Happy New Year 2016

I'd like to wish everyone the very best for 2016.

I'd particularly like to thank everyone at Ataxia UK. 2015 was a "difficult" year for me personally, and Ataxia UK (esp. John Williams) were always ready with a supporting hand.

And to everyone who contributes here. There are no words to describe how supportive it is just to converse with someone who knows exactly what you are talking about. Particularly when that person is a complete stranger, to begin with anyway, and when not much is said really. A simple "keep your chin-up", said at the right time, is priceless. Thank you all.

A special mention goes to Nigel Heath (nigelrheath on here). Always so positive. And your positivity DOES rub-off Nigel. This forum is a much better place for your contributions. Thanks! And living down in Southampton, you might be interested in this :


And in a similar vein of positivity, and if anyone lives in the London area (or will be visiting on that day), I'd like to welcome everyone to join me for a morning stroll around Hyde Park on Saturday 23 January. Which also just so happens to be my 50th birthday (50? So soon?). It's only a 4km walk, on very level paths, so is suitable for everyone. And to thank those who will join me on the day, I will hand out, randomly, a £50 voucher for lunch for 2 at the Urban Meadow Cafe. The voucher doesn't have to be used on that date though.

I hope that 2016 will be a better year for you too!

Iain :)

10 Replies

  • Happy New Year Ian😀xB

  • Dear Iain

    Thank you for your new year greeting.

    I would have loved to join you in London but at that time will be beating off the sun's rays in Mexico. Hard job but someone has to do it!

    Let me know when you next venture south and I'll do my best to connect with you.


  • Oh and happy birthday too.

  • Where are you off to in Mexico Nigel? Travelled around the Yucatan 10 years ago (for my 40th coincidentally!). Amazing place. Enjoy!

  • Somewhere south of Cancun on the Caribbean coast. Looking forward to it. Will Facebook while away if you want to connect let me know.


  • Iain,

    Happy B-day and happy 2016! Sadly, I wont be in London on the day you say. I dont even live in the UK! I am trying to walk w/o a stick but am finding it increasingly challenging. Speaking of travel, I recently went to Eilat, Israel, which wasnt warm. I meant to ask: Do either of you travel with special insurance?? N

  • Thanks neta.

    When I travelled previously, I notified the insurance company of "any pre-existing conditions". At that stage, docs were still convinced it was a simple balance-problem that I had, and as I also suffer from tinnitus, the insurance company were happy for me just to put "tinnitus" as a pre-existing condition. As that was the only pre-existing condition that was definite at that point.

    I'll be travelling soon though, and will declare my ataxia this time. Otherwise, what's the point of buying the insurance? The insurance company would only use any non-disclosure to invalidate any claim (whether health-related or not!).

    No doubt it will cost me "an arm and a leg" this time. I'll let you know.

    And have "a Guid New Year" as they say in these parts!

    Iain :)

  • Regarding your stick. And this is just my opinion. I'm probably over-cautious, but I would suggest using your stick before a fall gives you another problem to cope with. Ataxia is easier to face when your body is otherwise healthy.

    I only started using my stick as a "one-off". My sister spends 2 weeks every year on a canal boat. Normally, I join them. However, last summer, I decided it just wasn't worth the risk (and aside from sharing the driving duties, I would be pretty much useless anyway). However, events meant that I had to go for a few days. I would just be staying on the boat, and doing not-a-lot. But I took a walking stick anyway. Just to help me on/off the boat.

    Now, I use it every day, and would never leave the house without it. I don't always need it to walk though. Just for negotiating obstacles - and as a "safety blanket" I suppose (for I WILL need it at some point).

    I've probably pre-empted my use of a walking stick then.

    But I haven't fallen since using it (I do use it occasionally - and would have tumbled a few times without it).

    So when I do need it 24/7, I will be used to using it - people will have got used to seeing me with it - and I will be wobbling WITH NO BROKEN BONES!

    HTH Iain :)

  • Stick-

    Yes,well you and everyone else except my husband and some of my kids, are totally for it. This issue has been going on for ages. I cant seem to see myself with a cane so I carry a fold able cane in my bag. I recognize this is perverse and dangerous. N

  • Here, my travel agent simply wont issue an insurance policy if a pre-existing condition is observed or admitted to. I basically know that my insurance is useless or will require a lawsuit. I travel hoping and praying nothing weird will happen. Here, they might say "a good commercial new year" or a "good civil new year." Not a religious thing at all. N

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