Saturday, July 22, 2017

Your rights and when they get taken away from you...


Eveybody is entitled to rights. It doesn't matter whether you're straight or you're gay. Black or white, male or female. It doesn't matter if you're old or you're young. It shouldn't matter if you're disabled or not. But it does In my opinion (not that that counts for very much either) you're discriminated against if you're disabled. I was banned from eating toast. I wouldn't mind but I'd been eating it for 3 years at the time so i thought "hey, this is wrong" and decided to appeal the verdict. I won, so the result was that it was overturned. The same thing happened with baked beans.....and toasties....and pastry....and cheesecake.....and wotsits. I am so fed up with the bans that I have decided to take legal action to try and win back my rights. They (SALT) should first prove i can't eat something before banning it. That's all i'm asking for.

i'm still waiting for the case to happen. If i win i won't do things a lot differently. There are certain foods i won't attempt to eat, but there are certain foods i will. I'm not a risk take I know i've missed out on a lot of foods because of the decisions of SALT. They are a terrible organisation who thrive on affecting people's lives. A bit like the SS did in nazi Germany. I'm a grown man and they have made me ill many times. I hate to admit it,. The only reason i'm still here is because of Mandy and Jonny. If i was on my own i wouldn't have cared either way what happened to me.

I know that SALT have a job to do. They don't do it properly is what i'm saying. Enough is enough. it's just a matter of time before they push me too far.
Writing this blog and reading other peoples' blogs has helped me keep my sanity so far, but i feel like it's not enough. Everyday feels like Groundhog Day for me. Nothing has changed and everyday seems exactly like the one before it.

I now know what it's like to be a black man living in America. You'll either be in death row in prison or you'll have a cop using you for target practise. That's if six of them haven't strangled you already. I'm being punished as it is. The last thing i need is a bunch of smart arses telling me what they THINK i should be eating. Do you know what i think? Maybe you should try a few days in MY shoes! That's if you have what it takes.. i very much doubt that you do.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

When they said they were going to put me in an electric chair...


My electric chair (much like the one above) has been a major factor in me becoming more independant. Without it i would have struggled. Of that, i'm sure. It becomes very tiring to propel a wheelchair around all day. I could cope without one at the hospital in Leamington because it was very flat over there. Here in Hinckley, though, i need something to get me up the ramps in the home. Hinckley is very hilly too. An electric chair is an ideal solution for that. Speeds vary from 1 (very slow) to 5 (lewis Hamilton-speed). There's a place in Leicester that does them and i went there (when i was at Leamington) to get the chair sorted out.

It upsets me a bit to know that i've gone from somebody who used to walk everywhere, to a person who is reliant on a wheelchair to get about. I can't do anything about it. Anyway, the chair is charged-up at nighttime when i'm in bed. In the morning it's fully-charged and ready for me to use. I've become an expert in driving it (despite what Pauline might think) and can handle any situation thrown at me. I don't live in an ideal situation, but we make the most of what we can.

The electric chair is like a part of me that i'd really miss if it was taken away from me and i hope that day doesn't come too soon. The controls are situated where my left hand can reach them. There's a joystick which i use to go forwards or backwards. I can use it to adjust to adjust my seating position too. Obviously, there are things i can't do (like go fishing, for instance). The chair is comfortable to use. It has to be when you when you consider how much i use it. There comes a time, however, when enough is enough (usually bedtime) and you have to be transferred somewhere else.

So far nothing has gone with my electric wheelchair. Well, except for the day it wasn't charging up. This was quite worrying for a couple of days. Until we realised that somebody had forgotten to turn the charger on. Apart from that little scare it's been ok, but you just know that somewhere down the line it won't work. When that day comes i will be the one to suffer. Even though i'm mentally incapacitated ( according to SALT) i will have to find out why it isn't working. I knew i was a genius, but nobody listened to me. Ever!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Camping is a gas...


I've not always been disabled. As a kid i was very into camping. I used to go regularly...

