Sorry there haven’t been many entries these last few days. Something happened friday night which I can’tt go into, but needless to say it was one of the worst events of my life. Lyn and I are both fine, and have had lots of support from PAs, friends and family. My normal ranting should resume soon, but in the meantime bear with me.
I would encourage everyone reading this to go an watch ‘Posh and Posher’, a political program with Andrew Niel.It vividly illustrates just how corrupt our politics has become: we have turned our back on meritocracy and returned to the bad old days where only the privileged few can rule. The program points out that most of the current cabinet went to schools like Eaton or Westminster, and universities like oxford? How is that fair? How can that give us a government representative of the people??? niel suggests that thee institutions produce so many o our prime ministers because they are the best and can therefore teach kids the best, which i indeed problematic, but i’d go a step further. it is not because these institutions are the best, or just happen to have the brightest kids. it is more about the maintenance of power and wealth in certain families. it is all about keeping up the class system. camoron did not become tory leader or prime minister because of his intelligence or merit; he got to where he is because the tory upper class thought he was one of them, and was just about nice enough too woo voters. in other words, it is all about the maintenance of wealth and power by the upper classes.. the current government has nothing to do with merit and everything to do with greed and cronyism. it appalls me that we are returning to a pre-1960 style status quo, and i think it will continue unless we get etonian assholes like camoron and clegg out of power. it’s not far and not right.
I just got this, appropriately enough, from one of my friends on facebook. I have used facebook many times to organize things and arrange stuff – a week ago, for example, I used it to tell one of our PAs that our PA for that day had not arrived when he was supposed to. Lyn was stuck n bed, and I was getting worried. However, I have not had to use it to get help in a major emergency, as the man in this story had to do. I suppose it’s testimony to facebook’s behemoth status on the net that such things can happen.
We were watching a program on TV last night about pleasure and pain. Unsurprisingly, the thing that gives most people the most pleasure is their loved ones, something which I can certainly say rings true. But the thing that caught my eye the most was a section where they did an experiment to see which minority could take the most pain. They had a group of people, subdivided into gender, one group swore, one group all had ginger hair, and so on. They all had to dunk their hands into freezing water for as long as possible. I forget the result, and I don’t think it matters that much anyway, but it occurred to me: what if they had a group of disabled people. By and large – although this is a huge generalization – we tend to take more pain than more than others. Those with CP fall and knock themselves; those with other conditions put up with huge amounts of pain. I’d have been very interested to se weather we differ from the ‘norms’ in any statistically significant way in our tolerance to pain.
It has been a long tiring ay, full of meetings and things to sort out. I think bed is soon to beckon. I order to relax, I was looking through some of my old entries, reminiscing to myself about times past. I found this entry, about my last few days as an undergraduate, where I write: ”Time never ceases – there will be other people to meet, other places to see. If uni has taught me anything, it is that there are no barriers.” I was struck by how prophetic those words were – of course time has not ceased, but has brought me to the new places and new people I wrote of. I did not, mind you, envisage these specific new people and new places: who would have known, just three years after writing those words, that I’d be happily engaged and living in south-east London. But the optimism in those words held true – everything is indeed possible, and it still feels as if the world is my oyster. University opened my eyes to so much, and lyn opened them further still. Those days felt like the end of something, and I remember how sad when I wrote some of these words. But that sadness was unfounded, as those days were, in retrospect, a beginning.
Reading my entries of that time back, particularly this one and this one, I remember the sense of optimism I felt for the future. Everything seemed possible to me, and it still does, but I wanted to impress that idea on the kind of young person I once was. I suddenly thought of the young people I work with at school: of course, they are in rather different circumstances to those I was in, yet I see no reason on earth why they too should be constrained, why they should not go to university, or why the world should not be their ouster too.
I have been putting off writing about this for some time, as, like my entries on cricket and politics, it has nothing to do with disability. That is to say, I cannot contribute anything unique too the subject. But must say that I feel severely annoyed at the idea that London’s Olympic stadium could be turned into a football-only venue after 2012. To me it seems very short sighted that after the Olympics this site of national pride should be only used for football. What really pisses me off are Tottenham’s plans to knock the stadium down and build a football pitch in its place. Does it strike anyone else as arrogant on the part of the footballing fraternity that they think they are entitled to do such a thing? After all, not everyone in this country likes football; some of us enjoy other sports more.
