It’s been a lovely fortnight and this time, the post is all about the connections.

The Better Half and I have been celebrating her birthday this week. There were the obligatory emails and cards from the family but nothing comes close to the surprise for TBH.

The Youngest Stepson (TYS) spoke to me in secrecy about an arrangement for TBH’s birthday; I then told her that we would be joining the grandchildren to go out for dinner and games.

The reason for the secrecy? TYS had arranged for The Eldest Stepson (TES) to drive to Devon for the birthday. So on a dark evening, TBH and I were relaxing at the caravan when TES stepped inside and said “Ay Up”. TBH was flabbergasted, it was a true surprise and it meant a great deal to see him on her birthday.

Thinking about reconnecting, I was able to visit my colleagues in Stafford. My recovery has been well and there was the hope that this would be a key milestone in my therapy.

So I took the train from Exeter to Stafford, and met up with my boss K. He gave me a lift to the hotel where I could rest before joining K and a few more of our colleagues for dinner. It was a wonderful time to eat and talk with everyone; before I went back to the hotel and rest for the night.

Friday morning found me outside the hotel with K, who gave myself and R a lift to the offices. That particular day, the company were having a summit for all the staff which was the key reason to be visiting so, after dropping off a couple of parcels, I wandered the building to see who was around.

I walked into the directors A, J, R, & K; and spent ten minutes talking to them about my recovery and what my plans were. All of them said how brilliant to see me and that I was looking so well. Over sausage butties, I was able to talk to and reconnect to so many of my colleagues.

The opening keynote was a update on what has been happening in the company since the last summit. During this, R pointed out to everyone that I had made the time to see everyone and that the directors wished him well with his recovery. Following the keynote, we all disappeared into different directions.

K escorted me to a couple of sessions about Personnel and Training. The first session was all about the benefits and remuneration for the company. There wasn’t anything changed from the packages but there was new information about how the packages were administered.

The second session was more interesting; since the stroke, there has been a change internally and the company is starting to follow the Skill Framework for the Information Age (SFIA). This is quite informative and I can see why this has come about.

The closing keynote was fun; to see some staff winning their Long Service trophies for 3, 5 and 7 years respective; to see the embarrassed birthday winners; to the winners for Song of Praises. A fantastic ending to the summit.

A quick lunch and we met up for the afternoon. The company had arranged to help out the Canal & River Trust with cleaning up one of the local towpaths. With the morning, and now a walk to the towpath, I was feeling tired so I got told to sit down and have a chat with people.

After a rest, K walked with me back to the office where he gave a lift to the hotel. After dinner, I had an early night as I was still tired and had a slight headache.

Saturday morning dawned with breakfast. I took a taxi to the station where I took the train back to Exeter; getting back to the caravan late afternoon.

The weekend was a brilliant visit; I had a fantastic meeting up and speaking with my colleagues, and reconnecting with all the people I work with. I find myself blessed to work for such a wonderful company and they have been supportive of my recovery. It really is … about all the connections.

Posted in Stroke.

Dancer, Consultant, Husband, Stepfather, Grand-stepfather, Gamer; Gareth is the owner and webmaster of this little corner of the Internet.