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28 Dec 2010

Post 262: Happy Winterval!

Reading last years christmas post makes me laugh a bit but it also makes me a bit sad. Christmas is basically a time where everyone is on holiday at the same time and therefore an excuse to get together in families (or whatever) and eat and drink too much, should we feel guilty at this overconsumption? F*ck no - as Tim Minchin says, 'nothing tastes quite as good as that first sip of wine that could have been used to pay for that TB vaccine for a child in Somalia. Broken down this maybe a bit of an evil sentiment but it is its sheer ridiculousness of the statement that makes it funny to me, speaking of evil, I went to see Jimmy Carr on Thursday before Christmas with Jose (my trainer) and his Girlfriend Bec. This is the 3rd time I've seen him. Now, I haven't always been complimentary about this tw*t who is 'half man, half panel show' but I'll say this, 'he is sharp', I wouldn't heckle him and I have been known to be the type of fool to have a go in full health, he's the kind of comedian who doesn't shy away from jokes (quite nasty ones) about your mum -for some reason people laugh (myself included). After the first half I christened this 'the apology tour' because I was convinced he was trying to make people like him by keeping his usual offensive and blue material to a minimum, toning down his usual off the scale smugness, maybe he has learnt that being a nasty b*stard doesn't always work, just look at the backlash against Frankie Boyle, a man who used to write jokes for Jimmy Carr and the nation found hilarious?! Anyway, it was a suitable warmup to the onslaught I feared Christmas was going to be at my parents. This was going to be a much less hectic Christmas because my sister and her 'little angels' (Tim, her top lad of a husband is excluded from this sarcastic label) were staying in America. I do love them but I just can't deal with the noise they make – this is the trouble with fatigue, it makes everything difficult and gives you fear of exhaustion which makes getting out of bed tricky, as someone who finds resting and being in bed boring and wasted time, I am in a dreadful and seemingly insoluble catch 22.Christmas was good though. Sometimes we can have over 20 for lunch on Christmas day and boxing day. This can be a powder keg of an occasion. With the volume my family can generate plus a veritable ocean of wine I'm not actually surprised I had my stroke at Christmas, it also serves as a fairly morbid reminder that puts a bit of a dampener on proceedings and despite my best efforts is never too far from my thoughts. What did however make this year for me was the fortitude of my carer Susan who eventually decided to brave Christmas with the Pardeys. She has plenty of her own reasons for hating this time of year, but we couldn't bear the thought of her having Christmas largely alone, So Christmas day it was a reasonable 5 of us and boxing day ½ of our cousins descended making it about 12 in total, the noise and exhaustion levels have been kept within acceptable limits which has meant I've enjoyed it. Christmas is what you make of it I suppose, and this year I lived through it. Job Done! In my quieter moments, I had another go at my dating advert. I hope it's an improvement:


I might as well get this out in the open straight away, I'm currently physically disabled and in a wheelchair but I am a hopeless Romantic. I just survived an horrendous stroke in Christmas 2005 caused by a blood vessel weakness I was born with but didn't know about until it tried to kill me. When I look at my situation totally objectively and dispassionately, I realise I have been fortunate because I have assets that I want to and can share with someone and one other major one, my memories and my past life, which I can try and sell myself with, many wouldn't even have these, two more of these assets are materialistic and the other two are not, the materialistic ones are a mortgage free 4 bedroom house in Oxshott (apparently a des res in London commutersville with excellent local schools), the 2nd is a decent stable pension, hardly riches but enough to live on, the unmaterialistic things are a big group of mates and a fantastic extended family, both are a huge support and source of inspiration for my future and my day to day plans. Finally there is who I actually am. I have somehow retained my dignity and sense of humour, some have even said this has added another 'darker' dimension to it, I am slightly concerned because they say that manic depression also does this, if 'they' say so, 'they' are rarely wrong! It has always been pretty dark and tended towards the sarcastic and nihilistic I.e, the world isn't fantastic, you get out of it, what you put in, this maybe one of the only clich├ęs I can put up with. Life owes you nothing, and there are times these days when I feel like making a tremendous effort but there are those when I feel utterly exhausted and need someone to metaphorically inflate me so I can make the most of what I have. Life can be tough but I try and soldier on. I guess it's because deep down I know life can feel so much better than this. In the words of genius Bill Bailey parodying Barack Obama 'It is the 'soul-crushing inevitability of hope' – this raises a smile on a face that used to smile so much more but a smile that will hopefully find reason in future to be used more often.

