All posts by Russ

Lisa….!

Comment:
Fantastic to hear that you’ll be tutoring – you’ll be a very interesting and motivational person to have around youngsters, I’m sure. Enjoy the training!

And I struggle to comprehend the behaviour of the people on that bus. Wouldn’t happen in Wales. (Though of course, there is always a high risk of singing on any Welsh bus. You pays your money and you takes your choice.)

Thursday

I’ve volunteered to be a tutor to kids, and I go for my ‘ training ‘ today. Should be good!

After that I brave the roads to Camden to see The Happy Mondays tonight  – should be brilliant/ funny/ interesting.

Then a Trike back at midnight AVOIDING ALL DUAL CARRIAGEWAYS.

I had my police interview this morning- they were very nice, but said it’s almost impossible to get any bus crime solved as Transport for London are absolutely unhelpful when it comes to supplying CCTV footage taken in their buses.

So it looks like nothing will happen to the lady that abused the paralysed guy on the bus for daring to use the wheelchair space.

Oh well….

Comments.

Mate, your Cenotaph visit sounds a shocker. That sort of shit shouldn’t happen. The positive is that I feel we’re all improving – tho slowly (as a country / world).

C

 

And :

That is unbelievable, I am shocked at how both women were so rude, ignorant and selfish.
I am sorry to hear that Russ. X

 

And :

A similar thing happened when we went to watch Thriller. It was a London princess, at that time, and she ended up getting off the bus.

 

And :

What a fucking bitch ! Next time take out your phone and record the bitch who refuses to move the pram and send it to the news desk ….

And :

IM SO ANGRY, I nearly cracked a tooth biting down so hard in anger! But so very proud you sat your ground! Bus bloody nightmare! Utterly disgusting.

And:

OMG!! I cannot believe that this mother would not even move her buggy… She’s so lucky that I wasn’t on that bus, otherwise I would have said something to her. Can’t she read???
that “Wheelchairs users have priority – than the buggy”

Being kind to other people and treat others the way you want to be treated, with respect!!

Meaning: Treat others how you want to be treated. It doesn’t matter which Ethnic background you are from… Please lady “mother”show some respect!!

God bless you

And:

Saddened and disgusted by this. And how dare she pull the racist card. A very low snipe.

And-

Your blog
How awful for you . Some people are the pits .
London Transport will probably run a mile from any controversy that involves a black woman and a white man . The wheel chair issue is secondary !!

You will have fun tutoring children . What do you mean by ‘tutoring ‘ ? Privately or in schools ?

Love xx

Sad, but true.

Sunday morning 9.50 am.

A bus pulls in and despite my companion pushing the wheelchair button on the side of the bus, it inexplicably drives off again.

Another bus pulls up, with my destination on the front. My friend tells the driver that I want to get on. The lady driver says ‘ no, but there’s another bus behind  that he can catch’.

The bus behind pauses, and then pulls off again, going around the bus in front. I wheel over and ask the driver to please open the door, as she is effectively the third bus that would be ignoring me, for no apparent reason. She then opens the doors and the wheelchair ramp slides out onto the pavement. There is a pram in the wheelchair bay, and a lady sat next to it. She looks at me, and I at her, and I gesture politely that she move the pram so that I may wheel into the designated wheelchair space. She gets up and does so.

I enter the bus and park in the wheelchair space, it being clearly signed as such, with 2 notices saying that ‘ if a wheelchair enters the bus, then a buggy must be removed to allow the wheelchair access. The wheelchair user has priority ‘

I smile and thank the lady, presumably the mother of the child in the buggy. The buggy is now in the aisle of the bus, and the driver calls back to say that the lady must move the buggy, or take the child out and fold up The buggy. The mother then says that it’s ridiculous that the bus can’t just drive on until the next stop ( about 200 metres ) where she is getting off anyway. At that point I’m wondering why she just doesn’t get off the bus and push the pram the 200 metres, as that’s what I would do in her situation. I don’t say anything though. The mother refuses to move her pram from the aisle and says that it’s not right that she has to make way for a wheelchair anyway. I say that there are 2 signs that say that, and that is the rule on London buses. I’ve been on dozens of buses before, where a pram is moved and folded by the parent/ minder and invariably is accompanied by a smile, returned by myself.

The mother says that she’s not moving. The driver  says that she can’t drive off until the mother does as she’s asked. The mother tells me that she’s never had to move for a wheelchair before and doesn’t know why she has to now. I ask her to read the signs for the reason why.. that it’s the Transport for London policy, otherwise wheelchair users would be severely at a disadvantage, there being so many buggies travelling around London on buses, and only ONE wheelchair space per bus.

The mother refuses to move. The driver refuses to drive. Other passengers are shouting. One is saying that the mother and I are both acting like children, another is saying that it’s because the mother is black, and that this would never happen to a white woman… the person saying that repeatedly is a black woman. The mother lifts up her right leg high and says that she was in a wheelchair for a bit and had a scar on her leg to prove it. She shows me the scar, which is on her shin, and is indeed a fine scar. She says that there’s nothing wrong with me and that I shouldn’t even be in a wheelchair.  I tell her that I’m paralysed. It doesn’t alter her stance; she isn’t moving, and doesn’t think she should have to, and doesn’t know why she should. I point out the 2 signs again and tell her to read them, it telling her why she has to act.  She says she doesn’t care what the signs say. Other passengers start getting off the bus. My friend says that maybe we should too. I decline to move too, as I’m simply the rightful occupent of the designated wheelchair space.  The mother is shouting into my face, that it’s just unfair on her….

