I aim to raise money for the Bristol Area Stroke Foundation (BASF) whose professional staff and volunteers offer guidance and support for those affected by stroke.
I had my stroke in November 2014, hours after my left knee was replaced. It happened because of an unsuspected hole in my heart (Patent Foramen Ovale). It was closed in January 2015 as day-case! Since then, I have gradually improved and am fit and active, - reading, writing and drawing quite well. I still have some little mementos of my 'brush with death'. My speech was initially quite badly affected but is progressively improving to the extent that, most of the time, I tend to feel almost "normal" !
I want to do something for those who have not been so lucky. But what!
I used to pride myself that I could recite Robert Burns' epic poem "Tam o' Shanter", which I enjoyed doing on request at least once every year for at least 25 years. The last time was on my 70th birthday, about a month before my stroke. It was recorded on DVD and, about a year after, friends kindly had the clip uploaded onto YouTube.
I am emailing it to my most appropriate email contacts in the hope that some of them might be interested enough to email it to theirs, (even those who don't themselves go a bundle on Burns). In effect, I am inviting everyone to participate, if they can, in a dreaded chain letter - to the benefit of the BASF!
I am launching my appeal in time for the annual celebration of the Bard's birthday on the 25th of January.
The URL for the recitation is https://youtu.be/F5bD2Lj_oAs
A word of warning. My recitation takes about 20 minutes, of which the first 5 consists of an attempted explanation about what the poem is all about. This is for the benefit of those of you (like me) for whom 18th century Lowland Scots is not their native tongue. I hope, nonetheless, that some of you will be interested and even enthusiastic about my take on "Tam", and sufficiently so to spare a bob or two for the work of the BASF.
I have been trying to memorise "Tam" for over two years as part of my on-going occupational therapy . With luck I may succeed by my 80th birthday!