I am glad that I have changed my therapy regime, glad in the same way a Blitz Londoner was glad to be under the stairs during a Luftwaffe bombing raid. I no longer start every week with the same sense of dread knowing that I would have to do three soulshattering walking sessions during the week although I am still doing the walk into the bear for lunch on fridays, god it's hard! Even though it has been an obvious net gain in terms of mood I can't bear the thought of never walking again, to that end, I'll only give it another go when I get some normal energy back – this has to be my #1 priority because I'm convinced everything will follow, it may follow slowly, but everything is slow these days, christ, my new high protein diet hasn't helped yet, but at least I'm not gaining weight. I don't suppose anyone has any suggestions for an online writing course? (that's not the abysmal writers guild course I tried last time). I need a project otherwise things get all introspective. The gap between how often I want to see my friends and how often I do see them is a yawning chasm and even though I'm in SW London I might as well be in Antarctica. People are busy and even though I'm willing to travel, I can't. Trying to find people who aren't busy to drive me to concerts is hard enough. That said I did get a few touching testimonials that I wasn't going to reproduce but I thought f*ck it , leaving them uncopied on one website didn't really do them justice. Here they are. They serve to remind me that there is life in the old dog yet:
"Dom Pardey is a very entertaining. very amusing, very intelligent, and very charismatic man. Four adjectives, that will tell you a great deal about him. Tony Howell."
tony howell [friend]
"Dom is a legend - one of the funnest and funniest people I met at university, full of life and banter with a rapier like wit and a penchant for mischief. He is also thoughtful, kind, sincere and generous - a true gentleman."
- Gus Lock [uni friend
"Dom is funny and appreciates the simple things that make life worthwhile. He has a drive to keep going and getting better that is quite inspiring."
John Lake [friend]
"I have been friends with Dom for over 10 years now, which I think gives me the right to say I know him very well indeed. Dom is one of the most intelligent, sharpest and funniest guys I know. He's a high achiever in every sense of the word, having been to Oxford, almost turned pro in golf and played in some of the best clubs in London as a DJ back in the day, just to name a few of his accomplishments. The past few years have been really tough and he's been through some ordeals that would cause anyone to break down beyond recovery, yet he's fighting on with so much courage and determination. I have a great deal of admiration, respect and love for him and think that anyone would be lucky to have him in their lives as a friend or more..."
Alexandra Jackson [friend]
"Dom is a great guy and the son of my very good friend Jill. He is clever and has a university degree from Oxford,had a super job with John Lewis before his stroke and they thought the world of him. Dom has a very quirky sense of humour and is ready to play a practical joke. I admire the way he is so positive and tenacious. He loves music and people and the testimony is that he has so many friends who rally around and support him."
Lily Cloughley [family friend]
"I will keep this short and sweet! Dom is a true Gentleman. He is wise, funny, sensitive, loyal, very smart and loving. He understands emotions better than Shakespeare! ) I am delighted to know Mr. Pardey.... and consider myself lucky to have him as a friend. Fate moves in mysterious ways. ;-)"
Amber Desborough [friend]
"Dom is one of the funniest people I know. His laugh is infectious.
He has faced great injustice with fortitude and great dignity. He has a warm, quick, wit and that's why he's such a good friend."
- Matt Hancock MP[uni mate]
"Dom is a very special guy. He is highly intelligent with a great sense of humour,and a well developed sense of the ridiculous! He is warm and loving, highly sociable and a loyal friend..and as a result has a wide circle of loyal friends. He deals with his physical limitations with honesty and an admirable lack of self pity. He gets great support from his family, and he would be a lively and engaging contact for anyone who gets to know him."
carole lee [former colleague]
"Dom is one of the funniest and nicest guys I have ever met. His sheer level of wit and observation is combined with a genuine caring side.
He frequently makes me laugh out loud with his dry observations and great humour. He loves great music, great comedy, and I consider him an inspiration as to how you should live your life...