I say that I’m calling the police ( as I really don’t want to get into a repetitive argument, on the way to see the Cenotaph ceremony in Westminster, that being a rather more significant affair than someone moving her pram, and relatively speaking, the bus thing isn’t worth getting worked up about )  I speak to the police, within earshot of the mother, and explain the circumstances. I say aloud that the police are on the way. The mother says that she doesn’t care, and won’t move, but a minute later pushes her pram off the bus and walks down the road.  The bus pulls off and we get to Hammersmith. On thé way thé lady driver is shouting to me that I shouldn’t be on the bus, as my wheelchair ( the iBot ) is too big. I tell her that I’m not responsible for the design of my wheelchair, which actually isn’t a lot bigger than a normal chair, and certainly smaller than a mobility scooter, which are also allowed onto buses.

( ‘Mobility scooters finally permitted on London buses. After many years of lobbying for change, Transport for All welcomes the new regulations that will finally see mobility scooters allowed to ride on London’s buses. Recent years have seen a huge rise in people using mobility scooters to get around.’)

When I get off the bus, I wheel to the front and ask the driver her name. She declines to tell me, and I ask for her driver number. She tells me to just take the bus number.  I take a picture- see image, if it’s on here.

On Thursday the police are interviewing me to establish the reason I called them from the bus. I’ll obviously tell them exactly what happened.

Jenny and I were late for the 11 o’clock start to The Remembrance Service, sadly, because of the delay on the bus, but I’m still glad to have gone, having not been before.

Next year I’ll go again, but leave a lot earlier, just in case I am unexpectedly held up again…

 

MND.

Im watching Scotland playing against Samoa on the telly, and in the interval they had a piece about Doddie Weir, a 6 foot 8 Scottish rugby player who was recently diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. Thus far, DW hasn’t been affected very much – he still ‘ looks normal ‘, he can walk and talk and do most things. It’s a horrible and progressive disease, and he will die because of it.

They featured a high profile fundraising dinner, attended by 100’s of high profile rugby internationals, who presumably all paid to be there, and hopefully raised more money besides – in the pursuit of contributing to MND research and an eventual cure perhaps.  Lots of people spoke emotionally about DW and the awfulness of MND, and the overriding message was ‘ how the amazing rugby family  has pulled together in support of Doddie and his condition’.

I’m going to perhaps be controversial then, by saying that I doubt whether that support for him will endure, from those same people, as his condition progresses, and he loses more functionality – he’ll soon be in a wheelchair and then then eventually bedridden, his muscles wasting away and his appearance changing hugely. I used to play rugby, and had a lot of friends from that sport, inevitably all Male. I can honestly say that of all the sections of my wide circle of friends, that the ‘macho’ rugby players are the least well equipped to ‘ cope’ with a friend who is disabled, in the main in my experience cannot even talk to me, let alone ‘ support ‘ me in any way – they’d rather ‘ remember me as I was’.  The thing is though, that I’m not dead, I’m very much still here, alive but unable to do what I could before.

Maybe the high profile of Doddie will help towards altering the emotional inadequacy of blokes in general towards physical disability, but I somehow doubt that.

Its not something that I dwell on much, having more immediate problems all of the time, rather something that I just accept, but I do wish, unrealistically, that it was different.

A nice thing to say! Texts…

Person:
I’m watching Pride Of Britain awards….so inspiring…I’m in tears….if it was up to me you would be a winner too x

Me:
Really ?
Thats lovély of you.
But what would I win for ??

For everything you’ve overcome. For everything you are overcoming. For getting up every day with the intention of making it a fun day. For still believing that love is possible. And for being a twat some of the time.

Me:
Love the last bit! ❤️

Person:
I hearby present you with the Pride Of Britain Award 🥇
You fill me with pride (sometimes) 😉

Kerry the Kiwi.

Brilliant to meet and spend time with Kerry last week.

It turns out that I have one more blog reader than I thought, and this one lives in a foreign country!

I think that makes my blog ‘ international ‘ ?!

 

Doh! It already was – there’s Ms Creamer in Oz!

And yes, that really is her name!

Last night.

Last night  I went to see Altered Images, Midge Ure,  and The Christians, all brilliant acts from ‘ my past’. They have, however, all still ‘ got it’, as evidenced by the quality of their music.

As the position of my  ‘ gig companion’ is to a degree up for grabs, I ‘ trialled ‘ Patricia, who aside from having difficulty with bus button pressing ,  did everything well! She even bought me  a couple of drinks, and we had a brilliant night. Ultravox did some classic stuff, and I think we both felt almost privileged to hear their music being played. Claire Grogan is still a beautiful woman with a great voice, and The Christians were just fantastic tbh.

A bit of wheelchair bus lane driving, and home safe! Massive thanks to Pat for coming with me x