Kind & Generous

Saturday 30 December, 2000

My back is feeling better each day. It was quite a scare for me in Prague and an indication of just how far out of my routine I have fallen. Since those dream-like three weeks when everything was going so well, I have become less and less disciplined. For the most part I have accepted the inevitability of it – especially with the onset of the Christmas festivities. Now I have the opportunity to get back to the routine which gives me such satisfaction.

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Consider My Own Journey

Friday 29 December, 2000

Today I am getting back to my life. Karaj has further transformed my work area with added shelves, a lamp, and a stereo. It’s wonderful. Today has been a good day but as I finished typing up my time in Prague, all the feelings from yesterday return and once again I cannot stop myself from missing my brother.

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Walking His Own Path

Thursday 28 December, 2000

I return home today.  At the airport I said goodbye to Andy and to Kevin.  I had given Andy a couple of opportunities to get out of coming all the way to the airport – mostly because of my uncomfortable feelings about goodbyes – but he was adamant and stayed to see me all the way through passport control.  It has been a while since someone saw me off properly and as we waved to each other until the last possible moment I glimpsed the sensitivity of my brother which is normally so well hidden.  The negativity and cynicism serves to protect him from being hurt like he was when he was a child.  It saddens me because he is such a wonderful person, yet most people only see his temper and frustration.  In his cynicism he is very funny but I cannot help thinking that a part of him is crying out to be released – to be allowed to surface and flourish.  I am tearful.

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Too Much Relaxation

Wednesday 27 December, 2000

Yesterday I woke up with a very stiff and painful back from sitting on the floor playing cards the night before. I am very worried. This is how it all started last year, and I do not want to go through that pain again. During last night I dreamt and worried about my back. It is slightly better today but it still concerns me.

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The Danger of Assuming

Monday 25 December, 2000

I was the first one up and I started preparing the Christmas dinner which Andy and I cooked together. Andy had made sure that everyone had a present to open.  Kevin and I both received puzzles to solve.  Trying to solve them brought home to me my difficulty in visualising things.  Eventually, and with teamwork we all solved both puzzles.

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First Thoughts of Leaving

Sunday 24 December, 2000

Andy cooked a lovely breakfast and now we are all relaxing. Since I arrived in Prague things have been so comfortable.  Everything has simply flowed. I feel more and more comfortable with myself because I’ve found what I’ve been looking for.  My life has purpose and that is comfort enough to allow me to relax and grow.

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Playing With Confidence

Saturday 23 December, 2000

Got up in time for breakfast in the pub and the rest of the day in the sports bar. We played cards and I noticed the difference between now and the past. In the past I would have been nervous about making mistakes, mistakes would have been made, Andy would have commented on them, and I would have felt deflated, small and upset. However, this time I played with confidence and concentration, with the attitude that it didn’t matter if I lost or made mistakes because it is all just a learning process. Andy seemed to make sure I was all right in a gentle, unobtrusive way – he’s still my big brother.

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Laughter in Prague

Thursday 21 December, 2000

Arose at 6am and decided to treat myself to a cab. Arrived at the airport in good time. The travelling went smoothly, a delay here, a delay there, I took it all in my stride. I didn’t get excited until we came in to land in Prague and I saw the thin covering of snow everywhere. Andy was there to meet me and the weather was cold (-5°C), fresh and dry. It was wonderful to be back in the dryness of mainland Europe.

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Missing Out By Isolating Himself

Wednesday 20 December, 2000

Spent the afternoon with Karaj. I feel much more confident about my ability to make contributions to others.  The Saturday group was a massive help in this respect and so was the following day at Sunil’s.  I am starting to recognise in myself what Karaj has seen for many months.

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Stories from Childhood

Tuesday 19 December, 2000

Visited my grandparents. Gran reminisced about my childhood.  She told me that as a result of my tracheotomy and subsequent croup, I was spoiled by everyone, including my brother.  He was so kind to me for so long, up until I was about 10 or 11 years old.  It would seem that I pushed him too far and he punched me.

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Another Groundbreaking Weekend

Monday 18 December, 2000

Feeling tired today but somehow it feels like a Friday and not a Monday.  I can’t help but think the weekend was another groundbreaking one like the one in May.  That one signalled my first step away from female company and this weekend was more of a step closer towards male company.

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I Can Do This

Sunday 17 December, 2000

Went to Sunil’s for the day and had a wonderful time in his company. I felt relaxed as I had done when we met up for the Wales trip. He showed me the swing he had built in his back garden and I was immediately curious. It was a curiosity that comes only from doing the sort of projects Karaj and I have carried out recently. Empathy with a fellow craftsman. It was natural and exciting. Sunil and I spent the whole day in the garage putting together a guinea pig run for the garden. It was an opportunity to do with Sunil what I do with Karaj. Sunil had prepared all the pieces, had cut everything to shape and over the course of the day we put it together.

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A Day Like No Other

Saturday 16 December, 2000

Today has been a day like no other. Had a lie in until 8am, then got up and cleaned the house. Kelvin is coming down from Manchester today and it was important for me that Aubrey’s house is clean and tidy for them both. Far from being a chore, it was a pleasure to do it and good to know that someone will see the results of my efforts.

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Creating the Life I Want

Friday 15 December, 2000

It is so important to me to live the life I am living and to achieve the life I want to live, that I leave myself no other option than to do exactly that. Furthermore, the resolve to live my life the way I want has already created the ideal opportunities for me to do so, and I will continue to create those opportunities. It is hard work but for me there is nothing which is as worthwhile as the work I am doing on myself.

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