Comments

  • barbara on Italy 2015: “Dear Tom, iut sounds as though you had a marvellous holiday. I read back to your BBC world service interview. Will you actually get to wear that head device? Where does the finance come from to develop something really useful like that? You said that the technology has been around for ages but putting it all together has been long delayed. I can imagine the lives that will be enhanced by a complex multifunctional device that's simple to operate. On the sea and water I can imagine how wonderful that was! I'll always remember you as captured on photo sometime in the 1990s I think when you visited the house in Chapelle Antie and were all snapped jumping into the local lake. When I opened the place up in May I drove past the lake and it was empty! I think they are trying to get rid of 'cyanobacterie', the levels of which have prevented the lake from being used for swimming these last few years. I am holidaying very late this year - still around till August 17th - because of a new grandchild. My second, Leila is my Pakistani opposite number's 49th! Leila arrived in the JR on the 16th and is much fairer than Ruhi and very sweet. Ruhi has stopped trying to teach her to walk and is learning how you should be a big sister. we all send you and Ellen our love, BarbaraAug 1, 18:57
  • barbara on Sweden here we come!: “HELLO TOM! AND ELLEN! NEVER FEEL YOU ARE LOGGING YOUR LIFE INTO OUTER SPACE BECAUSE SOONER OR LATER i WILL ENJOY READING YOUR DIARY HERE! I hope you had a great time in Sweden and didn't do utterly over the top things on steep snowy surfaces. my keyboard returned from Indian fieldwork with jumping key syndrome so I will make this short. I had a life changing spell in the field - probably the final fieldwork I do - on the economy of a small town as a waste producing system. it would be nice to show you the photos. (I tried to copy one here but t won't transfer) Anyway in a small town in the south I saw things that have been invisible to me for 45 years. Thousands of people get livelihoods at near starvation level from sorting waste. There is a huge economy of pigs, cattle, goats and hundreds of very fat dogs living off it too. There are dreadful sanitation problems too. basically the entire town's foul and liquid waste is pouring into what used to be a fine lake. Anyway I just returned feeling very lucky. love to you both / all , BarbaraMar 9, 21:23
  • Tomernst on New Year: “Dear Tom, We are all very blessed to be your friends. Eva and I spent Christmas with Fiona, Nikki and Benny and yes, this period really lends itself to reflection. It is truly amazing to see how many activities you can do and how you do them all with such contagious enthusiasm. We all can learn from you! Acording to me, one of the important raisons d’être are our friends - and I am very happy to be one of yours. Warm hug, TomJan 5, 21:00
  • barbara on in the #OxfordMail: “THREE CHEERS FOR THE POWER OF LOVE! AND HEY BOYS AND GIRLS VERY MERRY GOOD GOVERNANCE DAY (XMAS RELABELLED IN INDIA) BarbaraDec 25, 07:05
  • marie on Perspective: “Tom, As the saying goes "Great men think alike"! The BBC published this article on the 14th August which I came across today. How our brains can control our emotions http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140812-deciphering-our-emotions-code Greetings from marieAug 18, 14:31
  • barbara on Guttman conference on Spinal Cord Injury: content updated: “Viewed the power point trying to interpret backwards from the photos to what you would be saying about them. you don't stop life's being quite a rave! It is an amazing story. it feels too long since I met you both. I will try to remedy this. Off to Chapelle Antie soon - it is not as primitive as when you visited and did co-ordinated jumping into Meuzac lake - but it is always a step towards very simple living. Hammock is my big luxury. all the best to the Nabarros and Graham Jones, BarbaraJul 11, 22:01
  • marie on Guttman conference on Spinal Cord Injury: content updated: “Thank you so much Tom for sharing these two important occasions with us. Your analysis is just amazing and presentation of the two different events excellent. Je t'embrasse marieJun 28, 07:40
  • barbara on Stella Young: I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much | Talk Video | TED.com: “Haven't had time to listen to the ted talk yet but thanks for the link. I saw all of 5 mins of the match with Italy - just before half time - and thought England would be very very lucky to come out of it on top. The Italian team just seemed so much more alive and clued up to the delicate footwork and rapid reactions needed in tight situations. However what do I know? Zero about futebol. Sounds like you had a great weekend. I cleaned Gordon's wheelchair which has grown mould while wintering (not by design) in a garden shed; planting shade shrubs, having sunday lunch with an old friend |Judith at east leach way out in the Cotswolds - beautiful village... and preparing for this coming week in Germany at a new India centre holding an exciting meeting on the informal economy and business history. Have a good one, love to you all, BarbaraJun 16, 20:53
  • barbara on Weekend of sun and snow: “You both look so happy! That's a fabulous hammock! My great delight on holiday is to lie in one under a slightly cloudy sky reading til late afternoon and then to go and swim in a lake. These are high order luxuries that don't cost much! HAve you seen the inside of the maths building in Oxford? You need swipe cards - so have to know an inmate. Outside from the Woodstock road it is nothing much to look at - except for the Penrose tiles - but inside..... Last night I went to a concert that made me sleepless! Ben Grosvenor who won Young Musician of the Year at the advanced age of 11 and is now 22, with the Endellion 4tet whose combined ages are 10 times Ben's. It was one of those events that is so marvellous that it takes you out of yourself. It makes me feel very humble that our world which is such a messed up place can produce such wonders of skill, dedication and love for music. Not your kind of music but I know you have these kinds of reactions to your kind too! Have a good weekend!with love to you both, BarbaraJun 14, 07:32
  • Pat on backup city dinner talk: “What a powerful speech - my thanks too for posting it. Thinking of you especially as I'm in Italy which I know you love too. Cari saluti to you and Ellen PatMay 19, 08:42
  • davidnabarro on backup city dinner talk: “Dear Tom I am pleased to read that the dinner went well. Thanks for posting the text of your talk. I really like it. DadMay 17, 09:52
  • barbara on current events: “tried to paste something funny but will have to email it instead! love from New Delhi, BarbaraFeb 12, 16:06
  • Rach on Angela tribute, Tenerife holiday: “I am so glad to see that you have such a wonderful person as Angela in your life. You deserve the best, because you are such an awesome guy to hang out with. I never felt like I was working when I was with you 🙂 I've been keeping up with your posts here, and it's lovely to see photos of you and Ellen. Luv ya and miss ya, RachDec 9, 18:54
  • simonrawlence on We talk to Tom and Ellen who have been through a life-changing accident | Mail Online: “Tom and Ellen. Sensitive and balanced article about you both and an important statement about who you both are. It was good to see how many times its had been shared and was therefore an inspiration to others. Will be more mobile next year and hope to catch up with you. May even start reading the Daily Mail ! Love from Katerina and SimonNov 26, 14:52
  • barbara on lazy Sunday: “HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELLEN! And that is a very life-enhancing and heartening account of your life together - an unusually lovely thing to come from the DM / M o S if I might be so bold! with love to you both, BarbaraNov 25, 13:05
  • felixgj on lazy Sunday: “Wonderful article, esp considering its vehicle. Catches well your vibrant optimism and determination. You and Els are a constant inspiration for me, and a great exemplar of the extraordinary power of love. I'm attaching the link that got me to the article in case it's useful for your readers without access to the printed MoS. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2511294/We-talk-Tom-Ellen-life-changing-accident.htmlNov 24, 22:03
  • Tom on media streaming questions: “great to hear from you, lovely to read your news I'm back from the road trip and straight into really interesting work lovely to see so much of Italy, France and Switzerland. The Alps are really special.love to you and yoursOct 8, 21:12
  • barbara on media streaming questions: “Well Tom, this isn't a comment in answer to your very technical questions - though I just about understand what they are about - it is a comment that says 'I watch this website'! The photos are amazing. Although you are 10 miles down the road you live in a completely different universe! (I was trying to paste images of mine but the comment window won';t accept them.) You must be excited about the European road-holiday - all the way to Levanto - how do you live there? From what Susie has always said it is a vertical house on ??cliffs?? by the sea?? I had a great 'change' in France – as good as rest they say: my fill of walks and talks, celebrations and commiserations, art exhibitions, musical festivals and reading , barbecues and hammocking, walks and ‘wild’ swimming in local lakes, enamelling and DIY ( a lot of that – still recovering), birds (a trapped owl in the living room to greet me (!) ; conventions of starlings; buzzards hunting and woodpeckers rapping) and beasts (the great edible European dormouse which is a protected species and makes a terrible racket between the ceilings and floorboards at night). And great company aged from 11 months to 82 years. You visited the house once when it was still quite primitive - well it is still quite primitive but less than it was. Re-entry was very hard – still is. Ruhi , KAveri's daughter, was one last Saturday. Her first birthday party involved another Pakistani baby born two days before and living in the same graduate hostel as Kaveri and Ayaz. That meant about 50 children and their parents to organise all afternoon. Everyone was completely exhausted by the end. Fortunately the daughter of one of Kaveri’s respondents from the East End was there with her henna-ing kit so everyone who stayed on got red patterned skin! Entering my third year of ‘retirement’, I am making resolutions to do less work. But I am still completing the work overdue when I retired, let alone writing up the research project which has now formally ended but is anything but finished. That's going to take me to China and the US this autumn. Susie had supper here yesterday and she brought the most enormous marrow from Standlake. I have cut it into thirds and given them to resourceful friends and I will curry my third. (We also talked as though there were no tomorrow!) That's it for now: seize the day - as Gordon always used to say - and don't let the bastards get you down! BarbaraSep 18, 17:43
  • Pat on Girdlers Award: “Dear Tom - many congratulations on this award in recognition of your amazing achievements in adversity. We're in a tiny village in the Abruzzo region of Italy, a place with steep streets, lots of steps, very few facilities - not good for wheelchairs. I've been thinking of you here as I know that you love Italy. Continue to enjoy the summer. Love, PatJun 3, 18:44
  • louise on José Cordeiro – Monkfish Rice | Taste Portugal: “Yes we had a great time there too.....despite the dodgy neighbours xMay 22, 10:57
  • barbara on ? Heavy Roast Action vol 1 by djroastbeatz: “Good to have your news Tom! Hope you are back to a good state of health. Gordon always used to distinguish health which is about colds etc from 'fitness' which was about his disability. Yesterday I was here. http://www.london24.com/news/health/thousands_march_in_save_our_nhs_demonstration_1_2200368 I know it won't do a blind bit of good by way of convincing this government of thugs and vandals but it felt good to be in a big crowd of people who believe it is OUR NHS! and not to be ever more re-disorganised (the concept of Iain Chalmers) just to be easily sold off to the government's rich friends. love to you and Ellen and all, Barbara PS Off for a few days of calm - Monet's garden at Giverny and Honfleur - before the storm of 6 weeks' fieldwork in India. last year I said never again in June and here I am once more.... Tried to post a photo of Ruhi here but failed...May 19, 15:44
  • Susanna Graham-Jones on NHS concerns and exciting technology: “Lovely for a previously banned paparazza to see the video of you zooming up Standlake High Street in your off-road go-kart. And thanks, Tom, for voicing your concerns about the marketisation and fragmentation of the NHS. Just now is a good moment for anyone who isn't already up in arms about this to find out more at www.38degrees.org.uk . Petitions are only petitions, but we are hoping that the current one will be massive, persuading MPs to look very carefully at the Regulations (Section 75) currently under consideration. There is a real danger that if these are enforced, then GP commissioners may be compelled to put almost every future health service proposition out to commercial tender - with all the expenditure and faff that will entail. To someone who has worked in the wider family of the NHS, this is both ridiculous and an extraordinary waste of taxpayers' money ... as if there wasn't already an NHS ready for us GPs and others to tweak and shape and improve, close to home - this is what we were expecting to do. But no; the for-profit corporations have spent the last 10-15 years circling purposefully round the honeypot of the UK health service, pouring money into right-wing 'think tanks', lobbying MPs and ministers, putting their case for so-called 'patient choice' ( ie : their opportunity to make even more money), working their way through the corridors of power in Whitehall and in Richmond House. Their dedication, and their VAST expenditure, has borne fruit ; for 5 years their placemen have been picking off the easy outer cherries for privatisation. I expect the wheelchair service may have been one of the early ones ? Now the corporations are being allowed to gobble their way right into the centre, to the serious money. Private sector agencies will 'help' GP commissioners draw up service specifications and put them out to tender; private sector companies will put in glossy bids, sharpening up the one their business development people had prepared earlier. Commissioning groups, pressed for time, will be duped and persuaded; of course, Mr Chairman, you will award the contract to the bidder who ticks most boxes on that service specification. So ? ... No, Mr Chairman; please think very carefully before out-sourcing anything to Deep Pockets Inc. That's tax payers' money the vultures are after. Can you sign that petition please, everyone..?Mar 2, 02:13
  • barbara on iPhone 3GS fully controlled via voice: “Hello Tom! No-one has replied to your technical stories, but perhaps like me they don''t fully understand all the abbreviations. What I DO understand is that your communications problems are being eased by astonishing advances in technology - and, to judge from your concert bookings, extra-curricular life is good. I hope to see you in Feb. We are all quite busy. Eli is properly divorced and will start her new life once her now ex-husband's stuff is taken away by him . Only 11 months lying there.. Kaveri 's daughter Ruhi is growing normally and is 5 months i.e. she is the apple of our eyes, unique and perfect! Ayaz is finishing his thesis on the Pakistani bureaucracy. Me? I have broken about 10 or 12 deadlines, such is retirement. I am slowly catching up with everything. meanwhile our field work on greenhouse gases in India's informal economy is producing counter-intuitive results which signals GREAT RESEARCH. That's what we think on good days! On bad days we go scurrying back to scrutinise the data. At a lunchtime seminar today I learned that most published research is unreplicable and full of error. Medicine isn't proof against this behaviour and outcome. It runs all the way from fraud through coding mistake to research design. It is amazing there is any progress in anything at this rate. love to Ellen and you from BarbaraJan 30, 23:33
