Welcome to my blog. I post on this, roughly once a week (it does vary). I sustained a 'Traumatic Acquired Brain Injury', and a six month coma from a 'road traffic accident' whilst cycling, in October 2006. I spent the following 4 years (22-26yrs old), in a combination of hospitals and rehabilitation homes. Now, I have been living independently in Surbiton, England since October 2010. This blog begun life in December 2010, as i realised that there are many people worldwide that i want to share experiences with. I know that, as a wheelchair user, I am obviously not as mobile as i wish, so, use the internet to connect to you. I enjoy letting my thoughts represent through type. I type honestly. As numerous readers, as well as email recipients, will understand, I find typing to be very therapeutic. Thank you :)
Please note that this website cannot be viewed 100% successfully everywhere. It is designed for optimum viewing on a screen of 1920 x 1080 pixels.



Friday, 18 August 2017

Embrace the future

Smile. I am always smiling on the outside because I have to focus on positives, inside. These exist, always battling to counterbalance the negatives. There are obviously huge 'negatives', but one can ensure that they are easily, simply twisted into 'alternatives' . I live an alternative life to EVERYBODY. Everyone does. No person is identical to another. People may be similar, but everyone is unique. There are always positives and negatives. I have no control over this fact, but I have to keep my mind from slipping.

Friedrich Nietzsche
'He who strays from tradition becomes a sacrifice to the extraordinary; he who remain in tradition is its slave. Destruction follows in any case.' - No. 70 - 'Man Alone With Himself'



Evolution is real, we have to move forwards in the correct direction. I will not halt and remain tradition's slave. 

I get surprised by this country's democratic, political choices. Then I experience British people. Our seriousness, our greed, our 'proper, almost-regal personas', show me why this country's broken. British people can live so uptight. Too uptight for our own good?

Avoid tradition. We must avoid being trapped by traditions. We must embrace the future. There is no escape. Embrace it.



I learnt from the radio, this morning, that the Norwegian Military has introduced little barcodes on the front of their battleships. By copying the Swedish military, tabs and numbers can be kept accurate because
... when they return to port, all of the residents, Scandinavian.
...

...
... ;) sorry 

GIuliano's 




I supply a weblink to my review of my favourite coffee shop in central-Kingston. My photos below, begin to show how the shop's interior has improved recently. Not only a new colour scheme has been embraced, but positioning of the payment counter, and much of GIuliano's food preparation space has shifted. There is space now for customers to sit inside, at the front, and key for myself is the new flooring which removes the large step at the front of the shop. Fully accessible. This shop needs as much publicity as possible.



It has been there for a long time, food and coffee is always supreme, yet it is struggling as an independent at the centre of an ever-evolving town centre. Close, direct competition exists with large multi-nationals. Kingstonians are all so lucky to have this cafe in their town-centre, it MUST BE PROTECTED!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

F.F.F.


I write this week's post, early. It is Tuesday, possibly published on Wednesday, as I am going on a short/family/holiday/break/long weekend. Friday is also the 11th August, which is a special date for me. I become one third of a centurion (almost, I think December 11th 2017 will be more accurate)!
I have opened this post with a recording of a beautiful, live performance, from one of my current favourites, Julie Byrne.

The photos below include those of the 'Canbury Secret' cafe, sat in the middle of Canbury Gardens, itself (near band-stand).





It is a delightful little coffee shop, that I cannot recommend highly enough! They serve 'Moretto Coffee', as was served in 'Amici' and closely linked to their staff! I remember vividly how I struggled to learn to cycle along this very path.



I learnt late (I think I was 8)! I remember how Britain enjoyed Chris Boardman's success in the Barcelona olympics of 1992, but I STILL couldn't do this sport. I remember throwing my Raleigh bike to the path's side, in a strop. I desperately wanted to, but I couldn't ride my bike. Laterly, in following years, I rapidly made up for my late start! Up, down, up, down, up, down. Stop!

Sometimes when things go wrong, just accept it, and remain content, comfortably maintain the correct belief that things will go right. They will do, in alternate ways.
If you can recognise this fact, life is so much more beneficial. Allow yourself to view alternate ways. Find the positives. Feel the positives. Feed the positives forward to others.





Why am I still here?
... because I am a fighter. My life now seems to be a battle. Against no-one. I will never win, and, like cycling up mountains, a relative struggle. I always find a reason to smile, and continue. Enforced masochism...


Absurdity
Alone

Will anyone ever choose to join me on this road to nowhere?...

As you probably know, I have been reading a lot of Albert Camus recently. In his book ’The Myth of Sisyphus’ (1942), he gives a deep explanation of the ‘Absurd’.

