Monthly Archives: February 2019

What I’ve been up to, to distract myself.

I went to a talk by Michael Palin last week, with Marky P. If you don’t know, he’s a pretty famous fella, old Michael P.

He’s written a(nother) book, called Erebus – the story of a ship. In the talk he read extracts ( I’ve since realised ) rather than ‘ talked ‘ . I know that cos I’ve downloaded the audio book, which is narrated by him, and bits sound very familiar ( that’s cos I heard him read em out last week… )

Anyway, it’s a fascinating true account of a maritime world long gone, a time of extreme hardship at sea, with potential death around every corner ( or beyond every wave perhaps ). The ship was eventually lost at sea, all hands lost, along with Terra, her companion sister ship. However they recently discovered the wreck of Erebus in the frozen Canadian Arctic, hundreds of years after she disappeared without trace, so her story has been resurrected you could say.

Last night I met my buddy Russ in Richmond. The 2 Russ’s went to see Trevor McDonut McDonald speaking, but at the last minute he was substituted by Alistair Macgowan, the impressionist off the telly. Blimey that bloke is talented. His impressions are off the scale accurate, and he’s very intelligent and comedic with it. He also played the piano – classical pieces no less, rather than Les Dawson stylee, so it was entertaining on many levels. He might have crested in terms of career, but it’s a shame that he’s not still on the TV, as he’s a bit of a superstar. That’s the way of celebrity though- you only have a short shelf life these days, before some dopey reality tv ‘star ‘ gets far more limelight than their speck of talent deserves. I watched that fella Danny Dyer’s show the other day, then realised he’s on all the time. How can that be? He’s totally bereft of any talent at all. I think he’s off East Enders, which he’s only on because he has an East End accent. That hardly qualifies you to have your own show about history, does it? I doubt he couldn’t spell Enry the Aitff , let alone Henry the Eighth, so how has he ever been allowed near a history program? It’s a bleedin misstery to me mate, it is. He makes Phil Mitchell look like Einstein.

Wendy and I saw My Beautiful Boy the other night. Now that’s worth watching. Powerful and a bit tragic yes, but a very common tale for sure, and undoubtedly set to be more commonplace for kids growing up now. We went to the Body Worlds exhibition last week, and there’s a bit in it which explains that if your brain is largely only exposed to the ‘ thrill’ of computer games, smoking spliffs and screen excitement ( rather than social skills) whilst developing ( yes your brain develops neural connections when it experiences pleasure ) then you come to only experience pleasure when exposed to those same stimuli for life, rendering a kid/ young adult cerebrally addicted ( irreversibly ) to his / her computer, forever ‘ socially inadequate ‘ . That’s scary isn’t it?

GET YOUR KIDS OFF THEIR COMPUTERS then.. or be (partly) responsible for the ( lack of ) personality outcome.

You were warned….

Sucker

What do you do when repeated efforts to fix something fail ? Well you change tack and try another way, I have learned.

My looker afterer, G, is a talented girl. There are lots of things she does well, and enthusiasm isn’t missing at all.

Hoovering however seems to be beyond her. So bad in fact that you can’t tell any difference between the area she has done and an area she hasn’t. I fairly regularly pointed out the, well let’s say shortcomings, of her efforts, but ultimately all I achieved was a flat that wasn’t any better Hoovered and a put out help…..

So I bought a robotic vacuum cleaner instead… and she ( I’ve called her Henrietta, after her well known bro ) is a little dream. She’s thorough, DOESN’T GET DISTRACTED, DOESNT STOP TO CHAT, doesn’t ever take offence if I nudge her to go over a certain area again etc etc

Every paralysed bloke should have one, if not ( maybe ) every bloke full stop…. the home harmony she brings is definitely, definitely worth the pounds paid.

I did a tad of research online. She was rated No 1. She’s a Bagotta – black, slinky and slavishly obedient…. I think some people could get a Robovac fetish.

But not me – things aren’t quite that desperate ( yet )

The access complication

So I’d booked special tickets for a screening of a romantic film inside The Natural History Museum for Valentines night… being the romantic type.

It’s only about 5 miles from here, so I reckoned an hour and a half travel allowance shoulda been more than double the time needed, even in the rush hour.

Best laid plans then… first bus was there straight away, and about 25 minutes to Hammersmith tube station. Few stops to Earls Court and 0.7 miles walk/roll after that – simples.

Getting off the train at Earls Court – following signs for the lift out, back and forth… until a chap in orange said ‘ no lift working at the moment, mate ‘… Brilliant, out of about half a dozen bloody District Line stations that are possible to use, they don’t see it as a priority to fix a lift out of one of them.

Ok then…. so with 25 minutes to go, arriving on time not looking so good. Next accessible station- Victoria….