19 Dec 2010

Post 261: Not loving or laughing about the snow

One of the things that worried me when I started this blog was that it might Peter out, when actually I want it to Peter up, reaching maximum Peter at some stage (a gag borrowed from the excellent Peep Show on Channel 4), I feared that I might have said too much a couple of posts ago. I have made no secret of my opinion that life would hugely improve if I found the right girl. I have had a lot of luck since my stroke to end up in my current situation. Living was a good start, and yadda yadda I find myself where I am today, and I do feel I might be due some more luck, but is this really all it's about? Like I've said before I have little respect for people who rely on luck (post 222) but we all need the occasional break, and I feel I haven't had one for a long time.
I've finally got incontrevertible evidence that snow in this country is truly awful, and people who say it's 'magical' can f*ck off. Yesterday because of the snow I couldn't get to a good friends wedding . How disappointed I or my parents felt is of little consequence. I felt for the bride and groom who must have been worried sick that the most important day of their lives was going to be ruined because the myriad people who care about them were not going to make it because of extraneous circumstances. Will and Liga are tougher than me though, so I hope it went ok.
So before the snow spoiled things this weekend and after it spoiled everything a couple of weeks ago (here), I actually managed a few things, first on Saturday 11th the 60th birthday of the mother of my longest (suffering) friend Dom Icely at the glittering Hurlingham Club. It is at the classy end of any scale on Ostentation, it is a pristine Chesterfield sofa compared to Wayne and Colleens Swarovski crystal encrusted white leather sofa, because nothing says class and comfort quite like Swarovski Crystals, c*nts. It was a fitting evening for a great lady – her 3 children did speeches about her that left us in no doubt what a great 60 years she has had and we all shared the happiness she must have felt.
The next day my brother took me to the Dome to see the cinematic musical version of the 1960s radio play, the war of the worlds, when Richard Burton had first narrated this on the Radio it had caused mass panic in this country because it had really sounded like the Martians were invading.
Now my brother's not much of a band/live comedy type of guy, but when I first saw this advertised, I instantly thought this might appeal, and I was right, although I underestimated it's popularity, the Dome looked pretty full!
Finally, showing my enthusiasm for seeing live genius, I saw Tim Minchin at the Dome on Tuesday. As he is in my opinion the best Pianist I've ever seen (better than my hero Bill Bailey even), I had bought the tickets with my great friend Vicky Denning in mind (herself a pianist and reader of music at Oxford) I had also invited her husband PJ but because of a mixup over babysitters PJ had to 'fall on his sword' and offered the ticket to mutual mate Jack. As their Christmas present I'd also got two tickets for my neighbours Ian and Tracey who kindly drove me there and back. They had alerted me to the talents of Minchin a couple of years ago. The evening was definitely a success although I will say musical comedy where you have to hear every word is perhaps not best suited to a venue that big. Sticking with Musical comedy, as I was snowed in, I watched Bill Bailey's latest DVD 'Dandelion Mind' yesterday and must say it's the funniest thing I've seen in ages. Laughter and Love are the only things that get me through this.

