A nonverbal meeting

Something I found quite interesting and noteworthy happened today. I had a meeting with my social worker this afternoon. He’s Deaf so a sign language interpreter usually joins us at our meetings, but today there was apparently no BSL interpreter available. That was, however, not a problem: I typed what I wanted to say into my ipad as usual while he wrote what he wanted to tell me onto a pad of paper. I’m sure you can imagine the scene, both of us sat in a small room in The Woolwich Centre: neither speaking in the usual sense but nonetheless communicating perfectly, the room silent apart from my Ipad and frequent laughter. It worked very well, striking me as a great example of how disabilities should not constitute any kind of barrier. At the very least I thought it deserved noting on here.

Little Brexit

If you ask me, this is exactly the sort of thing we need right now. The Little Britain crew are reuniting to do a  one-off Brexit special,  Little Brexit. That is exactly the sort of cultural response to the current cultural absurdity we need: artists of  all kinds need to use their skill to react to and show discontent at what is going on. In this case, some very skilled comedians are reviving some well established, well known characters in order to mock the current situation. By reusing established characters rather than creating new ones, they can illustrate how they and thus the country has been changed by Brexit. It is only through such cultural  reactions that the stupidity of brexit can be articulated and  stopped, so we need much more things like this. The only thing I would change would be to have it on TV rather than the radio in order to reach a bigger audience, but there is time yet.

Seven Worlds, One Planet

After a week of having to use  my Ipad as a Wifi hotspot, I am relieved to say that I am now  back online properly.  The  BT technician came this morning to set broadband up, and I’m now surfing the web as normal. It’s quite a relief: it got so bad yesterday that I couldn’t get online at all in the afternoon, which for me was very,  very frustrating.

Now that I have proper web access, I can catch up with what I’ve missed. I just watched the first episode of Sir  David Attenborough’s new program, Seven Worlds, One Planet, and all I can say   is, ”Wow!” I am, once again, in awe off Sir David and the programs he narrates. The subject was fascinating, the photography stunning. The episode focussed on Antartica  and the various ways animals  survive down there. Even watching it on my computer, the images were riveting and  I couldn’t help  being drawn into the various animals’ stories, such as that of a young bird chick struggling to get back into it’s mother’s nest.

But then, we should expect nothing less from  the programs of Sir David Attenborough. For all our lives, for almost seventy years, he has presented the best shows on television. My generation, and indeed my parent’s generation, grew up with him. I remember watching his  shows as a little boy and teenager living  with my parents and brothers; at uni I remember going to Steve and Chris’s to watch Life Of Mammals; I remember lounging on the sofa at Lyn’s watching some of  his great programs of the last decade; and now, here in my new home, his legacy and legend continues. He has been a  constant source of inspiration and fascination for the whole country, throughout our lives. Very few other public figures, apart, perhaps, for the Queen, can have the same sort of cultural cache. I  find that truly, truly remarkable.

Not so ‘Brilliant Boris’

You know that things really have got fucked up when the joke currently  calling himself the prime minister starts to use bots to post approving responses to his social media output. Presumably Johnson wants to counteract all the negative responses he gets to his Facebook posts,  but it doesn’t take a degree in media studies to tell all the nearly identical posts are produced by bots.

A december election?

It appears that Bojo has announced he will delay Brexit, but only if MPs agree to hold a general election in december. While part of me suspects this could be some kind of trick, surely this is the best news we’ve had in a while: not only  is this another step towards Brexit’s ultimate and inevitable demise, but it also gives us the opportunity to get rid  of the jokes currently running the country.

Eltham Palace

When I was growing up I used to love the fields of cheshire. Every school day I was driven, in a taxi, the fourteen miles from Congleton to Winsford, a patchwork of fields stretching each side of the winding road into the distance. I also used to drive my powerchair up the lanes to Swetenham. I loved how tranquil the fields  looked, how they smelled in the peaceful country air. It’s the only thing I have really missed since moving to London: of course there are  plenty of wonderful  parks, but they aren’t really the same.

Today, however, I found something special. I was out on my usual stroll this afternoon when I decided to check out Eltham Palace. I  hadn’t really gone that way before, and I felt like a bit of exploration. What I  found, I must admit, amazed me: a beautiful 1930s house built onto a medieval tudor hall. It was  highly  romantic  and evocative, instantly transporting me back to the hot golden summers of the twenties and thirties. I half expected Ian Fleming, Earnest Hemingway  or (dare I say it) Mr. Toad to appear from somewhere.

The real treat for me, though, came when I went down the lane past  the house and gardens. It was ancient, completely untouched by the metropolis; fields, populated by grazing shire horses, stretched either side. For a few moments as I drove my powerchair along it, I was back in Cheshire on my way to school, or heading up the lanes to Swettenham.

Settling in

I have woken up quite early today for some reason. It may be due to going to bed  so early yesterday, after a long, tiring day.  I’m still sorting things out in my new home, and most  of yesterday was spent trying to get my computer online. My new Wifi router will come on friday, so, long story short, I’m currently having to use my Ipad as a hotspot. It’s slow, but does the trick. Between that and 1001 other things  I need to sort out, I don’t think I’ll have much chance to write any good long blog entries for a few days. But don’t worry: my usual ill-informed ramblings will resume in due course.

Hello from Eltham

This is my first blog entry from my new flat in Eltham, probably the first of many. I have finally moved. To be honest saying goodbye to Lyn earlier was bloody hard: having lived with her for nearly ten years, I am still very fond of her, but  parted on good terms, and it probably won’t be too long before we see each other again. For nw though, I really must thank  my parents for busting a gut to help me set up my new home; they have really been incredible. Thanks  to them, this place is already starting to feel like home: rather different to Lyn’s, but more like mine.