25 Nov 2012

Post 367: Interrobang?!

Yes, that is actually a thing.Confusion still reigns strong that it needs a ! – I never just wake up thinking clearly ‘this is what I need to do’ Bang!. When I was in a hospital rehab environment it was all about having clearly defined goals and the job at the Putney TLU (transitional living unit) was all about mentally preparing me for whatever life I faced back in the community. It’s going to be five years in April – I’m guessing they did their job. Sure, when I’m on my own, sometimes I get the ‘fear’ but it does pass, I have to persuade myself to do something depending on how much energy I have. I probably should go and lie down more but it’s boring as spit so I end up sitting on the computer trying to find funny stuff or trying to add a bit of spice and mischief to the continuum of chitchat that is facebook. The ‘productivity miracle’ that is the internet probably just about balances the ‘productivity disaster’ that is the internet. I have got my feet (um, wheels) firmly in the ‘miracle’ camp but some have another view and see facebook as a place where the ‘ghosts’ of the past might haunt them and some have employers who actually want their employees to work for them. Imagine the cheek of companies actually not being happy about their workforce chatting to their mates all day? Of course the old me would have bought a smartphone, because the old me loved gadgets, yup, the smaller the better, I think for the purposes of going to the gym I might have even got one of the original ipod shuffles,

basically a styled white glorified overpriced USB stick, so I could listen to pounding progressive house music as I plodded out mile after mile on a bike that was going nowhere. This life trajectory was going somewhere and was a fairly well-worn path, the next big thing was to get married, have kids and certainly sell and move well away from my one bedroom party palace in Brixton, setting the world on fire was not in the script, and death was probably quite a few pages away! Luckily, I still own and rent ‘Castle Pardey’ in Brixton, we drove past the street it’s on, on Friday night en route to the mighty Brixton Academy to see ‘Feeder’,

as my life is now on a totally different trajectory that I suspect has never been tried, well my extensive research hasn’t turned up another stroke survivor remotely like me, and for his sake, I hope he doesn’t exist! Anyway, I think we enjoyed Feeder, thanks to old mate Ched

for stepping in to save the day – we reckon we were quite easily the oldest people there! It is a somewhat strange Paradox that a stroke that has aged me 100 years and by virtue (misfortune?)(for him) of Ched knowing me and living pretty locally, a couple of old fuddy-duddies like us ‘iz hangin wiv da kidz’ again ‘innit’? Maybe this is a desperate attempt to recapture our 20s but then we have nights like last night to remind us we are grown ups when Ched and his wife Terri (the Cheds)

came round for red wine, cheese and a few episodes from the first season of Homeland, a spectacularly reviewed espionage/terrorism Series.

It is a ripper and as Richard E Grant says in brilliant series ‘Hotel Secrets’ “Drinking wine is made great not by the wine but the people you’re with” TRUE FACT, I just want to say sorry to the Cheds for doing that thing where at the end of any given drinking session I can’t resist putting concert footage that I’ve videod of ‘a n other’ gig I’ve been to that I’m a little bit proud of. It’s not the worst habit in the world but it comes under the heading ‘self-indulgence’ and no-one likes that. So, trajectory wise, this might be the unknown but I don’t believe anyone is less well off for me living like this apart from myself and maybe apart from the guy whose foot I ran over a couple of years ago at Brixton Academy (seeing the Editors with Jose)
And I cannot recommend highly enough that Richard E Grant series. He has the best job in the world. Bastard.
I know I'm traditionally lukewarm on Christmas

but this picture of my sisters family. How did her kids suddenly grow up? I think I'm quite looking forward to seeing them