17 Dec 2010

Post 260: Oh hurrah, it's almost Christmas


So, last week was all about having Christmas drinks on Wednesday. Here is an event that pretty much makes my year alongside my birthday in March. Since Christmas 2005, life has been a massive struggle, I have wrestled back what independence I can and make all the effort I can but my priority will always be my friends and family, who have been great, this has always been an event designed for others, in fact people are even starting to say it doesn't feel like Christmas until these drinks, which is obviously a reputation I'm encouraging despite the fact I'm a bit of a cynic about Christmas. Obviously it is great for my mental health because seeing my friends is everything and my mental health when I'm on my own is at best, sh*te.
This years event was scheduled for Wednesday evening in the same place it had been for the last couple of years but unbeknownst to yours truly it had selfishly gone bust. Luckily my great friend Helen had her eye on the ball and was able to book the Union bar in Paddington basin at short notice.
Although this had saved the day, I realise now how lucky we were with the old place, as it's size and location are ideal for this gathering. Even though the union is a larger space and not quite as central, pretty decent attendance didn't make it feel quite as full as in recent years probably because my stroke has rendered me more of a miserable b*stard than I was before. I'm just grateful anyone turns up.
What from a third party point of view would have been hilarious almost made me have another stroke.
Experience should have told me NEVER to just rely on a sat nav and a postcode to find where you're going, with the drinks due to start at 6:30pm we were probably 1 minute as the crow flies away at 6:25. By 7:30 Dad had stopped the van at the side of the road, declared he had 'had enough', and Mum was in tears in the back. I was in apoplexy but somehow staying schtum. Merry bloody Christmas I thought. Finally dad waved down a cab and got us pointed in the right direction. Nothing is simple these days. My poor parents can barely cope with themselves, let alone with me and my mum struggles with her gift of perfect 20/20 hindsight which irritates the hell out of everyone. e.g 'the traffics always this bad, we should always leave half an hour earlier' followed by 'shut-up woman' from my dad. I love them dearly but hope I'm nothing like them.
After this, literally anything could have happened at the party to have improved the situation so as it was it was great, being a photo junkie, a 'phunkie' if you'll indulge me – I'd asked a friend of a friend to take pictures. He took great pictures and the stress he alleviated was worth every penny. I got to see almost all of my closest friends including people I don't see very often, once again, these are festivities that are made possible by my friends who set up and run the trust -people like my best friend Tony Reid, college mates Helen and Guy and former housemate and trust treasurer, a job he unsurprisingly had to relinquish when he got elected as MP for somewhere in Suffolk. In the middle. One of my favourite people in the world, Alice, recently engaged Karen and Toby and a plethora of other college friends who I wish I was narcissistic enough to mention, although I will mention people who I used to work with Anna and Paul (married now (post170)), Dave and Ed (not married or together even) and Simon Dawes, a man who has been a great mate since my stroke but was something of a mentor when I was at John Lewis. I also had a long chat with Kocen, who told me he'd raised a couple of grand when he heroically ran the 'Marathon des Sables' back in April (post 201), speaking of raising money, the raffle on the night raised £400 and the incredible prizes (including an ipod, digital camera and DAB radio, Arsenal Tickets and a Yoga class)were donated by John Lewis, Tony and Yoga Team ltd and despite my cousins cleaning up it was totally above board despite some conspiratorial mutterings. Helen asked me to write a short update to give to people, here it is:

'I don't think I'll ever say 'it's been a great year' ever again, instead it has been a year that has been more about survival and subsistence. I'm pretty certain that achieving full independence is beyond me so instead I do my best to stay in touch with people via the internet, people coming to see me and finding events for people to take me to. Although many aspects of my life have changed, life is about achieving happiness through making other people happy (as cheesy as that sounds). Seeing other people getting through life easier because of something I've done makes life bearable (more cheese, sorry). The thing that grinds me down is how I physically feel. This is what I would change if I could but nothing seems to. Instead my goals are to try and stay healthy through regular physio (which the trust pays for, a financial burden I or my family couldn't cope with), eating properly and maintaining friendships and forging new ones. Hopefully in the future I might be able to become a writer but I'm not there yet. These drinks are probably the best thing there is for my mental health. They help ease the almost perpetual loneliness that I now live in. Thank you all for coming this evening – stay in touch either via email or by coming to see me. I may sound pathetic, help me to feel less so. Sam, my wonderful yoga instructor has read this and says it sounds 'a little depressing' - she's probably right but I wish it were easier to make it sound 'light and airy'.