‘The example par excellence of this option of spiritual courage and metaphysical revolt is the mythical Sisyphus of Camus’s philosophical essay. Doomed to eternal labour at his rock, fully conscious of the essential hopelessness of his plight, Sisyphus nevertheless pushes on. In doing so he becomes for Camus a superb icon of the spirit of revolt and of the human condition. To rise each day to fight a battle you know you cannot win, and to do this with wit, grace, compassion for others, and even a sense of mission, is to face the Absurd in a spirit of true heroism.’


I prefer to attack the climb

Heheheh. The above note, provides the figurative language which helps me achieve my targets on my Motomed/Gym-bike. You are probably bored rigid when reading this stuff, sorry. Anyway, I altered my pattern. I now do a five-minute ‘attack’ (high gear/resistance, power training). I consider these five minutes to be an all out attack on a ‘climb’. I then do a five-minute sprint (low gear, high speed, aerobic sprint). The higher speed revolutions are considered by myself as a ‘final sprint’. I can alternate between these, depending on intensity. My own version of ‘interval training’. I haven’t been training for a particular goal, but I will still work to peak my fitness for early October. I attack the climb, then relax (warm down) for the sprint! ;) I guess that i was always like this!!

Friday, 4 August 2017

This time

Last Sunday, my brother successfully completed the RideLondon100. I talk about it here because I am so pleased for him. Sponsorship reached over £1400.00, in aid of the 'Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability'. I was a patient here in 2007, following my accident, aiding my initial rehabilitation. Also a keen cyclist, my injury understandably hit my brother hard, psychologically. But he dealt with University and key ages whilst I spent much time in hospitals and rehabilitation. One hundred miles is a proper ride! I only rode such a distance two weeks pre-accident, in Paris.

Well Done Dom!

Left to Right, break-away race leaders of the Professional race, hit Norbiton.
Matteo Trentin, Daryl Impey, and Jasper Stuyven.


Then, Monday's gym session let me test MY legs.
I am surprised, as I had not trained, to reach this goal so early (i was planning, for Autumn). My goals basically call for me to ride a similar distance, but at stronger resistances.
Goal achieved early, but riding will continue!
30kph in higher gear (g15)
Unexpected 
:s !!

Let fate dictate you and your actions. If you fight against fate, you will lose. Such a battle will result in your energy being turned from 'positivity' (that you had wished for), into 'negativity' (no-one wants). It can be nice to dream but the fall to reality can outweigh this, and hurt more! Dream, but always keep in contact with the real world! Real happiness is so much more valuable.

Wheelchair charge
A complex issue for me, because I have an ethical conscience, but I MUST have enough life in my 'wheelchair battery'. I also know that it is stupid, dangerous, bad , and wrong to overcharge batteries...
You probably do not realise how rubbish it is to be so dependable on something so vital.
I have had to live like this for the past decade, yet I am still troubled!

True Love Waits - A Moon Shaped Pool version

Tuesday
Listening, to 6music, I find out that we are now closer to the ‘autumn midpoint’ (middle between summer equinox and winter equinox), than mid-summer! Thank you Lauren Laverne!
:(

This time

20years ago!
Looking back on my life, ...
I listen to the song, and it stops me. It makes me review my existence of the last decade. I am incredibly proud! I know that I deserve perfection. I will not settle for anything less. I realise why I am still waiting. I know how that I can wait forever. I must not have a problem with this.

I am reading a lot of Albert Camus at the moment. Many of his stories/theories involve  his concept of 'the absurd'. My very brief description is that Camus' absurd explains that ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. Not everything can be clearly explained through the standard cause/effect process.



"Philosophically, Camus is known for his conception of the absurd. Perhaps we should clarify from the very beginning what the absurd is not. The absurd is not nihilism. For Camus the acceptance of the absurd does not lead to nihilism (according to Nietzsche nihilism denotes the state in which the highest values devalue themselves) or to inertia, but rather to their opposite: to action and participation. The notion of the absurd signifies the space which opens up between, on the one hand, man’s need for intelligibility and, on the other hand, 'the unreasonable silence of the world' as he beautifully puts it." 


Friday, 28 July 2017

refractions

Born 1984...
2006, where do i go from here?
No-one chooses.

I do not believe in God and I am not an atheist.
ALBERT CAMUS, Notebooks 1951-1959

Your successes and happiness are forgiven you only if you generously consent to share them.
ALBERT CAMUS, The Fall

True black cannot exist, neither can true white. Colours only exist if visualised by someone/something. Light is required for all vision. Colours are refractions of light. Black is a composition of all colours. White is the opposite. It is nothing. Shades of black and tints of white, are the only possible truths. These extreme colours can only truly exist as concepts.

