Holiday success

We’re home again after a lovely holiday in Spain and I’ve been so proud of how John has managed with the travelling and outings we’ve experienced nearly every day. Our friends picked us up at Malaga airport and were completely considerate in their awareness of John’s regular need to rest.

Their apartment is in the hills overlooking Mijas and is extremely comfortable. We sat on the patio in warm sunshine several times. They also took us to various places along the coast and to golf resorts with panoramic views. The highlight was a 2-night mini holiday in Cordoba. The streets in the old town are quite narrow but John used a rambler stick to alert people to his slow movements. We had many coffee stops to watch the world go by and we took advantage of the hop on hop off bus to see much of the old town. When our friends went off to do more, we kept in touch by mobile. It gave them much needed space, I think! However, they’re talking of us going out again next year and taking a mini break in Cádiz, so that is something to look forward to. 

We bought John a Fitbit watch a few months ago, which he has used intermittently. This holiday, he was keen to monitor his steps and one day achieved over 10,000! Other days it stayed between 1000 and 4000. I think the warmth in Cordoba (23C) helped enormously, not only with his left side weakness but also his arthritis. I watched him walk around Tesco today, pushing the trolley, and think he’s moved another stage forward in his recovery. It’s a far cry from my son’s post on his FB when he learned of his Dad’s Stroke. I came across it earlier today and it made me cry. I’ll post it later but warn it is a tear-jerker. 

Now I’m off to make dinner! John is looking after the TV tonight lol! ? 


Phew, hope John enjoys his well earned rest, how hard to return to the wet, cold & windy UK after such a lovely holiday, treasure those memories ? look forward to the next post xx

Hi V & J,

So glad your holiday was such a  success.  And John managed to continue his rehabilitation and enjoy yourselves win! win! 

Looking back at what you or John used to achieve in the beginning of his rehab pathway and where he is now will give you that little boost. Great isn't it! ?‍♂️?‍♂️?‍♂️

Just taken the bag out the kitchen bin put to the wheelie bin . Wish I was in Spain . It's trying to rain and it's really cold in sunny Eastbourne. ?❄


Ok, here goes! This is Bren’s response to his dad’s Stroke on 7th February 2017.  He put it on his FB to tell the world. I hope it doesn’t offend anyone. 

God, I love the NHS!!!!

My lovely dad had a stroke last night. My angel. My complete inspiration. The kindest man that I've ever met. The man who showed me how to be compassionate. The best teacher of love on the planet. My evangelist. My hero. 

Of course, it's broken me into pieces. 

But, I have hope. 

My alarm went at 5:30am to get me ready for work and I checked my phone. My brother had texted to say that he was on his way. I had missed calls from my mam. I listened to the answer phone. And it dropped me like a stone as I couldn't adore my father more. 

My brother had driven through the night from Devon to pick me up and by 10am we were by his side. He was a sorry sight. 

His face sagged to one side. His speech was understandable but slurred. He was slouched in his bed. I've never seen him look worse. 

Luckily, my mam spotted the stroke in the first minutes of him having it, and got him an ambulance really quickly. That probably saved his life. It certainly improves his chances of recovery. 

He lost all movement on his left side and he lost some speech. And his eyesight was seriously affected. He couldn't raise his left arm with much control. 

But so much of that has now recovered. 

Slowly throughout the day he recovered some of his functions. 

At one point, the physio and occupational health nurse came to see him. I was devastated to watch how much it had affected him. My hero was in bits. They managed to get him to sit up, but with a lot of assistance. 

Later, a few hours later, he needed to sit up again, and he went to edge himself up. I said to take things one step at a time. Don't rush. Trying to protect him, I said that he should take it easy. He looked at me and said "that's not in my vocabulary". 

Slowly he forced himself up. I could see the effort. He sat up as if to say, "there you go". 

Just before I left him at 9pm, he had a glass of water. He went to reach it with his affected left side. I knew that he'd spill it. And said that he should drink with his right, and practice with an empty glass first before he tried his left hand. 

He just looked at me and passed the glass from one hand to the other and defied my wishes perfectly. 

It might not sound like much. To watch your dad drink water with his left hand. But I can honestly say that I've never been prouder. His resilience. His determination. I adore all of him. 

The staff on the ward. And by all accounts, the ambulance crew (I didn't see that bit) have been stunningly beautiful. They've treated us all with tenderness and compassion without any parallel. I want to hug them all. It's certainly a plan of mine tomorrow. 

My dad... he's on the mend. But it's early days. 

He has a deep faith in god, so I'm sure you'll understand what prayer means to him. If you could please send your prayers and duas, or whatever else you have that is positive energy, I know it will be appreciated. 

He's going to be ill for a long time still. But thankfully our NHS was there for him. 

If today has taught me ANYTHING, 

It's FIGHT FOR OUR NHS. It's so important. 

Big love to my dad. If you want to send a card to him, or whatever, just pm me and I'll give the address. Duas and prayers are all that he needs though. Much love ❤️️



I just wanted to say a few words of thanks to the many people who sent their prayers, duas, and wishes to me and my family over the last couple of days. My dad suffered a stroke almost 48 hours ago now, and the consultant has said that he has suffered significant damage (whatever that means), but he’s on the mend.

We’ve been overwhelmed by positivity and love. In texts, messages, and comments below the posts, our family and friends have been incredible. Some of the most positive messages have been about hope, of stories of people who have been through this. And hope is so important. We have hope, thank you so much. 