  • marie on backup trust involvement: “Matt King - www.goforitmatt.com/Oct 3, 18:13
  • marie on backup trust involvement: “Dear Tom what a wonderful year 2012 has been for you ! Thank you so much for all the postings and photographs especially of your country wedding with Ellen which reminded me of Polanski's film Tess. Thank you also for the link concerning MASCIP and the backup trust involvement. I clicked onto their site and discovered the world of Matt King who became tetraplegique following a rugby accident at 17 years old in 2004. You can find out more on his blog - goforitmatt.com I was in the UK in September looking after my sister's house and five cats. First time back home since Xmas 2004 and the Tsunami........ The paralympics were on and I was highly impressed with all the first class athletes. The ending ceremonies included a concert performed by The Great British Paraorchestra made up of musicians all disabled in some way or another including Charlotte White. There was also a tetraplegique trumpeter Clarence Adoo and you can find out more on his blog - www.clarence.org.uk/ Absolutely amazing. Much love marieOct 3, 16:32
  • TriciaHostie on California honeymoon: “Meant to ask what date are you coming back? Was it the 24th and what airport LAX? We are going to try get on it but if we can't will leave a note for the crew xx ohh and tell Ellen we loved the wedding pics xxxSep 17, 07:41
  • TriciaHostie on California honeymoon: “Hey Tom, not sure if you remember us but we wanted to say what a privilege it was meeting you and Ellen. Looking forward to following your blog. Big hugs to your gorgeous wife. Happy Honeymooning. Tricia & Fi (your virgin hosted, incase you've forgot us already!) xxxSep 15, 09:59
  • barbara on late summer update: “Really good photos - such a lot of love and joyfulness captured. I like the way individuals in the photos are picked out amid crowds - so many beautiful people - and Felix hasn't forgotten to record the imagination, harmony and general grooviness of the veggies and newspaper transformation of that marquee! Congrats to everyone who contributed to a fabulous day that no-one will forget! Thanks for the post card and have a wonderful trip to San Diego..why San Diego?!! with love - just back from France and expecting to be a granny any moment now, BarbaraAug 27, 14:02
  • Rajiv on article in the Guardian: “http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2012/aug/24/accessible-holidays-disabled-peopleAug 25, 21:11
  • jnelki on wedding reflections: “I've just looked through all the photos and saw a lot of laughter and happiness,on every picture - many people I dont know and a few I do. I'm sad we couldnt make it but very glad it was such a brilliant event, impressed with you all and wish Tom & Ellen many more glorious fun times together, Julia xxxAug 2, 00:39
  • davidnabarro on wedding reflections: “I had such fun and felt sso much joy: it was a fantastic event. Thanks to Ellen, Tom, and a great and enormous team team who did decor, meals, dressing up clothes, fire poi, hula hoops, brilliant music, lights, mixing, transport, night vigils on barbecue, settin up, clearing, printing, photos, filming, and made loads of other great contributions. Do write reflections, thoughts, messages, thanks and all other good things on this website especially if (like me) you did not write in the message book, or if you were not able to be there.Jul 29, 10:13
  • marie on The Ibiza experience on wheels – ptII: “Thank you Barbara for your posting and greetings to Tom and Ellen. I am very confused because according to Wikepedia Raoul Follereau (1903-1977) a French writer and journalist (1903-1977) who created the Fondation Raoul Follereau against Leprosy is the author of this beautiful poem sometimes attributed to Gandi (1869 -1948 ) but often marked anonymous. According to Wikepedia this poem “Un Sourire” comes from Raoul Follereau’s first book “Le livre d’amour” (The book of love) published in 1920 when he was 17 years old…… You mention that the poem was written over a thousand years ago (?) UN SOURIRE Un sourire ne coûte rien et produit beaucoup, Il enrichit celui qui le reçoit sans appauvrir celui qui le donne, Il ne dure qu'un instant, mais son souvenir est parfois éternel, Personne n'est assez riche pour s'en passer, Personne n'est assez pauvre pour ne pas le mériter, Il crée le bonheur au foyer, soutient les affaires, Il est le signe sensible de l'amitié, Un sourire donne du repos à l'être fatigué, Donne du courage au plus découragé Il ne peut ni s'acheter, ni se prêter, ni se voler, Car c'est une chose qui n'a de valeur qu'à partir du moment où il se donne. Et si toutefois, vous rencontrez quelqu'un qui ne sait plus sourire, Soyez généreux donnez lui le vôtre Car nul n'a autant besoin d'un sourire que celui qui ne peut en donner aux autres Raoul Follereau.Jul 15, 09:20
  • barbara on The Ibiza experience on wheels – ptII: “SORRY THIS IS ME AGAIN BUT YOUR WEBSITE CURRENTLY GIVES THE DATE OF YOUR SNOWBOARDING ACCIDENT AS 2012. ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THAT/Jul 14, 23:23
  • barbara on The Ibiza experience on wheels – ptII: “Thank you for including me in your joyful wedding which I think everyone present will remember forever. So much love for you went into the preparations by so many people. I was quite disconcerted by the applause at the ceremony and realised we were behaving like an audience instead of being witnesses to a contract. There are ways in which your lives are going to be in the public gaze more than those of others – for good reasons but also for not so good ones. So my wish for you is that you only have to make performances when you want to. I have just finished reading a wonderful book called Ammi by Saeed Mirza. It is unlike any book I have read before – a novel, a biographical tribute to a mother who died two decades before the book was written and who lived in what is now Pakistan, an autobiography of the mind, tales of poor people -in India and of fine values other than those of western society - in Turkey, several love stories, a dialogue about reason/science and religion, about democracy, a screen-play of an Afghan refugee in California around the time of 9.11…..It is beautifully written and hard to put down. There I found a poem written nearly a thousand years ago when Spain was at the height of its Islamic civilisation – and this is what I want to give you for your wedding. A smile costs nothing yet produces a lot. It enriches the one who receives it. Without making the one who gives it any the poorer. It lasts only an instant But the memory it leaves sometimes lasts forever. No-one is rich enough to be able to do without one; No-one is so poor that he does not merit one. It creates happiness in the home. It is a tangible sign of friendship. A smile make he who is tried feel rested, It gives heart to those who are down, It cannot be bought, nor loaned, nor stolen For it is a thing which has value Only the moment it is given. And if, from time to time, you should meet someone Who no longer knows how to smile Be generous, give him yours, For no one quite needs a smile as much As he who cannot give one to others. Yesterday, everyone was smiling, and some smiling through tears because of what you have gone through. It is of course about lovingkindness, without which there is nothing. Smile for the camera but smile for one another and for us all!Jul 14, 07:47
  • marie on The Ibiza experience on wheels – ptII: “Dear Tom and Ellen, Barbara has let the cat out of the bag as the saying goes –I presume that the Big Day is tomorrow Friday 13th July ! (?) Tom as you are are not a French man getting married to an Anglo-Polish English born girl you will not make the blunder that my husband made during our church ceremony. Instead of repeating after the priest “My lawful wife “my French husband to be said “My awful wife”! The red haired priest Father O’Brien (Irish origin as my mother’s ancestor’s) paused and despite my mother’s giggles in the front row who incidentally at 84 years of age had selective hearing politely said “I think we should say that again” and the second attempt was correct…… Have a Great Day and I wish you both all the love and happiness in the world! Much love MarieJul 12, 17:06
  • barbara on The Ibiza experience on wheels – ptII: “THREE TEETH? to lose one tooth may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness BUT TO LOSE THREE? ANY ADVANCE ON CARELESSNESS? YOU GUYS ARE CRAZY. I READ THIS MORNING THAT A BARBECUE PARTY HERE IN SUMMERTOWN HAS ALREADY BEEN CANCELLED FOR THE WEEKEND GIVEN THE FORECAST - BUT DON'T FOLLOW THAT MODEL FOR YOUR WEDDING..EVEN IF IT RAINS CATS AND DOGS TOMORROW, NEVER FEAR, WE WILL ALL BE EMITTING SUNSHINE.Love from all at 36 Vic, BARBARAJul 12, 08:44
  • davidnabarro on June update: “Great news - am excited about wedding and delighted that you are getting the off-roaad wheelchair to operate. Love DadJun 5, 07:43
  • davidnabarro on Kidney stone operation number two: “Massive warmth love and respect for you from UN top managers that I have met this morning in New York - sending you and Ellen their very best wishes for now and the futureMay 24, 13:55
  • davidnabarro on Kidney stone operation number two: “Great that the body is fighting the bugs ... Glad all is fine nowMay 6, 14:13
  • barbara on Living with care: “Tom I have heard from a Susie-text that the second op went well. I just want to say I have been thinking about you all day and am so relieved! with love to you , both, all, all plus care assistants, BarbaraMay 1, 20:04
  • davidnabarro on Living with care: “Thanks for these thoughts. Full of insights that I can use in my life. Love DadApr 19, 13:59
  • davidnabarro on More details on the Op: “I was delighted that Josie and I were ablee to spend moments with you, Ellen, Raj Susie. John Churcher and other friends after the operation. A great moment for us. I am glad that you were able to fight of the infection. Apr 17, 11:27
  • barbara on Minor OP: “Thinking about you banged up in the Churchill and hoping it's routine - and all successfully over by now! with love, BarbaraApr 11, 21:12
  • barbara on Wedding prep: “Hello Tom! Stag party! That is so exciting - my daughters funked the public jubilation and only allowed 18 guests to one wedding and 30 to the other. Since even organising these events felt pretty complicated, I can't imagine all the planning going into this.. I hope Ellen is doing just a little bit of the work! Way back in 1988 I bought two cases of Chateau Pujeaux to wait for Kaveri and Eli's weddings - and they were in their most mysterious prime for the events. It was my only investment of this sort. I should have got an early Damien Hirst but I missed the trick. For the in-laws in Pakistan everyone was drinking fruit juice for the photos! I have been wasting time with the follow-up to a short essay here http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/colin-leys-barbara-harriss-white/commodification-essence-of-our-time Unlike the website title, it's confined to about 6 people.. How will you activate the url through voice operated software? I am intrigued. love to you and Ellen - have a great easter weekend, BarbaraApr 6, 20:56
  • barbara on Mentoring: “Dear Tom, Please see earlier comments on your very moderately worded letter about disability benefits. Glad to see all you are about and the photos which colour your life. Yes weddings are chores, just as marriage is about property. Neither of these things are at all apparent at the time you make these enormous and wonderful decisions about joyful celebrations and a lifetime of love! I am in Chennai trying hard not to melt and managing the chores of a research project I have wanted to do for years - it's about seeing the economy as a material system - we can only tackle a tiny bit and that too as a pilot. It throws up zillions of questions we can only ask but not answer. I wish were young - as I did when we discovered that the way untouchables and tribal people are incorporated into the Indian economy as owners of businesses makes strong REGIONAL patterns - and when I found that religion still matters in the Indian economy. All of these topics need lifetimes of research - so it is heartening when younger people take them on which is what I hope will happen with the project of materiality. If countries like ours and India don't kick-start themselves on a transition towards low carbon economies very soon, we are fried. In Chennai in March, people are already suffering May weather (just under 40 degrees - by day and around 30 or above as nighttime averages). It is intolerable without electricity and coal fired electricity makes it worse...Anyway on that very happy note I will turn up the fan and start the day! with love, BarbaraMar 18, 04:59
  • barbara on Disability benefits: “GOOD FOR YOU TOM. THIS IS A VERY WELL ARGUED LETTER. THE TROUBLE IS THAT ALONGSIDE MASS PUBLIC AND PROFESSIONAL OUTRAGE - WITH VERY GOOD ARGUMENTS BACKING UP THE FRUSTRATION, THE GOVERNMENT (LORDS ON MONDAY - 19TH) WILL VOTE THROUGH CHANGES THAT WILL DESTROY THE UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES OF THE NHS AS A WHOLE. EVEN IN AMERICA - WITH THEIR BAD HEALTH SYSTEM THAT WE ARE ON TRACK TO COPY- OURS IS RECOGNISED BY HEALTH POLICY EXPERTS AS ONE OF THE TWO BEST IN THE WORLD. WILL DECISION MAKERS READ YOUR LETTER AND LISTEN , REFLECT AND CHANGE PRACTICES FOR DISABLED PEOPLE? WILL THEY LISTEN TO THE MASS PUBLIC VOICE? GLAD YOU HAVE QUALITY ACTIVITIES THAT KEEP YOU BUSY AND HAPPY. I HAVE READ ALL YOUR POSTINGS TO DAT AND A,M REPLYING TO THIS FROM CHENNAI WHERE WE ARE PREPARING OUR FIELD RESEARCH TO EXAMINE THE ECONOMY AS A MATERIAL SYSTEM. (WELL ONE TINY PART OF IT FOR STARTERS) WITH LOVE TO YOU , ELLEN AND FAMILY, BARBARA AND COMar 18, 04:48
  • marie on Rationale for laptop integration into car: “Hello again, Apparently the link to the BBC News website has been refused (?) Sorry about this. Will try again. marie Jan 20, 17:59
  • marie on Rationale for laptop integration into car: “Hello Tom, marie saw this story on the BBC News website and thought you should see it. ** In pictures: Hawking exhibition at Science Museum ** Working papers, rare photographs and a zero-gravity flight suit are among the items on show at a new exhibition celebrating the life and work of Professor Stephen Hawking. Hope all is well (?) MarieJan 20, 17:46
  • Pat on Monza Baby: F1 Grand Prix 2011: “Your Monza trip brought back memories for me, as I went to the Grand Prix at Monza more than 50 years ago with my father. He was a solicitor and an enthusiast for most sports, and Stirling Moss was one of his clients, which gave him an entree to the world of motor racing. Our family went on holiday to Italy that year (Finale Ligure) which was a change from our usual holidays in Westgate! And as my mother didn't enjoy motor racing my father drove me the long distance to Monza. Mostly I remember the headache-inducing noise, the cars zooming around the track buzzing like monster bluebottles. In those days serious accidents were quite common, and the thought that someone might be killed was never far from one's mind. So I didn't develop a love of the sport, but I do follow the F1 championship so I can imagine that it must have been exciting to meet Jensen Button. I've loved reading about your various summer exploits and travels. My good wishes as always PatSep 17, 21:05
  • Pat on Michael’s funeral: “Tom - what a beautiful tribute to your grandfather. It has always given me a warm feeling to read about the connection between you two over the last 4 years: the chess games, the conversations, and the shared music. I can imagine how much you will miss Michael's presence. My thoughts and sympathies are with you, Warmest wishes, PatAug 17, 17:38