P.E.=K.E.
Newton's laws of motion
I apportion gratitude to Sir Isaac Newton. As a teenager, I learnt his theories over, and over again, whilst studying GCSEs, and on towards A-levels and graduate modules at university. A graduate in Industrial Design & Technology, I had studied Maths, Mechanics, and Physics A-levels, on route. Such a simple theory of 'Potential Energy' equating to 'Kinetic Energy', helped me realise that at some scale, things CAN be viewed as equal.  

OK, sorry. if i get ‘too deep’ here, but my bicycle accident has really let my mind develop these thoughts which i have always had whizzing around my head since a younger age. I remember enjoying cycling so much that often I made myself think, whilst riding, “this is everything to me”, “competitive sport, aerobic fitness, employed in a bike shop, love for all design involved, I love France and Italy  (2 ‘national hubs of the sport), scientifically and mathematically cycling is the  most ‘sustainable’ process, ecologically superior to anything else”… and…I am lightweight anatomically, allowing me to fly up climbs on which many would struggle.” 
All of these positives, cannot exist forever… well, i don’t see why not…
… What if something happens?.. oh man, don’t be stupid, just enjoy riding now!…
I ignored it, but I did have the fear that 'things will equal out'...
I had everything ticked off. I had graduated from my 'Industrial Design' degree, and had completed all the work needed for my 'Graduate Certificate in Design for Visual Communication'. I had seen Radiohead at Glastonbury in 2003. I had cycled up the Alpe D'Huez, to watch the Tour de France. I was extremely grateful that I was in love with my beautiful girlfriend. Content. Life was complete..?..
... Saturday, October 14th, 2006



I smile. I smile a lot. I smile a lot because I'm living 'bonus time'. I must not apply pressure onto myself. I have been tragically unlucky, but also supremely lucky. It alarms me to realise that I did used to have the thoughts, stated above. I had the accident, and I have kept hold of many vital mental processes. It used to terrify me that I would have an accident which resulted in me losing my mind!
...
No comment. ;)



I wanted to tell you my story, so a totally random dig into the archives...


Stormy clouds



Friday, 21 July 2017

insurmountable

I sleep on the weekends. 
I cannot really remember any unusual sleeping habits. I am not too strange, but, I do notice that I often seem fairly tired in weekday mornings due to going to sleep fairly late (12 midnight), but always waking at 7.30. I sleep well, deeply. Basically, I'm writing a poor excuse to sleep-in, on weekends! If I have the time, I devote it to sleep! :) I am only 'active' on the weekends, in the afternoon!  💤

I have lived in 'heaven', i have experienced 'paradise', but nothing ever lasts forever. I want to warn people to 'make sure that you are grateful to every one of your friends, NOW.' 
Live life as a session of small experiences. Pay each experience as much attention as you can, it'll only happen once. Time never repeats itself 100%. Life's session of experiences may soon be over. Experience each as fully as you can, and hold the memory of it.

A 20th century, Algerian, theologist/author/playwright/philosopher, Albert Camus provides my current, favourite reads.

A few very interesting quotes from the amazing author...
Each is worth reading again, a couple of times.
Please think about them, again, and again...

Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself. Find meaning or don't find meaning but 'steal' some time and give it freely and exclusively to your own self. Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn't make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be.
ALBERT CAMUS, Notebooks 1951-1959

Do not wait for the Last Judgment. It takes place every day.
ALBERT CAMUS, The Fall

If the world were clear, art would not exist.
ALBERT CAMUS, The Myth of Sisyphus

Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without ever having asked a clear question.
ALBERT CAMUS, The Fall

I questioned my 'outgoing flirt ability', asking a friend, earlier this week. I doubted myself and my actions, but was assured...
'One day it'll work!'
I don't pray, as I'm not religious, I just have to remain confident enough. One day...

The truth is that absurd things happen. We only live our lives once, most people are only encountered once. If there is a repetition, there will be a due reason. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being positive. It is good to make people smile. It is only correct to encourage beautiful smiles!
I find it to be wrong, to not pay due respect to those who deserve it!

Joni Mitchell 
The last time I saw Richard


After hearing this beautiful song, on BBC Radio6, early on Thursday morning, I decided more Joni Mitchell was needed. Quite possibly the best female voice ever, i think.
I had the album ‘Blue’, so followed it up with her following album.