23 Nov 2012

Post 366: A bit of existential quandering

Probably not a word in the dictionary but it’d be in there in five minutes if Stephen Fry used it! It is simply pondering a quandary... case closed, NOT A FACT.
In the light of the last post I feel the need to elaborate a bit more on what exactly I’ve been thinking about. I can just about hear the collective groans! Well, firstly I probably ought to explain my strategy for upgrading ‘things’ in my possession. I realise that disability has left me on a much tighter budget so the option for ‘throwing money at the problem’ doesn’t exist. It never really did, it just used to feel like there was some scope for it. Now I can forget about it. Getting anything done is as iterative a process as it has always been. I would say that day to day my wheelchair is probably the most important material thing I have (yawn –sad isn’t it?). When I got it at the end of 2007 it probably was in the top percentile of powered wheelchairs and was only remotely affordable because of the existence of the Trust and the kind people who donated, it is as important to me as your legs are to you. The obvious problem with getting a top-ish wheelchair is that every bloody thing that goes wrong with it costs a fortune to repair, I imagine, it’s the same if you have a La-di-da car (nothing to do with Lada). Christ, one of their own employees even said to me ‘with how much parts cost, you would have thought the chair was made out of solid gold’ and that’s what their own employees say! I have lost count of the number of times random people have said ‘that looks like quite a wheelchair’

My reply is usually the same ‘It’s still a f***ing wheelchair’ ‘I’d get rid of it in the blink of an eye if I could ever walk normally again’ but not being able to walk again is only for life, that could be a few more years of this then. Anyway, back to my point, you’ll notice from this picture

when the chair was brand new that it has headlights, now, when I originally saw them I scoffed at their usefulness, not appreciating how useful they’d be at a packed darkened Brixton academy, negotiating my way through a crowd when you realise that running over a foot means 250 kg potentially crushing it. That’s right, I am a humanitarian (mostly), well, since I probably broke someone’s foot a couple of years back negotiating my way through the Brixton crowd (it was an accident obviously), the other thing you may notice about the lights if you haven’t lost the will to live yet is just how vulnerable they are. I have knocked the bastards off several times, and to get them replaced costs £60 a headlight. Exactly!
I have mentioned him a few times but in the last couple of years I have got in touch with an organisation (it’s a charity called remap) that makes stuff for disabled people, so if I have an idea (usually crackpot), This chap (a genius really) called Brian drops in. We discuss the idea, he normalises it, does some drawings, takes some measurements, heads off and has a crack at making said thing and he then invoices me for travel and materials. Everyone’s a winner, except perhaps the rip-off wheelchair company. He is Heath Robinson to the power n! Unsurprisingly, the latest gambit I set him was to replace my lights and locate them somewhere less vulnerable. For £70 intotal he came up with this,

they’re also brighter and draw less power because they’re LEDs.

Without Irony, He might be the discovery of the last 5 years! He is a great example of how things should work. Because of the great help he has been, I think it is fair to say he has become a mate and I look forward to his visits because more often than not they are about what is possible and most of my recent experience is about what is not possible, and we all find that a bit tedious. I’m aware of the irony of being a disabled guy wittering on about what I can’t do anymore and having a go at how tedious it is being told how it’s not possible to do things. It’s uncanny how much irony can look like hypocrisy sometimes?
Anyway, my point is I’m my brain trapped in a stranger’s body. I suppose this blog is a sort of creative overflow and I was never that creative which should give you an idea of how much I am held back by this f*cking stroke. Just yesterday an old boss of mine (who obviously didn’t realise how much this has f*cked me asked me if I could run some numbers on a project he’s got saying that the old me would have ‘slaughtered this’. A nice thing of him to have said – I, of course had to decline – if you’re gonna have someone disabled on your project team. You’d better show up with professor X or Stephen Hawking! I confessed that I’d probably have a problem seeing the numbers but I remember in the first rehab ward I was on, the simplest Sudoku puzzle sapping my pathetic energy. It really is rubbish, as I had to tell Jose on Thursday that I need my days off between training, as he’d offered to torture me more regularly, I know that I’d get too down without days between physio. I’m at such a loss to know what to do with my life. I have too little in the tank to write a book for a while, I’m too tired to watch TV all day, and there’s f*ck all on, staying in bed is too boring and pisspoor for your muscles, exercising more isn’t an option, I already do everything I can to go out two evenings a week(ish)! I have well over 50 concerts in the pipeline most of which I’ve got tickets for up to November next year which I’m already pretty nervous about sorting out and going to! Feck, an existential cul de sac. I’m not Descartes (no sh*t) but even he must have had days when he read back what he wrote and said – where am I going with this shit?
Well my best guess is that I need a partner in crime, if the person doesn’t mind being part of the worst criminal double-act of all time.
Life is about making a positive difference to yourself and other people, not about boring yourself and others to tears – anyone care to help me out? Answers on an (electronic) postcard to the usual address. And while I’m here big thanks and good luck to Mick’s son Sam for his message via facebook – it’ll keep me writing this blog (it won’t stop me writing nonsense though, there aren’t any miracles)
Since the last blog post I haven’t just stopped being grateful to the people who have helped me out, I’m pretty sure that will never stop – at least I hope not. I may get a bit cantankerous but despite efforts that doesn’t change leading me to conclude that it would have/was happening anyway regardless – it’s called getting old and facing facts.
Specifically, I’m grateful to the two lads (Michael Lewis and Tim Grant) for taking me to see Skyfall