  • marie on Michael Graham-Jones: “My thoughts are with you Tom and all the family. La mort n'est rien La mort n'est rien, je suis seulement passé, dans la pièce à côté. Je suis moi. Vous êtes vous. Ce que j'étais pour vous, je le suis toujours. Donnez-moi le nom que vous m'avez toujours donné, parlez-moi comme vous l'avez toujours fait. N'employez pas un ton différent, ne prenez pas un air solennel ou triste. Continuez à rire de ce qui nous faisait rire ensemble. Priez, souriez, pensez à moi, priez pour moi. Que mon nom soit prononcé à la maison comme il l'a toujours été, sans emphase d'aucune sorte, sans une trace d'ombre. La vie signifie tout ce qu'elle a toujours été. Le fil n'est pas coupé. Pourquoi serais-je hors de vos pensées, simplement parce que je suis hors de votre vue ? Je ne suis pas loin, juste de l'autre côté du chemin. Canon Henry Scott-Holland (1847-1918), traduction d'un extrait de "The King of Terrors", sermon sur la mort 1910 Quelquefois attribué à Charles Péguy, d'après un texte de Saint Augustin Death is nothing at all Death is nothing at all, I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me In the easy way that you always used. Put no difference in your tone, Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed At the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me Let my name be ever the household word That it always was. Let it be spoken without effect, Without the trace of shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind Because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, Somewhere very near, Just around the corner. All is well. Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918) What is Dying? A ship sails and I stand Watching till she fades on the horizon And someone at my side says, She is gone. Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large as when I saw her. The diminished size and total loss of sight Is in me, not in her, And just at the moment When someone at my side says She is gone There are others, who are watching her coming, And other voices take up a glad shout There she comes! And that is dying Bishop Charles Henry Brent (1862-1929)Aug 3, 11:40
  • Rach on Michael Graham-Jones: “My thoughts are with you Tom. Please give my love to your mum and the rest of your family. RachaelJul 31, 20:21
  • santoshbph on TV and radio clips: “Dear Tom, Life is full of challenges and time is not always our side. I wish it would never had happened but We have to rise against the current circumstances. We can overcome challenges having determination and strong bill power. May be it bad time but will over soon. I wish you a speedy recovery and emerge a strong person. Hope, you will enjoy the things as before sooner than later. Best, SantoshJun 25, 06:10
  • barbara on Summer plans: “Sorry about your chest Tom. I remember Gordon landed up in hospital once or twice after not coping very well with chest infections and coughing - able bodied people (Gordon called them 'fit' - gut there was never a really good word) never think twice about it - it's a reflex! - so you are lucky to be over it with your trusty PAs. But I thought about all the travelling you'll be set to do this summer as I went from Fribourg to Geneva via Lausanne by train on friday (had done the outward journey by car at night). The lake and the mountains were shimmering and the vineyards were lush - no other word for them! Not long now for you! BarbaraJun 12, 16:47
  • barbara on Carer of the year: “Tom - are you busy and okay? I just went up and along the top of Cader Idris as my 80th birthday present for a friend. The weather, which is normally weeping, blowing and sending the clouds down low, did something different and was completely glorious. I think of the route up as: thrush - warbler - lark - raven. Few people around and grand views of Snowdonia to the north and east, mid Wales and Cardigan Bay to the south and Anglesey to the north west. Exhilarated on the top, we strode out through the blueberries with great crags on either side - later in the afternoon we both hobbled painfully back to the car, being made by our knees to feel our respective ages! But the next day followed a route along the track of a mine railway high above a precipice in the next valley to a beautiful lake where other elderly people were fishing - buzzard - curlew - jay - lark. We returned to Oxford via ( a big via) Portmeirion which I only knew of as source of jolly flowered crockery and bizarre photoraphs. It is an amazing place - built to restore beauty to an estuary site of a castle once belonging to the king of north Wales and destroyed in the 19th century in order NOT to attract tourists to the spot! Either you love it or hate it. I thought it was kitsch but anyway I've now seen it and the tourists coming to the spot in hordes. Back to the dissertations: reality with a hard bump. I hope you Ellen and all the family are flourishing. Kaveri is returning from Pakistan this week. We are all counting down to that. with love, BarbaraJun 5, 14:21
  • barbara on Carer of the year: “GOOD FOR LAUREN AND GOOD FOR YOU! NOW WHAT WOULD SHE WRITE IF SHE NOMINATED YOU YOU AS 'CARED-FOR' OF THE YEAR? NOT THAT FOR SURE! love to you all, Barbara Deep in dissertation drafts for the final time!May 25, 23:42
  • simonrawlence on Carer of the year: “Tom I have not posted for a while but just to say that continuing this site is great for all your friends and admirers. We may not comment regularly but we are out here. Pleased for Laurent and your appreciation of her skills. I am over in late June and July, sadly will miss those Exuberant events now listed. lots of love from myself and KaterinaMay 24, 18:39
  • barbara on Spring update: “HAPPY EASTER TOM, ELLEN AND FAMILY! Sorry to miss the Pavillion concert but this year is a hectic one - my last in full harness - and involves a lot of travel. I've just returned from Indonesia. I don't suppose you have a reason to want to visit Jakarta - a skyscraperscape built in the last 30 years but it is a place where your new wheel chair would trundle along faster than the traffic which averages one mile per hour most of the day and night. Some of us got out of the city to see the Buddhist temple of Borobudur and the Hindu site at Prambanan. Both of them are very beautiful and exciting places (google them!) and, despite the fact that they link worlds, they seem to be ignored by people in S Asia itself. You know enough about electronics to tell me why my camera went into visual paroxysms in an electric storm, and took photos of electricity rather than the view, then refused to take any photos at all. These dayas we just rely on the fact that we can record our doings for family and friends..But once back home, I tested it before taking it to be repaired only to find it was working perfectly well... So tomorrow it will be out and about in the western edge of the Cotswolds which is my walking project for this year. Over and above the meeting which was the official reason for the visit, I also saw a batik workshop ( a real elaborate craft that has survived mass production) and a sultan's palace - by chance meeting the elder step-brother of the sultan - who isn't sultan because his mother had a daughter before a string of sons which made all her sons ineligible. Avoiding such penalties is a good reason for taking several wives if you are a sultan - and there are 12 left in Indonesia! Well that's it for now. Enjoy your Bank Holiday and soak up this wonderful weather and the luxury of the green countryside. with love from us all - Kaveri and Ayaz in Islamabad, Eli and Ali on Osney Island and me in Summertown! BarbaraApr 24, 15:01
  • Pat on inspiration: “Would this be a way for you to make music too? I don't know whether you were ever part of a band - if not, you should have been! And maybe this could work again? Lovely to hear of all your exploits - I hope you have a wonderful time in Scotland. All the best PatApr 14, 13:52
  • drix on engaged: “Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn, putain d'bordel de merde c'est du bon !!!! ...pardon my french, I don't know how to say that in english. I would just say funky congratulations funky bastard. Drix, the old friend lost in a spacio temporal hole.Apr 3, 12:57
  • felixgj on inspiration: “Great story - God bless you, Tom, for keeping your eyes out for new perspectives and differing approaches to the issue of "ability". Drake Music, Charlotte White's resource for developing her capacity to make music, sounds an interesting entity - website is :- http://www.drakemusic.org/ xxxFMar 31, 16:55
  • marie on inspiration: “Second try as my message didn't take the second link which is the same as yours (?) Mar 26, 08:49
  • marie on inspiration: “Dear Tom, Thanks for all your news updates. The last link didn't show up in blue so hope this works.... BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Charlotte White's Musical Fight Sunday 27th March 2011 at 13:30 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00zt6v0 ** Student moves head to make music ** A devastating accident left Charlotte White struggling with severe disability and lack of motivation until she found the right type of music therapy. Prelude to Bach's cello suite by Charlotte White. Je t'embrasse, marieMar 26, 08:44
  • Pat on Boma 7 off road wheelchair funding: “Dear Tom I just caught up with your Radio Oxford interview - what a star you are! You handled all those impossible questions with such patience and wisdom. It's exciting news that the off road wheelchair is taking shape and good that Regain are contributing. It seems exactly the sort of thing they are there to support. I hope it'll be ready soon for you to use in the summer. Keep on enjoying all the sports watching and music and socialising and travel! You haven't mentioned work recently but I hope that's going well and you're feeling much more confident about what you can contribute. Warm wishes to you and Ellen PatMar 18, 16:45
  • imogen on Toby’s play and fixed links: “Hi Tom, this play looks amazing- I haven't seen it yet, but will definitely get there. Susie is going tonight I believe, perhaps she'll post a review somewhere. Otherwise, congratulations to you and Ellen, big hugs.Mar 2, 16:14
  • barbara on Toby’s play and fixed links: “Hello Tom! Star of stage and screen - it makes all your friends feel very special to see you on local TV news! Congratulations again! In your blog, you mentioned going to Chatham House a while ago to hear your dad speak on food security. I crossed his path again in New Delhi at a massive jamboree called 'leveraging agriculture for nutrition and health'. It was held in a 5* hotel and involved over a thousand people. The food was out of this world, but the luxury sat ill with the subject. I needed to go to it not just because I am interested (I helped to write a textbook when your dad and I were teaching at the LSHTM in the early 80s) but also because I needed a visa!! I needed a visa because I couldn't get a regular one to enter India within 60 days of leaving. New rule. And I wanted to enter India to go to my own conference. And I knew the passport agency would not give me that! Do you know, there didn't seem to be evidence that people who can get hold of diets with enough calories actually suffer much by way of vitamin or minerals deficiencies - perhaps except for women with iron? In other words the difference between under-nutrition and mal-nutrition kept being blurred. That gave the big companies like Nestle and Pepsico wide space to argue for supplements and fortified drinks - and it enabled other aid financiers / development agencies to argue for GM or regular plant breeding for bio-fortification. I left very confused. If the problem really is that people who are undernourished are malnourished, then the solution is more income to buy better diets isn't it? So that people aren't undernourished. And for governments to ensure that markets have fruit, veg, eggs, milk, meat etc to provide all the extras that make us healthy. No need for baby food, specially fortified health drinks etc etc.. People called for evidence based research but no-one at the conference could tell me what the evidence base for the line at the conference actually was. In India 45% children are undernourished. While it was reduced to a problem of agriculture and of poverty, when you look at the evidence for India it goes right up the distribution of income!! In other words to explain this you may use poverty for the poor. But for the rich you have to explain it by other ways. No-one tried to do that. The experience left me wishing I were 40 years younger and had a life of work ahead. It was really good to have a few minutes with David! Now I hope you and I don't have to be so far from home to be able to meet! Good luck with the fund raising. Now read this! http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n05/andrew-ohagan/diary with a hug, BarbaraFeb 26, 22:21
  • barbara on New Year: “Hi Tom! Happy new year to you and yours. I hope new year challenges include planning when to be married, maybe on April 29th? Have been reading / watching the recent posts on your website, which go up and down and keeping fingers crossed that even if you are not down-free, the downs will be brief in 2011. The possibilities of technology to help people with disabilities are impressive now compared even to the 1990s but even so, much of the world continues as though disabled citizens do not exist or if they do are like non-disabled people, neither of which is true. Well I am now writing blind because I can't raise this comment box to where I can actually see it! So just to say here we had a separated Christmas, Kaveri with Ayaz in very exciting Pakistan, EliAli in Oxford in their new/old home on Osney Island and me taking a fortnight off to walk swim and shade-bathe in an uninhabited part of Goa a(sublime) and then see the new year in by walking Belfast (cor blimey and very very interesting). love from me, BarbaraJan 19, 08:33
  • ryan hoggart on the onset of winter: “hi tom just found you on this site hope you are doing well buddy, am i reading right that your liking the mighty spurs i'm sure i converted you when we watched that game when we sneaked off to the cricket club while at stoke mandeville ! hope your doing well and congrats on the engagement as soon as my leg is better i will let you take me out in your manor lol ! glad to read your doing so well tom you are truly the most inspirational guy i have ever met and am honoured to have met you during are time at stoke mandeville i miss the laughs and the trouble you got me in must keep in touch xDec 8, 07:51
  • barbara on engaged: “You were both looking so radiant and well this afternoon - it is very special news! Joy, congratulations and love from Barbara, Kaveri and Ayaz, Elinor and Alistair, Nelson Mandela the cat and Lazarus the fish...Oct 10, 22:04
  • marie on engaged: “Dear Tom and Ellen, Fantastic news! May I wish you my heartiest congratulations! Je vous embrasse de tout coeur. marieOct 7, 18:11
  • barbara on Interview transcription: “Dear Tom, It's a while since I looked at your website. I logged on tonight and found this. It is an amazing and beautiful interview. When I first saw you in Stoke Mandeville I was quite overwhelmed by how limp and long and thin you were. You looked like one of those paintings of the deposition from the cross. I could not imagine what you have described here - the pain of the loss, the days and weeks looking at very little without going crazy and the slow process of regaining subconscious control over the simple act of breathing. Thank you so much for posting it. I hope to see you next weekend -Oct 10th, if you are not in Italy. We have all just returned from Pakistan where Kaveri was married. The village her husband comes from was the only one in their district not to have been flooded. It was protected from the Indus by the strong bunds of a canal. If you use Facebook and go to Kaveri Qureshi you will see links to photos which bring the ceremonies alive. If you think you might be interested I'll happily bring a CD of the wedding and also of Taxila - a centre of learning from the 6th century BC to the 5th AD in what is now North West Frontier Province, which has a stunning museum not just of Buddhas through the ages but of everyday utensils and material culture from 2000 years ago. We watched the sun set from the top of a craggy hill. I hadn't been to Pakistan since driving there in 1969 on the way to India! It is a fascinating country which gets nothing but bad press. Okay you probably won't read this anyway since there are other posts after it but I wanted you to know that it is a very special account. Thanks and love to you all, BarbaraOct 4, 23:28
  • davidnabarro on Paleo part three: “Dear Tom, Ellen and Raj, Rachel and Jess, Polly and Oliver, Colin and Gregg Thank you all so much for coming to Paleo and then for the great tiume we had in Malans and Bad Ragaz. It was far too short. Love DavidAug 11, 12:38
