Another year, another Stroke Awareness month… I’m thrilled that Somerset libraries have taken the opportunity to join in, with this month’s podcast. Jeremy Thompson-Smith made the whole Zoom interview so easy… Perhaps too easy. My husband Terry, thinking we sounded so relaxed, assumed we must have finished and joined in to say hello. The best bit of this interview is his unscheduled guest appearance, and I was so chuffed it was retained in the final edit. Unlike Joe Faber, he isn’t a model-maker – but he is a guitarist who used to play many styles, and who’s never given up on playing again. I can’t tell you how hard and painful that process is when one hand is weak and unreliable. But I can say that nine years on, he’s finding his own wacky way of playing a tune.
I’ve had my head down, working on an audio version of Joe Faber and the Optimists. Terry has barely opened a print book since the stroke, it’s just too awkward; he reads on a tablet now. Audio is something I’ve always wanted to do, but seemed too big a mountain to climb. However, meeting a local stroke group at Yeovil library reminded me that so many people find books, literally, hard to handle, not just physically but because brain injury can impair one’s vision or ability to read. If it gives any of them a chuckle or a hug, the effort will be worth it. So let’s hear it for libraries and the brilliant ways they make paths cross!