Sunday, December 18, 2005
For example, I was watching my three grandsons (with I admit, a touch of envy) tearing around on their skateboards. I asked them if I could have a go. They readily and happily agreed.
I was just about able to stand at that time. I got onto the skateboard and one of my grandsons gave me a 'gentle' push. I went hurtling down the hill, thinking how great it was. Then I realised I wasn't sure how to stop the darn thing.
Fortunately, I was on a mountain road. I swerved onto the mountain and tumbled off the skateboard, with all the wind knocked out of me. I was sitting there wondering as to how many ribs I had broken when my grandsons came running down to me and said ''Wow granddad, that was really cool, will you do it again for us?!'
Fortunately for them, I still had not recovered my breath, or they would have received a suitable reply!
Saturday, October 29, 2005
'Its all right, he can swim!'
Those were the last words that I heard my wife shout before I blacked out.
Many years ago, the 14-year-old son of a friend of mine drowned in Llangollen canal. I mantained that if his son was able to swim, even just a few strokes, he would have been able to save himself as the canal is only about 14 feet wide. I was determined that our five children must learn to swim, and they became quite good swimmers.
But I still cannot swim myself.
This is of course infuriating when our children say to me 'Look Dad, it's easy'. I can swim, and I can breathe, but am unable to do both. So I go into the shallow end, jump in, and get halfway across and then stand up like a demented whale for air, then swim to the other side.
On this particular occasion, we were all on holiday in Tunisia. Our hotel had a swimming pool, but out of habit Dad (me) has to jump into the pool first, which I did after checking the depth. A sign it read '3'. I assumed this meant '3 feet', which would be a piece of cake.
So my wheelchair was pushed to side of this pool, and I dived in, hoping of course that I would be able to stand up and breathe. But there was no bottom to stand on! The dratted sign meant '3 metres' It was as I was trying to swim nearer the edge that I heard my wife say those dreadful words 'he can swim' and I then blacked out.
But as I did so, I could feel another body next to mine, and my first instinct was to grab it. But as I went to do so, I remembered that a drowning person must never grab hold of their would-be rescurer, so I just let my body go limp, thinking my rescuer could more easily get me to the side of the pool. It was then I blacked out.
The next thing I remember, I was on my tummy and someone was giving me some sharp smacks on my back, which enabled me to spew out what seemed like a few gallons of swimming pool water.
Needless to say I am still not an enthusiastic swimmer. But in these days of more leisure time I still think it's essential for folk to learn to swim at an early age.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
One sunny day, I went shopping with my family in Llandudno.
I was on my electric scooter.
As soon as I was able, I 'escaped' from my family and rode off to the nearest chocolate shop! I treated myself to £15 of their delicious chocolates!
Unknown to me, my loving, caring wife had asked my eldest daughter to 'keep any eye on me', knowing that I am both a chocoholic as well as a diabetic.
Later on that afternoon, I met up with my family once more. My wife asked me what I had been doing. I replied innocently, 'Not much'.
To my embarrassment, my wife then produced from her pocket a very incriminating photograph!! 'Then what is THIS?!!', she asked. My daughter had photographed me 'red-handed' in the chocolate shop, just as I was paying for my chocs!
My wife took all the chocolates away from me! But she has promised to give them back to me, sparingly.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
I was sitting in the driving seat about to set off, when a policeman tapped on my window. I rolled down the window to see what he wanted. Before he said anything he leaned right over to me, just as if he was going to give me a kiss! His face was close to mine for a few seconds. Then he said to me, "I was just checking to see if you were alright sir".
It was obvious that he was checking to see if I had been drinking!
I wasn't annoyed by the policeman's mistake though, because some years ago I lost a friend through the actions of a drunk driver. My friend, a fellow motorcyclist, was quietly riding his motorbike through a village, when a car coming out of a pub drove over to the wrong side of the road. This caused my friend to swerve to avoid him, and his motorbike clipped the pavement. My friend to fell off his motorbike and was killed instantly. He was 19-years-old.
Crash helmets were not compulsory in those days. The drunken thug who killed him had 5 years prison for manslaughter, but was released after serving just 3 years.
So it's no wonder that I detest drunken drivers.
Sunday, February 13, 2005
I would always happily organise our 'flag day' and 'house-to-house' collections, but there was no way would I just sit somewhere taking collections - I like to be active!
I was determined to do something to raise money for our MS Branch as there is always someone more ill than oneself.
One night on Channel 4 TV I heard a lady suggesting money-raising ideas. She suggested several physical activities (like swimming and running), none of which I was able to do. I felt very frustrated! But then she mentioned parachute jumps as being excellent money-raisers!
So I made some enquires... I did two sponsored parachute jumps, one near Witchurch at 10,000 feet and the second from an airfield not far from Nottingham at 16,000 feet. I didn't particularly enjoy doing them, but they were excellent for raising money!