  • Pat on June and the onset of summer: “Dear Tom I haven't been in touch for ages but am still here, appreciating all your posts and thinking about you often. I hope, when I finally stop work (I thought I had retired ages ago but it didn't quite turn out that way!) to see you again. Life has been quite complicated and busy and I'm spending a lot of time being a hands-on grandparent and exhausting myself! I was interested and very moved by your interview and wondered who it was with, whether it was for publication, and what has happened to it. Your poem too made a big impression on me. I'm proud to have such a cousin - even though a distant one. I hope the festival this year is as good as ever and that you have a great time. Congratulations to Ellen on her elephant and on her stream of jobs and to you too on all the positive developments in your work. With love PatJul 1, 11:13
  • marie on post-Easter Update: “Unable to Logout (?) Please help. marieApr 24, 08:02
  • marie on post-Easter Update: “Sunday 25 April - London Marathon 2010 Looks as if it's going to be a very HOT day. Good luck to your friends Tom - Rajiv Bose and Gary Thornton. Take care of yourselves. Je vous embrasse. marieApr 24, 06:47
  • barbara on March update: “Dear Tom, Happy Easter - though the weather isn't the lovely combination of cool brightness which casts such interesting shadows on the trees before the buds and leaves burst out. It is cold and wet. May I come and visit sometime soon? I was worried to read that you fell out and hurt your head. That must have been frightening to everyone concerned not the least yourself. I hope that it didn't disturb the metal work in your neck and that you are getting better. I guess that being a PA requires changes of scenes to keep the job on the go but it is sad and difficult for you to change everyone at once. I hope the process of recruitment introduces you to a new set of feisty people. I guess that if only people did not have to be well and specially trained there would be a constant stream of young people from abroad interested in this experience of the UK through your eyes. I am just back from Chennai and Bangalore. In Chennai I was part of a project researching growing old in slums and made a presentation on the link between Wall Street's oligopoly and the Chennai slums. It was extremely hot and humid and despite being in an IIT my mobile and laptop didn't connect! In Bangalore I was with three sets of friends I made in 1973. One set have retired from a life abroad in an early Indian multinational and are devoting themselves to disabled people. I saw two campuses - one which had a good school for children and a training centre for adults and the second which was a lush and peaceful horticultural farm with very beautiful modern brick and tile buildings. Everyone I met had that positive attitude you describe. I met a wonderful person called Hema who had polio as an adolescent and has been in a wheel chair for over 50 years whose brainchild the farm is. She is currently campaigning against procrastination and corruption in the bureaucracy which mean that even if you have painfully raised the funds for something good for lots of disabled people, you cannot realise your dream. Our news is that Elinor and Alistair are going to move to a little terrace house on Osney Island after that horrible winter being iced up in their narrow boat on the Oxford canal without clean water for weeks at a time. And Kaveri yesterday got permission from the UK Home Office to marry Ayaz who of course is regarded as an alien since he comes from Pakistan. The registration will be in late April and the real wedding over there in late summer. Lots of love to all your family from us all, BarbaraApr 2, 11:32
  • simonrawlence on March update: “Tom Catching up with your news today. a great variety of posts ranging from the poetic " that is the question " to the ski slope activites and now news of people changes. In all I hear your self reflection and then absorption and moving on. I had a great month in Laos and re touched my Buddhist base. I tried to send you a card. Here Spring arrived on its official date March 21 and a week later the ice on the Lake has melted and the garden is snow free and crocusi blooming. I hope by now Ellen is back with you and refreshed . Love to her and Mandy and of course yourself. SimonMar 30, 13:27
  • Rach on March update: “Hey Tom, I had a dream about you last night... nothing weird, but it made me realise how much I miss you and Ellen. Good luck with finding some great new PAs. I wish I could come back for a little while. I did try at the beginning of the year, but Active wouldn't sponsor my work permit as they thought that I didn't have enough qualifications to qualify for one. I put off starting my nursing degree until next year so this year I'm working to save money for travel and the wedding and I'll decide about being a student again later. Luv ya, Rach xxMar 20, 20:20
  • Pat on March update: “Hi Tom I just checked up on your doings and was glad to see some more news - but not so happy to know that you’d injured yourself falling out of the wheelchair. I’m really sorry about that and hope you’re feeling OK now, and that it didn’t mess up your work schedule too badly. I hope you’ve got some treats lined up while Ellen is away - I can imagine how much you’ll miss her and be thinking about what she’s doing. Among my almost entirely classical collection of CDs, I have the Buena Vista Social Club album and it is so joyful. With love PatMar 14, 16:49
  • Mary Black on Sweden reflections: “Hi - the swedish adventure looks pretty amazing. We are just trying now to set up a disabled rowing centre in Serbia. Very much at the early stages, and in this country people with disabilities are expected to be receiving minimal social benefits, getting sheltered employment making napkin rings and turn up for conferences to thank the Rotary club. So this entire idea of sports for people of all abilities is totally new. We have a veeerrryyy long way to go. Best of luck MaryMar 3, 17:31
  • Jaime707 on …, that is the question: “Seriously beautiful love you Tom xxxFeb 28, 16:21
  • Jaime707 on …, that is the question: “poetry when did you pick that up? 🙂 xxxFeb 28, 16:20
  • barbara on Sweden reflections: “Hey! That looks terrifically exciting, and remember that as an intrepid snowboarder you pushed this medium to its limits! Are you watching the Vancouver Olympics? News here is that Kaveri and Ayaz will be married just as soon as the Home Office proves that they are 'genuine'. Nasty intrusive process. I've been working for a fortnight in Tuscany in a little house with lots of real caves bolted against a gorge. Very distracted by the Mediterranean oak trees on the opposite side of the valley swaying in the breeze. Got a lot of work shifted despite them and felt very rested. The sledging doesn't look very restful but I hope you returned with batteries fully charged. love from Barbara and co.Feb 18, 23:17
  • davidnabarro on Sweden Journal #2: “Dear Tom Thanks so much for the words and the excellent pictures. It is great to see what's involved and to read your vivid descriptions. With much love from DavidJan 23, 00:03
  • biglittlebrother on Sensation: “'The sound of the pebble will not necessarily relate the location of its impact or the effect on the environment of the impact, but the event of the impact will still be related through a type of sensation.' I have a sensation. My head hurts.Nov 6, 14:11
  • marie on Charlotte’s letter (3/3 posts today): “Please help as I am unable to logout .Nov 1, 07:47
  • marie on Charlotte’s letter (3/3 posts today): “Hello Tom, The reply system to your site is now back in order. Thanks for the three postings but what has happened overnight to Charlotte's beautiful letter which looks as if it has been slightly sabotaged! OK it was Halloween..... You are indeed a prolific writer and have a great talent in writing - keep it up. Je t'embrasse marieNov 1, 07:42
  • barbara on September update: “Hi Tom, Your comments on not devoting your entire life to tiny uncertain physical improvements when you can live a life as it is struck a chord. I remember when quite a lot of pressure was put on Gordon to accept a 3-days-a-week attempt to get him to a) stand and b) walk all dressed up in a fancy external skeleton. He thought about it for a while and then said he'd rather spend the time teaching and researching - from his wheelchair. I think you'd have been on his wave length all right. He also traded off risks and 'extreme events' against boredom; and sometimes did very silly things just for the hell of it. In the end his mantras were 'seize the day' and 'don't let the bastards grind you down' - and they tried much harder than you sound as though they are trying on you! Long may it last! Had reason to think about all this this weekend as we went to sunny Eastbourne, which is where Gordon's PA Julie lives. She is as much a larger than life character as he was. A lovely punk feminist - in her late 50s now! Eastbourne was the happening place to be in late Victorian times and the Duke of Devonshire let a sprawl of grand mansions be built which have stood the test of time. I never imagined I'd enjoy walking the suburbs of eastbourne - but I did. Julie adored Gordon and it is always a shock to see so many pics and photos of him in action - playing with his band, pantomiming, entertaining the students (I guess he taught them something too) and often with glass in hand. You have so many friends, I guess that you can ask each of them for a LITTLE drink at an event like your dad's swinging 60th party, and end up quaffing a huge amount! We walked up the hill towards Beachy Head yesterday in a fine dusk and down to the beach and pier with an angry sea and seagulls with lots of attitude today. So you might go skiing again? That is wonderful and amazing! Fingers crossed for the Hawkingsmobile meanwhile. love from us all, BarbaraOct 11, 22:06
  • Tom on September update: “thanks LevinaOct 5, 12:11
  • Levina on September update: “Hey Tom - hope you're all fine after the BIG party. I always read your posts with interest and am always humbled at what comes out whenever you write… this time what you said stemming from what someone asked and in part of your reply: "This is a personal decision that everyone makes and I’ve decided that my time is too precious to spend on tasks with no guaranteed return on investment. I have become a little more selfish and definitely more driven since my accident probably because I understand how valuable and short my time is." I understand fully what you're saying, I don't think it's selfishness but rather a choice as you say and feel. This stems from your strength, conviction, courageousness, dominance, strong will, ambition, positivity, independence, self-confidence and damn there is no such a word as doubt in your vocabulary, and they are self-controlled. Born leader, either in support of, or in revolt against, the status quo. You're doing fine you know - because not many people can boast the freedom in which you've lived your life and continue to live up till now… I say you're doing fine… keep well and always be you - please! Loads of love and hugs to you and yours… say hi to the "team" from me and I'm sorry I couldn't party with you all recently!! LevinaSep 22, 20:48
  • katrina07 on the wedding in France: “Hi Tom, Tim's Mum, Katrina, here. I've had a brief look at your site and there is so much of interest to read. We are stil reminiscing about the Wedding in France and how wonderful it all was. Your blog about it was lovely. As I said to you whilst you were there, all that you have been through and all that you have achieved and still aim to do make you an inspiration to the rest of us. It was wonderful to meet you and to talk with you. What Timbo says is true that your carers Vicci and Jamie were awesome too, and really made it easy for all of us to enjoy your company. At school today I was toalking to my new class about the brain - as part of their 'Learn to Learn week'. The children are Yr3/4 - so about 7 to 8 yrs. Thankfully they know less than me about anything anatomical, so I was able to sound like quite an expert!!!!Ha ha. Anyway I decided to tell them your story to emphasise how vital the brain is to our existence etc. They were totally blown away by all the things which you have been through and all the things which you do, and as children do - had loads of questions to ask about how you felt and manage etc. I think it really helped them to realise just how important their minds/brains are. So there you are - inspiration again! Anyway, I'll keep looking at your site to see how things are progressing. Sorry not to have met Ellen, but love to you both. Bye for now, KatrinaSep 8, 20:57
  • biglittlebrother on an amusing voice recognition transcription: “It was rather difficult to explain the issue to peteSep 5, 22:27
  • Pat on merrily we roll along: “I've enjoyed hearing about your frenetic summer of travel and music - thanks for all your interesting blogs, and belated thanks to Raj as well for his description of your hair-raising journey to Switzerland. It must be hard to get back to work, but maybe satisfying as well. I've been doing some work in Cape Town where I stayed with my friends Peter and Sue Folb. Peter has done a lot of work for the WHO and is another admirer of your dad. How great that you are hosting his 60th birthday celebrations. Warm wishes to you and Ellen, and I hope to see you again before too long, PatAug 28, 15:19
  • tim.bland on the wedding in France: “Hi Tombo, Timbo here. Thanks for this write up, really interesting to read your view on things. Thanks for the pics, I'll add them to my site when it goes live (should be 2 days or less), i'll let you know anyway. Was really great to have you at the wedding, although you took a little bit too much attention away from me and Debs :-p just kidding. Vicki and Jaime were awesome, was great to have them at the wedding. Thanks for the secret deposit you left outside my room when you left, very generous - if not unnecessary. The only downside was that Ellen could not make it, this was a real shame. We'll have to have a reunion as Jess said, just so that Ellen can come 🙂 Chat soon, ciao for now.Aug 24, 11:32
  • jess_bland on the wedding in France: “Hi Tom! Great write up of France and love the pics, nice to see someone else appreciated the HUGE Nutella jar too :o)) It was great meeting yourself and Vicci and Jamie and sharing chats with you guys. I think you have given Tim (my fiancee Tim not my brother Tim lol) a bit of a complex though about his hawain style shirt he had on lol. I am not sure he will ever be able to wear it again without thinking about you lol! Glad to hear you had a good trip home and made it to the Pearl Jam concert. We are all mega depressed to be home but as everyone keeps pointing out, it shows what a great time we all had! It would be fab to meet up with you again, i think Tim and Debs need to organise a reunion party :o) Take care and bye for now, Jess xAug 24, 10:15
  • marie on the wedding in France: “Thanks Tom for sharing your news and delighted as always to see new photos. Everything is so beautiful. The photo of the back of the wedding gown is exquisite and worthy of a prize. Looks and sounds as if your two ladies-in-waiting Vicci and Jamie are just perfect. Take care. MarieAug 20, 08:05
  • Levina on an amusing voice recognition transcription: “LOLOL funny... hope you're all doing well!! Miss that down to earth feeling I had with you all... Keep well Tom - you're doing good.. just trying to get my lazy backside in gear to do at least a 10th of what YOU do... bless. loads of love and hugs to the whole "team" and keep the fun and that love going. .it suits you all. Hope to see you all again! xxxxxxLevinaAug 20, 00:09
  • Levina on Friday: “Wow thanks for the update Tom: you guys are really having a brilliant time!! so much energy! love all the pics thanks for sharing and continue to enjoy yourselves. Miss you all already LOL! hugs and love from LevinaJul 25, 22:13
  • simonrawlence on Raj’s account of the outward journey: “Raj you made me smile thanks. enjoy the break all of you Tom, Ellen, Jaime and Vicci SimonJul 22, 12:03
