Monthly Archives: April 2021

April 17th 2021

I’m glad the grand old Duke got a decent send off today. His death certainly sparked a change of treatment by the British press. He’s had nothing but abuse from the press for at least 30 years. I remember reading stories, written about him, in my 20’s and thinking ‘ Christ, this is out of order. This guy is married to the Queen of this country, and he’s being completely belittled again and again. I honestly thought that there might have been/ should have been a law against it ( an act of Treason to be so offensive to the Queen’s husband/ to be so offensive to the father of the next King ). But there obviously wasn’t, so the criticism was unrelenting. The fella was simply’ being himself’. He dared to have a personality, that’s all. He made jokes that pretty much any bloke in Wales would have made at that time, such as the danger of being eaten if you stayed in Papua New Guinea too long, or getting slitty eyes for staying in China too long. .. I mean c’mon, he wasn’t trying to offend, he was just making jokes, like almost anyone could have made at that time, and that’s all.
But true to form, once actually dead, he’s been praised to the skies – sad I think that he never lived to read anything positive about himself.

Two lots of socialising this week – ACTUAL MIXING WITH PEOPLE (!) – have meant drinking way too much on Thursday and almost being unable to say speak by 11pm – apologies to Chris Cats. Our Unfortunates night is loonnnnggggg overdue, and was a real laugh. Blind Paul actually managed to get to mine without Bolt the Dog, and Chris was last to arrive… so we had the paralysed fella and the blind man working as a team to kick the night off, which really isn’t the most productive combination when things actually need doing! 😂
Anyway it was a laugh.

And I’ve had lunch at a restaurant! With friends on Friday… despite my horrendous hangover… but Hair of the Dog saved me.
Tririding back through some of the most iconic parts of London in the spring sunshine, and it actually being fairly warm, was something I’ve missed a lot!

Sevenoaks tomorrow by train, and a few days down there in the woods to look forward to. I’m going to meet Lizzy’s parents ( that’ll be good ) and then my own parents are visiting Sevenoaks on Tuesday… Imagine that – it sounds like normal kinda life is returning ! My dad plays the piano, and Lizzy has a Steinway… ( which she can’t actually play, but her daughter does ) but my Dad is very excited about having a tinkle on the ole ivories.

Lizzy bought me a ( very )early birthday present – a drone … very cool bit of kit indeed, though it wasn’t long before I crashed it into a tree. Hmmmm. Thankfully no real damage done, but it did illustrate just how helpless I am in a wheelchair when it comes to rescuing a drone from a tree, so I shall take more care in future.

Oh and apparently you can catch COVID from your cat.

But don’t ask miaow…
💥😂

That sinking feeling?

Someone I know well went to a funeral last week. The deceased’s favourite piece of music was played as his coffin receded slowly through the curtain, to the incinerator at the crematorium.
He’d placed the arrangements in the hands of his widow to be..
Well she tracked down the piece of music as the one that was played by the on ship orchestra that was on the deck of The Titanic as the ship went down – in the film starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo di Caprio… and she got it from the soundtrack to the film, it seemed.
Because as her late husband’s coffin disappeared from view, to the strains of the ship’s orchestra.. could be heard the screams of the thousands of people soon to be drowned.

🤦‍♂️

Me, on tour.

I don’t know but it’s seemed like an eternity since I’ve ‘ done’ anything…

So yesterday was amazing! I caught a tube to Westminster, then another to Canada Water, and then wheelchair ‘d to Greenwich Park. I’d only been there twice before, both times to the start line for the London Marathon – obviously pre injury. You don’t exactly feel the need to look around at the views, such is your nervousness at the time.

Anyway, the park isn’t flat – it rises by hundreds of feet, and then you get AMAZING views of the city, and the river Thames, heading from Westminster and to the O2 Dome.
I had a coffee or 3 and then thought I’d try to find the Thames Barrier – that thing which keeps all of us in London from regularly being underwater – and I do mean regularly- despite it never being envisaged when it was built. It was a Doomsday Scenario that it would actually be used , but 25 years on and it’s been used dozens of times.

Then I spoke to my folks via FaceTime, and my Dad ( a font of all knowledge ) suggested I go see the Cutty Sark…. which I did…. and then went into a foot tunnel under the Thames, built in 1902 ( obvs there was a lift for me to descend ) and then I wheelchair’d along the river path ( they are trying to open a path in as many places along the bank as possible) all the way to the Dome… whereupon I got a Tube back. As all those stations on the Jubilee line are accessible, that makes life easier for the likes of me… rather than searching for the oddd accessible station amongst the tens that aren’t!

From Greenwich Park
Not much of the original left, since it caught fire!

The Observatory
From Greenwich Park
The entrance to the south side of the Dartford tunnel under the Thames

Easter

It’s Easter weekend again. For so many years Easter signified a canoe race, rather than eggs, or anything religious.
Try as I might.. and I DO try… my mind takes me to far more physically able times.
For sure, if I wasn’t paralysed, I’d still be entering the DW – possibly/ almost certainly the most extreme one day challenge in the UK.

If you don’t already know, it’s a race from a little town called Devizes, all the way to the bridge at the Houses of Parliament. What an epic finishing line.
The sense of absolute relief at finally getting there completely overwhelms the historic view and setting.
Eleven times I was in this race, without ever ‘ enjoying ‘ it, yet the pull to keep doing it is irresistible ( for many ).

Second place was my best result, only 10 minutes adrift of first place after 17 and a half hours… and you then think of all the little errors you made that accumulated the ten minutes… without which you would have won.

Too late now though!

Happy Easter folks!
❤️