The memory loss caused by my brain injury does have it's advantages. Now, it is like I am experiencing certain things for the first time in my life, even if it's actually not, because I just can't remember the first time around. One example is; as part of my graded return to work at The Citizen and Echo newspapers, I recently covered a local rugby match between Tewkesbury and Bristol Saracens in the Gloucester Premier Division, and it felt fantastic, now just like all of those years ago when I first started my career as a sports journalist; imagine the thrill and excitement of seeing my name in the paper in the local shop all over again having come through all that I have done, knowing it was all my work and words for everyone to see.
Now this might sound slightly egotistical but it was an incredibly proud moment for me, like I had done it for the first time in my life, even if I actually hadn't. In fact one of my work mates actually took a picture of it in the office on the page and put it up on Facebook for everyone to see, accompanied by some kind words about how good it was to have me back.
This is one of the things I can perhaps take forward with me into when I am fully recovered and I say "when" and not "if" as a personal piece of positivity; a greater appreciation of things. As I have said before I don't want to think about how close I came to actually departing this world because it quite upsets me to be honest, as it would do anyone, but what it has perhaps done, without trying to sound like a cliche, is give me a greater appreciation of life and the things in it. Such as people; my family, friends and Amy, who have all played such huge parts in helping bring me back to life, so to speak. I don't think I have ever not appreciated these things, or people. I've always known how blessed I was to be raised by a family such as mine and I knew I had won the lottery the day I met Amy.
Speaking of firsts, this example, I know for a fact, actually is a first, as I made soup completely from scratch at Headway this morning. My mum makes an incredible soup, which is my favourite; broccoli and Stilton, I was always slightly put off by the broccoli bit, but, trust me, you can hardly taste it in between the piles of strong Stilton cheese and the lashings of cream that are poured in to thicken it up. I'm pretty sure the recipe is not a secret family one, so I'm certain she won't mind me giving away all of her secret ingredients.
The soup I made today was nothing compared to Ann Wood's special soup as it was merely Parsnip, chestnut and orange, but it still represented another major milestone for me, as most of the cooking sessions at Headway have done, after baking a cake for the first time, a few months ago.
As I have also mentioned before, Amy does all of the cooking and cleaning for us both at home, so it is fantastic to be able to take the responsibility off her, even if it's just for one night of the week. Some people might say I spoil that girl, but it's the least I can do after all of the amazing things she has done for me. But she still couldn't let me have the lime light, just this once, as she had to go and bake, yes, actually bake!, what it is sure to be a delicious loaf of bread, to accompany it.
As you may remember from previous blogs, I am determined to fill my life with good stuff now and all of this cooking has certainly been a big positive for me. I'm sure Headway design it that way to give the individual a real sense of achievement and worth, well it's worked! Yes, I always loved food and cooking before my bleed occurred, but I had never made soup or a cake completely from scratch before, so I might start putting it on my CV!
Will Wood - star baker!