When Going camping with my parents when i was younger paved the way to my going to Cornwall, over 200 miles away, when i was 22. I was only a baby, but one who was willing to learn. I loved the independence of it all, of being able to choose what i was doing, and when i did it. To make the experience perfect you need a two-ringed cooker to take with you. It makes all the difference.

Cornwall was great. The quietness was deafening which was how i hoped it would be. The Cornish pasties down there were massive so i had half of one there and then and saved the rest for breakfast the next morning. In fact, ordering the pastie was the only time i spoke to anyone while i was there. It was the perfect getaway. I travelled back home from St. Ives by train (the same way i'd got there a week earlier).i went on my own, but if you can find someone to go with, so much the better.

There's nothing quite like camping. It gets you away from everything you want to get away from. When you've decided to give it a go it's taking the right equipment with you will make it all bearable. I've been camping many times now. The best things to take with you are;
a) a sleeping bag.
b) an air bed
c) a pump for the airbed.
d) a lamp.
e) a camping camping gas cooker.
i'd say the above are pretty much essentials. it's pointless going away without them. You don't need any really, but take my advice and take all of these with you.

you'll either love camping or you'll hate it. I'm a big fan of it. Sleeping is great; you'll find yourself drifting off in less than no time at all. When you get as bad as me you'll find out where your local camping shop is and spend all day looking through the stuff they're selling. Camping becomes a bug which you can't get rid of even if you want to.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Meeting Mandy....

It was 1990. I was 30 years old and everything was going to plan. No wife and no kids to hold me back. And neither would there ever be. My life would be lonely, yeah but that never bothered me a great deal. Then in October of that year i met Mandy. My life was going to change forever. We did everything together. No longer did i live for myself. In some ways i'm glad i met her and in other ways i'm not. I was prepared to live out my life as a hermit, but it didn't work out that way. I don't want to pass on my genes if i can help it.

Mandy is my best friend and there isn't anything i wouldn't do for her. I have learned to appreciate her company over the many years we've been together. She has shown how much i mean to her since my illness happened in 2013. Jon (my son) comes a close second.

Jon has proved what a great person he is on many occasions. He's 25 now and i have been missing for most of his childhood. That's probably what i regret most, but these things happen to us when we least expect it. We can't do anything about it. I wish we could.

It's been hard for me, but Mandy and Jon both try to help. So here i am with a wife and son. I never thought it would happen. My mind sometimes goes back to that day in 1990. It just goes to show you what can occur. Never assume anything in life, because it just won't happen the way you think it will. I remember those days at Blackburn Road in Barwell with affection. They were great days. I just wish i knew what lay in store.

I'll try not to make the same mistakes again. Living like this gives me plenty of time to think where i went wrong. I don't like to think too much. That's why i read books. Not all books have been great to read, though. Most have.
Most mornings are the same for me. I miss walking like crazy. Mandy doen't really like computers, but i do. It's changed over the years. Blogging is a great release. Bingo is a great release for Mandy. She'll need a holiday from me soon enough and, even rhough i don't have one she deserves hers.

Friday, July 14, 2017

I had plenty of years' practise before i photographed my first wedding - my niece's (free of charge) Up until then i used my 40d camera and 200mm lens to photograph lots of football matches. You can't beat a bit of live action. My photographs appeared on the front covers of Hinckley United's programmes and it wasn't long before the newspapers came looking for a football photographer too. The Hinckley Times sent me off to Leicester City's ground to cover a Hinckley match for them. It was a great experience for me. I'd taken a few thousand pictures when i decided that i'd like to try weddings instead. I read up on it and realised i needed some new equipment.

For the weddings i brought another DSLR camera (like the one in the picture) and did as many weddings as i could.. A few weeks after finishing them i had a stroke. Suddenly, the hopes of photography i had were dashed. Luckily, i've still got the cameras, but what will happen with them i don't know. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink it would explain my sons lack of interest in photography. He doesn't feel the same way about it as i do. That's a shame really. You can't force it on somebody. You've either got it or you haven't. I've got so much stuff and nobody to use it. Not many 25-year olds get the opportunity to own so so much gear.