Did that…. 1.8 miles back to the museum by bus …one that didn’t arrive for 15 minutes… and then got us within half a mile 10 minutes after the film was starting. Never mind, I was sure they’d let us in… no, they had closed the entrance altogether, and the main doors

No choice but to head back home really as iBot battery by this time depleting… another bus then… this time there was a bloke obviously completely off his face on drugs that thought he was Michael Jackson.. break dancing in the bus aisle right next to us for 25 minutes… which was actually a bit threatening as he looked ‘ well dodgy’…

20 minutes to Hammersmith, then another bus to where I live…

4 hours after we’d set off we were back where we started then …. filmless.

Never mind. Netflix and bed…. to the rescue.. The Notebook was a nice film. Neither of us had seen it before. At the end I realised that Wendy was looking a bit sad. I ( bit surprised having not been particularly moved ) said ‘ awwww’ etc etc.

Then she said that she’d been crying for at least 20 minutes and accused me of being totally cold hearted… blimey that’s so not true! I think one of us is definitely more ‘ emotional ‘ than the other though.

You gotta love her – she is so cute.

True

Police questioned two men yesterday… one had drunk battery acid and the other had eaten fireworks.

They charged one, and let the other one off.

C’mon… that is funny! 😂

PS There was a third one, wearing jump leads around his neck. They warned him not to start anything.

Chiefs

Well the Kaiser Chiefs were just brilliant, and blimey the iBot didn’t half make it better. For a start I could see the band, and getting through the crowd to the bit I was headed to is about a zillion times more possible when you look like a Transformer …

Kaisers 9/10 for me. They totally smashed it.

Brixton.

Pia and I went to see The Streets in Brixton Academy on Wednesday. Blimey they were good ( but they knew it …🎶 ) and the place was totally rammed.

Brixton has a few music venues, so it made it tricky that there was no working lift in Brixton tube station for about a year. It reopened in September, and its service as normal now. The point is that my wheelchair life does hinge around stuff like this working. When it breaks down or shuts, then my workable options are significantly buggered, in a way that they aren’t if you have legs that work fine.

Loads of London isn’t very accessible by tube, so it’s a case of me getting as close as I can and then using road, pavement or buses, which obviously by wheelchair isn’t necessarily straightforward either.

I don’t let these obstacles put me off though and just allow myself more time for stuff, and that works ok. Yes I do sometimes arrive at stuff late and can’t get in …. sometimes just a few minutes late. If it’s a theatre then basically that’s it – they won’t let me in until the interval.

Rules is rules… and I’m not complaining. I’ve learned that my smile and Welsh charm just isn’t enough….. I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s the sad reality!

Tonight Wendy and I, as well as Roy the Boy and Churchy Day are going to see The Kaiser Chiefs ( in Brixton again ).

Should be a corker!

Ta!

The other day I careered out of control down a ramp at a station. As I shouted I CAN’T STOP to Wendy, she started to laugh as I shot past her, having not tried to stop me…

That’s the problem with being a messer about’er – I’ve cried wolf too often. Anyway my Triride brakes had failed.. and continued to fail sporadically.

BUT today big thanks to Josh at The London Bicycle Workshop on King St Hammersmith for replacing the brakes and fitting reconditioned Shimanos, and charging me very little too.

Good work Josh.

And Happy birthday Mum x

Fingers crossed.

I’ve been for my interview. I filled in the application form and had to put no ( paid ) previous experience.
I was careful to tick the right boxes about ethnicity etc, and had to clarify in the space for ‘ other ‘.

See, although I may have come across for years as a white man, possibly with an excess of testosterone… I’ve actually always IDENTIFIED as a disabled black Jewish lesbian obese single mother.

If I don’t get the job I’ll be suing the fanny hair off her for discrimination.

You’re in London now.

Somebody (who shall stay unnamed) went for a lady thing involving wax whilst at mine on the weekend. It made me laugh so I’ll spill. She arrived on time to be asked to go into the room and undress. She asked for the paper knickers that are normally given in Oxford.
She was told – no, we don’t have those here; just lie on the treatment bed and separate your knees.
Being shy, she found that embarrassing but did it, and the lady did her wax stuff.
Then the lady said ‘ ok, now turn over ‘
Unnamed said – why ?

So I can do the other side- said the lady.

In Oxford I just sort of lift up one leg at a time… said Unnamed.

Ok but I’d like you to turn over and lie on your front please. Thank you.
Ok now reach behind and pull your bum cheeks apart so I can do the wax properly.

Mortified of Oxford did as she was told….

Blimey, the power of authority these beauticians have !

Anyway it got me thinking about getting a Saturday job there, maybe.
There’s lots I can’t do, but I do have warm hands – gotta be useful as bum cheek puller aparters, right?
.. and I identify as a woman on Saturdays.
I’ll let you know how my interview goes …