I can genuinely say I can empathise with those from Day 1 but even those that may have joined in on the fun come Day 5821 or however many it has been since that first plan. It means the sights, the sounds, the camaraderie… It’s all there and I saw the “third-eye effects” of this as I invited my friend James that I went to college with and as we all know “life is more enjoyable with friends” . James and myself have a rather “inside joke” about everything and it just told, friendships are the best when maybe we hadn’t seen each-other in ages but it works anyway. The running joke I had with James was “it’s good he was there as it was good to show off the good work that is H2H with somebody from my past and to show them that I’m sane and that all of it wasn’t a figment of my imagination.
Before getting into “the event day proper” was the order of the actual planning, and that was back in March ’17 and this was the place where it was decided that the theme of the day was going to be based around “Dreams”. A theme that sparked a plethora of ideas and suggestions and no better place, as it was here where the theme of planets and outer space came to mind as the idea of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars (I was part of team Uranus… Had to drill it into heads, it’s Ur-An-us as the obvious joke of Your-Anus is:
1) Not all that funny
2) Only more and more evidence that people need to act their age and not their shoe size
But other planets came to mind and it was the exact thing that really did spiral with ideas. In coming to a couple of those H2H events and plannings, it has seriously just got better and more and more efficient, in more time allowed between the planning and the event day itself it seems even more controlled and thought out and just shows how far H2H has come.
Now to the pista la resistance… The actual event day on Friday 7th July and my goodness it was something of an awakening as what happened was a genuine good feeling in me. I had invited my friend like I mentioned and he saw first hand the good work of H2H and how that mandate to “rescue people from isolation” was more than apparent. A number of charities and organisations were on show and the seeds were planted for users to talk with fellow users and organise their own activities and such and this is what H2H is all about as a bit of a personal declaration but I was starting to get a bit isolated myself. Not nearly as friendly or as smilely as I used to be and its for this that I just can’t thank H2H enough as in being a bit of a “patient zero” I can attest just how amazing and how good just an afternoon outside of four walls can be.
As each year rolls on the turn out is higher and higher and the help is only more and more handed then it all just shows how though “this” may be taking longer than I had originally hoped, this is life and even in the darkest of darks, there is some light but you just have to look long and hard but it’s there.
It was also here that a film crew asked about my involvement with H2H and the great work of Theresa Nash and the crew and how it all basically means that as an organisation it’s only getting more and more serious and more and more larger. Last word… Mary Holland for Prime Minister… Though that’s another blog for another time.
Well the work H2H at it again as the day was a great advertisement of no person left behind as it most definitely produced just the thing like everybody needs across the board. I was a bit of a “ground zero” patient as people well know but then its been a bit of a while now since I first got involved with H2H so it’s a scheme that just shows as much as my personal involvement has somewhat reduced, the good work it does can’t be ignored.
This is all a personal account so if people don’t agree or have their own account of events, come along and experience one of the days as I just can’t believe how fast or how impressive the events are. And the enthusiasm hasn’t dwindled and only shown how great this event is. That time allowance like I said is a real concern now like I said and fatigue is a real concern as well so I just think events like this show how impressive and how beneficial H2H is. After a brief glimpse of Ham House it all just came back and if it came back for me, I’m sure it came back for many other connected to it and just shows how unforgettable as H2H is. I found myself simply loving the work it does as though the world goes on, so does the good work it does and no better example of the sheer efficiency and growth.
Either way when I arrived I took a couple of snaps of the welcoming party and of the good work H2H does, so good and so beneficial bumped into the fiance of one of the trainers at another charity I participated with “long the journey”. It was there I was introduced to Nathan, the man that stood out as good a man he is but I just couldn’t forget the good work of Different Strokes, that exercise programme did just that and I’m eternally grateful for it all. It all just came flooding back as its one of those moments when everybody congratulates you for all the work you’ve accomplished but then to stop and see it in progress is something else. This whole journey has taught me in the cruellest way “stop and smell the roses every now and again”, life has a way I suppose.
Either way to simply go around and take pictures of the events and the activities H2H bestow was a nifty thing to say the least as just to make sense of the issues any kind of disability raise though obvious, it was nice to think of something else for a while. H2H always does that, it doesn’t matter the disability as it covers it all, touching, tasting, feeling, smelling. It did just that and for that I’ll never forget it or them as no other participant should either, the friends made and the experiences had last beyond an afternoon.