I got good reviews for the wedding and turned the pictures into albums. They went down very well and i'd still be doing them now if i could.
Things happen for a reason. I can't argue with that. Why i couldn't i have done it when i was younger is a question i'll always ask myself. You need a special kind of personality to do it.

I always have a respect for photographers and the work they produce. There are so many talented people out there. My favourite photographs are in black and white and have people in them. I love to see a good photograph. I'm reminded of my niece who wanted a career taking pictures. I asked her if she knew what a DSLR was. "No idea" she said. "What do you take pictures with?" "I use my phone" she said. There's a lot more involved to it than that.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Being in a pop group isn't as good as it seems


I spent the early part of my 20s as a member of a pop group. It wasn't as glamorous as i thought it would be and what possessed me to be so stupid as i was to join a group i now put down to my youth. Being a kid, i made some terrible decisions, decisions i'll regret for as long as l live. If i could live my life again i would. I'd probably make some other error of judgement. Of that you can be sure. Collecting stamps would have been better than what i did do. We all make mistakes. I just didn't realise that i was making any. Let's just say i've made better choices than to be a musician.

Let me tell you, first of all, that it's an expensive hobby to have. What are the chances you'll get anything back? Well, once you've played a few gigs, things start to wind down and you're not as popular as you liked to think you were. It doesn't seem that long ago, but the reality is that it was. It was a time you thought would last forever. It never did though. It was hours and hours of practise that came to nothing. I'm not sure what advice i'd give to any youngsters today. Maybe they could give me some.

The best artists have played in front of an audience for years. They've built up a huge following and even though they're not the best musicians you've ever heard, they don't need to be. They have what's known as the 'x' factor. Elvis, The Beatles and The Bay City Rollers had it. So did a lot of others (i haven't got all day though). The Beatles played The Shea Stadium, we played a village hall in Stoke Golding. There WERE advantages to being in a band. (I won't bore you with what, ok i will) Playing in front of a live corowd was something special. Expensive, but special.

So, just to conclude, music is a very expensive hobby. Not everyone is going to succeed at it. You might have a fine repartee in humour and the personality to go with it, but that means nothing these days. The equipment you bought all those years ago is probably gathering dust right now in some second-hand shop as you wonder why you weren't snapped up years go. They were good days (weren't they?) Sorry, but you were awful and shouldn't have bothered.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


One of the carers said, to anyone who could hear her, "I'm not in the mood for THIS today".
She is a new recruit and totally needed the piss taking out of her.
"maybe you need a new career, luv. Cos i have to put up with this everyday." I said.
If looks could kill she'd be on a murder charge right now.
She was brought right down to earth, though. Where she belongs to be. Not every carer has the ability to smile. Some take things much too seriously.

I NEVER take things too seriously. It's the only time i get to have a laugh. Well that isn't strictly true. I laugh when someone says "no worries" or "to be honest". It's just my sense of humour. "No worries" is a way of saying "it's okay". "to be honest" is so ridiculous. I mean, aren't you ALWAYS honest?
I hate it when the carers whisper. They do it for a reason and if they feel they HAVE to whisper they should go to another room and do it there instead.

They really get on my nerves when they don't think we count enough to have an opinion about anything.
They just do what they want and never ask if we mind. why should they ask? We're only disabled. If you thought you could rely on the carers, you can think again. A lot of the time you're stuck on your own to fight your own battles. That's just the way it is.
Not all carers are the same. I'm sorry for giving you that impression. Some are really to be admired. Asking anything of them is never enough. They really ARE stars and we should always remember that.

It's really hard to think that i'll finish my life in this condition, but i don't let it worry me. I never have done.
Looking ahead, the queen can't have much time left before she says good-bye to this world. I didn't mean that to sound disrespectful even though it sonds as if i did. As to the future of blogging it too must have a bit of a dwindling life-span. Who knows what will happen?