  • Levina on leading up to paleo 09: “Hey Tom - I know what you mean about "surreal" I felt it too - fact is, at the end of the day it was so simple and beautiful and I am thankful that we got to meet you, Ellen and friends - at last! I am truly grateful for this because it was so different from a "normal" working week. I was impressed by the renovations your dad and Gillian made, so cool there.. I hope you're sleeping well in this heat!! Thanks for everything and being there for us... as I said to Jaime and Vicci - "We'll ramp it out" (my house) - I have to win the lottery in the meantime...... Yes your dad is a special person indeed. I honestly wish there were more people like him.... Keep well now and I hope to see you again!!!! hugs and love to all of you, LevinaJul 21, 22:58
  • Levina on Raj’s account of the outward journey: “Hey! The password was right - at last!!! I managed to log in LOL. As soon as I read this post, I knew Raj was the genius behind the pen! Hilarious, yet one is caught up with the movement of the journey.. a loooonnng journey from the UK to Switzerland by car was turned into an adventure - I can just imagine, with this group - that this would have happened and the beautiful calm of Ellen settling like a cloud over the "madness"… you have to meet them to believe it - all fireballs of energy and such a great, clean, open, honest love shining out from each and every one of them. It was really lovely meeting everyone and my ex supervisor David! As long as I know David, gathering at his and Gillian's home with the family has always been like this… No matter how much good work David Nabarro does for the world, to the world he's the UN System Senior Coordinator for Avian and Human Influenza (this includes all those nasty new flu viruses that affect us today like Influenza A etc.), to me he's just David - a man with a big heart who has my respect, spare moments he has to organise gatherings like this last one to touch base with loads of people they never get to see in months because of work of course... I am deeply grateful for David who never changes, no matter what important position he holds. A highly influential individual who, due to his personal charisma, intelligence and wisdom remains simple - not many people are like this today..I am truly grateful in knowing them all. I am really glad I had a chance to work with David - geez how the guy made me run - thank goodness I found out he's a "bullet point" person very fast - right up my road as this is the only way I function and the only way I survived LOL - it was a great experience - it really was.... Anyhow, yesterday (Monday 21 July), meeting Tom, Ellen and their friends was especially heart-warming in that I was finally meeting all those people I had seen on the website in person - and boy was that a brilliant experience… what is great is that the "carers" are friends and more or less the same age as Tom so they all get on so very well - they're constantly having a good time!! I told Tom they go out more than I do!! I had a great time and experienced a lot of good emotion with all those around me. Speaking with Tom, I find him as a fellow "Leo" - his birthday only days after mine - comfortable! I would have loved to speak more with him and friends - I'm sure we'd have a blast. Thank you so much to David and Gillian for inviting me to meet all these wonderful people. I truly enjoyed myself and I really hope to see them again in the future!! I wish all the best because you truly deserve it honestly. loads of love and hugs. LevinaJul 21, 22:43
  • Rach on Raj’s account of the outward journey: “Oh Raj, I miss you! I am so jealous that I'm not in Switzerland with you guys. I love that you have this blog so that I can hear all your stories. Luv you all and miss you heaps! Rach xxJul 21, 19:56
  • marie on Long overdue update…: “My dear Tom, I feel quite embarrassed but nonetheless my "ranting" was rewarded with a wonderful long news update and I thank you kindly. Have a great barbecue. Sincerely MarieJun 13, 06:29
  • simonrawlence on Spring developments: “tom I havent visited the site for a while, so very pleased to catch up with yours and Ellens full lives. glad about the job and the future prospects. thank you for explaining the intricacies of state of the art wheel chair navigation. maybe the spontaneity of life is something that happens in youth, your thoughts on this found an echo in me. hope the barbeque was fun. nice words keep them coming SimonJun 3, 09:24
  • biglittlebrother on Spring developments: “New chair looks awesome & great to hear about the positive work review. Back on the 28th - see you then. OMay 11, 01:28
  • biglittlebrother on : “Tomcrow, Really nice photos of Scotland. Very clear skies - Australia is coming into Winter now so not as nice here, believe it or not. Awesome that you enjoyed yourself up north. Great to see that John Stewart's eyebrows have grown back after the bonfire explosion over Christmas. he he he... that was awesome. Have you thought about trying to get to the 'Big Chill' festival over the summer? Paleo will be large. OApr 21, 05:11
  • Levina on double bed and folk music: “Dear Tom and Ellen, Just popping in to say hello and to congratulate you both on the incredible steps you've taken to date - one way - forward! Thank you for keeping this website alive. I've been lazy in keeping up but have also been ill. Thankfully being in the hands of good professionals I'm still here LOL! I will never take my health for granted again. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous - different situations show so much happiness there - keep it up. Your bed is lovely - I'm glad you managed to get it! I haven't seen your dad yet, although I know he's moved to Geneva - saw him once last year just before I became ill - he must be extremely busy as usual - also he's at the Palais I think - I'll ask Marianne how everything is when she comes to take her box which I've been "guarding" for her. The only link we have right now with David. We still miss him much and speak a lot about him. He left a great, huge positive mark on our lives. I hope to see him at the World Health Assembly in May I hope! Loads of hugs and love to you both and I wish you everything of the best to a happy future! xxxxxxxLevinaApr 15, 19:06
  • Pat on double bed and folk music: “Lovely news, but why didn't you tell me that work was going extremely well, with lots of responsibility? (Too modest?!) And who is that lugubrious fellow in (and out of) the box? All my good wishes to you and Ellen PatMar 27, 17:40
  • biglittlebrother on double bed and folk music: “Yesssss! I'm back in the fold. Couldn't remember old password so re-registered. New bed sounds nice. As does new wheelchair. Sounds like your whole setup will be revamped by the time I come back to start my LOA. Agree that iTunes is fairly evil. You'll have to show me how to use this floola lark cos my iPod nano is unused as yet. Podcasts eh? BBC History is the way forward. Did you see LFC vs Real/United/Villa...Hell yeah! 13 goals in 12 days. Just bought Call of Duty World at War for my PS3 - graphics are on another level. Have fun in Scotland over easter chief. O. xMar 24, 02:43
  • marie on thank you: “Dear Tom You look great on the photos. I recognized Oliver, Polly and Raj but as for the other beautiful girls I'm not surprised that they are unnamed! Love and respect MarieFeb 26, 17:44
  • Susan on a little poem…: “Tom, You don't know me. I know your dad, David, from work at WHO. My husband had a brain hemorrhage at age 39 and was quadriplegic as a result (couldn't talk or swallow), so I have some idea of what your family and friends have gone through. Just want you to know that I check your website often, think of you more often, and it has been feeling weird that I can "see" bits of you without your knowing it. So I'm posting this to say that I know there are so many things in your "new" life that others can't understand, that it's often the daily otherwise trivial stuff that gets one down, etc. Keep pushing for the double bed. Ellen will find so many silver linings amidst the horrid dark clouds, but it is so, so, so tough for both of you I'm sure. Your recent poem moved me to tears. SusanFeb 25, 01:08
  • marie on pavilion progress: “Dear Tom Excellent news about your contract being extended - mine is also! Always delighted to see more photos. Really liked the one with The Pavilion, Grandfather Michael's House and Tom and Ellen's place. Your request for a wheelchair in which you can stand up is of vital importance (please see attached article which I have at last scanned and will be sending to Whizz). "Le matin, quatre heures de préparation sont nécessaire, deux avec un kiné, deux pour la toilette et l'habillage. Trente minutes sur un vélo automatique, de la balnéothérapie et une heure debout, pour éviter les escarres, ostéoporose, activer la circulation du sang et le transit intestinal. On est fait pour vivre debout. C'est très cher d'être dépendant, un fauteil coûte 5000 euros, trois auxillaires de vie se relaient vingt-quatre heures sur ving-quatre." Philippe Streiff - Magazine VSD du 2 au 8 mai 2007 (i.e. 17 years after his Formule 1 accident which left him tetraplegique). Yesterday as a birthday treat the family watched My Fair Lady (1964) with the handsome Rex Harrison and the sublime Audrey Hepburn. Seeing all the costumes made me think of Ellen - hope her job hunting is working out (?) Sincerely MarieFeb 1, 07:53
  • Pat on pavilion progress: “Just to say how pleased I am that the work funding has come through and that you now have an interesting project to get stuck into. That's such good news and a huge tribute to you and your carers. Warmest wishes PatJan 28, 12:10
  • taliesin on pavilion progress: “Hello Tom We have a page turner that you're welcome to have if you like? My brother hasn't ever used it, so I'm quite sure he wouldn't mind at all! Please let me know if you would like it. Thanks KarrenJan 25, 19:19
  • davidnabarro on pavilion progress: “Thanks. Tom, for this great update. Paleo tickets have been bought and the Founex adaptation is well underway. Look forward to seeing you in Standlake soon. DavidJan 18, 20:00
  • Pat on : “Dear Tom I'm so glad to know that all is going well and that the pavilion is nearly finished so that you'll soon be celebrating another new stage in your life. Given how busy you are these days you shouldn't feel the need to apologise for less frequent posts. It's great that you still have the energy and time to continue to keep posting at all. I certainly appreciate that. This weekend my family is celebrating what would have been the 100th birthday of my husband's mother. She was a much beloved mother-in-law who contradicted all the stereotypes. She was quite complicated which made life difficult for her, but was extremely loving, generous and appreciative. The following weekend we will be celebrating the naming of our latest grandson, Nathan, who is 4 months old. My mother-in-law's Hebrew name can be used for boys as well as girls and so Nathan has this as his middle name, which makes a beautiful continuation. All my wishes for your good continuation too, Pat Warm wishes PatDec 5, 17:20
  • Tom Ernst on checkup: “You don't just have a strong field, but have already made a HUGE inspirational contribution and you are continuing to do so for all of us that care about you. More than you are aware of, believe me ... Make sure that lots of us can invade for the housewarming ! Tom and the Nyon ClanOct 30, 01:24
  • simonrawlence on checkup: “Tom Really professional job on the extension, patio and pavillion: comes together nicely. Thanks for the blog and feelings about work, I am pleased for you. also previous details of transition and carers. Here I am about to introduce Czech republic to Guy Fawkes by the river, most are unaware of our earlier terrorist attempts. So have a good bonfire, let me know about housewarming in case I am in Uk. SimonOct 26, 19:24
  • Laolu on challenges: “Hey Tom, It's been a while. How's the job going? Wireless security sounds pretty darn cool. I had to briefly read up on network security a few months ago - I didn't get to apply any of it though, it was merely for reference. You must have a pretty mean wireless setup at your place. No worries about the lack of posts - I'm even worse at replying often! Anyway, I hope things are moving along nicely. Take care bro, Lao.Oct 21, 17:33
  • mmck7bt on challenges: “Dear Tom, Fantastic to hear you are in your own home now and adjusting to all that, along with setting out on a new job. Good luck, bon courage and stay well Maggie McKOct 9, 20:35
  • barbara on challenges: “Dear Tom, That means you have started your job. Just getting your mind around the mediated employment relationships with people who are actually CARING for you is so mind boggling complicated that I expect to read that mere work is a piece of piss. How is it anyway?! And meanwhile you have all these architectural and design details to control - of a kind that most of the rest of us either never get to do or only much later on in our lives. And you have the real pleasure of watching the Pavillion rise from the grass. You will know it inside out when you start to work there. I'd love to see what's going on at Standlake and how you are. But the time when I am free is your precious time with Ellen. Let me know if there's a moment one weekend soon when you might welcome visitors. (Not this weekend as I didn't get my flu jab in time.....) At my end of things, the year-long (but actually nearly 4 year long) intensive task of academic public service - the research assessment exercise - an ordeal for everyone concerned - ended on monday. And on monday too I read the draft concluding chapter of the tenth doctoral thesis this year. And the new Indian masters which has been my hobby was also born that day - with a group of extremely motivated and bright students. So at long last it's a new era; and the first thing I want to do is to retrieve some space, leisure and sociability. The first thing to do is to make sure Eli and Ali's wedding (!YES) goes smoothly in November. It's rushing towards us fast! Meanwhile Kaveri is really enjoying her post-doc in Sussex. She will repeat some of the work on migration. health and family life she did earlier with Pakistani Punjabis in E. London with Indian Punjabis but she has yet to work out what British city would be best for that. Meanwhile she is really enjoying living in Brighton again - the first phase being weekends with Gordon in the 1990s - now living there for real. She loves the place. That's our news. love to you, Ellen and the family, respect to your team! BarbaraOct 8, 10:32
  • nataliecooper on challenges: “Hey Tom Was great to hear your progress and that the work on your home thats been undertaken. How is the new job going - have I read that correct that you started yesterday? What are you doing? Anyways all the best from those at Brunel Natalie :O)Oct 7, 21:22
  • Pat on better late than never: “Dear Tom I mainly wanted to send you massive amounts of good luck for the start of your job next week. I know how hard it's been for you to find time to think about the project, but I'm sure that you'll do fine. For one thing it will be much easier to think constructively when you're actually at Roke, meeting people and getting feedback, and bouncing ideas off colleagues. I've been picturing your slightly pink, sandstone-ish, vaguely brown decor. It sounds great! I happen to love pink and shades of brown together. It also sounds as though the builders have made great progress with the pavilion since I saw it. All very exciting. I do hope that you're feeling well and that you'll manage to beat the UTI infections soon. I'm so sorry that you're having to cope with infections still, even though the ones due to the metal plate have been abolished. One last thing - you mention reading a page or two of your Feynman book before you go to bed. How are you reading? Have you got a new gadget for turning pages? (Or is the gadget one of your lovely carers?!) All my good wishes PatOct 2, 10:50
  • marie on better late than never: “Delighted that webmaster Tom is back at work. Really missed the absence of postings on both sides of the blog. Guy Fawkes Day as all the British community know is celebrated in England the 5th of November. I think it's a strange coincidence that ISMA U.K. is having a National Stress Awareness Day to show how unproductive the worry habit can be ( this is for me of course!) Just think of all those bomb fires and fireworks! At work I started giving out their list of " Top ten stress busters". French colleagues including the doctor were quite perplexed with number 8. "What does hugging mean Marie"? In fact I didn't know the French equivalent which is "étreindre qn." Please go to Home page where you will find a delightful stress relief game called Poppit Stress Buster which involves popping balloons which even Marie can do! Please print the Top ten stress busters. Please permit me Tom to give you a big hug. Fusspot MarieSep 28, 06:11