I’ve still got my youthful exuberance but it’s a situation that has me in a situation where “growing up” is just a fact of life. H2H has rebuilt that confidence so my latest blog needs to be mentioned. It’s the personal blogging that may be a bit more sporadic nowadays, but hopefully the conviction and meaning aren’t lost.
Now homework, joy. *sarcasm seriously detected*
There’s a certain brood feeling with “Access to HE Media 2014” >.<
I think its terrible I’ve been a bit lax recently on these blog posts. With the lovely weather, the cheery disposition of anyone in these summer months I really don’t have any reason sometimes. But could this be the microcosm of one possible aspect of stroke recovery, or my own stroke recovery? Sometimes biting off more than we can chew as yes the passion to write is there. But even hearing in psychotherapy along the way (“Shoutout” to Richmond Wellbeing Service) but ‘Good days’ and ‘Bad days’ aren’t that uncommon. Heck half of the things I learn about seem applicable to people that never suffered a life-altering issue. But such is life sometimes. Not one to play down a stroke, not one to play up a stroke but these are the golden words. I’m blessed I can say “well I’m fortunate all the same”… “Life goes on”. There’s that song, that sums it up.
Yes most songs seem intertwined with “love” but I’m an adult, I can adapt things to whatever I want to. I think though no human being can do it all by themselves. Those that can, kudos, but lets be honest to the fact that “two heads are better than one”. For that exact reason I accept how this some people can try and do it all by themselves. But other times it’s just not it is it, like a knocked down boxer sometimes but on our feet again by 9. For that exact reason I know I’ve been a bit weird on the blog numbers recently. But that desire, that heart, that reason to function. I’ve seen it in the days not just in the posts but in my life. I don’t speak for anyone in particular but getting knocked down isn’t special, it’s the staying down that is and I refuse to stay down. Trying to find a certain level of structure again, purpose and reason again but it really is a case of “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.”.
Another December, another Christmas. Now this is where I’ve somewhat looked over Christmas Day and can say I prefer New Years Eve. I don’t care much for the 25th December because of the heartfilled but instantly “Its not Scaletrix” gifts, the big let down of no snow etc. Well now it’s been a December looking forward to the 31st… Am I growing up? Crimes. Until I have kids of my own I suppose.
All I know is though my family and friends have been known to say “knock off the stroke talk”, I’ve found a couple of exercise classes and a conversation group… That’ll calm things down. Well now there’s a chance for people not “suffering from a life altering illness” to use that “excuse”.
EVERYONE on this earth deserves a “mulligan”. A chance for a fresh start, to take that away would simply be inhumane. In my opinion anyway, what are you going to do with yours? Have you already made yours? Good luck 😀
It feels like I missed a school trip… “Mega jeal”
I know that its been a while H2H‘ers, that’s acknowledging the participants, volunteers, “back room staff”, you name it. Its a shame that life has thrown out a couple of spanners in the works but the intentions of this blog are still felt. Enough about me and my “epic fail”, just my way of hoping for a bit of understanding for the lack of input of late. Hopefully it’ll resume regular service soon enough, never easy and though I don’t like speaking for people I hope there’s a shared [paraphrased] view for anyone but survivors in particular can be acknowledged. “Any obstacle is there to be overcome”. Never easy but my goodness the feel-good factor can’t be beat, for that, I need not say well done, but… “Well done”.
In highlighting my absence, its been one of self discovery and generally acknowledging my disability if I like it or not. Personally I’m only 27 years young so I have a lot to learn and even more to help me acclimatise to “this”. None of this is most likely news to the wisest of heads, that’s not necessarily an age thing, it could be an overcoming adversity thing.
All the same I hear about all of the amazing work H2H has been up to in my absence, but fingers crossed that great energy gets lifted into 2014 as it’s nearly that time already. All I know is I’m sure 2014 will be a better year not just personally, but when talking about the good work Heritage 2 Health does. That the arm of goodwill stretches further than ever before and that it continues what seems like a prime directive…
1) Set up events through English Heritage/National Trust sites for participants to interact in ways they may generally be granted such opportunities. – These participants may have less than “straight forward” health concerns and/or lives but the option is there and what an inconspicuous way to learn a thing or two about said heritage of this fine country.