And finally I couldn't resist putting in a photo of my super-cute friend Steph who I want to apologise to for my shameless flirting, I hope your trip back to Melbourne was scheduled!

Thank you all and for what it's worth, happy bloody Christmas. Even those who don't like me.

12 Dec 2010

Post 259: Do my goals fit my therapy?

This is such a hard post for me to write. I like to think of myself as the kind of guy that would help anyone but it's difficult to say this when you're the one who needs help. I think I've accepted that I'm never going to be able to live independently again, to be able to do that your energy levels need to be normal, you need to be able to walk and use both hands. Sadly, it has now almost been five years and perhaps I didn't fully apply myself to occupational therapy because my fatigue and other disabilities always meant that cooking or making a cup of tea was miles beyond my abilities and it's difficult to listen to people you have little respect for and the kind people I had around would always help. This is now a big problem because people seem to have exhausted that pot of kindness and I am being told that carrying on like this is 'unacceptable' and will 'end up with me in a care home'. I have already refocused and agreed to a physical therapy regime that I find torturous which is working towards a massive long-term goal of walking independently that I never seem to get any closer to. Despite my times improving they are starting to plateau, where do I go from here? Added to this I can't expect anyone to just make me a cup of tea now, because it's better I struggle to make it, than an able bodied person taking a few seconds to make it. I think this is where my clinically logical brain lets me down. It makes no sense to me, but it is everything that I put logic aside in this case and be prepared to help or show willing. This is sadly easier said than done with chronic fatigue and being unable to walk or use both arms. Once again I'm being too logical. Maybe I'm not asking nicely enough or being grateful enough, I don't know. I think I am being incredibly polite, being in hospital for two years taught me to mind my Ps and Qs but my acknowledgement that I am no longer capable of being 100% independent is apparently giving up. NO IT ISN'T. It's being realistic! Giving up would be not getting out of bed, not trying to meet new people or staying in touch with my existing friends or organising to go to all these gigs, several of which I have been to this week. By the time the last week has gone I would have been to the Hammersmith Apollo 4 times. On Monday I went to see Michael Macintyres Christmas charity show with my favourite friend Sacha, favourite because she makes me laugh and tells it to me straight. Her counsel is priceless and because she has only known me since my stroke she gets on with me for who I am now. It is a problem of my own invention that I assume my existing friends find me a disappointing version of my own self. So back to Monday, these things really are my lifeforce! Although I had seen most of the comedians on the bill live before, being there does make a difference. Mcintyre is brilliant as host, doing stand up but as this picture shows never standing still. He just is a funny little man with lots of energy with a bottomless mine of embarrassing situations and ridiculous observations, The evening was in aid of Shelter. During this freezing weather is when the homeless need people most. I have my own problems but they are insignificant next to people with nothing. On Wednesday I went to another charity gig at the Apollo. This time with musical aficionado Oli Cassidy, another person who's counsel and company are invaluable, to see the Ting Tings and the undisputed queens of Synth Disco Pop, The Pet Shop Boys, I have seen them live once before at the Dome back in June 2009 (post 135) and they were brilliant. Despite not being an avid follower of them, I have always loved their tuneful energetic, melodic songs, it is the approachability and tunefullness of their songs that have always been central to their appeal and luckily there has never been any public analysis of their lyrics which would doubtless muddy these waters. Anyway, that's another debate, more to the point here was another great gig that I found a way of going to. On Thursday I managed to go back to the Apollo to see 'the best live band ever' James. I last saw these guys at the Albert Hall in April (post 201), and on the strength of their performance I'd booked tickets for Jose and I for the Hammersmith gig. It was quite strange going to a music gig where since the night before (when I'd been at the Pet Shop Boys) they'd put the seats back in. It was probably as strange as going to a cinema and finding no seats but it worked surprisingly well. The Pigeon Detectives (the support act) were utter sh*te and James were brilliant but what made the evening for me was bumping into Frank and his wife Jo, this was a guy I got chatting to a few months earlier at a Dara O'Briian gig at the Apollo and we'd swapped war stories about what it had meant to be disabled. Frank is walking independently again after a brain Tumour. He doesn't take any patronising so I'm always careful to be 100% genuine when I complement the guy on how well he's doing, the first time I met him was the first time he'd opted to leave his wheelchair at home. This time he deliberately stood for the whole thing (and even danced a bit) bloody brilliant! Tonight (Friday) I'm going back to the Apollo with Felicity (being too shy to actually look at the camera here) (to see comedian Mark Watson) – I've seen him a couple of times before and despite him only pretending to be Welsh I leek him “boom boom” (sorry), he is so clever, saying what appears to be on his mind -he is also very likeable, normal and down to earth spending a lot of his act psychoanalysing himself to hilarious effect pointing out seemingly obvious things but making them funny with the odd ironic touch. He isn't particularly sweary but doesn't shy away from it. See him if you can, very entertaining!
This post ought to be taken in some context, I missed three gigs the week before last because of the snow and Suede at the Dome on Tuesday after my lift never showed, it turned out the person in question was ill but because I couldn't contact them and they never contacted me, I didn't know whether to be concerned or angry. This is what comes of having to be reliant on other people -this'll never change. Thankfully they're ok.
Much more worrying is the results of my latest MRI scan which apparently showed that the AVM that almost killed me (the blood vessel weakness in my brain that caused my stroke) is still there and despite two surgical procedures to obliterate it, it could still haemorrhage again. The ticking timebomb in my head is still there and I'm scared. To further add to my somniloquence I've also been angry at various bits of music I keep hearing either on the TV or Radio. First is Ellie Gouldings 'your song' I like her voice and she is pretty but me thinking 'how wonderful life is now you're in the world' isn't happening, I happen to agree that my life will be turned round by meeting the right girl but it hasn't happened yet despite me having given it all, the 2nd song that is doing my head in is 'I'm in love' by Alex Gaudino I I don't begrudge anyone love and happiness, except f*cking popstars who almost seem to gloat about it, b*stards! My life seems to have come down to this – my dating advert, which is probably all wrong.

