I must mention this briefly, since the purpose of this blog is to chart progress following the stroke. For the first time since the stroke, on Tuesday, I bought myself a new pair of shoes. Proper shoes, the sort I’d have worn before the stroke. M&S brown suedey brogues, Derby brogues apparently, lace-up, as you can see.

Well, that’s not quite true. Immediately after I left hospital, my wife took me out to the local shoe shop, just to get something that I could manage one-armed. I got something blue and velcro, to allow me to get them on with my dodgy arm. Blue. Velcro. Quite.

I wore these shoes only for the subsequent few months. They were blue and velcro, after all… Did I mention that?

Since that time, I’ve relied on a few pairs of trainers, which date from my pre-stroke days. Ironically, lace-up, although I managed to crack the problem of tying them. The main trainers, they’re a French brand that you don’t really get here. I bought them the last time I was in Holland. Happy memories all around.

I still can’t manage the laces, but discovered some corkscrew ones, made of elastic. Like this:

They kept the shoes tight enough that I could wear them. They come in a zillion different colours, so it was easy to find some that match the shoe (eBay to the rescue!) I’ve had to replace them a few times, so have now invested is some Hickies, which are uPVC, I think.They should last longer, in any case, and if you don’t look too closely, are pretty smart.

They loop around each pair of eyelets, as you can see, and fasten into themselves, making a loop. These things are more expensive, but I’m hoping they’ll last longer. There are various imitations – these things are only bits of plastic – but I’ve bought the real things. They come in several colours, and are my current go-to technology.

So, the Hickies are on. The shoe horn is on its way.I’m coming back!

Note to Duracell

These batteries arrived yesterday. Do you see that label “child safety pack” around the left-hand battery?

Well, they’ll be pleased to know that these batteries are also adult-proof. So much so that, to get the batteries out of the packaging, I needed to use my teeth.

So, putting a button battery into your mouth. Just how “recommended” is that?

Furthermore, go to Duracell’s web site to tell them about this. You might get to make your point, after you’ve input your DNA sequence!I couldn’t be bothered, just make a note not to buy from them again.