A photo that i found that I had taken in 1994. I wanted to scan it, as it reminds me of the the amazing, breathtaking feeling, it gave. 
I felt on top of the world (well 'Europe')! Nature's scale is insurmountable! Nothing but pure white! Mont Blanc.


View from Aiguille du Midi, Mont Blanc 

Friday, 14 July 2017

July 14th

Quatorze Juillet - Bastille Day
French national holiday today!
Warren Barguil wins stage, wearing polka-dot jersey, on July 14th… so French!! :)




Trump hints at climate deal shift in Paris talks

President Macron, the one man who I trust to hold strong when talking with Donald Trump.

Dominic’s RideLondon
My brother is cycling the '100miles London-Surrey' loop event, in a aid of the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability in Putney. This is so special because to myself, as i was a patient here, during my initial recovery from my accident/comatose state. The RHN is a charity, relying on donations. It is such an amazing place, continuing to offer support to so many. As a cyclist myself, I rode the same distance once, in France, two weeks before my accident. Fortunately I know that my brother has trained and is focussed. I have every confidence in his ability.

I urge you to support him and his cause, by offering what you can, through the following link...

A happy start to the week
My second annual peak, is always scheduled to coincide with the beginning of the Tour de France. As part of my 'circuit' at the Gym, I spend five minutes on the 'Motomed' gym-bike. After training in my flat, a lot, I managed to attain a PB, at the gym, on Monday. 
35W average power output  for 5 mins 
2.57km in 5minutes
30.84kph

Tuesday Album of the day (BBC6Music)

This is the kit 'Moonshine Freeze'
Kate Stables - lead vocals

I regularly find myself questioning my own thoughts/concepts. This leads me even further. I have always done this (even before my accident). I question myself to strengthen myself. I apologise, as I realise that I may seem too 'complex, deep, up-myself, whacky'. I am sorry.


Our superior power, held at a 'God-like' status, is obviously superior to human cognition, it is far too powerful for us to understand, to question, or to fully believe. No one knows, fortunately! Human-existence relies on our ignorance.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Historic Day! :)

I have just watched today’s stage of the Tour de France. 
Wow!

I personally think it resulted in the tightest sprint finish that I have ever seen. I still remain unconvinced that Marcel Kittel should be declared winner. Unlucky Edvald!

Friday evenings are never positive for me. Ever since my early stages of recovery, I have recognised partially, how different I am. I had rarely been a full-out party-goer, however now I  am not even expected to have any kind of social-life or existence on a Friday night. Difficult, because it is the end of my week as well, but I don't experience daily life and it's stresses, like anyone else. I type this note in a bar, on a Friday 7pm. Half a Guinness, bar is getting busier, finished, time to go. Alone. I usually prefer to be alone, but not always...

It is sunny, good weather, I am about town, and I realise that I should not feel such anguish that is stated above. A very large proportion of people are not living their lives. So many live their lives 'virtually', through their mobile phones. People are negating their own experiences of daily life, to ensure they're promoting their 'perfect lives' online. Hehe, I make this note for my blog post, on my iPhone, having stopped in the middle of the pavement, oops! ;)

Every second counts…
A sport that has had so many problems with 'cheating', predominantly 'performance enhancing drugs', but all performance-maximising factors will always pushed to the max... What is cheating? 'Cheating' cannot always be wrong...

Tuesday, I had been feeling rubbish all day. Not Ill, just negative. However, it is through making this note that I manage to step-back, take a deep breath. Think. Yes, I have many, many problems. I could go on and on and on, but 'complaining' never gets anyone, anywhere. However, I remain proud of the fact that I accept fate, know that s**t happens and life can be 'absurd' (as correctly described by existentialism). I know that 'my time' awaits, I just don't know what it is. This theory is driving me crazy as I cannot narrow my focus down to one path. I have to attempt all paths, but I can only do so, weakly and inadequately!
Deeeeep! Confused? Sorry, so am i!.

Richmond Park photo
'Set Alight' by Ida Hollis


A beautiful, beautiful, beautiful place deserves to be represented supremely. Even before my accident, Richmond Park was so close to my heart (local to my amazing secondary school 'Greycourt', close to home,  allowing my love for cycling to be born and grow so much). A close friend has always been a talented artist. A superb jazz-bassist, and an amazing photographer...


They are not new to me, yet, i think I omitted them from this blog, previously as I felt that 'female vocalists' had been seriously suffering 'overkill', on this blog!

I include them now, having rediscovered the 5-piece, finding a super live session, promoting their new album.
The Wild Reeds - Full Performance (Live on KEXP)



I am on the verge of publishing this week's post, and i learn with great happiness, that today is an amazing, historic day!...