27-Sep-2015 Stepping Backwards

Health Update

keep-calm-backward-forwardLast week’s stroke (is it really nine days ago?) has set us back considerably. It is hard work for both of us to witness Jimmy trying his best to be independent and do things without the use of his right arm and – Val always at the ready to help if needed, but not wanting to step in unless asked. It’s an odd sort of existence, but we do have some exercises that the physiotherapist (Kayleigh) gave us to do. So empty moments (as if there are any) are spent with Val massaging Jimmy’s right arm from shoulder down to finger tips and back numerous times… that way the brain is reminded that there is a whole system from shoulder to elbow to wrist to knuckles to fingers and that they are all connected. Then there’s Jimmy doing his part by trying to move his index finger to remind the brain that fingers are meant to move. And today it all came together – the right index finger moved 1/4 of an inch! Not a lot you might think but we were delirious – laughing and kissing with the occasional tear dribbling down the face.

Progress on stroke recovery has been somewhat overshadowed by the backward steps in relation to his cancer. We had a really good August, but September has been a poor month for us. Jimmy’s health has been giving us concern as he’s back to needing to sleep more during the day, and his concentration span while awake is waning somewhat. Even with the extra two or three hours sleep per day he is still very tired by early evening, and by bed-time he is often almost too tired to keep his eyes open. But he still gets up two or three times during the night, sometimes to go to the loo or sometimes just to relieve his abdominal pains in trying to find a comfortable sleeping position.

All of this is sometimes difficult to cope with, but we do have each other to lean on … right now though Jimmy is doing most of the leaning and Val is holding up remarkably well even though she’s under a constant barrage of stress – not just from Jimmy’s condition but other things too!

Other Stuff

As you will appreciate, we aren’t getting out very much right now but that doesn’t mean we’ve not been busy at home.

“One More Story To Be Told” – our behind the mic folkumentary about the life of singer/songwriter Anthony John Clarke is now at last available to purchase from the Albums page of Anthony John’s website…

ajc-dvdThroughout this project we were fortunate to have been given access to Anthony John at home, also at live shows, and with friends and fans like ourselves.

The result is a DVD, just short of an hour, which contains:

  • some performance footage (although it is certainly not a full length concert DVD)
  • some anecdotes and insights from Anthony John
  • thoughts and recollections from family, friends and fans
  • and, being Anthony John, it wouldn’t be complete without a touch of humour!

It is basically our own sensitive and personal look at the life of the songwriter, folk singer and performer. Anthony John quietly demonstrates that, although it may not be a bed of roses, there are still enough laughs to go round.
Honest, compassionate and to the point!
Click the link to see the “official” trailer on YouTube – www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsTiFeIQoK8

And also the website commission we’re working on is inching closer to completion too (watch this space and we’ll be able to reveal all when the time is right).

AT One More Time AroundVal has worked for over a year on organising and promoting and ticket designing and selling and programme designing as well as answering a multitude of enquiries for Allan Taylor’s 70th Birthay concerts in Brighton and at the Troubadour in London.

Today (Sunday) sees the last of the concerts and she deserves a huge round of applause for everything she’s done.

Walking backwards can often be difficult and painful, but not necessarily always so:


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