Visiting Brighton again, but no digeridoos this time.

Yesterday turned out to be quite cool day. We decided to take a day-trip to Brighton. The sun was out, it’s fairly inexpensive, so why not? We caught the train down from London bridge and, meeting Mitchell and a couple of other friends at the station, we were soon at the coast. I do like Brighton: it reminds me of Blackpool, but seems slightly less commercial. I like the shops in the narrow, winding back streets. We found a martial arts shop which sold replica swords – I asked the proprietor if they sold bat’leths and, funnily enough, he said they did but had sold them. I promise you, I will own a Klingon ‘sword of honour’ one day.

My geekiness aside, we then went on through the fascinating, rather quaint streets. John was pushing me in my manual chair, and I was just musing to myself about something or other, when I suddenly heard a voice from the past. Out of the blue, Hollie, an old friend from university, called to me. It turns out she is now doing her Master’s in Brighton, and was out with a couple of friends. It was great to see her. I told her we were headed down to the beach and invited her along, and she said she might join us later. In the event she was too busy, which was fair enough – it was a happy encounter anyway.

The rest of the day was spent on the pier, drinking and talking happily. There were no Spaniards or digeridoos involved this time sadly, and we caught the last train home rather than sleeping on the beach. Nevertheless, it was an amazing day, ending at about three this morning in our kitchen. Lyn, Dominik, John and myself resolved that plenty more such trips, to Brighton and other places, are definitely now in order. I can’t wait – who knows who I’ll bump into.

conflicted about syria

Pretty soon I intend to try to write something about world events. It has been a while since I passed comment about such matter,, and it will feel good to look into affairs beyond my personal here and now again. For now though, I cannot decide how I feel about syria: going to war again would be unwise, of course – conflict and bloodshed must be avoided wherever possible – yet part of me worries that the UK has made itself irrelevant. By voting against involving ourselves, have we effectively bowed out of the world stage? Then again, you could say that we cannot keep blindly following the Americans into war after war, and this is what should have happened with iraq. Indeed, one senses the shadow of iraq bears down heavily. The problem is, in this case it is obvious people in syria are suffering, and need help. Thus I find myself in two minds, unsure what to think. Either way,, the vote has been cast, and all we in Britain can do now is watch.

Another night at luke and sally’s

Last night I stayed at Luke and his mum’s place again. We are fast becoming very good friends – just as well given we have embarked on such a large project together. Truth be told, I don’t have much to report, other than the fact I woke up with a head-ache, and that it is remarkable to see Luke, apparently inspired my me, becoming more and more independent. The thought I am helping him somehow is very gratifying indeed.

‘Not the en, but a beginning’

Today as disabled people and other minorities still face oppression of different sorts – albeit not quite as overtly as black people in america did half a century ago – it seems appropriate that I simply direct you to this speech, made fifty years ago today. Dr. King’s dream, it seems, is not yet quite for filled. Whether against segregation or against cuts, the fight for freedom continues.

New equipment

The guys who created the Lynstrument visited again today. They are now making Lyn a new mouse, or rather a device to control the curser using buttons. What they did really was awesome: they are creating it for lyn specifically, so they spent a while working on getting the buttons positioned just right. However, they intend to use the same rough format for other people, so they were using a piece of card covered with velcrow strips onto which they could stick the buttons. They’ll now go away and make a permanent version, with the buttons positioned precisely where Lyn prefers them. Great stuff indeed, if only everything was so easy for disabled people: as we discussed in brief with the guys, we often have to pay relatively extortionate prices for specialist equipment we cannot live without – or are told we cannot – yet is often inferior to cheaper alternatives. It is a problem many of us face, and so I can’t help thinking we have been very lucky in this instance.

Nevertheless, I must say that being overcharged for such vital equipment has to be one of the worst things about being disabled, and is probably something that hold many of us back.

A slow, relaxed day

Tonight, I don’t have much to say It has been a slow, relaxed day a highlight was a shopping trip

A swift whizz round tesco, that was it.

Oh how I love this slow, relaxed life,

Which will be great to spend with my future wife.

Cyril and saran’s wedding

Cyril and Saran’s wedding was wonderful. To tell the truth I don’t know where to begin writing about it: friday was a great day, one about friends and family, set in the wonderful grounds of Dissington hall, near Newcastle. Of course, it should be noted – and I include this mainly as a reminder to myself not to be so stupid next time – that we almost did not get there. We were at King’s Cross when I realised I had forgotten our train tickets! Dominik had to come all the way back to get them. Thanks to his swiftness, we only lost a couple of hours, but it was once we were on the train that I realised I had forgotten my suit! Fortunately a few messages to mum solved that problem, but I despair at my own ineptitude sometimes – how Lyn puts up with me I know not.

My antics aside, the ceremony itself was both beautiful and utterly unique. Cyril, being a bit of a joker, included a small stunt where, at the right point, one of his friends got up and pretended to object to the wedding; Cyril then gave him some money in the smooth, cool way my cousin has, and the guy sat back down. I loved it, although I must say that for a fleeting second I did not realise it was a joke, and was beginning to worry. And then there as the couples’ first dance. They had rehearsed a kind of performance for this too, reminiscent, dare I say it, of the tango performed in True Lies. Sexy and intimate, I found it astonishing, and was sad that Lyn was out of the room when they performed it. It was one of the coolest things ever: saran and Cyril certainly have style.

We all then danced the night away, talking and drinking the excellent wine my uncle had brought. I’m not sure when I got to bed, but it was a very cool evening – I might put some of the photos on here soon. We got back here last night rather tired, having explored some of Newcastle before coming home. I still feel rather bad about the ticket fiasco: I really must learn to be more organised. After all, seeing Cyril and Saran get married in such style has made me even more eager to start thinking about our own wedding, and from what I hear, they take a hell of a lot of organising.

back home

We just got home from my cousin’s wedding in Newcastle. It has been an incredible couple of days, but a full account must wait until the morning, as I’m rather knackered. But I’ll just note that all my cousins and brothers are now married, leaving it up to me and Lyn to tie the knot now: that is an exciting idea, although, given my organisational skills, a daunting one too.

Go girls!

I just feel that I ought to flag his story up tonight. Two nine-year-old girls have become the world’s youngest formation wing-walkers in an effort to raise money and awareness for the Duchenne Children’s Trust, which raises money for research into the fatal genetic disease Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. As someone who has lost several friends to DMD, I must say these young ladies have my full support and admiration, and indeed my thanks.

to bed with a smile on my face.

Tonight it suddenly feels like all is well with the world. My parents visited earlier, and we had a good, long chat: there are one or two family matters which, needless to say I’ll reveal here in due course, but which have me very excited. My thesis finally seems ready, and I have a new project with Luke and Sally to work on. Lyn has a new song out and a couple of concerts coming up, which is also very exciting. In short, and all other concerns political or international aside, it occurs to me that I have much to be happy about. Yes, things tonight seem to be looking up, and I’ll soon go to bed with a smile on my face.