I don’t know but maybe the diversity thing has gone too far.
The BBC Olympic coverage doesn’t seem to have any white men left doing it. Now you have to be black or gay, or both. That’s totally fine if you are otherwise qualified to be a commentator/ pundit. Colin Jackson is both black and gay, so I’m surprised he’s not in charge by now. I’m sure by the 2024 Olympics it’ll be Ru Paul, Judge Rinder and Julian Clary, with Kaz off Love Island doing all the presentation.
And to think that old and white Des Lynam, who was at the helm of British sport for a decade, actually lost his job 10 years ago because he had an affair with a transgender woman. Now that’d cement his position for ever! 🤦♂️🤷
Thank you to Lizzy for inviting me to the National Theatre to see their production of Under Milk Wood, ‘ starring’ Michael Sheen. It was really. really something else.
The completely Welsh’ness of it means it’s a special experience for anyone that grew up / lives there. The Welsh are definitely a unique race, with a version of English that is really special. Dylan Thomas immortalised that flavour in this play, and for me the whole experience was very nostalgic – having not lived in Wales for more than 30 years.
I don’t know what the English make of this play, but evidently enough to stage it in their National theatre! The cast was almost exclusively over 65, which in itself has to be very rare, but was lovely. ‘ Old ‘ people get written off far too quickly, and this highlighted why that’s certainly the wrong thing to do.
When you’re in a wheelchair and therefore obliged to only go up vertically via lifts, you get a more obvious sense of ‘ vertical ascent/descent ‘ than you might otherwise if you can just use your legs ( I think ). I’m only really writing this because I’ve just ( probably for the 300th time ) caught the lift from the Jubilee line up to the District Line … which as a ‘ normal’ you’d probably not even appreciate is a bloody long way up. Fair play to all those responsible for digging these bloody great tunnels so far below ground level, and what’s more making them wheelchair accessible!
To say I got wet yesterday would be an understatement. After a visit to Buckingham Palace no less, like you do, and seeing the 33 acres (!!) of the Queen’s central London back garden ( who’d have thought it was that big, AND had a lake in it ?! … the rains came down. Lizzy went home by train ( with delays apparently ) and I thought I’d get a Tube. Well blimey, the whole network must have flooded, because I only got a few stops and had to get off. Thankfully it was at Earl’s Court and there was a lift. I don’t think they really give any consideration to people caught underground in wheelchairs to be honest… but anyway..
I then had to get back through totally gridlocked London by wheelchair. Tbh I think I was probably the fastest moving thing on the roads, given everything else wasn’t moving much, but I got ABSOLUTELY DRENCHED. And I mean completely. I don’t think it would be possible to be any more wet. My coat proved ineffective, as my shirt underneath was as though it had just been pulled out of the bath. Having got home and with no Carer there, it’s virtually impossible for me to dry. Well I can’t get up, off the soaking seat I’m on. I can’t change my trousers or anything like that. I turned on a powerful fan heater and there I stayed, being careful my insensate legs didn’t catch fire. Hours later I was fairly ( only ) dry. If I hadn’t been disastrously metal over fixed, I’d probably cope… but now I can’t. If no one is available to help me, then I have to just stay soaked until they arrive…which is what I had to do. This blinking weather… ?! Never seen rain like that in London, that’s for sure.
I spent the day with Lizzy on Friday. We were looking around the South Bank area, and it was a fun day to be sure.
Come going home time, I thought I’d Tri all the way back ( but actually realised I needed to catch a Tube as I didn’t have enough juice left ) so I made my way via Buck Palace and Hyde Park Corner etc… and at that Corner, whilst waiting for the crossing lights to change green, there was a fella on a bicycle, smoking a spliff btw, who uttered these immortal words…
‘ Man, that wheelchair thing is so fucking cool. I’ve seen some mad shit, and I’ve seen some cool shit… but that thing is so fucking mad cool…’
I went to the British Museum yesterday. Aside from their lifts not being that fit for purpose – either too small, or inoperable by the wheelchair user without the help of another – it was great. After having watched The Dig on Netflix, I wanted to see the Sutton Hoo treasure… found just as Britain went to war against Germany ( WW2 ). The hoard was found within a big mound in a field in Sussex, within which was the remains of a whole ( Viking looking but ) Anglo Saxon ship …
What’s amazing is just how intricate the gold and jewellery is, in terms of design. They weren’t exactly savages back then, evidently.
The top image is a belt buckle. The gold alone would sell for £17,000 now. That’s an expensive way to keep your britches up…
After watching the English beat the Hun on a smallish tablet in a Pizza Express, followed by seeing Romeo n Juliet at Regent’s Park open air theatre… as I commenced by trip back home, my friend Nicola said ‘ hang on, something has fallen off your chair’.
Now had my front wheel ( there are 2 small wheels at the front of every wheelchair ) fallen off 30 seconds later, then I’d have been 1/ alone and 2/ I’d not have realised it.. and this problem would have been a very large one. As it was, Nicola found the wheel, and also the little axle. What was missing was the bolt that held the wheel on, that having been the bolt that had worked loose and come off.
With my triride on, the front wheels are off the ground, so it’s not a problem, but obviously I have to get the triride off once home, and then I’m missing a wheel… and cars/ wheelchairs don’t go very far on 3 wheels. I managed to find in my toolbox a bolt though- I have an awful lot of bolts…. but literally ONE of the correct width – an M6 ( that’s 6mm calibre ). What I need is a 16mm length, but the one I had was 40 mm long. Anyway from a lying down position in bed I managed to get my wheel back on my chair. Tbh I’ve never had a ‘ help ‘ that can do anything at all practical, so I’m really all by myself in this situation, and thankfully I’m pretty resourceful…
As the bolt is sticking out way too far, it’s not ideal, and will get snagged on stuff for sure, but I’ve been online and found M6 16mm bolts at Screwfix. My help, Gorana, is currently collecting a box of 20 …
If I wasn’t reasonably adept, as many aren’t, id be on the phone to a wheelchair company, and they’d be charging me £200 to come out in 3 days to put my wheel back on… but for £3.50 I’ll soon have solved the problem.
I could have done without the drama to be honest 🤦♂️
And I got a ( brand new ! ) train to Oxford yesterday. Well ok it was 2 trains, and the second one wasn’t new ( either ).
Anyway it was quite easy – BECAUSE the station in Ealing has been all modernised (!), including having LIFTS to ALL platforms…. As opposed to NO LIFTS TO ANY PLATFORMS …, so for me, that’s brilliant. Suddenly my ability to travel is better than it was!
Gawd, Oxford is a beautiful town. I’d not really looked around it before, but true to form Lily was far later meeting me than we’d arranged, so I had time to wander. As I know Lily will NEVER be on time, I don’t stress in the slightest about it. Ok so 2 hours later than arranged is a lot, but it doesn’t matter …. 🤦♂️
I’m so very proud of Lily, and her work ethic that got her there. I certainly didn’t ever apply myself in the way that she has/ does. That ethic, combined with a real flair for English, has got her into a place that only the best of the best get to savour.
She looks so happy, is clearly having a brilliant time, had made loads of new friends, and academically is really impressing her tutors. (That last bit is EVER SO impressive).