I might as well say this straight up - I'm currently disabled and am looking for a carer I can fall in love with. In return for living in a nice house in the south london suburbs and sharing a stable income -this is not how I hoped life would pan out, but if you don't ask, you don't get - so this is a unique almost business opportunity, i.e you'll be set but you can of course have freedom to work. I have to be a bit mercenary about this. It's better to be honest -i.e. you can tell a lot from a photo, so anyone choosing to hide their photo must be hiding something, if you think I'm wrong, I'm happy to argue the toss over email! I'm basically an Intelligent, articulate joker/cheeky b*stard who survived an almost fatal stroke in 2005, looking for a female best friend to spend the rest of time loving and laughing. Convalescence is dull on my own. I've got a nice house and a reasonable income, I just need someone special to share it with, someone who doesn't think they're selling themselves short by going out with a disabled guy.(this appears to be a common theme)
If you drive it'll help! Same, if you live near-ish. I'm not a nonce but the wall of silence I get is enough to persuade me to virtually forget the online dating game because a stroke survivor like me won't be given a chance. I refuse to believe that nothing I've ever done in my life counts for anything. It's so difficult for someone who used to be so independent to say, I can't cope on my own anymore, I need someone who will love and look after me, not 24/7, just someone who'll live here and share my life - who'll accept me for who I am, someone to share love and laughs with, who can drive me to gigs and shows (which is now my life), who likes cats and wants to be looked after. To lighten things, a bad joke - what's yellow and dangerous? A banana with a machine gun (not shark-infested custard)
I will email back anyone who sounds like they have taken the time to read this. You will have to be able to drive.
It's quite hard to imagine life being wonderful right now.

