Renee

Life after Stroke, Gugelhupfs and being a nun

People on the tube are very friendly to nuns!  Following an incredibly funny girls’ night out to The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, I travelled home with Karen on the central line wearing a nun’s habit.  (Why is it called that?)  People were happy to give up their seats on the sweltering midnight train, and there was an unconcealed display of curiosity as to why two nuns were travelling east after dark.

No one seemed to notice my black Imaginative Training | social media blog | social media training | Plain English training | Plain English editing | copywritingpatent high heels or fuchsia nails, although there was some sniggering when we started taking tube selfies and asking strange men to snap us for Facebook.  The man opposite me, trying very hard to appear sober, voiced his surprise that nuns are allowed to carry phones. I pointed out that a mobile is a means of safety for all women, and he nodded sagely, before slurring that he’d protect us with his life.  Nice.  I wasn’t intentionally impersonating a lady of the cloth but I do feel that, nevertheless, we educated him in some of the more responsible ways women should behave when travelling late at night…

So I can no longer claim to be the only person I know who hasn’t seen the Sound of Music! The singalonga… version we watched was hugely entertaining.  And Salzburg looks so beautiful; I’ve added it to my list of places to visit, along with Prague, Bangkok and Highgate Cemetery.

I had a very Austrian couple of days as it turned out, because on Thursday afternoon Liz, Nancy and I enjoyed a sumptuous afternoon tea at The Delauney.  Instead of scones and clotted cream, they serve poppy seed Gugelhupfs with apricot jam and whipped cream – and the most delicious sachertorte.  I asked for an extra slice but don’t tell anyone.

Earlier in the afternoon we’d attended the annual Life After Stroke Awards.  The awards are given to inspirational people who have shown extreme courage after suffering a stroke, as well as people who’ve gone the extra mile to support stroke survivors.  Their stories are both heartbreaking and heartwarming.  Thanks to The Stroke Association for organising a wonderful day, and to the celebrities who give their time each year to present the awards and provide an extra touch of glamour to such a worthwhile charity.

Imaginative Training | social media blog | social media training | Plain English training | Plain English editing | copywritingThe winner of this year’s Children and Young Person’s award was a gorgeous young girl named Emily who had her stroke when she was ten.  Her dad is a member of my Facebook support group, and this week will see the 200th person joining this group.  (200 people, all of whom have shared the horror of wondering whether their child will survive the night.)  I set up the group to provide a forum for these parents of child stroke survivors to shout, scream, cry, ask questions, gain advice and support, and share the achievements of their children as they slowly get back to some sense of normality after such a devastating experience.

I was so lucky to experience a positive outcome, but not everyone is as fortunate.  I count my blessings each day.  No one knows what’s around the corner and every day is precious.  There is an old saying that does the rounds on Facebook every now and then… I can’t remember it exactly, but it’s something like: Live every day as if it’s your last and dance like no one’s watching.  I agree on both counts.

It’s not often that I quote Rodgers and Hammerstein, but this is good advice:  ‘Climb every mountain, ford every stream… follow every rainbow, ‘til you find your dream.’  I’ve been reading The Law of Attraction again.  If you have a dream but need help achieving it, I’m always happy to offer advice and guidance.  Ask me about one-to-one mentoring here: @WeekendWitch.

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