last week. Good of them and here’s what my verdict was on Facebook:

I enjoyed Skyfall (thanks to Tim and Michael for taking me), I know it's Bond so it's supposed to be preposterous but I now think it's more credible that a baddie might have hollowed out a volcano to use as a place to do 'secret' space launches, I'm positive Judi Dench said 'I know I've f*cked things up this time' Whoa - it's a different world people. Still think it should be called ' Skinfull' because of Bond's penchant for scotch, or maybe 'skyfreud' for 'other reasons'
I also went to a charity comedy Gig on Monday at the Hammersmith Apollo

and have my wonderful mate Bianca to thank.

It is rather tragic that she has to go back to Melbourne in March when her visa runs out. I have met so many Aussies who have stayed here forever even though all they have done is prop up both sides of bars and told everyone how much ‘better’ Australia is. It makes me mad that someone so nice, who has a proper job is forced to go back. Immigration rules can just ‘rack off’.

18 Nov 2012

Post 366A: A proper post will have to come later

If anyone still reads this, writing and posting time have been absconded by other activities and perhaps rather boringly having to rest for these activities. Firstly just to give you some idea why I’m doing the creative writing course I wrote this as an attempt to ‘big-up’ the course in it’s marketing literature

‘Hi, I’m Dom. I’m 35 and almost died seven years ago when a blood vessel weakness that I didn’t know about gave way. The subsequent stroke has left me in a wheelchair. I have decided/had decided for me that writing might be something I could do. I write a blog weekly which is a diary and cathartic outlet but longer term I need to be more creative, less self-indulgent and write fiction. I looked for a creative writing class that would put me among other writers led by someone who realised my limitations and was able to instruct, guide and keep interested a group with very mixed abilities, backgrounds and starting points. The course gives me a chance to immerse myself in a different mindset and allows me to broaden my writing ‘toolkit’. I don’t expect to be a ‘writer’ by the end but I hope to have a better idea of what it might look like to be one.’
I genuinely think this but I’m not where I want to be yet (the story of my life).
I went to go and see (again) one of the best comedians I’ve ever seen on Friday, Steve Hughes

– it is one of the only times I have exhausted myself by laughing so much, even if some of what he says I am quite tempted to place in the bin marked ‘conspiracy theory nonsense’ – it is nonetheless clever side-splitting nonsense. Last night (Saturday), I went to the Dome to see Rock favourites ‘The Killers’ and guess what – you’ve guessed it. BRILLIANT. And this afternoon, Sunday lunch, the meat sweats and seeing the budding families of three of my former colleagues, the Daweses (Simon and Yvonne+Joseph and Isabel) and the Brennans (Paul and Anna+Emily)

which was hilarious ( I’m ready for my food coma now) and the latest person implicated in the Jimmy Savill scandal is Jeremy Beadle, apparently he had a little hand in it. Arf. Special thanks go to Chey for putting up with me at both Steve Hughes

and the Killers.

She is the perfect friend, I might even say model friend but she’s too modest. I also took my neighbours (Ian and Tracey) to the Killers, seeing as they are possibly the biggest fans I have ever met, I think Ian almost sweated as much as the first time we went to see them in July 2009 . Also thanks to Jose for accompanying us to Steve Hughes.
As you can no doubt tell I haven’t had a chance this week to make myself even more of a societal reject by saying something that upsets someone, oh well, it’ll be next week soon.

