I cannot believe it is 2016 already, and that it has been about 6 months since I last blogged. To any regular readers that have missed me…I’m sorry for being away for so long, and I am very happy to have some loyal followers. I genuinely don’t believe my life or my blog are interesting enough for loyal readers, but I love writing, and it makes it more worthwhile to know someone out there is reading it! I promise I will be a better blogger this year (one of my many new years resolutions).
I thought this blog post should be a quick round up of the second half of 2015, sort of picking up where I last left off. I believe I last wrote about my burn on my lower back, and the skin graft (which still gives me shivers when I think about it). I am very happy to say that it has healed nicely, although I do have quite an ugly scar that I am hopefully making less ugly with the help of Bio-Oil. And I am even more happy to say that I have not had any more stupid incidents with hot water or anything else since then. I have been quite injury and illness free other than a pretty nasty UTI before Christmas and a bit of a dodgy shoulder at the moment.
So my summer was somewhat ruined by my back burn, but I did manage to go to France with the family during my recovery. The surgeon cleared me as long as I was sensible, so I enjoyed a lovely few days with my parents, sisters and their husbands, and my little niece. I was very good about keeping pressure off my back, but then on one of the days it was soooo hot and everyone was in the pool and I was fed up on being all hot and sweaty, so I thought screw it, and went in. Probably wasn’t the smartest idea, but I got away with it and didn’t cause any damage, so it was totally worth it!
I also tried out some sailing in the summer, but I will save that for a separate blog post. I joined in a Sailability session at Rutland Water, and it really was incredible. The facilities and instructors there are amazing, and it is something I would love to do again this summer when the water is calm and the sun is shining. But I will write properly about it another time.
In October I was lucky enough to go to the England vs Australia Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham with my dad and two of my sisters. Hopefully enough time has passed now that everyone had accepted England’s early exit. I felt it was a bit too raw to write about it at the time!! (Bring on the 6 Nations, woo!!). We had a great evening though, despite the result, and the parking, access etc was all amazing. And it really is quite cool being a wheelchair user at a sporting event because you get a great view and the marshalls/stewards are always so kind and helpful.
A couple of days after the rugby, I flew out to North Carolina with my parents. We were going to visit Ali (who I met when I was out in China) and her family. It was Ali’s sister’s wedding, and we were kindly invited, so decided to make a holiday of it. We spent a lovely 10 days in the sunshine (except the wedding day, which peed with rain – typical). It was so nice to relax and unwind, and it was my first proper holiday in a long long time. Everything went pretty smoothly (mainly due to my dad’s immaculate planning in advance), and it was so great to catch up with Ali after not seeing her for a year. We formed such a great bond when we were in China together, and even better was that Jenny (who was also in China), is now living out in America too, so we got to see her.
A few weeks after we returned, I went to the Rooprai Spinal Trust Ball, which was my first black tie event in quite a few years. I have mentioned the RSTrust before, but I have become very close friends with Marrianne (who is the inspiration behind the Trust) and we have a lot of fun (and wine) when we hang out together! I won’t write anything else about the ball because I am putting together a blog post about it for the RSTrust website, but once that is up, I will put a link on here, so you can read all about it and see all the great (and not so great) photos. Here are a couple of piccies though..
Ok, where am I up to now?! Almost December I think…the build up to Christmas, which I absolutely love. And December just went so quickly and I was so busy. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention…I’ve started playing wheelchair tennis – that’s why I was so busy towards the end of last year. Again, I will save that for another separate blog post (and thankfully I don’t have any pictures of me playing). Basically, I went to a taster session at the end of the summer and I actually quite liked it. Contrary to everything I have said over the last few years about not wanting to play a sport that I used to be good at, I decided to just go for it. And I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Since then I have been playing a couple of times a week at Sutton Tennis Academy where they have wheelchair tennis coaching sessions with a great group of players and coaches. My enjoyment has slightly turned to frustration now, because I want to be good! And I am impatient!!! It has pretty much been like learning a new sport from scratch because of the court movement and playing shots is different…it’s a whole different game really! So I am trying my hardest to be patient and not get so wound up when I’m playing badly (which is most of the time). I have been borrowing a sports wheelchair during my coaching sessions, but just before Christmas I was approved for funding for my own chair from The Dan Maskell Tennis Trust, which is SO exciting. So once I’ve got my own chair there will be no stopping me, and no excuses to not get better!
If you’re still reading, then congratulations, you’ve almost made it to the end of my 2015! All thats’s left now is Christmas, which I got to spend with the whole family. It was amazing that we were all together, and we had a lot of fun. It flew by though, and now here I am back to the usual routine. 2015 was on the whole a great year for me. I had some very low points at the start of the year, but with the help of some hypnotherapy I think I really turned a corner and have started to make some really positive steps towards a bright future. As always with me, I make progress very very slowly, but as long as it is forwards, then I’m happy. And to mark my newfound positive attitude, I am having a party thing in London to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of my accident in a couple of weeks. I cannot believe it has been 5 years already, but I am celebrating this occasion because I’m actually quite happy these days. (I’m totally terrified at the thought of seeing lots of people/being out in Soho etc, but let’s not dwell on that for now!)
In the spirit of this blog post, I will end with a photo collage of Christmas with the family. And seriously, well done if you made it to the end of this blog post…this was a mammoth one!!