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Archie Blowing Out The Candles
Archie Blowing Out The Candles

As many of you are already aware, the 26th of December was my birthday and what a fabulous day it was. Allie was spoiling me from the moment I woke up after an unusually solid 7 hours of sleep. After breakfast we went for a 9 mile walk. The plan was a very simple one consisting of the Water of Leith from the Shore in Leith up to Stockbridge to wander idly and inquisitively through Ann Street before then returning via Inverleith Park, the Botanical gardens and the old railway lines home.

Sadly, just as we set out my brain started misbehaving and the first 4 to 5 miles were done with an arm that had nothing wrong with it yet was in extreme pain and suffering from numbness, while ice pick headaches hacked their way in and out of my head and my lips struggled to shape their way around words as I tried to speak. Knowing that this was all in the head and as a result of my neurological dysfunction, I decided that the best course of action was to crack on and we did. As we hit the unmarked diversions off the Water of Leith footpath, I needed to navigate and find a way around the diversion and back onto the path. Navigation however, with a numb hand and an ice pick headache ripping through my head, was a significant challenge. Holding the map, seeing the map, being able to understand the map and relate it to the ground, were proving, at times, near on impossible, but I knew that the only way to get through this was to quietly and with dogged determination find a way to force the brain to function. Poor Allie. She knew exactly where we were and where we had to go but knew that the best way to help me was to reassure me by being there as a safety net and then letting me work it out, rightly or wrongly, for myself. It was bitterly cold in the biting wind, and the desire to show me must have been strong but the brilliant Allie left me to find a way and find a way I did. It took a while, a long while, but by about the half way point I was back and receiving phone calls from friends and family wishing me a happy birthday, while my phone showed me Facebook message and email message and Whats App message after message after message wishing me a happy birthday. I was no longer walking in a fog of pain but neither was I walking in rain or snow. I was walking in the wonderful company of my wife with a clear and happy head. I was walking in sunshine on Leith. Thank you all for your wonderful messages.

Allie and Archie
Allie and Archie

Yours aye
Archie xx