Back in London

Dad just left to return to my Grandmother’s place in Harlesden after dropping me off here in Eltham. Suffice to say, the journey back too the capital was far easier than the train trip up to cheshire.  I’ve had a  lovely few days with my parents, and have two new franchises to get into: the Orville, Seth  MacFarlane’s comedic tribute to Star Trek, and Gavin And Stacey,  both of which my parents and I binge watched over christmas. Having got back to my computer, however, I can see from my Facebook feed that all the problems which were there before christmas haven’t gone away; in fact they’re worse than ever. The queen’s speech obviously did nothing to soothe the social divisions  opened up by Brexit; what concerns me is that, the way things are going, public discourse will hit an all time low in the new year. Of course we  should never stop resisting Brexit as vigorously as possible, yet with so much rage and hate about, you have to wonder where all  this is going.

Letter to IDS

Fao Iain Duncan-Smith

Dear Sir
It has come to my attention this morning that you were knighted in this year’s new year’s honours list. Let me assure you now: in my opinion and that of many others, you are no knight of the realm. Such an honour would rank you alongside men like Sir David Attenborough and Sir Sam Mendes- men whose cultural contributions make the nation proud. I assure you now, sir, in no way do you rank alongside such fine people. Rather than bringing pride to the nation you bring shame to it and indeed humanity. Through implementing policies like the Bedroom Tax, you have made millions despair and driven many to suicide. Indeed the United Nations was forced to conduct an inquiry into your inhumane policies, the conclusion of which, I note, was neatly hushed up.
Thus to award you this honour would insult all those who really deserve it, together with all those who have suffered from your reluctance to correctly fund their support. You are no knight of the realm. Instead of ranking alongside those we honour, you stand with the murderers, rapists and cheats who shame and embarrass society; and I refuse absolutely ever to prefix your ignoble name with the word ‘Sir’.

A haircut back in time

I just had a haircut. To be honest I needed it, as it had been months since my last trim. The weird thing was, though, it was like stepping back in time: dad and I just had another walk down into congleton and we were passing John’s barbers, the same barber shop my brothers and I always went to when we were growing up. Dad suggested going in, and I said yes. It looked different, so I at first assumed it had changed owners, but no: going in, it was just as it always had been. The uncanny thing was, though, I was recognised by the same guy who used to cut my hair. For a moment it was like the last ten years had never happened: Lyn, London, all the incredible things I’ve seen and done over the last decade. I wanted to tell his about my new metropolitan life, but there was no time so I just let it be. But it seemed strange to step back briefly into a life I thought I’d left behind long ago.

An Ironic Speech

Only a complete moron could have missed the irony in the queen’s speech this afternoon. As many had predicted, the theme this year was reconciliation between old enemies, but one of the examples she used was the reconciliation of European nations after the Second World War. That’s literally claiming to promote peace between two groups, one of whom wants to destroy the very institution designed to ensure peace. I’m sorry to say that, for all the queen’s nice platitudes, those of us who oppose Brexit cannot be reconciled to it by a few nice words.

Something about being here just feels right

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m afraid to say I have a cold. I haven’t had one in months, even years, but I’m currently all snotted up. I must say, though, I don’t feel that bad for it: my nose may be running, but I have all the warmth and comfort of the house I grew up in. This will be my first Christmas here in nine or ten, and although I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss lyn, something about being here feels right. Mums downstairs in the kitchen, just as she always used to be; dad’s doing various things around the house. Apart from my brothers not being here, it’s rather like the Christmases of my childhood. After a year of so much change, cold or no cold, this is probably exactly what I needed.

Concerning straws

When I moved in with Lyn, I started using her plastic tubing for straws. She had been using hard plastic pipes to drink through for years, but until then I had used conventional disposable drinking straws. After that, of course, I was converted and have been using washable reusable straws ever since. They were durable and reusable so I could carry them with me in case I wanted a drink while I was out and about, but much kinder on the mouth than the metal straws apparently now given to people who have Parkinson’s.

Well, yesterday marked a bit of a straw related milestone. When I came up to visit my parents I forgot to pack my straws, so I simply asked mum to order a roll online. They arrived yesterday, so I suppose I am now fully converted. Just another small way life with Lyn has changed me forever.

A walk into town

Dad and I took a walk down Into congleton town centre this morning. As I said yesterday, I couldn’t bring my powerchair up, so Dad pushed me in my manual. I don’t think I had been into congleton town centre for over ten years, since moving to London, and I must say it was quite a trip down memory lane. At one and the same time,  it was pretty much as I remembered it from my childhood, yet also very different.  The street layout is much the same, of course, but the place is slowly losing its life. For example I remember the town market being a bustling, vibrant place, especially on a Saturday morning, yet today it seemed half empty. I couldn’t resist mentally comparing it to what I’m now used to down in London: you can hardly move for people in, say, woolwich or Stratford markets at that time on a Saturday.

And where east London is now dotted with cranes and construction sites, my childhood home town seemed abandoned. There are lots of new houses being built, but no infrastructure. The place seemed in desperate need of investment, and dad told me that, where so much money is going into the south east, hardly any is being invested in places like Congleton. It’s a problem I have been becoming aware of for a while: it’s certainly true that, outside the London bubble, people feel neglected. And as others have noted, that leads to feelings of resentment which give rise to cataclysms like Brexit and a Tory government.

Home for Christmas

Sometimes there is only one remedy for getting more and more frustrated with the way things are going in the world, and that’s to pay a visit to the house you grew up in. I’m up visiting my parents for a few days. I came up by train yesterday, but suffice to say it was quite an arduous trip. Let’s put it this way: that’s the last time I rely on TFL staff to push me, in my manual chair, between tube and train.  Mind you I’m now quite relieved I did it yesterday as, judging by the new, the trip would have been even more difficult today. At least I’m here now, although I think I have to avoid watching the news on the big family tv. I’ve only been here half a day and I think my parents are already starting to worry about how furious I get whenever I see anything about Brexit.