Creativity with colouring, underwear and a bit of a rant.

wordpress countries

I’ve been joining a few Facebook pages to learn more about stroke recovery, find out about the experiences of others and promote this blog. As a result it continues to get more readers.

The graphic on the left shows the views and countries so far. People from 75 countries have viewed this blog more than 23,600 times since I published the first post back in June.

The many Facebook comments (and a few here) show Amanda’s journey continues to inform, inspire and educate people, whether they are living with the effects of a stroke or not.


This week, Amanda finally fulfilled one of the early predictions by one of her hospital therapists.

They had noted her brain injury was on her left side. So the analytical part of her thinking and reasoning would be impaired. Hence her continuing struggle to re-learn to read, write and regain numeracy skills. But that means her artistic and creative right side would now dominate.

So when I suggested she might like to give colouring a go she was keen.

I printed off a suitably detailed design and found a box of virtually un-used colouring pencils. I placed them in front of her and left her to it.

She concentrated for more than 45 minutes, carefully selecting the colour scheme and drawing bewteen the lines, holding the pencil  in her left hand.

While this might seem basic and a somewhat mundane task, it requires a variety of skills and motor/hand/eye co-ordination to keep it up for that long. She also said she enjoyed it, which is good as it’s a simple pasttime which she can pick up and put down whenever she feels like it.

The other project this week, which crosses over between both the creative and the analytical came as a complete surprise to me.

I came home from work on Wednesday to find the support worker had noted in the diary that Amanda had requested assistance in tidying her underwear drawer. Sure enough the previously ransacked appearance to the contents of both drawers was now both colour and item – coded.

To me, this was yet another milestone since it required initiative, forethought, planning and perserverence. It was not something she had mentioned to me beforehand, and whenever she had thought about doing it, she had remembered it until the person she wanted to help her with it walked through the door on Wednesday morning.

So in some ways a very subtle, but in other ways another significant event on this journey.


Today (Monday) is a public holiday in New Zealand. Many smaller owner-operated retail outlets are closed for the day. Especially, and bizarrely cafes, whose lifeblood is essentially the public wandering the streets in search of food and drink, and a demographic in absolute abundance on any public holiday. particularly one  which occurs on a warm Spring day.

So after a leisurely drive through verdant  river valleys blossoming with blackcurrents, apples, pears,  beer hops, kiwifruit and grapevines, we stopped for coffee and cake.

Once we found the one cafe open in a street where at least eight were closed, we ordered and then waited twenty five minutes while the three staff slowly served the dozen orders behind ours, turning away at least another thirty people (who could clearly see more than enough empty seats to accomodate them) and actually suggesting they go down the road to McDonalds!

By the time we got our drinks and cakes, the rush was over and the staff were left with us and about six other people. No-one else to serve. They were all up the road paying a multinational global fast food giant to make them their coffee. When they could’ve had what we had (see below).

hot choc

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