Eyemouth harbour in the evening light
Although not as busy in terms of fishing as it once was, Eyemouth is well worth a visit for the tourist and holiday maker
Although not as busy in terms of fishing as it once was, Eyemouth is well worth a visit for the tourist and holiday maker
Hi, yes you've found me, John Peters from Eyemouth, not the famous gulf war RAF pilot with the same name as me.
You have the choice now, you can go to my web-site jppics.co.uk or stay on my web-site strokehintsntips.co.uk or if you'd like to go straight to the Hints and Tips section, it appears before the boring 'About Me And My Stroke' section. Either way I hope you have some fun and spend a little time looking - thanks.
I'm not the best of drivers but you can never count on the other person doing the right thing. The roads are so busy now, better to be safe than sorry. OK so I'm lucky, I can drive with a left foot accelerator and a control unit/ball on the steering wheel but if you are in the market for a dashcam, go for a phone (wifi) controlled unit, not one where you have to reach up, keep your hand steady and punch a few buttons to operate the unit no matter how good it is. A wifi and phone operated unit is much easier, believe me.
I'm not promoting any one type of unit but my DASHCAM was about £70 on Amazon and works really well. I'm not promoting any one type of unit but mines was about £70 on Amazon and works really well. I had a few problems attaching it to WIFI but once done it works a treat and is all controlled from my phone - priceless, for me anyway.
BOTOX, yes BOTOX, injected into my arm ( leg reasonably OK ) to counteract the SPASTICITY that affects my arm and hand.
This is the one thing I receive from the NHS free of charge and every three months. It does help my arm and hand, so the 55 minute drive over badly potholed roads ( it wouldn't happen near Galashiels, which the local council favour, say no more ) is worth it.
BOTOX injections do help fight spasticity so if you suffer from this, ask your GP about BOTOX Injections but you won't get any freebies in the face or brows even though it's free for the moment in good old Alba. Just for inner peace, you've probably paid for this several times over in National Insurance/Tax if like me, you worked for most of your life before the stroke came along!
If you are on a blood thinner of any sort, check with your GP/DOC if/when this should be stopped prior to getting any BOTOX injections, just to be safe.
Okay so it could be called Bob, Mick, Mary or Rita, Bob or Sue but you have to admit, these cloud based voice thingy's are dead handy being activated by voice control. Many different suppliers offer voice controlled thingy's, Amazon and GOOGLE being two of the popular ones, but it's Amazon's Echo ( Alexa ) that I have.
I could use the Amazon Echo for lot's more but as I said I'm a bit of a tight ass and the thought of increased electric bills just grates with me even though it would probably be a small amount. Yes I could control the lights, the T.V., Etc: via Alexa but I pay £3.99 a month for Amazon Music and that's enough for me. If the truth be known, I'm probably too lazy to change things.
I heard that one chap used such a device to AID his homework by asking it maths questions, now that's a SMART use of an Alexa, clever lad. They are good gadgets though and make life a bit easier, a no brainer really.
Yes, All Bran, what's it doing on the list I hear you say? Well, if we are all honest, we like to be regular, know wot I mean Harry? I personally take All Bran and Weetabix, I also take seedless grapes and this combination seems to work for me. Being a lot more inactive since the stroke, I need a wee something extra to keep me regular. After much trial and error and straining too, I reckon I've found a combination that works. Reminds me of an old ( fairly corny ) school boy joke.
What did the constipated mathematician do? He worked it out with a pencil!
I did say it was corny ( but maybe relevant ). I GOOGLED grapes the other night and found this on some medical website....
Health benefits of grapes
Grapes are rich in polyphenolic phytochemical compound resveratrol. Resveratrol is one of the powerful anti-oxidant which has been found to play a protective role against cancers of colon and prostate, coronary heart disease (CHD), degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer's disease and viral/ fungal infections.