  • Veronica on better late than never: “Hi Tom, Thanks for posting some news after a stretch of busy silence. I take it as a very positive sign that you have been so involved in organizing care, home and job that you did not find time to write. You are taking back more and more control over what's going on in your life, which you should. Maybe you could post some pictures of the annex for your curious readers? Best of luck as you start your new job -- stay healthy and keep us posted! V.Sep 26, 21:48
  • Jesus on better late than never: “Dear Tom, Congratulations to you and Ellen about the new place. We have been following your posts from over a year, although this is my first post. We are sure you'll beat those pending health issues. Do not worry about the time it takes you to get up in the morning, think about how great is to be awake. We are having a baby in January. We'll keep you posted. Let me know how we canshare a picture of us with you. Best, Ana + JesusSep 24, 15:27
  • felixgj on better late than never: “Tom That's great news - finally able to use the extension - maybe even the bedroom by now, if blinds and curtains are in place. Wonderful! I hope Ellen enjoys the choices you guys have made, too, though I guess she's probably off in C'diff a lot at the moment. Good luck indeed as the Roke Park thing comes on - very tough for you and a b---- of a commute, but it'll do wonders for your head to be stretched and exercised by the challenges of work. Hope Suze likes your boffin colleagues - how will you structure that bit - will she always accompany you to work, or will you rotate that job, too? What about the "second able body in the van" thing - are you all now comfortable enough with it to be able to dispense with the second person? I'm sorry we had so little overlap while I was visiting - though at least I got to see you - missed Ol altogether - passing like ships in the night. The other thing was - it was really good to see you being so busy and occupied and the way you are bending the situation to your will. Once the extension and the Pavilion are both up and running, it'll be fun to drop back in and see how it all works out. It's good that the other helpers are working out well, and that you're getting out and about lots. Keep up the battle against the bugs, and do lots of sunbathing. What does that last bit of your second to last paragraph mean? What is a "shower share" and how can we address it? Ah - questions questions - I always have so many, but let me end this note by sending you all of our love and best wishes for the challenging times coming up. xx FelixSep 24, 00:07
  • julian and liz on Home?: “Hi Tom. Its great to hear that you are out of hospital. We also enjoyed very much the pictures from Paleo and were thrilled to hear that you had got there despite all the things you had to deal with beforehand. Enjoyed the pics of the fireworks and all the friends too. You looked ecstatic! We wanted to let you know that we both have got a place in the ballot for The Great North Run and will be donating our sponsorship to the BackUp Trust. I'll be emailing David to let him know too. Hope all goes really well for getting your workspace into shape and independant living generally. I mentioned to David a while back that you might be interested in getting in touch with a friend of one of my London colleagues who is called Dr Ian Bassnet. He is Director of Public Health in Tower Hamlets. He has been quadriplegic since a rugby scrum injury many years ago. He manages his incredibly busy job with a team of carers and is inspirational. I can get his contact details if you feel you might like to get in touch with him. Anyway - we wanted to send our very best wishes and will let you know how we get on in the GNR! Love, Liz (+ Julian)Aug 27, 22:05
  • felixgj on setting up camp: “Yow, that's quite a pile on your plate there, kid. But what's so cool, from this perspective, is that you're dealing with it, fractionating it into manageable and prioritized lists and categories, and lining up the resources you need to create the outcomes you want - and that, my friend, is a grown up getting on with his life and I'm so damn proud of you about that I could just about, errr, bust. Really looking forward to seeing you and all the new developments at the Limes soon. I know Ollie's around for a bit, which will be fun, too, but is Ellen still off busy in Wales? I hope I'll get to see a bit of her, too. See you Monday, I hope. Keep the shiny side up. xxFAug 20, 03:03
  • Tom Ernst on moving out: “Tom, I am SOOOO happy for Ellen and you - what an amazing new step !!! It is wonderful to know that you have moved on from a permanent hospital environment to creating your very own future - please let me know when your new home is ready to receive visitors, we will celebrate with an Indian carry-out and a revenge in chess ... I cannot waitAug 14, 23:22
  • Susanna Graham-Jones on moving out: “Home Sweet Home sounds good and corny... but it is a real joy to know you are out of hospital and buzzing about getting on with your life. Last weekend was a celebration both of your homecoming and your 24th birthday - this weekend we hope Oliver will bring some sunshine with him from Oz , and Polly will be back from Majorca, briefly, before she heads off for Levanto. It won't be long before your house is ready for you - I am only too glad you're there to encourage the builders. They have been working really hard towards the original 14-week target date today, Oliver's birthday - but the rain has been relentless and they are as disappointed as we are . . Coraggio all.. . Love from SusieAug 14, 21:27
  • Pat on paleo 2008: “Just in time to wish you a very happy birthday! I hope this will be a really good year for you, and that the high that you reached on the holiday will stay up there for a good long time. That whole enterprise must have taken a lot of organisation as well as dedication on everyone's part. What a great achievement all round! And I'm glad the music didn't disappoint. I guess you would have mentioned it if you'd already moved....but surely that must be imminent. I hope so. Warmest wishes PatAug 6, 21:24
  • marie on paleo 2008: “I am most impressed with Ellen and Suzi and their overnight driving in France. As the saying goes behind every great guy there is a great girl ! What a strange coincidence that today I should receive my copy of "looking up" in the post and it's your birthday ! Happy Birthday Tom and I hope your in your new flat to celebrate (?) Click onto this site for some beautiful photographs of Versailles: http://www.pbase.com/ericdeparis/versailles_gardens Best wishes MarieAug 6, 10:25
  • katywackett on paleo 2008: “Wow! After a long absence from commenting on your site I have worked out how to log in again 🙂 What a trip! And what a great line up of bands. I am so impressed that you and everyone managed to travel such a long way, marvellous stuff. We just about manage to go abroad, and do a festial with the kids in the uk... but I wouldn't be brave enough to do both at the same time! My Tom is a fan of Vanessa Paradis though, so he will be jealous 😉 Anyway, was really logging in today to say a very big HAPPY BIRTHDAY for tomorrow. Hope you have a fantastic day. Best wishes, Katy xxxAug 5, 19:18
  • Tom Ernst on paleo 2008: “It was wonderful to have you here and have such a great Paléo together, next year is already marked in red in our calendar ... Thanks to Ellen, Suzi and Tendai - you are a GREAT Team !!! By the way: the Founder and Head of Paléo is called Daniel Rosselat, - in September he might become the new syndic (mayor) of Nyon !Aug 3, 23:25
  • barbara on paleo 2008: “How exciting! WELL DONE TO EVERYONE! AND NOW - VERY SOON - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOO! lots of love, Barbara - shortly off to Chapelle Antie, enamelling and Switching Off, Eli/Ali (shortly off to Cropredy by narrow boat) and Kaveri (shortly off to new life in Brighton but not until she has finished holding the fort here in Summertown) PS It sounds a silly question but after that globe trotting did you return to Stoke Mandeville or do you now have a half way home outside the hospital?Aug 3, 23:03
  • mmck7bt on paleo 2008: “Dear Tom, Fantastic news to hear you had such a successful and great trip to the paleo- amazing in view of you recent op etc. Congratulations to you and all involved - wonderful Best wishes Maggie McKAug 3, 20:29
  • Lilly on Monday July 21st: “Yay I'm so glad you guys got to go to Paleo, I'm very jealous too though!! Eat a chocolate filled piadina for me and have a wonderful time! Lots of love to you and els x x x xJul 25, 22:21
  • barbara on Monday July 21st: “By the way - has the person who is 26 years on written all these ways of achieving seemingly impossible tasks down and are they all on the net so others don't have to spend years re-inventing the wheel?Jul 23, 21:09
  • barbara on Monday July 21st: “That's wonderful news! I can't tell you how often I've opened up this page hoping beyond all hope that you made it! And you did! In the post today came a work-request for a character reference. I'm doing that. lots of love - have a great holiday - BarbaraJul 23, 21:06
  • marie on Monday July 21st: “Tom Absolutely delighted that you have made it to Switzerland. Doubt whether you had time to read my mail after my last two comments (?) so here it is again to share with all your well wishers: The importance of being there "However good the video link, however clear the audio, and however anatomically accurate the avatar, sharing the same space and breathing the same air makes a difference to the quality of interaction, especially when you're trying to do something creative rather than being a passive member of an audience." Bill Thompson BBC Digital Planet 15-07-08 Have a wonderful holiday and enjoy yourself. MarieJul 23, 15:57
  • Pat on Monday July 21st: “Dear Tom Fantastic news!! I'm so excited for you and hope you have a wonderful adventure, meet lots of interesting people and hear some great music (i.e. great to your ears, probably not to mine!) I look forward to hearing about it all when you return. My warmest wishes PatJul 22, 14:35
  • Pat on Strike three and the plate is out: “I’m hoping that everything has been going well for you since your last post, with no more complications. Like everyone else, I was grateful for the detailed update on the operation, but so much wished that you didn’t have to face all these setbacks. Thank you to whoever posted the photos. It was so reassuring to see the dazzling smile still intact, showing that it’s possible to be extremely photogenic and attractive lying down with a nasogastric tube in place and a swollen neck! Dear Tom, you continue to be amazing and inspirational. Keep on getting better - I hope you’ll be back on track soon and able to get on with all your plans. PatJul 16, 20:41
  • marie on Strike three and the plate is out: “Tom please excuse my rather clumsy message. What I tried to say was that your news made me feel better for you (not myself). I find your wit and courage simply outstanding. If your health permits I sincerely hope that you can enjoy the festival "sur place". MarieJul 12, 15:36
  • marie on Strike three and the plate is out: “My dear Tom you really do have a real talent for writing and thanks once again for sharing your thoughts. Despite the somewhat gory details and the seriousness of the situation your message and your down to earth style made ME feel better. Why does all this have to happen to you? I know it's not quite the same thing but what about a video conference and high tech loud speakers for the Paleo Festival (?) Thank you Doctor Tom ! Sincerely MarieJul 12, 07:39
  • felixgj on Strike three and the plate is out: “Tom, So great to hear that i) you feel like you are learning how to be in charge of the processes of recovery, and ii) you are well enough on the post-op road to be up and about in the wheel chair. It's a real bummer that it's taken a third shot to get things to settle down, but, given the info you've posted, both the elimination of the air pocket and the healing of the oesophagus will dramatically reduce the chance of continuing infection. Once you get that cracked, all of the other great strides you've been making will click into place, so here's hoping the third times the charm.. Blythe sets off for Levanto tomorrow and is hoping to drop in on you Saturday week as she comes through the UK to pick up Michael and drag him off to the wilds of woolly Connecticut - let her know, please, by email, if you can, if that plan will not suit you. I'll be hoping to see you in quite different circumstances when I bring M back at the end of August. All my love, my lad, and to Ells - I hope the Paleo trip comes off but it may be a bit more ambitious than is prudent just yet - you've got a lot on your plate as it is. xxF P.S. I really love it when you do the posts on this site - truly, thanks for sharing.Jul 11, 02:23
  • mmck7bt on Monday July 7th: “Dear Tom, Sorry to hear that you had to have another operation but very good to hear that it went well and that you are making good progress and hopefully it'll solve the problems of infections in your neck. Says a lot for your stamina-well done you. Keep up the good work and keep inspiring us, Best wishes Maggie McKenzieJul 8, 17:11
  • Jochamberlain on Monday July 7th: “Sorry Ellen...not helen...doh ;o)Jul 8, 13:24
  • Jochamberlain on Monday July 7th: “Hi Tom, I don't know if you will remember us, Lloyd and Jo (Lloyd, Arrons brother and me Jo his grilfriend. We got to spend a few hours with you and Ellen on several occasions whilst visiting Arron when he was in Stoke Mandeville. We just wanted to let you know that you are often in our thoughts and we get updates from Arron as and when he sees you and of course from your website. Sorry to hear you had to to have another op but from what we have read it seems like it was for the best and as always your are coping fantastically. Keep up the good work and hopefully our paths will cross again one day. Please say hi to Helen too. Love Jo and Lloyd xJul 8, 13:22
  • barbara on Good Progress: “Dear Tom, Very glad to have this news. At least there is Wimbledon to watch - you will be doing what most people who have not had a major operation- let alone 3 - will also be doing ! Enjoy and get better quickly! with love to you and all the family, Barbara PS Kaveri returning from Pakistan this weekend and Eli from having moved their narrowboat from Folly Bridge to Kirtlington - many locks up and back. I have returned from having assessed nearly 900 pieces of research in development with a 12 person team - very conscientious and very tiring - and we are only about 2/3 through - but the plus was to swim in a church!Jul 6, 09:36
  • Marina on Good Progress: “Dear Tom, Its taken me months to sort out how to register to leave a comment as my computer skills are shit, but thanks to Tom Ernst I have finally managed. This is to say that while we have not been visible on your site we have thought about you and your progress a lot and talked to David and Gillian about how you are getting on. We are so pleased your recent operation went well and wish you a speedy and even stronger recovery. We hope to see you in Swizz before too long. Till then we all send our love, Marina Charlie, George, Nick and Anthony AKA the GinksiesJul 6, 08:22
  • Pat on Good Progress: “Dear Tom I'm just back from 2 weeks away and send my love and good wishes for a quick recovery from this latest op. Let’s hope it will knock the infection out once and for all, and that it won’t delay your discharge from hospital for too long - though I can imagine that any delay is too long at this stage. I hope the sore throat gets better quickly too. Warmest wishes PatJul 5, 18:55
