Beating the Block

Why – Why – Why – am I finding this so difficult to do? It’s as if there is a 20ft brick wall separating my thoughts from my keyboard and someone as greased its face to make it more difficult to clamber over. Writer’s Block, I’ve heard of it, even laughed about it, but never did I think I’d get it. I will write again, but first I’d like to explain why I stopped: On August 15th, 2011, I suffered a bleed on the brain – a cerebral hemorrhage. What a horrendous experience that was, one that I nor anyone else will ever forget. It felled me as if I were a tree and almost took my life. For weeks after my life-saving operation, I lived in a sub-conscious, morphine-induced world of horror; Helpless as a newborn baby, I wondered around the spirit world looking for a way out. I’ve been to dark places before, but this one takes the biscuit.
While I was fighting this battle, others, namely my Dad, my younger sister, Meg, and my little Bro, John, were fighting theirs too. But the biggest battle of all was being fought by Jackie, my wife.
Eight years have passed since that cataclysmic day and Jackie has been there for every single one of them; working relentlessly, tirelessly, to keep our heads above water and aiding my recovery. Eight years! she’s been hard at it, never complaining, just cracking on with whatever needs doing. It’s Jackie’s hard work and devotion that made it possible for me to follow the path I’m now on.

After eight years of being the carer for others, it was now Jack’s turn to be the patient; in July of this year, Jackie had to undergo major surgery, and after the op, she needed rest. So, after bravely facing what must have been the scariest time of her life, she was in need of three months R’n’R (Rest And Recuperation). This situation was a real eye-opener for me, because, my role had been reversed. Being in a wheelchair, I couldn’t do a great deal to help her with her culinary requirements, but, I could make myself less demanding, and ease her workload. In theory, all this sounded quite easy. Far from it. All the effort that I usually applied to navigate my own little path, now had to be diverted in totally the opposite direction, towards Jack. And rightfully so!
Think of a half dial, with my name, Mick, on the left side, and Jack’s name on the right side, with a large arrow pointing towards Jack’s name, indicating where all my effort is going. Thankfully, Jack is now well on the mend, and things are steadily returning to as they were before.


With Jack now back at work, albeit on a phased return basis, and enjoying being able to ride her beloved Horse, Kracker, again, I can pick up those loose ends that I dropped a long summer ago. That large arrow is almost back to its fully left position, pointing to Mick, and as soon as I press publish on this post, it will click that final notch, and lights will flash, sirens will wail and fireworks will explode.

Jack watching Swallow-tailed Butterflies

So, thanks to Jack and everyone who helped her on her road to recovery, I can now continue on my journey to becoming a better writer. Because that dark obstructive cloud as vacated my creative plain, we can now join hands and sing the School Anthem. I’ll start you off, on the count of three, 1 2 3 – yar de pockerty – rum ping poo…

Categories: Burning the Midnight Oil


I'm a disabled ex-Soldier, just entering my Autumn years. I write purely out of enjoyment about anything and everything. My main interests are Nature, especially birds and history. I enjoy reading, fiction or non-fiction, it doesn't matter, any genre pleases me.


  1. I’m hoping this will let me comment Mick, it won’t let me do it if I’m in your site like I normally do. It’s lovely to see a pic of you and Jack and I’m very pleased that both of you recovered from your major medical issues. I hope you both now have time to spend on the things you enjoy doing.

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