Resveratrol reduces stroke risk by altering the molecular mechanisms inside the blood vessels. It does so, firstly by reducing the susceptibility of the blood vessel through decreased activity of angiotensin (a systemic hormone causing blood vessel constriction that would otherwise elevate blood pressure) and secondly, through increased production of vasodilator substance, nitric oxide (a beneficial compound that causes relaxation of blood vessels). Anthocyanins are another class of polyphenolic antioxidants present abundantly in the red grapes. These phytochemicals have been found to have an anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, as well as anti-cancer activity. Catechins, a type of flavonoid tannin group of anti-oxidants, discovered in the white/green varieties have also shown to possess these health-protective functions. Also, the berries are very low in calories. 100 g fresh grapes just provide 69 calories but zero cholesterol levels. It was on T'internet, so it must be right eh! :)
I eat grapes primarily because I like them, they provide roughage and water. Give them a go with the other things I mentioned and see if it makes a difference. All these other benefits too, grapes must be good for you and they are relatively easy to swallow which is important for some stroke survivors. I should maybe relabel this section GRAPES not ALL BRAN!
Heck, nearly everbody online knows and loves AMAZON but should you sign up for PRIME or not, that's the biggy?
Well you should work it out, as well as PERKS, you can get FREE NEXT DAY DELIVERY on most things so if you make enough orders in a year, at the time of writing divide the cost of one years PRIME £79 by your likely number of orders at say £3.99 or £4.99 average postage costs and if that cost (£79 divided by say no. of orders at say 4.50 exceeds the cost of PRIME, go for it! It depends on how much you value the perks too.
But WAIT, don't just go ahead and sign up for PRIME. STOCK UP yes STOCK UP!
Consider this, please, and I'm probably shooting myself in the foot too. Every so often, at least once per year, AMAZON will send you an offer of signing up for at least two weeks free PRIME membership. If you aren't sure about ending your PRIME membership anytime, then use the Internet, the answer is there.
Take the offer of free PRIME membership, if you have memory issues as I do, take a note with a reminder set on your iPad or computer, that way you can cancel your FREE PRIME membership in time.
Next, identify items you order several times per year but items that have a good shelf life, I order the likes of SHOWER GEL, SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER, AFTER SHAVING CREAM etc. in 3's or 6's, I order such items free under PRIME then cancel PRIME thus saving heaps on postage.
So what if I'm stocked up for a year, I've saved money and as I've said elsewhere, a tight -assed-Jock enjoys making savings!
Happy online shopping.
BLU TACK by BOSTIK is that sticky blue stuff that is so useful being used to steady my nail trimmer, paper or card for writing on.
I've even used it to se ( sorry - catching the moths ) secure my cheque book.
When you only have the use of one hand and it's necessary to write ( badly ), BLU TACK comes to the rescue - it's very handy.
Stick your item down on a table or similar item with a dad ( wee blob ) of BLU TACK and Hey Presto!
Now, my curled toes. At some point after the stroke I realised my right handed pinkie seemed fused or maybe that should that be fu**ed , anyway it appeared permanently curved along with most of the toes on my right foot, the left was OK.
A few years on, my second new podiatrist moulded a little rubber thing that went solidish after a while but retained its flexibility, and this was created first for the worst toe. The rubber mould was placed under the offending toe and after several months 'trained' the toe to uncurl a bit. The continual pressure exerted by the thicker portion of the mould worked. Now on my second toe, I await the results.
If you are interested for more information, just email me and I'll try to help.
I've attached a picture below of my first rubber mould thingy with the uppermost flaps that went over each adjacent toe, and the thicker bit that went under the toe. Luckily my toes weren't too curled, just bent.
Now an Apple iPad is a dear gadget to buy when money can be tight but as a Laptop or Computer equivalent, it takes some beating.
Yes you can email on an iPad but given that the Internet and all of it’s communication possibilities become available it’s worth considering. I’m not saying it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread but it’s a very very good tool.
An iPad’s Assistivetouch feature makes it a must for us one handed stroke survivors. It’s pretty hard to beat, sorry I know nothing of Android versions, check them out before buying.
Screenshot taken with AssistiveTouch feature below.
How to enable One-handed Operation In Detail:
•Turn on the iPhone or iPad in iOS 10 upwards.
•Open the Settings app.
•Tap on General
• Select Accessibility
• Select AssistiveTouch and Switch to ON
That’s it, a wee greyed out box about 1/2” square should appear bottom right of your screen, showing AssistiveTouch is on, please note it’s position can be moved simply by dragging. Selecting this icon brings up the 3 menus one after the other and they are shown below as nicked from a good video on AssistiveTouch on YouTube.