  • Tom Ernst on Good Progress: “Funny that the titanium neck plate that I thought was pivotal for your stability may have prevented that bugger of an infection to be kicked out. I think Susie will be proven right: You will be even more resilient and active than before !!! Have just ordered my copy of Tim Rushby-Smith's "Looking Up" and am looking forward to the read ... Thank you so much Susie for the very encouraging update, Tom: give us all more good news soon!Jul 5, 06:29
  • Veronica on Good Progress: “Dear Tom, The news of another operation gave me a scare in the beginning of the week and I am very glad that everything went well. Knowing how much you hated the collar, the news that you may not need another one sounds great. I very much hope that your bones/neck muscles are strong enough that you can get away without any additional support. Hang in there! Wishing you speedy recovery and a lot of patience with yourself and those who care for you, VeronicaJul 5, 03:26
  • Joy Bleasdale on Under Doctor’s Orders: “Dear Tom We are very glad to hear that the op went well and send our love and best wishes. Keep strong and you will beat this infection. Joy, Tony, Kate, Rose and HenryJul 2, 11:00
  • alang on Under Doctor’s Orders: “Very glad to hear the op' went well. Very best wishes from Alan, Amy and Nick.Jul 2, 07:59
  • Tom Ernst on Under Doctor’s Orders: “The Ernst Clan thinks of you and is with you, Tom We know that you will rebound, yet again ... Kick this neckbone infection once and for all, if the surgeon is happy so are we. A smile from Nyon, TomJul 1, 22:12
  • marie on Under Doctor’s Orders: “Thanks so much for your mother's message and your Guardian Angel! The Paleo Festival will have to wait for 2009... Thursday 3rd July is the Feast Day for Saint Thomas... Bonne fête for Thursday! Je t'embrasse MarieJul 1, 16:06
  • barbara on Under Doctor’s Orders: “We are all thinking mega-positive thoughts for your neckbones, wishing the surgical team a very sure touch and sending love to everyone who considers themselves family. Barbara, Kaveri and ElinorJul 1, 13:20
  • tim.bland on Under Doctor’s Orders: “Stay strong buddy. Tim and Debs.Jul 1, 07:45
  • Mascha on view finding: “Dear Tom and David, we are thinking of you and hope Tom will feel better soon. David, we can't wait to see you in New York, when al is well with Tom again. Much, much love, M&GJun 28, 03:17
  • mmck7bt on view finding: “Dear Tom Great to hear that you have been offered a temporary job which hopefully will develop further and that you've got plans also to move to temporary accomodation before the Standlake is ready. Lots of hard work on your part and others to achieve that I should think. And it's good to hear you saw Ellen's exhibition which sounded fantasic. And you looked great at the dinner. I remain in awe and humbled by your amazing efforts and grace, Best wishes Maggie McKenzieJun 15, 19:34
  • marie on view finding: “Thinking about Barbara's comment on specialised equipment etc. I forgot to mention that Roger Marconnet - Director "Marconnet Tecnologies" was recently awarded two medals in the april Paris Fair - Concours Lepine. Gold medal for his "vêtement de flottaison" which keeps the head out water and enables the handicapped to use the pool or go for a dip in the sea etc. in safety. (190-250 euros). Silver medal for his "Boma" which is - wait for it - an electric wheelchair "tout terrain" (12.500 euros). Shame but I don't know how to send a picture of the wheelchair. It looks a bit like a go-kart ! MarieJun 15, 14:21
  • marie on view finding: “Dear Tom, Delighted with all your news and the latest comments. I was going to say almost the same things myself but Barbara, Pat and Tom beat me to it ! You really do look like a Company Director in your suit and tie at the dinner. Would the two people either side of you be your care assistants ? A three month part-time contract is quite realistic and in fact the norm here in France following any serious illness. I had to pause and think for a minute regarding your "white box appliances" and then the penny dropped! Have a great holiday - wish I could be there to see Thomas Dutronc ! Best wishes MarieJun 15, 13:18
  • Tom Ernst on Saturday June 7th 2008: “Oh, yes - the joys of building your house ... Always the problems with coming in on time and within budget. But your energy will get you there soon. Can you please post some pictures of Ellen's exhibition? GREAT work on getting to turn pages and the computer mouse - this is SO important, please be very patient and stick with it since it will both help you much in the future! I am VERY happy that the job at Roke worked out, congratulations! This is a good first step and you will do very well going forward, I have no doubt. Thank you for your long postings, we all love reading them! See you soon @ Palio in Nyon, Tom PS: you look really great at the Regain charity dinner ...Jun 15, 12:06
  • Pat on view finding: “Dear Tom Thanks for all the news and I too hope that you're feeling more rested. It sounds like a very tiring week - not only in terms of whizzing around from place to place (now I understand your email address) - but also because it involved more negotiating, more decisions, huge effort with the page turning, and probably a lot of emotion seeing Ellen's end of year project. Many congratulations on the job offer! That's exciting, and it's so good to have got through that first step - probably the most difficult one. I love the design of the Standlake extension by the way, and am grateful to David and the other photographers. You did look splendid in suit and tie at the dinner! All good wishes PatJun 15, 10:44
  • barbara on view finding: “Dear Tom, I hope you are feeling better. A life as busy as yours would wear most people out! I just wanted to say how excited I was to read that Roke are interested in giving you a test-run. I am sure they will want to extend your contract once they see what you contribute. It was exciting as well actually to see the prototypes in wood of the equipment that will give you a step change in your control over things that don't respond electronically - like pages of books! Congratulations too to Ellen and fingers crossed for the next stage for her. And the building at Standlake looks as though it is going to be a very good environment for you. It makes all the difference to live somewhere beautiful - we shouldn't take that for granted - ever. One question I have is that, since people have tetraplegia forced on them through accident or otherwise all the time, why the kind of equipment you are having built for you isn't developed as a matter of course. Is it because there is such a tiny 'market' and the equipment has to be custom built? How much is provided through the NHS and how much privately? It was the same thing for Gordon though there must be a much bigger 'market' for people with paraplegia. I remember all the effort that went into a machine that enabled him to control from his chin the loud pedal on a piano which he needed for his jazz. Here I have a mere 70 papers and 5 books to read before the end of the month for this national research assessment exercise (plus the exams and end of year events) so if you now don't hear much from me, you know why! Grrrrrrrrr with love and a hug amid the jungle noises, BarbaraJun 14, 09:39
  • Tom Ernst on Fish swims into a wall…: “Yes, Paleo will be LOTS of fun - I can't wait ! Please keep posting for us, we all enjoy reading about you and from you. A hug from Washington DC, TomJun 10, 22:25
  • Tom Ernst on Saturday June 7th 2008: “Great to see how Standlake is coming along - can't wait to be dancing @ the inauguration party with DJ DavidJun 10, 22:15
  • davidnabarro on Fish swims into a wall…: “Dear Tom A great read - thank you. I send you best wishes from a conference in Rome on food security, bioenergy and climate change. The Presidents and Prime Ministers - and our Secretary General - have come and gone. After marathon sessions, the declaration is nearly agreed, but there are still disagreeements among countries about poisitions to be taken on bio-fuels, trade and "the use of food as an instrument for political and economic pressure". I now have a few quiet minutes in which to listen to the interesting presentations from farmers' and fishers' organizations, the private sector and voluntary organizations. The declaration will be finalised tonight, and our job is to take forward the Comprehensive Framework for Action which describes how the UN system, the World Bank and IMF, and the WTO, will work together to support governments in implementing the outcome of the meeting. Then we have to set up a mechanism that will monitor implementaiton (including ways to get money to countries). Look forward to seeing you and Oliver - and, I hope, Polly - at the weekend. Love from DavidJun 5, 09:57
  • barbara on Fish swims into a wall…: “The last few weeks sound a complicated story-line enough! Do you ever get time to chill out? I am sure the people who interviewed you are thinking along lines of first principles and wouldn't have expected you to know the frontiers of their business..Thanks for giving us chapter and verse on what must have been quite a difficult experience for you. Heavens - that is a lot of gadgets you would like; but they can make life more and more like everyone else's, which would be good. I hope you get them. Here life is one great read and this will go on all year in a rather uncivilised way. I am building a big head of steam against all governments which want to assess and fund universities this way. Elinor is happy living on a narrow boat at Folly Bridge and Kaveri is starting at Sussex (after a quick trip to Pakistan) in early July - with a 3 year post-doc job doing more on international migration and public health. More languages too. I'll be a proud mum when she gets her degree this coming friday. Last weekend I went to Heidelberg in Germany - the workshop was - well a workshop - with interesting people working on citizenship as a concept that travels away from Europe and back again. Political scientists meet lawyers meet art historians meet humble economists. My job is to expand on economic citizenship, which is something too many people don't have in India... But the real plus for me was finding there was a Music Festival the moment I settled in the hotel, and braving an enormous thunderstorm to wade out to hear the pride of the cello class at the Mannheim Music Conservatoire. Were they talented?! Playing divinely through the lightning and thunder and mostly from Korea and China. I won't forget that in a hurry. Your friend Tom Ernst has found the poem I had failed to trace. Brilliant! It's on the previous response list. with love from us all at 36, BarbaraJun 3, 20:26
  • barbara on after the marathon – back to the concrete road: “It was 'snow' - Thank you tom!Jun 3, 20:03
  • Pat on Fish swims into a wall…: “Dear Tom It's so good to get your news after rather a long gap. You've certainly been very active and busy (NOT lazy!) and I hope that gradually things are moving in the right direction with your future employment, your funding battle, and your accommodation. Do let us know the outcome of the interview. That must have been quite stressful, being tested on your ability to solve technical problems in an area that you don't know anything about. But I hope that overall it was enjoyable rather than gruelling. Thinking of you a lot, as always, PatJun 3, 09:50
  • Tom Ernst on after the marathon – back to the concrete road: “What a great find - thank you, Barbara! How did your interview go today, Tom? Good night, Tom Louis MacNeice - Sunday Morning Down the road someone is practising scales, The notes like little fishes vanish with a wink of tails, Man's heart expands to tinker with his car For this is Sunday morning, Fate's great bazaar; Regard these means as ends, concentrate on this Now, And you may grow to music or drive beyond Hindhead anyhow, Take corners on two wheels until you go so fast That you can clutch a fringe or two of the windy past, That you can abstract this day and make it to the week of time A small eternity, a sonnet self-contained in rhyme. But listen, up the road, something gulps, the church spire Open its eight bells out, skulls' mouths which will not tire To tell how there is no music or movement which secures Escape from the weekday time. Which deadens and endures. Louis MacNeice - Snow The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was Spawning snow and pink roses against it Soundlessly collateral and incompatible: World is suddener than we fancy it. World is crazier and more of it than we think, Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion A tangerine and spit the pips and feel The drunkenness of things being various. And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes - On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one's hands - There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.May 29, 21:44
  • barbara on after the marathon – back to the concrete road: “PPPS I think that the size of a space is to some extent inside your head. What the space means is elastic. There's a beautiful poem about this, I think by Louis MacNeice which I will try to find for you.May 11, 07:48
  • barbara on after the marathon – back to the concrete road: “PPS I disagree with you about selfishness. i don't think that the cross cultural and historical evidence suggests human nature is selfish. Selfish plus a lot of unselfishness - perhaps - at a stretch. You can reduce patental-love and nurturing to selfishness only by sleight of hand (long term selfish interest in care in old age? oh yes?); and without a lot of co-operation hunter-gatherers (which is how we evolved) would never have survived. When we create art and music we are not selfish - at least I don't think so. I do think that market society under capitalism requires us to be as selfish as we can, however, both if we own assets and also if we are employed to create them. And the mentality and the logic spread out to all sectors - including the skilled services. So it may seems that our selfishness is the only valuable drive we have. This is not true in my view. Let's talk about it when I get back.May 11, 07:20
