Have now been out of hospital for several weeks resting and recovering; progress is good and I have been back to Queens Square in London this week for testing; it was good to see the nurses who looked after me again - I took them a thank you card and a big box of chocolates - which always make you popular on a ward!
I have passed all the mental evaluation tests with flying colours and it is now just a long march back to the physical fitness and stamina required. I am liasing every day with Jon and the team in Hexham and Westminster, albeit I am still following doctors orders that I am not physically strong enough to return to parliament.
I have had plenty of time resting up to study the news and TV over the last few weeks and 3 events have particularly caught my eye:
1. The Queen in Ireland: she is simply amazing; the impact of her trip on Anglo Irish relations is impossible to underestimate. As one commentator put it - "The Queen's visit has allowed Ireland to forgive and move on."
2. Obama: an amazing speech in Westminster Hall and he is clearly not a bad table tennis player! I was particularly sad not to be at Westminster Hall because a lot of my friends in the House got to meet him afterwards.
If you have not read Obama's speech I urge you to do so - he is a great man doing an impossibly difficult job.
for a full transcript
3. Broadband: sadly I have just been informed that the Lib Dem run Northumberland County Council have failed to apply for the government funding for rural broadband. Their inaction is simply tragic and patently wrong. I have organised a press release on this issue as local people are and will be very upset at the Council and we need to put pressure on them to sort it out.
Finally thank you for your support, cards and messages. They mean a lot to me.