Well…… Farmboy’s Coolbox started life in 2011 as a blog focused on wine and food. Hence ‘Coolbox’, with ‘Farmboy’ coming from an old nickname. Originally focusing on food and wine.
Then came 2013 and everything changed.
I had started to cycle, finally a more healthy addiction alongside all that food and wine! Healthy until I had a crash. Not a bad one and I was winded but up and about and able to ride home. A little damage to my precious first bike but that was it.
After a week or so, I started to have some strange symptoms. Weakness in the right side, trembling, a sort of ‘sinking’ feeling that would hit suddenly and then clear up after a couple of minutes, a little like my body suddenly weighed a thousand kilos. Difficult to describe.
I thought this was related to that crash and saw a Physio. Nothing changed so to the doctor I went. That was on a Friday. The following Monday I was in front of a Neurologist. A battery of tests and on August 23rd, 2013, I was provisionally advised that I had symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. The crash was a coincidence. A Spinal Tap (not just a comedy band, apparently) and more analysis culminated in diagnosis with suspected Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.
A wheelchair loomed large in my mind. I decided to cycle as much as possible. Whilst I still could.
It’s now been seven years. Still not in that wheelchair. And I continue to ride. As much as possible. Still a lot of uncertainty but make the best of the good days. I started to set challenges for myself, starting with Mont Ventoux. Part of a fund raiser for MS charities. I was not the only one with MS on the mountain that day. That’s special, believe me.
Cycling and MS are now the central subjects of this blog. It’s still called ‘Farmboy’s Coolbox’. There is still some food and wine (I still love a good meal with a good wine!) and other things I enjoy such as travel and occasional reflections on recent events. I keep meaning to write about music but never quite manage. A bit random sometimes.
As for why the name has not changed on the blog? I guess I can be honest here. Simply too lazy to change it.
My name is Stephen (preferably Steve) Farmer, born in March 1975. English born, living in the Netherlands since 1998. A great country to live, not without it’s idiosyncrasies but where isn’t? You get used to them. The reason I am here is because my wife is Dutch. We met in France as students under the ERASMUS scheme in 1994, a truly international relationship.