I just use it for the SCREENSHOTS but it can be used for much more, try it, it’s easier than putting a pen in your mouth, aligning the pen with the HOME key and pressing simultaneously with the POWER key to capture a screenshot, a fairly difficult operation even for us one handed stroke survivors.
Now I'm lucky, I can read - one of the lucky ones - eh. I used to read books, when turning a page or placing a bookmark is now a lot more difficult with one hand.
Licking or wetting the fingers did help but I have to say that a KINDLE ( for me ) was the best thing since sliced bread. Just remembered - my sense of smell of food has been affected by the stroke and I just don't get hungry any more - you might be the same. Can't think when I last ate just sliced bread!
Back to the Kindle, I naughtily have over 2,000 digital books but have paid for many off Amazon and have read the likes of Stephen Fry, Eric Clapton, Michael Caine and many more. What I like about the Kindle is I can send any compatible book to the Kindle by Email or program via WiFi, no cables attached. I recommend CALIBRE that is a free program and can do almost anything book and Kindle wise.
Did I mention I read in bed a lot which is almost impossible turning pages, holding a book open with one working hand etc. It's so much easier with the Kindle which is light to hold, manipulate, and has two strategically placed buttons for page FORWARD and BACKWARDS. My version of the KINDLE has a nice feature too that if I don't know a word, look it up for a full explanation, when I finish the book, these words that I looked up can be referenced in a database. Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is rather heavy going but all the words I'd looked up were together for reference and a full explanation in that books database. Good Book by the way, full of reference material too.
I should mention that on my version of the Kindle, you can also select the text font style and size, great if you're like me and getting an old fart or struggle with smallish text!
If you read at all, I cannot recommend the KINDLE highly enough for our type of stroke survivor. Consider the KINDLE reader app if you have access to a computer or iPad too.
I should explain, being right handed all of my pre-stroke life, having to use my one good hand now, the left didn't come naturally to me, it still feels funny.
When I over extend my left hand, it shakes - thus the need for the Mighty Mug . It does work, the clever bit on the bottom does most of the work and because I'm clumsy or can be, the Mighty Mug is a boon. Just check the surface your using, not all surfaces work, it's best on shiny totally smooth surfaces.
It helps keep liquid hot or cold too, a really good invention for some and for us stroke users with the shakes, a worthwhile gadget.
I must say that I hate nails, nails on my hand and nails on my feet. Unfortunately the nails grow and need cut. Before I selected shoes that fitted, I developed problems with the big toenail on my right leg which suffered from drop foot, spasticity and clonus.
Angrier than a cornered badger in discomfort I was in pain with an ingrown toenail on my big toe, I'd had enough the second time, anti-biotics cured the first bout, but I said take the nail away, I've had enough! So, a trip to the docs, two painful jags in my big toe and I lost 1/3rds of the offending toe-nail. Being on a blood thinner ( daily tablet suspended for the day ) there was a bit of blood but oh what relief. A thick skin / nail has grown in place of the missing toenail so no worries. The toe is a wee thing but big on discomfort, believe me!
Returning to nails, I can just about reach my feet easily but don't trust myself with nail clippers or nail cutters so I've always employed a podiatrist once a month, yes my nails still grow quickly. The first Podiatrist left for pastures new but the second was cheaper and better, more thorough and organised.
My feet are all catered for, that just leaves my hands. Using my left foot to stomp or press down on the nail clipper as shown ( can be bought online by googling )
I can cut the nails on my working hand, the left hand. The trick is not to go too deep, you'll get the hang of it after a while. My partner kindly files the nails on my non-working hand, the right hand. I occasionally clip them while she stretches the fingers out and we succeed after a bit of positioning. By the way, the same clipper is used.
Now for method two which is in it's infancy and shouldn't involve my partner at all, more independence - great!
Using a Rotary Nail Cutter ( TEEPAO Electric Nail Clipper ) I can cut or trim both hands independently - yes! It's a bit of a fiddle with one working hand, but the independence it gives you is priceless. .