Well two more days of November as I type this part at 22:00… How time flies. I’m sure its older than this, but this is how I heard it, appreciation indeed. Don’t count the days, make the days count.
Just growing and growing, the sky is the limit
The day had come and gone in one I had anticipated for a while now, this isn’t hyperbole as I can categorically say that all of the individuals I’ve met along the way in the 2 or 3 odd years of Heritage 2 Health make my day. This is my 4th or 5th event so it means that though I know more individuals than “the norm”, it means I can appreciate the aim that little bit more. Its not the individual that makes H2H, its the big machine and in this case that “machine” is proving more character and general talking points than ever before. A real case of eagerness as I woke up on Friday 31st May at 6:30am, I had to acclimatise to the fact British Summer Time means its going to be the same level of sunlight outside as midday or 6:30pm. This hiccup aside fast-forward until roughly 10am as I found myself at Marble Hill house with nurses, camera/photography personnel, H2H director, its own personnel, affiliated organisations, student nurses and general volunteers already in attendance. The number was only growing as the hour went on as by 11am some of the participants arrived as their buses and various modes of transport dripped in and so especially by 11:30am team Ginger (herbs & spices was the theme) were ready to start with their day.
As a group ended up making a random wigwam while they were at it… Good on them!
The itinerary for H2H events are notorious for “so much to do and hardly any time”, a couple of staples were focus of the day such as tea and how some people believe there is no better cure to any ailment in life. This meant one of the first things we did was write out messages on coloured paper cut into tea cups, the aim was to then link them onto a tree and make it a multicoloured dream. H2H did that Paperchain in Leith Hill so this was definitely something new that brought together an amazing group. In writing out our messages the Ginger team went into Marble Hill House to learn a bit about it as I can’t repeat myself or history but in learning something new again whenever I attend. Even “those days” when describing the relationship between Henrietta Howard & George II the oft-term was mistress but that didn’t necessarily mean more than keeping the man company with a good ear. To think the ongoing question of boys and girls being nothing more than friends isn’t new as that house has been around since 1724 so simply fascinating (well for me).
Yes the pen ran out of ink, still readable with a dodgy handle though
After learning some more about the house came the walk to the foot ferry which is always a pleasure but an extra one as if timed to perfection we exited to glorious sunshine, an omen on the day maybe. The weather was so majestic the ferry did a bit of a drive down the Thames as if following it to Richmond before looping back to the Ham side of the river. From the ferry came the minute or so walk to Ham House but along the way we saw some horses and they are still a real pleasure to spot. Even the kids in our Ginger group had really got on so talking between them and even taking time to stop and appreciate them, which was a microcosm for all of us. In a rural background which meant not horses were nothing new but not from an urban background to never seen one before. but that was Suburbia in a nutshell in which I’m grateful for. No better example in admiring some of the things people have been known to take for granted as though unintentional such things happen. We eventually left the horses and got to the house and ate our lunch in the Orangey Cafe’s lovely garden here we were genuinely enjoying eachothers company and it was the walk back to the house that a fellow H2H volunteer required someone from our group that knew the Ham area well enough to accompany her, her son as well as a kind minivan driver from Marble Hill via the Ferry and direct them back to drive to Ham House. I luckily used most of my knowhow but for the life of me I didn’t trust myself to know which turning so I had a bit of help from Google Maps (eep). All in all I’m happy to have accompanied them as 90% odd sure anyway and got back just in time for the tribal singing and instrument playing which was definitely a sight as 99.9% of the members of the event were in attendance.
A real “cherry on top” of a great day as slowly as participants had come to the event they were starting to go home and though I can’t talk for all of the other participants but everyone remaining then stood in a circle in which we stated our names and what part of the day we enjoyed most, for this I couldn’t help but be happier than I had ever been for H2H as I said it in my January blog and I genuinely mean it that this is going to be the best year yet, and if Leith Hill is half the event Marble Hill/Ham House was then everyone duck and cover.
Personally happy as specifically in our Ginger group I met two individuals that took my laughter levels to another plane as no better cure for what ails anyone than humour so coupled with a cuppa tea I felt invincible.