2 Dec 2010

A sh*te (white) week

So what could be front of mind this week? I'll save my annual rant about the snow or more accurately the f*cking snow till later on. What I want to talk about first is that on Monday ( before the snow fell, therefore before the country forgot it had prevailed in two world wars but throws in the towel as soon as a white slippery substance falls from the sky, surely proving German Military Tactics were all wrong!) my Mum took me to the John Lewis retired partners Christmas lunch at the Radisson Portman hotel just off Oxford Street. Now I can't say enough good things about John Lewis except it's a bit galling to comfortably be the youngest person there (possibly by 30 years), It is because of them that I had at least one job I loved and the pension they pay me but don't have to pay me gives me an income I can survive on and could probably support a dependant on. It is by no means a luxurious living and nor should it be but it unburdens my long suffering parents who already have to deal with enough and contrary to the preconceptions of some of my more left wing friends who won't be happy unless we all live in equal poverty. In fact I got so fed up with this 'equality at all costs' crap that I wrote this on facebook:
Dom Pardey Is fed up with the disingenuous romantic view of the working classes peddled by middle class champagne socialists as downtrodden, exploited masses when the real level of benefits works out that they've never had it so good. Your positive stereotyping is at least as damaging as any negative stereotyping about chav twats!Do quit your socialist bleating!

I try and steer clear of political overtures (despite a politics degree) because it's boring and people get so wound up about the subject when all they really want is to live in peace and harmony avoiding pain, boredom and poverty, occasionally feeling the love of friends and family, basically, unconstrained, so you can live your life to pursue general and personal happiness. This sounds a bit like it's come out of a textbook. Well it hasn't, it's just what I think. But is my thinking invalidated by my privileged education? I don't bloody think so. The Aussies have a useful phrase for this. Possibly the only useful phrase they've ever come out with: 'F*ck yous, and f*ck the lot of yous' it comes complete with a hand signal that ironically I can't do. Speaking of irreverence which you'd have to be mad to miss I'm a big fan of, I've just finished listening to Keith Richards
biography. The big surprise to me is how much of his life he can remember. Secondly, if Trainspotting and Russell Brand don't put you off being a Junkie, listening to this will, because It's obviously one of my ambitions. If I'm honest I prefer the bits read by Johnny Depp because Keiths gravely monotone about the umpteenth time he tries to clean up is a tad depressing, but one thing is clear. He is an incredible musical talent and I admire his irreverent attitude, same goes for Russell Brand and a lot of alternative comedians, talented people who don't bite the hand that feeds them and are not afraid to point out things that don't make sense. This philosophy may make people do and say the odd stupid thing but it makes life bearable unlike this f*cking snow which caused me to miss going to two gigs at the Dome in my favourite seats this week (30 seconds to Mars on Monday and Arcade Fire on Wednesday) despite the people who volunteered to take me (Jo on Monday and Froniga on Wednesday valiantly battling to get here), apparently according to my housekeeper (an American from near Denver) this would be 'nothing'.