They say "Necessity is the mother of invention" so the easiest method yet is to roll some Blutack into two 1/2" cylinders about 1 and 1/2." long, tack the trimmer to the desktop then push/angle the trimmer to suit, I still use the Laptop behind the trimmer but Blutack is much better than any other method and is fairly cheap too if you have to buy some.
Well I've been mucking about with the trimmer and much against the grain I have to admit I've been a numpty ( again I hear you say ). The best way to use the trimmer is just tack it to your table/desk top with sufficient BluTack to make it stick, this way the trimmer can take the pushing pressure and there's also nothing in the way for you to angle your nails to cut the corners if needed or have somebody stretch out each finger so you can cut/clip each finger nail. I've found the trimmer to be most effective when your nail(s) is run along the length of the trimming edge, remember trimming takes longer than cutting but is much safer and can give you further independence!
Try all methods if you can, then decide what way is best, I'm quite impressed with the Trimmer & BluTack method, defo the way to go! Hope this helps you, remember, persevere, you may not get it right first time. BluTack is the way to go for sure, defo the best for adhesiveness and pointing the trimmer in any direction.
I've tried a few in my time, Amazon, Ebay, able2wear, the Internet, cheap tops, dear tops, value tops, you name it but (no I'm not on commission) but I've standardised on Cottontraders www.cottontraders.com rugby style tops and a few long sleeved type tops. Yes you'll pay a bit more but you receive tops that keep their shape, don't shrink and you can't spit through them. You do 'get what you pay for'.
The rugby tops are a bit dearer but they are well made and hard wearing and stand up to repeated washing/ironing and more importantly, one handed pull-on's/pull-offs. For the Summer, I tend to buy short sleeved rugby style tops and long sleeved tops for the winter.
Back to Cotton Traders who seem to be a well organised company. My partner is also a member with a different surname, I say this because as a tight assed Jock and given that CottonTraders run a number of discount schemes throughout the year, I have on occasion used her discount code with my details if offering more discount than mine - you have to think out the box now and again!
Apart from being swamped with catalogues once a member, they have a good website for men & women and most importantly for me, they have a 29" leg for trouser selection, give them a try. They also are good size wise with a good selection of tops, short sleeved, long sleeved, Guinness, zipped, un-zipped you name it they probably got it.
So, CottonTraders for me, for now!
STROKE - Stroke affects us this way, we lose confidence in what we did pre-stroke and we lose confidence in what can be done post-stroke.
HINTS AND TIPS FOR DAILY LIVING AND DRESSING FOR STROKE SURVIVORS
Hi, my name is John and I live in lovely Eyemouth on the East coast of Scotland. At the time of writing this I'm 63, technically nearing old fart status. Yes I had a stroke at 57 (2014 Feb) being fit as a butchers dog up to the stroke, then it all changed, sounds clichéd I know but it was life changing, from being engaged, to doing photography, playing badminton for a league team, fishing etc. - I couldn't contemplate doing any of these things/activities after my stroke.
So where are the daily living and dressing hints and tips about I hear you ask? They are further down in the website but you should find them OK. First, I’m going to bore you to death with an “about me” section.
I'm grateful to the NHS who looked after me for about a year then effectively dumped me, at least that's how it felt. Money or the lack of it I guess, but the services in this area for stroke survivors are poor to non-existent, maybe I'm looking in the wrong places? There's one club in Eyemouth but if you have difficulties with swallowing as I do then swimming is not an option! Hope you are better served in your area but that's how I feel - sorry, maybe the NHS staff were doing their best within their working parameters, I don't know and at the time, couldn't say. The annoying thing is us stroke survivors can often understand before we can communicate effectively and it's easier to just give up or shut up!
I had a stroke, a fairly bad brainstem stroke which also damaged my brain a bit ( medulla and pons areas but apart from short term memory loss, bad fine motor control, I’m not too bad, in the brain that is. ). I know there are those much worse and I can only sympathise with them and their relations and carers. I've read about the brain, stroke, stroke stories, the affects of stroke etc., other countries may be ahead of us but basically, there is no real cure, only damage limitation.
Some recover, some don't. This website is NOT another STROKE TALE or a STROKE STORY or STROKE BLOG oh no, there is enough on the web already written about stroke and virtually anything can be looked up or referenced. This is just about passing on a few stroke daily living and dressing hints and tips, mostly daily living and dressing hints and tips that have been found through living with a stroke and just making things a bit easier, so please read on.
