My friend Michele wrote a post this morning, which she rounded off with a question:

What does imagination mean to you?

It made me think, plus it is a long time since I posted about my stroke.

When I first came out of hospital, I was in a chair. That’s no small thing, returning to the house you lived in for many years, only to find that you can’t even get up the step to get into it!

I could take a few steps, but because my balance was screwed, I needed something to hold on to all the time. That’s why, if you visit a hospital, you’ll often see handrails on the walls.

My first task, after I got home, was to put my clothes in the washing machine. Because after a stay in hospital, you have dirty clothes, right? I lost my balance while bending down, fell flat on my face, and had to be helped up by somebody who arrived a while later, ironically a health worker who had been sent to assess the house to see what mods I needed. It waas just as well I’d left the front door open!

Fortunately I’ve fallen less with time, but it can still happen now. I think August was the last occasion. Uneven ground will get me.

In those first months at home, we even piled the cushions onto the sofa, just to raise me. Because my legs did not have the strength to lift me up. I sit normally now because I learned to use my arm to lever myself up, but it’s still the case that I’m not strong enough to get up just using my legs. In the same vein, I don’t sit on the ground, because if I did, I’d never get up.

When I went to the toilet, I even needed a handrail installed there because, once I was sitting on the toilet, same thing. My legs did not have the strength to get me up. That one is still touch and go.

Same with the bath. I need a handrail over the bath, so I can haul myself upright, even now. It’s quite funny looking back, but… The one thing you want to do when you get out of hospital is take a bath! That, and get a proper night’s sleep. So a day after I get home, I’m lounging in the bath, the water’s going cold, and… how the fuck do I get out of here???

That’s when I knew I needed a hand-grip installed, and fortunately it was so close to discharge that the health service agreed to fund it.

My point here is basically that when I first got out of hospital, even moving about was a hazard, and I tended to sit in the same seat all day. Even today, I’m still very sedentary. If I get to 5,000 steps in a day, I’ve exerted myself. But back then, forget it.

Before the stroke, I was a computer whizz, but afterwards I had lost interest. Took probably six months before I was using it regularly, and about a year before I thought I might share my experiences in a blog.

And bearing in mind how sedentary I am, the blog became the main outlet.

And you should see some of the things I wrote about. Sure, in the very early days it waas dominated by my health, but for example, I was always interested in current affairs, and I think the UK has its fair share of problems. You know, big problems. Constitutional problems.

Just from the point of view that a head of state should be selected on the grounds of being the best person for the job, rather than being somebody’s offspring, that got me writing about our monarchy.

Or the UK’s electoral system, which tends to take what are usually quite small differences in the overall number of votes cast, and magnify them into large differences in the way our parliament is composed. That seems wrong to me.

Those posts are still available. You might read them and think my approach is rubbish. Fair enough. Heck, I might read them, all this time later, and think it is rubbish! But the thing is, I’ve thought about them. I’m not only in a position to say such-and-such is wrong, but I’m adding and here’s how we improve it.

Incidentally, gun control was another one I thought about, by the way. My sad conclusion is that America is fucked. It’s really one of those issues where you just end up thinking thank god I don’t live there, because there is no realistic alternative to what they have now. Which in turn means that you have to accept that some guy erases twenty, thirty, forty lives, because they’re having a bad day, and just shrug your shoulders. It’s truly heartbreaking. It’s Neanderthal. In this day and age, we should be better than that. It’s desperately sad that people choose to behave as Neanderthals.

Okay, enough anecdotes. My point is, I did all of this thinking while seated in my chair. All in my head. To come back to Michele’s post, there are times when all we have is our imagination.


  1. First thank you for the link! Second I think blogging probably saved you in many ways because it allowed your imagination to speak from your soul which is therapeutic but also terrific. Sorry I speak in alliteration a lot
    My dad came out of the hospital in January after he fell multiple times causing cracks in his spine. He could barely walk. He now has a rolling walker and a home care worker five times a week. His outlet is his computer. No blog although I think he’ d find that useful like us.
    America is fucked I agree and I’m an American 😳

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh don’t get me talking politics or gun control or I will be so angry my head will blow off. Reg the stroke and falling
    I know from whence it came. I did the same thing, but I had been on steroids so long I looked like Elvis in the
    end. Steroids make you so hyper so I would be up all night and get my cleaning out of the way, simple things
    I knew I could manage. I Bent over to pick up a piece of dog food, lost my balance, and fell flat on the kitchen floor. Smacked my face so hard. Layed there touched my nose thinking it would be broken, then busted out laughing, with X yelling what was going on.(this was at 5 a.m.) I realized my cheeks were too blown up and that is what protected my nose lol So something good came out of bad.
    No baths for me, only showers, tried it when first home, got stuck, and could not get up. Had to have my brother pick me up with a towel thrown over me and his eyes closed. Oh, life is full of surprises so yes I imagine many things,
    to me, John Lennon’s song “Imagine” is something to try to imagine, no that I think it will ever happen but it
    is nice to hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s kinda one of these things that feels “niche”, isn’t it? Stroke, I mean. And yet the numbers say that many of us will end up having them.

      I miss my balance because it means I can’t ride my bicycles any more.


      • yes indeed. I was blessed to have recovered (43 yrs old) almost fully after left-side paralysis, but it was the second stroke that messed more of my brain up. But I am coming back and trying to keep up with your groans. lol they
        are so good for me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You know, if you hadn’t have told me, I’d never have known.

          I know, I know, it’s more complicated than that. But I reckon you’d have an interesting perspectice from which to write.


    • It’s a continuum, though. Even writing creatively is only something I did in the last eighteen months. Just another step forward, to be able to write something imaginitive rather than “I had chips for supper”, or somesuch.

      But there’s never really anything where you look back and say “it’s over”. It all feels very much present tense.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, I differently have a different perspective to write from, however, I do have a very off-kilter sense of humor
    but then I always did. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • thanks, Shirley. A lot of it is better simply bec ause I’ve gotten used how to do things. It’s scary how much more you think about things.

      There have got to be a lot of parallels with blindness. You kinda start at this place “I can’t do that”, and then, with various mods anong the way, you realise you can do that. For example, you being so active on WP fills me constantly with awe just because computers are so geared towards sight. Unless Nmitro does all this for you 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha ha, fat chance of that, unless he’s a wonder dog LOL yeah, it’s the same thing with blindness you can do certain things for a while and then you get used to doing them a certain way and when the technology changes it’s a pain in the ass because you have to relearn everything again

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Imagination has also been my life raft in times where there was nothing else in my control. There is independence in imagination, and yours is a huge amusement park with rides and shows It’s amazing the huge strides you’ve made in your stroke recovery. Here’s to the courage to keep pushing forward. I am in awe of all that you do, both on paper and in real life.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s actually quite seismic, realising that is the case.
      You know, realising that whatever somebody does to us physically, we are free. Kinda makes you (me!) wanna go out and kill someone 🙂
      Seriously, that was the way to beat all these lockdowns we just had.
      We’re both lucky that we can just close our eyes and be in another world. Mine is fucking amazing! And so, so perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree and stupidity seems to run rampant – case in point: this week about 1000 people gathered in Dallas with the idea they would see and meet JFK and his son RFK. Both had years before passed away! These are the moronic individuals who make up Qanon and groups like it. If you want to blow your mind listen to interviews with these people. I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought you could sail off the edge of the world. It isn’t funny as their numbers are growing with easily obtained firearms. I agree, we seem to head down the f road.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

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