A week in the life of Alec Whitaker 12/02/18 – 18/02/18 – London trip

This week has been pretty eventful.

Mum decided a few weeks ago that it would do us good to have a break away, visiting family near London. I agreed at the time but had temporarily forgotten about Valentines Day! Of course it was only fair that I took Emily out for a Valentines meal beforehand.

It was actually nice to do something with her on a different date, as the 14th February is not a good date for me to remember. It was on this day that I had my stroke 18 years ago. I splashed out the cash and took her to Rio Ferdinand’s Italian Restaurant – Rosso’s and then on to The Alchemist for cocktails afterwards.


My disability came into play, which of course it inevitably does on numerous occassions  when we were in London. Mum and I decided to have a day out in the city and decided to eat at a desserts restaurant in Soho called Amorino.  (We didn’t intend on going into Soho on purpose.. we just came across it)!


I ordered a waffle with vanilla ice-cream and Mum ordered a crepe with mango ice-cream. I found it rather difficult cutting my waffle as we were only supplied with plastic knives and forks and as a result I dropped my waffle from the plastic plate onto the floor.. what a waste!

I have always been uncomfortable when eating around other people and I know I come across as a fussy eater! The majority of the time, this is not actually the case. I have to choose food that I know I can eat with just my right hand as I struggle to hold both a knife and fork.

Over the years I have been supplied with numerous adapted utensils but I haven’t felt comfortable enough using these in a public environment.

** On a side-note many are not aware and do not realise that for some your taste buds change when you have a stroke **

Mum tells me how I was always a fantastic eater before my stroke and I can remember loving my food and meal times.

In London, my stammer was a problem when we went to the cinema. We took my cousins to see Coco – the new Disney film, which I think the children were looking forward to more than us!

I was mortified at the time and am now quite angry when I look back at what took place. When I was asked if I would like anything to eat/drink my words got stuck. I had it pre-planned in my head what I wanted to say – “A large sweet popcorn and Coke please” although this did not come. I got myself all flustered and worked up and heavily stuttered on the word ‘sweet’.

To my surprise, the woman behind the counter started to mimic my speech. I didn’t know what to do, so I continued trying to push the word out as my Mum was unsure on what I wanted to say. In hindsight we should have made a complaint and we will possibly still do so.

Overall, my break away in London did me the world of good. It was lovely spending time with relatives and I felt that I was able to relax and unwind. Nevertheless, I acknowledge that I am still a little withdrawn at the moment and would like to apologise to cousin Ben for not being very sociable when we saw you.

Furthermore, although my confidence is currently at rock bottom, I feel more positive within myself especially, when I took the lead of navigating the London transport system, with Mum following in my footsteps. I felt totally in control which in turn boosted my confidence and morale.

Of course it goes without saying that a bit of therapeutic retail shopping on Oxford Street was involved, which certainly boosted my spirits!


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