Many weaker than Dom would have fallen by the wayside, he is uplifting, and just an all round great guy..."
Chris Dugdale [friend]
"Dom is lovely, desirable, clever, witty, sexy and kind (and I’m not just saying that to try to get a reduction in my rent).
He is semi-independent and lives in his own house in a lovely part of Surrey. I rent one of the rooms in his house – he’s really good fun as a housemate - and I wouldn’t be writing this profile if I didn’t think he is one of the loveliest men I’ve ever met (and I’ve met a lot of stinkers in my lifetime and been out with a few too) .
I believe Dom would make some lucky woman a gorgeous lifetime partner - if she is wise enough to see the man behind the disability."
Claire Fuggle [My tenant]
"Dom and I became friends about a year ago when I moved to the area. He's an extremely caring guy, who will always provide wine when I've had a stressful week! His friends and family are very important to him and he showers them with love, it would be great to see him with a cute girl that can return that!"
Rachel Osborne [friend]
"Dom is an incredible individual. He has been a good friend for over ten years because he makes such a tremendous effort. He is very amusing, excellent company and has shown exceptional fortitude and perseverance. I am really proud to have him as a friend."
Richard Lloyd [uni mate]
"Dom is a completely brilliant bloke, and the only person I know who has made me laugh so hard that my face hurt.Meet him. You won't be disappointed."
Dave Brittain [former colleague - right]
"What can I say? Dom is the most amazing guy. He's witty, mad and fun despite all that life has dealt him. He is very loyal to all his friends and I for one am humbled by how he keeps pushing himself to get on with life in a positive way. When I worked with Dom he made us all laugh and his incisive humour is worthy of Private Eye. But he knows how to be serious too so he's a good judge of situations."
HELEN Keppel-Compton [My former boss]
"I.m Dom's uncle , so i know he is a great bloke . It's not easy after being struck down by a stroke to come to terms with living in a wheel chair and running a household . He does it ; plus going to an amazing number of London events , getting his body back into shape and keeping up with his loyal mates . I admire him for all that and his sense of humour too !
Ian Stoker [My crazy uncle -left with my slightly less crazy uncle]
What has made me feel a bit better about myself is that over half of them have been written by people who have met me or got to know me since my stroke, sadly Claire is leaving at the end of June, she has been an ideal housemate, quiet, but sociable and a wise sounding board, she has also got me into transcendental meditation which I am not very good at yet but I do believe there will be benefits in the long run. I am going to be a bit shameless here, I now have a double room free and the rent would be exceptionally good value. Here is the ad (that I asked Claire to write (because I thought she'd do a better job than me!)
Pleasant, sunny room available to rent in shared house in pretty village of Oxshott (Nr Epsom/Cobham/A3).
The house is a 3 to 4 bed semi in a quiet cul de sac, 15 mins walk from Oxshott station. There is a direct train service to London Waterloo every 30mins. The journey time is 36mins and stops include Surbiton, Wimbledon and Clapham Junction.
The accommodation is well appointed, recently refurbished and fully furnished.
You would be sharing the house with ‘Dom’, a 33 year old wheelchair dependent male stroke survivor, his housekeeper, and one gorgeous cat 'Pickle'.
The rent is inclusive of all bills (except landline telephone) and free broadband is available.
Ideally you would be female, 30ish, and working in London or the surrounding area.
As a bonus, the opportunity exists to go to some great concerts and comedy shows, free of charge, if you can drive Dom to the venues.
If you are a fitness freak there is a Personal Training Centre and also a Sports Club within walking distance of the house – and safe roads and woodland paths for jogging.
I’m the housemate vacating the room and I can promise you - if you like to have a laugh and want a very relaxed home to live in – this is it. Dom is a great landlord and housemate.
sending out the request for a testimonial to my entire address book may have been a mistake but it has had pleasant consequences which almost never happens! Having read them I often find myself saying 'who is this Dom bloke?!'