I’m originally from Liverpool and worked as a national magazine journalist for more than 30 years before suffering a stroke at age 53. I started blogging as part of a neuro-rehabilitation programme and wrote the very first entries with one finger of my disabled left hand. Later, art became another therapy for me at Headway East London‘s Submit To Love studios. I write about my daily activities and encounters, and volunteer as a teaching assistant, coaching schoolchildren in aspects of journalism. In 1988, I married Jane. We are still together today, sharing our lives and making each other laugh.

Masks by @conniesides
Our wedding day, by Cecil Waldron

Why I am here

Writing a diary is a habit I picked up after suffering a serious stroke in 2009. Writing became my rehab (I literally started with one finger of my disabled left hand), but what I wrote about was not just the private agonies of dealing with my disability but what was happening around me as I struggled to reconnect with the world my brain injury took me away from. So it was a private quest in a public setting. What I started to write was both internal and external – the TV, the books, the failed experiments in cooking alongside my slanted view of current events and the state of the world. That is how my diary became my blog. It was more than JUST ABOUT ME.

Just like everyone, I have individual interests – reading, writing, art, being retired – but my experience of dealing with brain-injury and near-death gave me an urgent appetite to explore and discover, while I still can. So what you read in my blog is a daily account of me trying to find my way, looking into all the corners and touching the untouchable. It’s a scrapbook of a survivor’s adventures.

I’m not chasing readers. If you read my work and enjoy it, great. If not, no worries. I am more interested in the act of sharing than the thing I’m sharing. My sister reads it to cheer herself up when she’s feeling down in the dumps. She says it should be available on prescription. I like that idea.