  • barbara on after the marathon – back to the concrete road: “Dear Tom, I woke up early and reading your blog is the first thing I do on a day I am going to Brussels. We have been celebrating ten years since my husband died. One of those celebrations was an event with lectures on the legacy of his work in China - with a drinks reception and meal afterwards. Even the lecturers couldn't keep to the point and wove stories about Gordon's rock and roll band, his compulsive joking, his care as a mentor and teacher, his passionate feel for politics and his insistent holding onto life - even when, as happened so many times over the 28 years of his illness, he was expected to die. That was the public face. The private face had many many moments of the kind of pain you describe in your blog. Sure he was slightly less paralysed towards the end than you and had the use of his arms, but that didn't make the pain and the nervous sensation any the less invasive or less peculiar to interpret. So many people think that if you are paralysed then you have no sensations. Yes, it is true that you can tip hot water on yourself and not realise. But it's simply not true that you have no sensations, there is a new world of them, and the sensations as you say are 'coded' , some apparently random and others referred from all over the place. You may get to understand some of the patterns, and maybe even avoid some of the cause-effect relations you discover over time, but there will be others you can't ever be scientific about and some pain that you'll anticipate because you want to do the action that you eventually learn actually has this wierd effect.. You know as well as anyone else that you are lucky to have survived that accident and you have a new life. In many aspects of this new life you will be 'differently enabled' but just like everyone else. But in some respects this new life that you have will need you to learn things about life and being human that other people, and other medical professionals, have no idea of. In what you wrote when you felt 'down' for this blog, you were conveying unpleasant and difficult ways of being human that the rest of us can only wonder at. Perhaps that is why there are no replies yet to your blog. I am sorry if this is a rather inadequate one but I felt compelled to reply. I had wanted to communicate anyway because as I go about my daily work I think of you a lot. My daily work is completely uncivilised at present. On top of everything else (and I had imagined that the 'eveything else would be lighter this year) I took on a public service job as part of the hundreds of academics who have allowed themselves to be the teams that assess the quality of research in their subjects for the government. The government requires this exercise. it is non-negotiable and someone has to do it. The rules have changed for this round . (They take place every 5 to 7 years. ) We now have truly enormous amounts of reading to do. Almost impossible amounts. I had thought that I would read my way back into my subject after three years of running a department but the pressure of reading and the breadth (and richness) of what has been produced and the arbitrary order in which we are required to read means that you have to become some kind of processing machine. It is dehumanising, brutalising, very very tiring and exactly the opposite of what the academic life ought to be about. I have a wonderful team of co-readers and we keep one another's spirits up somehow. Today I will travel to Brussels for a week of Board meetings since I am a trustee of a food policy institute. It's an active board rather than an advisory one. we have to keep close track of what is going on. It is all very interesting and because of the shooting prices for food worldwide, food riots and much quiet distress there is likely to be fireworks. Not that it is this institute's fault because it has been warning about this for years. But there will be big differences of opinion about what to do now we are in this mess. Even if we can do little about it, we need to know why warnings are not heeded too. David sent me a piece about the current wave of animal disease and this also affects the price of people's protein even if it has little to do with the argument that the competing demand for cereals for fodder has raised the price of people's energy supplies. Anyway that's enough. I must pack and go. Keep up your own energy and seize the day! with love from Barbara PS Thinking of cramped spaces, Elinor is now living very happily with her new friend Alastair on a narrow boat at Folly Bridge. What a lovely world the boat-people have and she just steps from the boat to her high tech job! And , yes, one of the reasons Gordon loved that shabby old house in France that you visited once is that it has huge horizontal spaces and you can get up speed. We ramped it all and you can easily get into the garden. Let's plan for you to visit sometime. I am returning from Brussels via that house next weekend to sort out the leaky pipes and the new kitchen work surface - we have been camping there for 35 years. It is difficult to do by remote control. Now I really must stop!May 11, 06:58
  • anni on television interview: “Hi Tom, We've never met and I've been following your website since last year so I wanted to say hello. You always sound incredibly positive but at the same time you look life straight in the face. Impressive! Best wishes AnniMay 4, 13:23
  • Veronica on television interview: “Hi Tom, is there a direct link to your interview? I seem to be too stupid to locate it on that website. Thanks! V.Apr 29, 02:13
  • marie on television interview: “Thanks for all your news Tom and keeping us all up to date with things. ITV Thames Valley doesn't function in France but I enjoyed reading the interview you gave in Oxford. Please take care of your feet. There are nasty bugs called clostridium difficile in hospitals !! My mother was a chiropodist. As a child and until we were wise enough to be left on our own during the school holidays my sister and I would accompany mother to Tiptree in Essex - world famous for it's jam. Mother had an afternoon session in an old peoples social center. My sister and I would prepare the cotton wool balls or else play dominoes with the elderly pensioners. We traveled by Eastern National green bus. The paleo music festival site is absolutely marvelous especially with regard to prevention of excessive alcohol consumption and being very ecologically minded. The program sounds great. Good luck for Roke Manor and I hope you obtain your direct payment for your continuing care costs. At the same time I think you should get involved in politics and be a consultant for the physically handicapped. Highly intelligent attentive,exceptional and assertive people who know what they are talking about by personal experience are I fear hard to come by in this domain. Hope Grandfather Michael is well. Take care MarieApr 27, 13:49
  • Veronica on reflections on the run: “Hi Tom, All that is fantastic news! Congratulations to Chrissie on doing such a great job on the marathon and her success in raising funds. And how exciting that your future workplace is being designed for you now and things are getting more concrete jobwise! Thanks for keeping your readers up to date on all of these developments. Have a great weekend, VeronicaApr 20, 13:13
  • Melissa Cassidy on Looking up: “Hey tom, dunno if u remember me, drunk irish one from uni lol, was just chattin ben there and he told me about your accident and i just wanted to say hi, i know i'm a bit late on the batter lol but u know us irish, backwards(apart from raj obviously) its real good to see ur doing so well, been a long time, even longer as it took me a full half an hour to figure out how to leave a msg!lol, hope to chat to u again. xx (sorry if i did this wrong!)Apr 18, 22:15
  • claudia on Looking up: “Hi Tom, and greetings from a cold and windswept Bangor. I drove up through Wales today from Bristol to see an old friend and we have been talking non-stop and drinking too much red wine - familiar I am sure! Its been ages since I was in touch and much has happened - I have been back in hopsital myself and then my Dad became very ill and died in early February. I am so glad that I was able to see him a lot in the weeks before. It is great to hear all your news and your thoughts on life and work and living arrnagements in the future. I hope to come and see you and Susie soon, love to you and Ellen and all the family xxxApr 11, 19:43
  • saralouvalentine on Chrissie running the London Marathon in aid of the Pavilion Trust..: “Chrissie - good luck on your run! Tom - you don't know me - that's probably a blessing on your side! lol but been reading about your new wheels and your worry about your hair being good in the oxford Mail! - Keep up the positive attitude and it's fine to worry about what you hair looks like!(I worry about bits between my teeth! ha ha!) good luck with the wheels! - am I safe to be on the pavements oin Oxfordshire? wishing Chrissie lots of luck with her run - will sponsor her when I get two minutes to sort it out. stay well and hope you are home soon - bet the food is bad!!Apr 10, 13:52
  • Pat on overdue: “Dear Tom Like the others here I’m grateful for your generosity in sharing your thoughts and feelings so openly. It’s something that I would find hard to do - not only because I don’t think or express myself as well as you do, but also because people of my generation are conditioned to keeping such thoughts private. I’ve been thinking about the loss of privacy that dependence on carers must entail, and that your situation means not only that you have to keep good relations with everyone whose help you may need, but also that you have to put your trust in many different people as well. I can understand how hard it is to find just the right people to help you. I’ve just had a long phone chat with a friend now living in the depths of Cornwall, who has had severe ME for many years and is able to do very little physically. We were at school together and were reminiscing about how lucky we were to grow up in London where we could go to museums and the theatre and have lots of opportunities to be stimulated mentally. I think that Oxford is an even better place to grow up because it has many of the benefits of London but not the disadvantages of noise and crowds and aggression and lack of fresh air. I hope you’re getting out and about this weekend and that it won’t be too horribly cold for you. Continuing good wishes PatMar 22, 16:34
  • ros on overdue: “Dear Tom, I havent left a message for a while but as ever I come back to your site and find myself extraordinarily enriched by your energy, honesty and creativity. Like Simon (hello Simon!) I can only say "thank you" Ros (Carne)Mar 19, 21:56
  • marie on overdue: “Thanks for the latest news and your thougths Tom.I am quite unable to compete with your superb English prose and that of Simon Rawlence. It's almost Easter weekend. In England as in Germany Good Friday is a Pubic Bank holiday.In France this is not the case! In my childhood as a catholic there was always the traditional "Stations of the Cross" at 3pm followed by Hot Cross Buns... This Good Friday at 3pm I will be having an interview for a new job despite my young age! I am trying to prepare myself mentally and your thoughts help me. France has one of the lowest levels of employment for the "seniors" and is infact classed 26th for the whole of Europe! Only 38 % of men between 55 and 64 years old work and 35 % for women! Hope your out of the hospital environment for the long weekend. Take care MarieMar 19, 11:14
  • simonrawlence on overdue: “Tom I greatly enjoyed your last paragraph, and finding your clarity. This is a good time to move around your mind, I would hazard a guess that these experiments of yours will continue all your life. Most people never give themselves the space to do this, but you have seized your chance. I am glad that you do not consider yourself or this process shallow, the ability to self reflect is a sure way to then feedback and influence the next action or exchange. It was a challenge in translation and cultural understanding for us westerners in Dharamsala to appreciate fully the Buddhist term Virtue. The nearest approximate was Skill. The constant application of those skills and the increased sense of awareness and focus in the moment, brings the clarity you are experiencing. Can I add that in all the recent interactions with you, that clarity has touched me with your lightness and concern and I have left feeling so much the better for it. Thank you SimonMar 15, 20:26
  • barbara on 29th of February 2008: “This is for Raj when he recovers from jetlag and logs on to see his photo. I met you at Tom's twice over the last few months and want to share a general sense of gratitude to people like you, and to wish you well in New Zealand. Everyone wants to go there! What is it about New Zealand? Is it because it's closer to Vanuatu? Do you climb mountains? Tom: Well chosen : it is a lovely painting! I will descend on the hospital this thursday and am looking forward to seeing you, BarbaraMar 4, 22:15
  • marie on 27th of February: “PS. Please see www.cnhandicap.orgFeb 29, 08:02
  • marie on 27th of February: “Tom, In view of the forthcoming local elections in France there is a fantastic new campaign to encourage the handicapped to become the equivalent of county councellors. There are two different A4 page photographs. 1: Roosevelt: Il a été élu 4 fois Président des Etats-Unis, Il a sorti son pays de la crise économique, Il à remporté la 2ème guerre mondiale et tout ça assis. L'histoire à prouvé que les personnes handicapées pouvaient faire de la politique, Ouvrons-leur les listes électorales pour les municipales. 2: Yalta : Une personne handicapée s'est glissée parmi ces hommes politiques. Did you know that Roosevelt suffered from Guillain-Barré syndrome and not polyiomyelitis as previously believed ? Am sending the pictures to your email. MarieFeb 28, 15:12
  • Veronica on 27th of February: “Too bad about the infection, but everything else sounds brilliant. I imagine Pizza Express is a welcome change from the hospital fare. All the best on your search for short-term solutions awaiting the completion of the construction project. Although planning out all of these arrangements for care and accommodation probably has tedious aspects, I would think it is also quite stimulating. Looking forward to some pictures. VeronicaFeb 28, 03:09
  • barbara on steppingstones to more mobility: “Dear Tom, Good news and photos! Please look at your email! love Barbara and all at 36 V Rd.Feb 23, 23:29
  • marie on steppingstones to more mobility: “Dear Tom, It's always a great pleasure to see more photos and have news from you. I will be sending you a Foil First-Aid blanket as soon as I can to prevent you from any risk of hypothermia for future matches in the unpredictable English weather conditions. It's light weight but efficient and wraps up like a large handkerchief ! In France when the weather is bad everyone makes fun of me and say that it's typical English weather which I should be accustomed to ! The apparatus you talk about to put you into a "standing position" is another step forward and you couldn't have entitled your latest "news " any better. My eldest son D.Emmanuel 21 yrs.old is in Germany on a six month work placement with his university. J. Alexandre 19 yrs.old left home last Sep. to study as far a way as possible! He will be home next weekend as the "internat" is closed for school holidays so the poor boy has no choice ! Keep up the good work! Love MarieFeb 17, 16:54
  • Pat on steppingstones to more mobility: “Dear Tom This is all wonderful news - thanks for keeping us up to date. I’m so glad to hear everything that you’ve been doing (you’ve been getting out and about more than most of us!) and all your plans for life after Stoke Mandeville. I loved the photos too, especially you as a Berber chieftan, but please enlighten us about the mountainous blanket! Warmest wishes, PatFeb 14, 17:12
  • Veronica on January 19 – 20: “Dear Tom, Rumor has it that you have not been feeling all too well lately and I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and sending you lots of energy and health vibes. VeronicaFeb 6, 14:31
  • simonrawlence on January 19 – 20: “Tom long absence from viewing your activities, but you never disappoint me ! It is always a joyful experience to open the site and see happy laughing photos. I have rapidly changed jobs and now find myself executive director of the british chamber of commerce Czech Republic. Huge scope with trade, educational, economic and political facets. It was in crisis, as a break a way group of former directors started a rival British Business Forum ( their name in capitals ). So a lot of press coverage as well about the war between the Brits ! keep them coming SimonFeb 1, 18:41
  • emily on parole date in sight: “PS - hope you had a great Christmas and NY - sounds like you did by your comment! xJan 21, 11:03
  • emily on parole date in sight: “Hi Tom, I'm rubbish at using your site - don't know how to leave a message that doesn't necessarily link to a previous message? Anyhow - hope you're good - was great to see you the other weekend - we'll pop up again soon - and you should come and stay at ours with Ells - as discussed!! Remember I spoke to you about the guy who wrote this book i'm publicising? Obviously I mentioned you and he sent me an email saying he was doing a talk today a Stoke M about the patient education programme - if you're going i'm warning you that he might come and introduce himself - he's really nice - called Tim. When is your next date at the old ship?? I know it's coming up soon and we want to come along so need to know the date! xxJan 21, 11:02
  • Pat on parole date in sight: “Dear Tom I’ve been out of touch as we’ve been in India for the last three weeks. One of the first things I did on getting back was to catch up on your news and another was to read the late Christmas cards that came while we were away. One was from a friend whose daughter Hilary is quadriplegic, telling us about Hilary’s latest exploits. She got herself into the record books a couple of years ago by being the first quadriplegic person to sail across the English Channel solo. Last summer she sailed solo around the Isle of Wight and now she’s planning to sail around Britain. She gradually became quadriplegic through a degenerative disease, but like you she’s sporty, brilliant and focused. I know that being independent in the boat is a great feeling for her. She’s got a great website: hilarylister.com. Hoping that the wretched infection will be conquered soon and that you’ll find just the right care assistants. Not easy I’m sure. All good wishes PatJan 17, 11:00