28 Nov 2010

Post 257: Not the best, but it's been worse

If I'm honest not a great week for my rehab, after consistently bettering my walking times over the last 7 weeks across a variety of distances and managing the majority of my daily schedule, my times for a lap of the garden didn't improve and I didn't manage as much of my daily schedule as I perhaps should have. Luckily the week ended better when I managed to knock a minute off my round the block time to 11.02. I think Ian has succeeded in persuading me there is an immediate direct correlation between my walking times and how much of my torturous daily schedule I do. I am taking steps (no pun intended) to try and do more of it by always doing my 20 minutes of standing on my power plate after I have breakfast each day. I may struggle with it but at least it makes my body warm and I think we all know how bloody cold it has been! I have also invested in one of those bloody Wii consoles to help with my hand-eye coordination on the advice of my lovely Yoga instructor Sam who expressed concern that I seemed 'more down' than usual, I have explained to her that I have been struggling with my daily rehab schedule because I find it skull crushingly boring, so I tried out my brothers Wii on her advice and decided that even though I'm no gamer, it might be less boring. I've also got my counsellor, Cathy, coming to discuss short term goals with Ian and I next friday, this is critically important because my long term goal of walking independently again just seems too far off at the moment.
Enough already about the stuff I have to do. As usual it has been the stuff I don't have to do that has kept life interesting. Firstly I am disappointed, shocked and appalled at how many internet scams there are out there that exist to part the punter from their cash and having knackered eyesight doesn't help. Like a fool I entered my debit card details onto some site or other and before I knew it the f*ckers have charged me £25 for nothing – I suppose I should be grateful it wasn't more, if it wasn't for my dad (my power of attorney) I'm sure I would have been defrauded of lots more. I'm not stupid, I just have bad eyesight!
So this week I have been to two things of note, going to see Jason Manford for the 4th time on Wednesday. I first saw him in November 2008 (post 82) and he is just a nice young lad from Manchester, probably 5 years younger than me but so worth seeing because his observations have genuine gravitas and he is very likeable despite falling into the fashionable honeytrap that is 'sexting' fans. When are celebrities going to learn that nothing good can possibly come of this activity. I know it seems unlikely that scumbag Ashley Cole could teach anyone anything, but texting a stranger anything suggestive has gotta be up there with giving your debit card details to some random website if you're short sighted. To Manfords credit he managed to do the gig despite a higher and louder than average amount of heckling that night. Muggins here didn't know about the scandal till much later, but I now understand why Angus Deayton couldn't continue as the host of 'Have I got news for you'. Paul and Ian would have torn him apart every week. I again have Tanya to thank for saving the day and driving me – she is a big comedy fan despite being tricky to make laugh – well, she is a Saffa.
Anyway, the day after (Thursday) was a mixed bag because I had to go to Charing Cross hospital for an MRI scan. These things may be painless but I can ensure you, there is something deeply Traumatic about going back to the place you spent 7 weeks as a high dependency patient. There's also something faintly sinister about MRI scans. For a start their idle noise appears to be the same as every baddies lair in any James Bond film, you then get put into a machine that looks like a nuclear reactor surrounded by warning signs and people with white coats and clipboards, whilst in the machine you're told not to move, not that you can while the machine sounds like it's going into meltdown around you. Doubtless it's clever, expensive technology, but it feels more like being buried alive with a temperamental nuclear warhead. Luckily, it went as planned although I don't anticipate hearing results for several weeks. I'm hoping that it will show my AVM (the thing who's explosion in my brainstem 5 years ago virtually killed me, I'm hoping this scan shows it is no longer a danger to me. After the ignominy of this experience I had booked for my parents and I to go to an evening of 'the great classics' at the Albert Hall for Bruch's violin Concerto played by the stunning and stunningly talented Nicola Benedetti. I was speechless at both her beauty and her gift for playing the violin. I simply said 'WOW' when she had finished and concentrated looking daggers at the Nobhead who talked through most of the performance, clearly trying to show off his knowledge of classical music. His stupid white beard served to remind me of the horrible eye consultant with the bedside manner of a Dalek who told me that my eyesight would never get better. He's called Mr Lee and my recollections of him being a knob from 2006 are here and from 2008 are here. My parents and I managed to still enjoy the performance and Holsts 'the planets' were incredible.
And Finally, following on from the theme of having a perfect moral and ethical record to do anything in the public eye (my skeletons are probably attached to my wheelchair beccause my closet is upstairs, I was dead chuffed to see a friend of mine who I'll never get any dirt on, despite him being a Tory MP, Matt Hancock, I'm just astounded and grateful that him and his family find time to come and see me. His wife, Martha is awesome, so kind and understanding, she must be being married to Matt, and their two kids, Hope and Ferdi are scarily grown up now, when I first met them they were weeks old and I could barely speak.

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