I am ready. The new chapter starts here. Release from 18 days in hospital with a reconstructed throat. I am ready. For life. For new adventures. And there sure is gonna be a lot of all that.

First though, departure. Final meds given out, doctors’ sign off, words of wisdom and final NHS breakfast for a while. Last night was an excellent night’s sleep, despite being moved onto an open ward. I plugged my ears, pulled down my mask and slept deeply. Then it was just the collection of meds etc to take home and a trip back to Wales with Dinah.

Released! I’m writing this blog on the hoof. Dinah made it over to hospital just after 10am. I had the novelty of dressing in a shirt, instead of t-shirt and pyjamas. How very grown up.

Needless to say the weather is predictable. The further we go west the wetter it gets. Wales will be torrential!

The title of today’s blog is a natural consequence of where I find myself. Whilst every day is the first day of the rest of your life, today feels significant for many reasons.

First up the new throat, voice and breathing capacity will shape how I live, how I communicate, how I work and socialise. I had already started to adjust to this before the op. But now the reality will land in the next month or so. I have tentative plans for the next year, that are linked to photography and writing. More on all of that in the coming few weeks.

In addition to physical, psychological and emotional adjustments to a new lifestyle, I have other life stuff going on. My house is just about to have some major reconstruction, after the identification of subsidence. The process of rebuild and redecoration is still to be fully agreed by the insurance underwriters, but eventually they’ll bite the bullet. Upheaval in the home over Christmas? Probably!

However, on a positive note I have a birthday coming up on Sunday. Not only do I have the present of a new throat, but also a new campervan! I bought a VW Kombi van in October and it has been in with New Wave (great conversion service) whilst I have been in hospital.

Ironically the van is ready for collection today, it’s reconstruction is complete too! We’ll be picking it up on Monday. Very exciting.

And then there’s the birthday. I am 59 on Sunday, which means that 2020 is my 60th year, with the big birthday to come. Such milestones tend to encourage refection of the past and a focus upon future and this one is no different. I do not have many certain plans at present. More an overarching approach. Everything I do this year will develop from where I am now and support my wellbeing. Central to this are Dinah and my plans to sell both houses and buy something together.

As you can see, a significant year, and today certainly is the first day of the rest of my life.