Left with right sided paralysis, aphasia, a drop right foot, spasticity in my right arm and fingers and right leg, bad emotional lability which thankfully more or less left me after about two years post stroke, a sometimes shaky left arm/hand ( I was right handed pre-stroke ), easily tired, stiffening up as the day goes on.
I'm not finished yet so please be patient: clonus in my right leg, pins and needle feeling in my lips and right fingers that on a scale of 1 to 10 was 8 now a 2 or 3, knackered lungs, no balance so I can do about 5 or 10yds at a time with a large sized tripod, weakened/tightened muscles which feel heavy, swallowing problems, digestive problems ( heartburn mainly, some refer to it as acid reflux ), a slowness in thinking and moving.
I soldier on, these were the main things and I know for some sadly the list can go on and NO, I'm not looking for sympathy, I think It's important you know of my disabilities so maybe you can relate to the necessity for some of the solutions depicted on this site - here's hoping anyway. Oh and by the way, my stroke was caused by Hughes Syndrome which I must confess to knowing little about. Its a condition often referred to as Sticky Blood which I feel is a more descriptive version of the problem.
We are told from an early stage we are Stroke Survivors and to be positive, the people around you should be positive too but let's be honest, call a spade a spade - a stroke is a shitty thing that can happen to anybody, dress it up how you want, it's still a very shitty thing to happen to anybody, it affects so many people In different ways. As I said, there are worse and I've learned to accept my condition. There's no denying neuroplasticity does work but no one knows how much and on who it works on, and to what degree, all I'm told is "how long is a piece of string"?
I'm now a hemiplegic, couldn't talk more than a few words for several years, easily tired, (keying with one hand - the wrong one, one fingered) and about as useful to a normal able bodied person as a chocolate fireguard! So it's easy for everyone to be positive ha ha, - well actually this site is written with a positive note in mind, being positive makes living a bit easier, I would never say easy, as most of us living with stroke or a similar condition could testify. So this website is about hints and tips for us stroke survivors. It's true though, being positive does make life a bit easier, doing more by ourselves now isn't that good - be more independent as well as positive!
I toyed with the idea of writing this Website and finally got my finger out my ass ( if only I could wipe it more easily when going for a No. 2 ) and I must tell you I'm not selling anything, not a thing! I'm fed up of clicking a link, going to a site to be offered something at a super price, making a partial donation to so and so, come on, give us all a break! So you can take any information and either absorb it or ignore it, I don't mind.
I must say a big thankyou to my partner, it couldn't have been easy, still isn't though some things do improve over time. I remember hearing from one NHS guru as I lay recovering, "Your in a marathon not a sprint", and boy was she right! Us stroke survivors learn about patience, we learn to be patient, we learn about waiting for everything and coming to terms with having to wait, so we do. Not easy when frustration is at a maximum and patience are at a minimum and when like me you can be a stubborn, cranky old bar-steward! Back on track though, it's all about independence, doing as much as we can ourselves not involving our partner or carer, that's what this website is about to an extent and if any of the topics are of use to anybody, great
If you have a daily living or dressing tip or you have a useful addition to the site, please submit the details for consideration. Remember I have included hints and tips that have helped ME, every stroke IS different, that is very true so some of the stroke daily living and dressing hints and tips won’t be applicable to you. Feel free just to email, they say it's good to talk, or email in our case. Oh and please excuse any spelling and grammatical type errors you find, my English is not as good after the stroke. Remember, this site was purely written to pass on stroke daily living and dressing hints and tips that have helped me. These hints and tips may not suit your stroke condition but even if you find one of the tips useful, job done.
I better mention my other website too, it will help with the search engines if I link to it. If you are interested in photography, take a look at jppics.co.uk
Please check out my other site of photographs of Eyemouth, Berwick and the Scottish Borders here.
I also have my iPhone pics at jppics.co.uk
So read on MacDuff ( OK it was Lead on MacDuff, but mine has a certain ring to it too), if you want to pick up some stroke daily living and dressing hints and tips which have helped me and might help you too then please read on!.
Some info on Eyemouth …..