11 Nov 2012

Post 375: Exploring the MOR

MOR or middle of the road was something I had the piss ripped out of me for liking back when things were normal, it’s a bizarre dichotomy or even a bit of cognitive dissonance how MOR I am(cognitive dissonance is the uniquely human ability to hold two conflicting ideas as true simultaneously in your mind. Despite being staunchly logical I just buy into the human frailty of the idea and love the use of language). I can’t stand things that add to my being bored, as boredom leads to introspection and depression and that’s not in my character. Maybe it is now - disability has been what has brought it to the surface. Let me tell you , it’s pretty hard not to think everything is a waste when you feel like this, and under no circumstances am I going to turn into a ‘happy clappy’ moron, that said, I am making a concerted effort to be less cynical. It is hard not to be when the world is so f*cked! But, a recent email from a mate saying we need to both try being more positive didn’t leave me as cold as it might once have done, so here goes.
I can guarantee right now that it’ll give rise to no immediate change because immediate change perhaps used to happen, but now it’s more Barack Obama ‘2nd term change’ or as I read somewhere ‘more of the same kind of change’. Thank God he won (oh the Irony). I’m pretty confident the world would have ended if Romney had won. The world would have sprouted arms and an intergalactic revolver would have appeared from somewhere, the world would have grabbed it and turned it on itself.

Even the more positive me sees the humour in that!
The reason I embarked on this subject is what I went to see last week, on Tuesday, 90s pop icon Seal at the Hammersmith Apollo with my new (and incidentally gorgeous friend Chey)

and saying to her ‘was Seal really this middle of the road’ after noting they’d left the seats in and surveying the crowd

‘hmmm, yes he was’ she said – still, it was a surprisingly good concert. I think the Apollo is a great music venue –good sound, lighting and a rather nice atmosphere. I was impressed by Seal. I had no clue but he’s from London, is pretty massive

and has a lovely voice. He is a soul singer first and foremost which really came through in some of his newer stuff but thankfully he did most of his back catalogue from the 90s (the stuff that had made him famous) but all in all a good concert,

Chey enjoyed it and I think she didn’t mind the tedious logistics. Going to the Apollo works. What was also nice was my friend Isabel who happened to be at the gig with a friend of hers popped down from her seat upstairs to say hi. Another friend of mine (fellow Stroke Survivor and getter on with Life Charley , It is amazing how she has struck out on her own and restarted her life after her stroke, she is an amazing lady) she suggested I should make some sort of disabled access guide out of all my concert-going. This is a perfectly reasonable idea but I go (wait for it) to too many MOR mainstream venues where access is OK at worst, not enough dive shitholes where a rogue step could ruin the whole night – plus I don’t want to risk sh*t nights for my friends who already do enough by agreeing to take me. I’m not into alternative enough music or comedy to want to go to some dank pub in Camden only to find it has no access, is darker and sweatier than the black hole of Calcutta and the only time we get to talk is in the car and even then I’m too exhaustipated (a new and brilliant word my dad sent me, meaning too tired to give a shit – my life in a word) Well, I do still give a shit, which is why I do anything really! From the middle of one road to the middle of an entirely different road. You know I believe strongly in trying to make up for ruining my parents lives? Well, I pander to their love of Classical music by taking them to anything remotely appropriate at the Albert Hall or similar. So on Wednesday, I took them to ‘Glorious Handel by Candlelight’ in Guildford and it was er, Glorious. The Orchestra was all dressed up as though they were from the turn of the 19th century

and we forget how brilliant Handel was. It started with ‘the arrival of the queen of Sheba’ which everyone must know from weddings
It is a very particular and pleasing style. I love the frequent trumpet solos, it is a high and clear sound that only the best Trumpeters can manage. My parents loved it. I think taking them to concerts like this for the rest of our lives is a start to repaying the enormous guilt I have. Closer inspection of the tickets also uncovered that the venue haven’t ever bothered to give me a free carer ticket apparently because I never specifically asked for one. Apparently some people in wheelchairs don’t need a companion. Cheeky B*stards at Guildford GLive basically. Since my incarceration in a wheelchair, it’s clear as a bell that I can’t go anywhere on my own for the rest of my life – it’s not a question of me having to try harder. It’s fact – that’s that. I would love to be independent but I can’t be ever. The end. This is closely related to another thing, When I went to see Dara O’Briain (again at Hammersmith) there was a lady with a carer who was just able to walk around, when I tactfully asked her what her disability was she said ‘normally I have a scooter, I’ve got pins in me neck and me knee’ she then got up and walked off to the loo. At the John Bishop gig we went out following a lady who appeared to be walking normally, carrying a crutch! I really don’t know what to say! This is a big issue. I can only live this existence if venues provide a free carer ticket and there are obviously people taking advantage of the system. I wish they’d bring back some form of public humiliation for people who take the piss like this. It needs to be enshrined in law. I am not one for inflicting any sort of pain or corporal punishment on people because that feels like you’re broaching peoples human rights.
Tenuously, on the subject of human rights, I went to see the gold standard in sociopathic nihilism and his belief in the human right to say anything, Frankie Boyle do his stand-up ‘comedy’ at the Hammersmith Apollo last night.

