It's been a while since the last update at 'Beyond the Pale' about the state of health of Chris Cooke, following his very serious stroke in the Autumn
Chris's wife Eliza wrote, in March: ‘It turns out Chris had two strokes, never one to do things by halves ...’. In Chris’s own words, in a recent phone call, 'I was pretty much a vegetable for the first few months' … and it’s clear that, though there may be a long, long way to go, he has equally come a long, long way already.
Having recovered movement to his left side, he has been relying on a Zimmer frame, but using a Rollator for trips out, and is currently making big improvements walking with a stick. The walking progress has been hindered a tad by arthritis in his left knee, but it continues to be positive. BtP learnt that he has recently been out for a pub lunch with friends, getting in and out of a car.
Because the right side of his face is not moving, his jaw won’t open far (and his right eye won’t return to ‘eyeball central’) but he recovered speech quite early. This was, in Eliza’s words, ‘a relief, since the point-to-a-letter card was like playing Scrabble with no tiles and, as Chris’s spelling has always been eccentric, it was hard work’.
She points out that the jaw issue ‘hinders his speech a little – he sounds like he is doing a bad ventriloquist imitation – but once you get tuned in, it’s fine.’ Certainly BtP recently found no difficulty in a recent telephone conversation with Chris, over some twenty minutes: he seemed much his usual self, positive, amusing, and with all critical faculties firmly intact.
A few days back we received this e-mail from Chris, which gives a stirring and heartening account of his current state of mind:
‘Sometimes you come to a crossroads in life and you realise if you look in one direction you can see that I used to be a rambler, used to be a bird watcher, used to be involved in music, used to be a biker: but if you look in the other direction you see that looking forward you are now a survivor …and what that brings is yet to be discovered and enjoyed.’
Picture of Chris taken on
12 July 2019.
'Beyond the Pale' is very sorry to bring sad news about Procol Harum's stalwart manager, Chris Cooke: these are the words of Eliza Richardson, his wife.
Readers will appreciate that Chris's e-mail address is not operational at present.
For the moment, please use email@example.com for any Procol management business.
Rather than contacting Eliza for the time being please use firstname.lastname@example.org, and 'Beyond the Pale' will forward messages when appropriate.
Many thanks to everyone for your understanding and kind cooperation.