Eyemouth is located on the North Sea coast of the Scottish Borders about 8 miles North of Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Eyemouth offers something for everyone and the slight detour off the A1 is deemed worthwhile. Eyemouth is partly a seaside resort and partly a working fishing harbour and boatyard. Its attractions include shops, beach, piers, a working harbour, and enough visitor attractions to keep you entertained when the Scottish weather is at it's worst
The Eye Water tumbles into the North Sea here and the harbour has been used as far back as the 1200's.. During Henry VIII's visit's into Scotland during the 1540s the English used the port and built an artillery fort on the east side of the Eye Water. Check out the iPhone gallery for a look at the fort. This site used in 1753 for one of Eyemouth's treasures, Gunsgreen House.
Fishing played a vital part in the local economy as early as the late 1200s, but it also caused tragedy. During the 1800s, While the fleet was out at sea on 14 October 1881, 189 local fishermen, including 129 from Eyemouth itself, lost their lives. The harbour was improved to provide a much safer entrance, but too late for the victims of the disaster and their families.
In earlier times Eyemouth had it's share of smugglers. As the Scottish port nearest the continent it became a natural place for the illicit import of spirits and other goods. One report suggested that the roof space of Gunsgreen House overlooking the harbour was regularly used as a store for smuggled tea.
Most of Eyemouth's current harbour dates back to a major rebuilding in 1965, while the "new harbour" and fishmarket were added at the seaward end of the east side of the river mouth more recently, along with a new access road.
In the part of the town nearest the harbour you find the Auld Kirk, now used as the Eyemouth Museum, which tells the story of the fishing and social heritage of Eyemouth. The museum has on display a tapestry commemorating the 1881 fishing disaster. Opposite the Auld Kirk is the attractive Town Hall now closed.
As you move north west the sense of a working fishing harbour is quickly replaced by that of a seaside resort. Eyemouth offers a sandy north-facing beach and curved gently, the beach is framed by the rocks of the bay to the west and the harbour walls to the east which enclose the harbour, worthy of a look.
Eyemouth, my photo representing The Great Fishing Disaster of 1881
Some Information on Berwick ....
The history of Berwick-upon-Tweed and its effect upon locals, has added to the strength and character of the town. The strong fortifications of this fairly complete walled town date from the 14th-century when the wall stood at a height over 20ft high and boasted 19 towers. To ensure complete safety for the town, Elizabeth I ordered a new wall to be built on the northern and eastern sides of the town. Elizabeth, secured Italian experts to build the new wall, they were said to be experts in building defences that would make full use of Artillery and fire protection was assured for all parts of the wall by the building of 5 large bastions. This wall was rebuilt in 1760 and has survived as a complete circuit round Old Berwick. It remains today in excellent condition and a walk along the top gives great views of both the town and the harbour.
Interestingly, the Parish church, is one of the few churches built during Cromwell's period. It is well preserved and in the latter part of the 19th-century, there was further work on an extension.
Berwick Upon Tweed Castle was built in 1150 but owing to the extensive use of railways the castle was almost completely demolished by the Victorians who used the site for the railway station. The Royal Border Bridge was built by Robert Stephenson in 1850. There are 28 arches and the bridge stands 130ft high. Berwick has two other bridges, one is dated 1624 and the other was built in 1928.
Vanbrugh built Ravensdowne Barracks in 1717, known to be one of Britain's first barracks in the area and they were built due to the protests of the townspeople who objected to billeting soldiers in their homes.
The Berwick of today is a charming and historic town. Within the walls, old grey-stone buildings include fine Georgian and Victorian houses hidden under pink-red roofs together in old cobbled streets. The town hall is of classical design, it has four Tuscan columns a bell tower and its steeple soars nearly 150ft. This building was built in 1750 and its top floor was once the town goal!
Berwick's a member of the Northumberland Fishing Heritage Trust and assures the visitor that this is not just an old town but a lively market town set on the shores of a large expanse of ocean.
This historic town is surrounded by rich countryside. Travel a few miles inland and you will come to the Southern Upland Way, which runs through some of the most beautiful scenery in the Scottish Border country. Well worth a visit.
Berwick in the distance, taken with an iPhone that takes very good photographs