helps but there’s only so far it will go. It’s hard to explain how it can take over your world, but It squeezes the life right out of you.
it’s like when the actor turns into a werewolf. It’s best if you just run!

i don’t want to lay all my shit on you because that wasn’t the intention. God knows, you’ve had enough of that to last a lifetime. Things could have been so different if i’d known what was going to happen all those years ago. I could’ve stuck to the plan to stay single and not settled down at all. But what’s happened has happened for a reason.
in a hundred years from now, none of this will have mattered.
In the meantime i will do everything i can to help. Life goes on, but it still takes you by surprise.

the fact that life for me was so different. 5 years ago should send out a message to EVERYONE that your cicumstances can change overnight and without warning. We need to be more aware of what can happen and we should never take our eyes off the ball. If we do, it can be a disaster.
Jon, my son, thinks he knows it all but he never listens to me. I never listened to my dad either. I should have done. Now look at me.


Monday, February 5, 2018

Leamington...has it really been 5 years?

There are quite a lot of people who find themselves hospitalised and there are those who just wish they weren’t. Hospital is not usually a very nice place to find yourself in and my sympathies go out to whoever ends up there. I spent nine months at Leamington Spa hospital and even had to spend a Christmas Day there. I know what it’s like to spend time just staring into space and wishing you were somewhere else. One minute you’re walking home without a care in the world, and the next minute your whole world has suddenly been turned upside down. There’s nothing you can do about it either. In my case, my whole life was over. Well, that’s what i thought.
It took me a long time before i could accept what had happened. In the scheme of things i decided to get on with it. Not everybody has a stroke and not everybody has one like mine. Of course, there who are people who are worse off than me. There just has to be.

As i’ve already said, hospitals aren’t the best places to wake up in. They give me the creeps. Having a stroke means you have the weirdest of dreams. I can’t really describe them, but think about LSD and you’re not far off. The time i spent in hospital wasn’t the best. You fall asleep and then you wake
Up. Repeat that about three times. You feel forever giddy. Well, i did. Other people probably feel different. Anybody can survive a stroke but living with one for five years changes your whole outlook on life though. I wouldn’t like to do it again but it looks as if i don’t have a choice.

My experience at Leamington was made better by the nursing staff. While most of them are nothing but pleasant memories that have faded away, Niki and Noncee were something else. They didn’t ask to be, but being stuck inside a place for so long makes you cling on to something and you forget the situation you’ve been put in.
Although i’d hate to go through it all again, it changed me completely and i can’t forget that. A part of me will be eternally grateful. I feel that this is a ‘scrooge’ moment.
For others it may not be such a momentous occasion. It will definitely change their lives though and that they can’t ever deny.

I’ve made many mistakes and wish i could put them right but it’s no good wishing for something that will never happen.
i’m sure that most people could’ve handled whatever i had to. I am nothing special. I can assure you of that. Others will make what i’ve done look like a walk in the park. I can still remember what it was like to walk. When my right hand was as good as my left and when i could turn my head without feeling giddy.
I can remember collapsing in a heap and waking up in a hospital bed....

Friday, February 2, 2018


By Justin Parkinson

Prostate cancer deaths overtake those from breast cancer

The UK's population is ageing, and one of the outcomes of this is that more men are developing prostate cancer. In fact the number of deaths it causes among men has overtaken the number of deaths caused among women by breast cancer. And the latest available figures, from 2015, show that, overall, it killed 11,819 people - almost 400 more than breast cancer. However, the mortality rates for both diseases have fallen.

But Angela Culhane, chief executive of the charity Prostate Cancer UK, says research on prostate cancer gets half the funding of that for breast cancer. At present, there's no single, reliable test for it - the PSA test, biopsies and physical examinations are all used. Gary Pettit, 43, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer five years ago, says it's still a "taboo subject".
The biggest cancer killers in the UK remain lung and bowel cancer, with prostate now in third place.

Death from any kind of cancer will affect most of us whatever happens. Smoking when we were kids was such a stupid thing to do. If only we knew how giving it up was going to be so important. Banning smoking might seem like we’re taking away freedom of choice but at the end of the day it could save thousands of lives in doing so. Smoking used to mean walking into a pub, or someone’s house, and being hit by a wall of smoke whether we liked it or not. Who knows what the future will hold?


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Losing weight the no-Sugar way

Weight-watchers must be booming for a reason. Lots of women (and men) are trying to lose weight to look their best. A lot of them will fail miserably. Some will try again. Others will work out what they need to do and why they can’t seem to lose any weight. It’s hardly rocket science is it? If you don’t eat the calories you won’t put the weight on. Out go the crisps, biscuits and puddings. You have to make sacrifices if you want success. No pain, no gain as they say.

A lot of the reason slimmers will fail is because they don’t have the willpower to finish what they started. You’re not blessed with willpower from birth and it can be very hard to get. There are plenty of distractions along the way and what seemed like a good idea when you started is soon forgotten. I’ve been there myself so it’s no good being too critical. It’s only recently that i’ve discovered the true worth of willpower. It’s great to have it and it always comes in handy when you need it to,.You can tell the really serious weight-watchers because they’re checking the ingredients when you see them in the supermarket.

Willpower is something you must have. It’s not a 9-5 job. It’s a 24 hour one instead. That’s the only way you’ll achieve anything. You have to approach it like your life depends on it. At this point my wife would say: “i’m going home” GREAT! In a previous life she would have been the deck chair arranger aboard The TItanic. Some people!
Her mindset is always like that but she has to change. It’s the same with the sugar-free diet and why it takes someone who doesn’t mind going the extra mile. That’s why some people are slim and some people are just...FAT!

I can give you the recipe but if you don’t do anything it won’t get made. Fat people don’t always have to be fat. But If they weren’t, who would buy the hundreds of slimming books that go on sale every year? There comes a point in life when you think “fuck it. Do it your way!”
Meanwhile, the sugar-free diet helps those who help themselves. Just try it and see what happens. You’ve got nothing to lose. Except weight.

I don’t know a lot of things and my memory has seen better times.  We can’t know everything that is going to happen, but everything does fo...