Indeed, if you ask me, it would be better to convert it, t least partly, into a cricket pitch – it is, after all, an oval stadium, a shape more suited to cricket. You could even keep he running track by simply covering it with some sort of astro-turf when there’s a cricket match on. This would probably make for quite a fast outfield, but I think that’s a compromise worth taking. This, to me, seems a far better use for the stadium than simply converting it to yet another football pitch. There is far too much money in football, making for some over-inflated egos; it just seems to me that they think they have an automatic right too this stadium, and can do with it as they alone please. It just gets me angry that football takes priority over all other sports and uses, even to the obscenely stupid extent that they propose knocking it down to make a football-specific stadium. How can anyone seriously propose that in the age of austerity? Surely this is a sign of how stupid and arrogant the football industry has become.
I was very glad I put tights on under my trousers yesterday. We needed to go shopping in the evening, and it had turned bitterly cold. I told this to Lyn and our PA, Marta, and they agreed. There are definitely advantages to being a trannie sometimes. The thing is, it suddenly occurred to me that I can only dress as I do because I can communicate, and Lyn can only be lyn because she can too. I had to ask Marta that morning ‘please can you help me into a pair of tights’.
It seems to me that we often forget how important the ability to communicate is. It is, in my opinion, the most important facet a person has, and the most taken for granted. If I did not have that ability, I wouldn’t have gone to university, met lyn, moved to London or done anything. Someone can be as intelligent as anyone else, but if they can’t communicate their thoughts and ideas, they are treated as non-people. I mean this in the most literal sense: at the school I volunteer aft there are kids with no ability to communicate whatsoever. The are treated like babies. It seems to me that the most fundamental difference between them and me – indeed, the only difference really – is that I can communicate and they cannot.
I don’t think I’m going anywhere with this. I’m just recording what seems to me a fascinating contradiction: that the ability that is moist important and is most central to us as people is the one we take most for granted.
It has now been just about a year since I moved down to Charlton. It feels good to write that; for a guy who, up until the age of about twenty, was determined never to leave home, I think it’ pretty good going. I really enjoy life in London – the entire city feels like my playground, and there’s so much to explore and see. Mind you, I haven’t been beyond the M25 all year, and I think it’s time I did so: part f me is still a country lad, and misses the fields and lanes. Mind you, google maps works much smoother on my new Mac, so I can take a virtual walk whenever I want. Nevertheless, I think Lyn and I both want to take more trips out of the city this year, and I think at least one of them will be back up to Cheshire.
Well, here’s to another great year.
I am now officially a mac user. After years of taking the piss out of those who use macs, I have given in and joined the dark side. Truth be told its a bit of a relief: my old PC had started to crash quite frequently, and its good to have a machine hat is a bit more stale on the other hand, I now have to get used to an entirely different type of computer with a new set of quirks and new ways of doing things. For example, wile we have plugged in my extended keyboard, the mac doe not seem to respond to it very well – it keeps missing letters. This is the type of thing which could improve with time, or else I’ll grow accustomed to it, but for now it’s fairly irritating.
There was another big change yesterday: Natalia and Andrzej had their last day working for us. It was rather sad, as we had all grown rather close. They shared Christmas with me, Lyn and my family, which was rather special. They are returning to their native Poland for personal reasons, so we had a bit of a farewell party. Life goes on, I suppose, but I really hate goodbyes. At let it means the next time we meet it will be as friends rather than employers and employees.
Lyn and I decided to cook last night. We actually cook quite often, as opposed ti putting two ready-meals in the microwave or going to get a take-away. Lyn is a good cook – she tells our Pas what to do and most of the time produces delicious meals. Last night we decided to use some of the vegetables we had in a roast with some mince. The thing is we weren’t sure how to make roast potatoes, and they turned out fairly hard. So hard, in fact, that I found them difficult to chew. Hell, Andrzej struggled to cut them up! I was trying my best to eat them, when I remembered when mum and dad used to liquidise my food. I absolutely hated it at the time; I wanted to eat the same thing as my brothers, and not mushed up slush. However, the irony is the idea of turning the spuds into mushed up slush last night seemed a good one, but Andrzej refused, pointing out that it would look more like puke than it already did. I persevered and finished my dinner as it was, but it just strikes me as ironic that last night I saw the logic of something I once thoroughly resented.