My leisure time was a lot different before the accident.
No one likes to be told that they take their life for granted, it makes us feel selfish and ignorant. But I can confidently say that I never fully appreciated my able-life before it was changed irrevocably. This doesn’t necessarily have to be bad thing though.
A chief example of this is how I choose to spend my leisure time. Before the accident, I would take every possible opportunity to lie full stretch on my sofa and indulge in hours of television. This, for me, was the very height of relaxation and there was no better way to beat it. After my accident, I had become so used to lying prostrate on my hospital bed that I had no intention of doing so any more. As soon as I was well enough to get back on feet, I became fixated on keeping myself busy and found the perfect place to do so in my garage.
Previously, my garage had been a rather typical space full of dust and old things that I could never get round to throwing away. When I regained my mobility, I made it my mission to clear out this space and start work on my own project that would keep me busy outside of work hours and not allow me to fall into the slothful habits that I’d previously had. Although I was satisfied doing the work that I’d always enjoyed in the garage, I wanted to stretch myself and start working on more complex electronic tuning jobs that would really push my knowledge.
After spending close to a month patiently sorting through and getting rid of all the junk that had accumulated in the garage, I was ready to start on my first project. I’d picked up a cheap 1999 Ford Fiesta for £800 and decided that I was going to transform it into a super-powered touring car with the help of a few technological tricks and tips. My wife was tipped off when the first few packages started making their way to house. Although I was trying to be careful with my spending, I soon found myself splashing out on a string of DC-DC converters, new wheels and tuning gears that would turn my little hatch back into a formidable racer.
One of the biggest challenges I had was getting to grips with the electronic wiring system installation. This Fiesta is a pretty simple little car when it comes down to it, so installing an electronic tuning system in it is probably the not most sensible thing to do, but it’s this marriage of simplicity and complexity that has attracted me to this project. I probably won’t even keep the car when it’s finished, with a bit of luck I’ll be able to pass it on to an excitable first-time driver, who’ll no doubt enjoy showing it off to his mates.
Once this project is finished maybe I’ll be satisfied enough to take some real time off, but knowing me I’ll probably just find something else to tinker with…