I had all good intentions of writing a really meaningful Blog for the final day of the year but alas it is not to be. Instead it will be short and sweet.
My year this year has been one of battling with the Revenue and Customs offices to try to start a “Not for profit” organisation as I want to help others in a similar situation to my own but I was unsuccessful as they do not appear to know how to it, how ironic.
I have battled with DVLA trying so desperately to get my drivers license so as to become so much more independent, so far I have failed but with no reason as to why.
I have battled with the immense pain that I get but rarely talk about as it comes across as feeling sorry for myself which is something I do not want.
I discovered that I did not have as many friends as I thought I had but had many associates.
But for the somewhat negatives there were positives to more than even them out.
In January I was part of a team who recovered a WW1 field gun from Salisbury Plain which was incredible. In April I was in Caerwent in Wales as part of Op Nightingale again, only this time I was the Plt Sjt and CQMS for the project. This was in portakabins and the first time away from home since my disability, but I could not have done this without help from my friend Paul and my step Brother Darren, and again later in the year unearthing the remains of a downed WW2 Spitfire on Salisbury Plain. This was another fantastic dig where we were joined by the Daughter of the pilot of the Spitfire we were unearthing, this was also the first time I spent in a tent but I could not have done it without the help and assistance of my friend Paul.
I had an amazing time undertaking the first real rehab I have had since my accident which I did at Stoke Mandeville. I met some more brilliant people there who have found their lives changed in whichever way meaning that they too are now reliant on wheelchairs. I was fortunate to have had a physiotherapist called Jo teach me so many things, and she really had her work cut out for her with only four weeks to get through as much teaching as possible. Working tirelessly she covered so many things but could not complete everything, never the less though, it was a really good foundation for me to have and for that I can not thank her enough. Whilst in the rehab centre I could not have asked for better people to be on hand to assist in the day to day care and a few people really stay in my mind, Tasha, Ceilia and Sedalia. They were not the only staff who helped when I was in difficulty but these were the three whom I had the most to do with, I just hope I spelt Sedalia’s name correctly!
From the Spinal rehab unit I went the very next day to sunny Cyprus which was the biggest challenge for me so far. I have flown to many different places in the world on a variety of aircraft and have at no point been in the slightest bit concerned, but this would be a whole different experience. This could make or break my wanting to travel anywhere ever again, I am just glad it was a military flight and I was with military personnel. The RAF really did do an amazing job at making the whole experience worry free for me. While in Cyprus I was further put at ease by the people I met there, people who I became good friends with over the week which we were together; people who I knew I could call upon if I needed or if I got in to trouble in my room.
I had failed in the early part of the year to secure a venue to undertake an abseil to raise money for charity but thanks to my friend Graham from the RAF, only a couple of weeks ago I travelled to RAF Brize Norton where I was taught to abseil by a Royal Marine and the team who teach the military how to fast rope, abseil, parachute from and load equipment in to various aircraft. This was all caught on camera by an RAF photographer for me to show to potential venues for me to abseil from next year. Another amazing experience which was shared by my good friend Andy as he kindly drove me for which I thank him also.
Christmas has been and gone and has been pretty well covered in my last Blog so no more need to be said, and so that leaves the New Year. Some big changes for the New Year, a more aggressive approach to different things and the hope that I may achieve some of the things that I tried to achieve this year and I hope that you will be here to share them with me.
From me, all that is left for me to say is that I hope that you will make your New Year resolutions and keep to them, although I have a feeling that they will be broken before the first month is done. Have an amazing night, stay safe, enjoy the company of those you are with and above all have a great New Year.
Good evening all.