the garden

It turns out that Dan is a pretty adept gardener – a very surprising revelation indeed. Our garden has needed a face-lift for a while; it was getting rather overgrown around the edges. So, earlier this week, we went to the garden centre to get some nice flowers. We also bought a pretty little water feature to sit in the corner, and yesterday and the day before our p.a Dan was busily weeding, pruning, raking and planting. The result, I must say, is really rather impressive: I was in the garden earlier, reading. I could hear the trickling of the solar-power water feature, and I could look up and see the brightly coloured flowers, and it was blissful. My dad is a keen gardener, and, as a child and adolescent, I used to play or read in our garden. I was reminded of those days earlier, filled with Tonka trucks and Tolkien, and I was struck by how pleasantly domestic my life now is with Lyn.

uuntitled holdsworth film

Today I think I will just send you all to this video by Alan Holdsworth. It’s about people who have – or are described as having – learning difficulties, and questions many of the preconceptions people commonly hold. The film is not without it’s problems: the opening demand of ‘full inclusion now’, for example, should be treated with caution. Inclusion should be treated carefully, and I am now of the opinion that to rush head long into full inclusion, blinded by dogma to the consequences, is folly. Anyway, the film is still very interesting; go watch.

sons

Lyn and I are currently training up a new PA – Godfrey – to work alongside Dan. They are currently working together; they seem to enjoy it, as they’re good friends. Both are rather noisy people, and seem to love computer games, so it’s almost ,like there’s a family in our house. Lyn and I are the parents, and godfrey and Dan are our rather hyperactive boys.

Seriously though I’m rather pleased with how things are coming along, godfrey is very punctual and attentive; he does, however, use a very curious form of English. For instance, last week he claimed to have ‘Bigged’ something to mean he had mastered it. The local dialect really is strange. I really must teach my sons better use of language.

The DLR

I think I am starting to get to know London quite well, and I’m starting to get used to it’s ways. At first, it was a strange, intimidating, laberynthine place; coming down here as a kid to visit my grandparents, I always felt a little scared. Yet now the fear has been replaced with fascination.

I felt pleased with myself this week: I mastered the docklands light railway! Lyn and I wanted to go to Greenwich market, but first I needed money. We worked out that the easiest way to achieve our goals was for me to go to Woolwich and then rendezvous with Lyn and godfrey in Greenwich. This meant me taking the DLR alone, which made me feel apprehensive. However, as it turned out, the DLR turned out easy to use – I just told the guard where I was going, and he arranged the ramps – and I even got there before Lyn!

I know it’s only getting on a train, but it made me feel proud of myself. It’s just another little step towards a complete mastery of my world, and away from the timid little boy I was ten years ago.

Life in a day?

Tomorrow, youtube intends to make a film called ‘Life in a day’; it apparently wants as many users as possible to film things that are pertinent to them, and send the footage in. the overall film is going to be directed/edited by Ridley Scott, and is intended to create a snapshot of life on earth. It won’t, of course, as only certain types of people – western, petit-bourgeois nerdy types – will send their footage in. everyone else will be too busy to piss about with Youtubes projects. Thus while I think iit really is a great idea, and will probably form a fascinating film, the project will ultimately fall short of it’s goal. Link

Ipad enduced invisibility

This place seems to have gone Ipad crazy. Both Lyn and our pa Dan have one, and they both seem to be constantly using them. More often than not, they’re playing games on there – the Ipad has various little puzzle games which are apparently highly addictive. Every now and again, I hear little yelps of joy as someone goes up a level. I wouldn’t mind – I tried playing one on Sunday and it really was engrossing – but it has reached the point of silliness. I popped down to Woolwich yesterday afternoon, and when I came back, it was like I had entered some weird dimension where I didn’t exist; everyone was so fixated on their Ipads it was like I’d become invisible. I’m now considering buying one, just so I don’t feel so left out.

Feeling very grrown up

It has certainly been quite a day. Yesterday I got a text from dad telling me that my uncle aki and aunt Dinah were coming to visit. Thu would have been an exciting prospect in itself, but in he event at about half four they arrived with my uncle David, my cousin Christina and her fianc tom. I knew immediately it would be a good evening.

It was great to see them. It feels like an age since I saw any of them, and I was glad they made the effort to come. I think I last saw them all at my cousin Alexander’s weddingin brazil, and, before then, I had a meal with uncle Aki and aunt Dinah, as well as Mark and Kat, when I visited Paris with Charlotte. It felt good to be the host this time. I don’t exactly live locally though – Charlton is, in a way, off their beaten track. I showed them a nearby park, and a bit of the village, and we had drinks and crisps in our garden. I felt very grown up, as if me and Lyn were any other couple playing host to visiting family. It made me feel very proud indeed, being able to show my family our home.. I think they were impressed, and they said they would return before too long. All told, it’s been a terrific day.

sixties exhibition

We just got back from the O2 arena. All this week there is a sixties exhibition there, and radio caroline is broadcasting from it. Lyn couldn’t resist going to see her favourite radio station in action.

It really was fascinating stuff; as well as caroline, the exhibition explores the music of the decade, which, as we all know, was rich and vibrant. It really got me thinking, and I decided that it was not about music but about history, politics and power. I realised that, while all art forms are powerful, music is perhaps especially so. In that decade, combined with drugs and the hippie movement, music became a force to be reckoned with; it taps directly into the soul.

I think today we need to revive that spirit. Forty years ago, people seemed more politicised, and the music reflects this. we seem these days to have lost something; perhaps it is still there but has been drowned out by mass produced pap. Either way, I think the time is come, with an unelected narrow-minded toff in number ten, to reignite the spirit of that era.

the tories attack the bbc

I was just watching the news, and was appalled to find out that CaMoron is now on about cutting the BBC license fee. They claim the beeb is wasteful, and needs to be cut as part of the so-called ‘austerity drive’, but we all know that’s bull, and that they’re acting out of ideology. Everyone knows the Tories hate the bbc. I, on the other hand, support it strongly; it is fair, unbiased, and balanced; in this country we are fortunate to have possibly the finest broadcasting organisations on earth. The Tories hate it because it tells the truth rather than reflecting their narrow-minded views.

In a way, then, they are trying to dismantle the free press. Seen in this light, this is a move towards fascism and totalitarianism. The bbc is only as excellent as it is, as fair as it is, because of the way it is funded. To cut the license fee means it has less money, and less money means it cannot be as effective in news gathering. In short, the government is trying to silence one of it’s main potential detractors. They must be stopped,

disturbing questions

The case of Raoul Moat still chills me. Yesterday CaMoron stood up in parliament and condemned those who showed sympathy for the gunman: apparently he has become a heroic figure to some. I do not, of course, is view, but nor do I simply dismiss Moat simply as an evil, vicious killer. The man needed psychiatric help; he was a disturbed, mixed up individual. It is folly to ignore the background of this case, and simply see it in terms of good and bad, as CaMoron apparently does.

This is what I find so unsettling. What provoked this attack? What lead Moat o act as he did? What failed in the system so catastrophically o allow this to happen? More to the point, I keep wondering what was going through his head? Why did he shoot himself. Simply to dismiss this as a case of an evil man run amok is far, far too simple, as it’s much more complex than that. What it says about how we treat the mentally inn in the UK I find particularly troubling.