I’m sorry that I haven’t replied to everyone, but it’s been a tough and busy time, as I’m sure you can imagine.

He’s taken a few small steps today, and he’s visibly improved. But there seem to be some other minor changes that I’m hoping are temporary. He doesn’t seem to be quite the same guy, and he’s a bit confused. But, it’s still early days, and we’re hoping for him to be back to himself soon.

When I first saw him yesterday, he could barely move. Today he was walking. Only a bit, but he’s doing it!

I hate seeing my dad like this. It feels like there’s a hole in my chest. The hurt seems physical, I can’t describe it. But watching his resilience is beautiful and fills me with pride.

I would like to repay your kindness with one piece of advice:

You never know when things will change, so please think of a loved one. One that you’d be broken if you lost, and call them. Tell them that you love them, and what they mean to you. You’ll never regret showing love!

That brings back memories - how life can change in a few cruel moments.  BUT thankfully there are many SS as a tribute to the skills and care of wonderful NHS staff.  John has grabbed his second chance and making the most of life - wonderful ?

What a  beautiful tribute about a dad by his son x

Well, we’ve survived our first week but have been limited by John’s mobility. His knee and foot on Stroke side keep swelling up. But who should complain when the sun is shining? We go out for a short time, come back and rest then go out again,,,,but not every day. It’s amazing how well people look out for him wherever we are. Like Colin says, keep smiling at least 4 times a day and we’re managing that!

He called out to the waitress, ‘Nicole, what have you put into my water? It’s doing my head in!’ So we’ve laughed  quite a lot! ? 

Does she drive her Papas renault to work ?

nb Only part of my brain went missing. Important things like Nicoles activities have remained accessibe from the data bank.

Bright and sunny here, although its chilly following a slight frost.


That's a blast from the past, Colin, isn't it amazing what you remember‼️❓❓ Has Nicole aged at all ...

Cloudy here, but not too chilly, log burner glowing since early this morning, so we're nice & snug. Merry C'mas and thanks for all of your support during the year, all good wishes, Nic ?

Hi Veronica - John's hairstyle has inspired me xx

Excellent, Colin! I’ll get him to ask her. Hope you have a happy and peaceful Christmas. We’re striving to get to the Cathedral tomorrow. It will be too busy down in Funchal for midnight Mass. This is our first holiday without our friends support so taking it slowly. Having said that, other people have been amazing. V&J

You sound so snug, Nic. We hope you both have a wonderful Christmas. Weather forecast here tomorrow is ,,,,,rain? but it should brighten up later in the day. I’m sat in our room whilst John rests. It’s an apart Hotel so it has a sitting room with sofa, tv and WiFi. It has been so convenient and something we’ll look out for next holiday. In fact, we quite like this one so could come here again. Veronica 

All good wishes to you both, hope John feels the benefit of resting, it's been hair-raising!!!


Wow! That’s fantastic! We’ve showed it round the pool and they want a copy lol! 

I’ll get him to work on a response! 

My cover is blown ? ?

We are home safe and sound after our holiday and really pleased how well it went. Madeira, with all its hills and cobbles, is certainly a challenging place to visit but we’d promised ourselves to take each day as it came. We managed to use local transport for the start of our holiday, only resorting to taxis twice. However, they’re quite cheap, especially if you insist on them using the meter. 

The biggest hurdle on the holiday was John and his determination to do as much as possible. He learnt the hard way as his Stroke foot was more determined!! ‘ Hey,’ it kept saying, ‘I’ve had enough! Even your wife can see that!’ So, by the end of the holiday he had enforced rest, refusing to get medical help for a badly swollen limb. Thankfully, the weather was good so he sat with his feet in the pool then we bought pressure socks which reduced swelling. The hotel was absolutely brilliant and loaned him a wheelchair which we used around the premises. It did me good, too, as I didn’t have to look out for him so much. ??

The greatest benefit for John was meeting people and having the opportunity to socialise. So resting by the pool, or in the lounge or at mealtime was just what he needed. We haven’t laughed so much for ages (so Colin’s 4 smiles a day have certainly been met). Lovely people came over to chat and I could relax!

We arrived home last night so today we went to our local Hospital to be checked out. Oh dear! Further enforced rest for a few weeks as he has plantar fasciitis ie the tendon in his foot needs to recover. Oh well! Onwards and upwards. 

Hi V & J, 

So glad to hear the holiday was worth the pain. Hope the foot gets better soon. 

J while you're on enforced rest you could do puzzles and exercises for your brain ,hand and arm. 

Failings that V there's always ironing sitting down.  LoL. .. ??

Happy New Year! xx

Hi Kay,

happy new year. What brilliant ideas, lol! He could start with the ironing,,,,,??? oh dear, his face! The first time he tried to do it (46 years ago) he left the plastic on the ironing board, broke the iron,,,end of attempt! He has actually started reading again after many years. He may even do the mental activities we accumulated after his Stroke. He initially had several months of eye problems, with ingrown eyelashes, so activities gathered dust and are now hiding in the cupboard.?.

Ah well, time for me to get cracking again. Our grandchildren are arriving from Devon later today and I’ve still got to shop, finish emptying suitcases etc. However, I think we might eat out tonight and our son can take over the cooking after that. Grandparent’s time with the children,,,, Maria is nearly three and Jonah is five years old. It should be fun. 

How wonderful. There is always a tendency to overdo things but we survivors never learn. We went away for a Christmas break and enjoyed ourselves very much and I also worked more than usual, but with no ill consequences. Happy New Year Both and many more happy holidays to come!