|Guy, Sam, Camilla and Ben © That Guy Photography|
Well, we are all still here and soldiering on through 2014 and into 2015.
Sam continues to make slow progress after his stroke, which was now two and a half years ago. His speech has improved a bit this year but the major change has been our recent acquisition of a MyGait, an electronic device (FES - Functional Electrical Stimulation) strapped to the right leg, which helps Sam to lift his foot and also stimulates his hamstring muscle, which has very little movement. It requires very accurate positioning to get right, and is quite a temperamental beast, but Sam is now walking without rolling his foot out to the side and on good days is noticeably faster and has more stamina than before. We paid for the MyGait, as well as some physiotherapy to help make the most of it, with a legacy from Sam’s brother Adrian who died late in 2012. We hope he would be glad to know that the money has made a real difference.
Sam continues to go to the workshop at Street Forge once a week and is now enjoying it much more. We hear that he works faster and more accurately with one hand than many of their trainees do with two. Apart from many bird-nesting boxes and decorative wheelbarrows he has also made a rather splendid stand for one of our model pond yachts.
Camilla has returned to work this year with a fairly wide range of different activities, although working from home most of the time, and with some months a lot busier than others! She has been updating the website for Suffolk Yacht Harbour (our marina), working with her brother Paul on his photography website for part of the year, and returning to digital consultancy to implement a SharePoint intranet for a Lloyd’s underwriter, via Brandex, a Norwich-based branding agency (these things can get very convoluted). And just a few days ago she was appointed as the next editor for Cruising magazine, a quarterly magazine for members of the Cruising Association (the “leading association for cruising yachtsmen worldwide”) which is not hugely well paid but should be good fun and a continuing income. Again, most of the work on the magazine can be done from home, which means Camilla is around to help Sam and make sure he has plenty of activities, including swimming, various therapies, and socialising with the lovely members of our local stroke club.
|Ventura in Monte Carlo|
|Quayside drink in Toulon|
|Terrace café at the Uffizi|
|The tent turns the cockpit into an extra cabin|
|Through the Thames Barrier in choppy conditions (that's why Sam is looking miserable) with Andy, left, and his son Sym|
|St Katharine's, view from the shower block|
Next year we hope to recruit crew via the Cruising Association or elsewhere (see blog post below this one) and head off to the Netherlands for a few weeks. Camilla is even talking seriously about doing the Yachtmaster exam, if time and energy permit.
In between trips on Kalessin Sam also sailed most weeks during the summer with the East Anglian Sailing Trust, a body that provides daysailing for less able people. He seems to have enjoyed every minute, and using other people’s boats does have the wonderful advantage that you don’t have to worry about maintenance and repairs…
|A German walk on one of the few cooler days with, from left, Ben, brother-in-law Mark, nephew Felix and sister Lucilla. Sam stayed behind to mind the schloss|
www.thatguyphotography.co.uk. He’s not earning vast amounts but is developing a lot of new skills and is employed by Camilla’s company, Kalessin Consulting. He is available for commissions of all types ☺ and will be the official photographer for Cruising magazine. He works from home and looks after Sam when required, which is the only thing that allows Camilla to work, so it all pans out ok.
In November the Friends of Icanho, of which Camilla is chair, put on a charity fundraising concert with Rough at the Edges, the group Camilla sings with. However, the star of the show was Sam, playing about two minutes of one-handed guitar to rapturous applause from the select audience. He plays a very lightweight travel guitar, uses an amp with gain turned up to maximum, and manages to make some astonishingly tuneful music. You can now watch a video of him playing on YouTube.
May your 2015 be musical and contented….
Camilla, Sam, Guy & Ben