a quick visit to manchester to see my mum took me to another cinema complex, salford quays – manchester seems to be building a whole load of shopping centres! went to see the theory of everything – which i blubbered all the way through, but loved. both the main actors were brilliant, and i came away realising that everyone feels that life is full of obstacles and upsets, and yet this family got on with their lives with the most drastic of ailments and achieved more than your average healthy person – it was an inspiration and a lesson that health and family are life’s priorities. i do wonder whether they could invent some small computer for stroke victims like my mother, who’s own speech has been damaged – she desperately wants to tell me things, but her brain and mouth are just not communicating – so frustrating. in some ways the problem is similar to motor neurone, except i am realising that in my mother’s case the stroke actually damaged the brain, so maybe its more complex than i am imagining. we always end up looking back at old photos – something parents always like doing – i love the way my mother dressed as a young 20 something. here is a rare picture of my dad, who i have not met since i was 5 years old. i wonder whether i do actually remember him, or whether its from the photos that i have seen?