Now, I think the last time I went to one of his stand up shows (4 years ago ) by the end I wasn’t finding it funny, it was just nasty. I wish I’d remembered because I would have thought twice about booking it. I did listen to his book ‘Work, Consume, Die’ last year , and I stand by what I said ‘ how evil and messed up he really is, and he has no obvious excuse’ the good bit was getting to see Ben first and foremost,

but warm up Canadian Craig Campbell was excellent

despite ratcheting his f-word count too high, I have seen him on TV a few times and his banter with the front row was sharp and funny. Ben is an old friend who should be a comedian, he put past me his initial idea’s for a speech he has to give to the stock exchange cricket club at some form of Christmas shindig in a few weeks. I am confident it’ll go well if the preliminary skirmishes are anything to go by. I’m not joking when I say I almost lost bowel integrity!
Finally, a huge thankyou to Chey and Bianca for cooking me dinner and having a few glasses of wine on Friday. Friends doing things like that for me make life worth living!
In other news, plans for this years Christmas drinks are coming along nicely. If you should have heard about them but haven’t it’s probably due to a pesky technical error by the blind, disabled one (me). Simply email me.
With Obama winning the US election it’s probably worth going back to address the subject of the middle of the Road. I have decided that Britain is a very MOR country and this is no bad thing. It doesn’t for a minute pre-dispose that the MOR is boring, rather, even if some quarters of the world regard us as ‘immoral, liberal, permissive pig-dog apostate godless pieces of meat’ (lets call them imbeciles and fucktards) at least a lot of us in this country live free from fear, pain and oppression (if we still have our health). As long as Michael Macintyre remains the #1 comedian and John Bishop is doing shows at the UK’s most popular venue (the dome apparently, who saw that coming after it’s inauspicious beginnings?)(I incidentally saw both Macintyre (twice) and Bishop there) it is impossible to deny we are a MOR country, crikey we even have a liberal-conservative coalition government, they might as well rename themselves the MOR coalition. Now, I’m probably a lone voice sticking up for this idea but a few people have got it into their heads that this sort of thing isn’t dangerous, edgy, progressive or ‘revolutionary’ enough. Bullsh*t. The reason I say this is that I have been forced even more into the MOR by being in a wheelchair and even though I could never describe myself as happy, I think it’s fair to say that ‘I like living’ and every social deviation that gets suggested by a MOR-hater seems to be a threat to my very existence, or a dislike for a feature of the way I have lived in the past (all 35 years of it) so everything I have said is nothing more than self defence. The usual sincere apologies if this is a bit long and boring. Sincere thanks for reading it all the same.

4 Nov 2012

Post 374: An important lesson and I know I’m a hypocrite

If you're saying 'who the fuff is that? It will emerge.

One of the things that has stung a bit was when someone had a go at me because this blog was a bit ‘moany’. Well, who doesn’t get fed up with complaining twats? It would be a bit hypocritical and beyond ironic to complain about complaining – I know I’ve done it before! I have tried pretty hard all my life to not be a hypocrite but I’m afraid I haven’t practised what I’ve preached since my stroke. I think I’ve expected people to judge me totally on my brain, not what I look and sound like and I realise I don’t even do that myself, I have tried harder (like really hard) to make decisions about people based more on who they are and what they say! I’ve always tried to be openminded and fair, however, to always be 100% openminded and fair you seem to need to have energy so I’m sure I have cut corners in weighing up individuals in the last seven years. People who are not willing to make an effort are those who I am most angry at. Making an effort can take many forms. People who don’t communicate like adults (ie don’t spell or punctuate correctly and aren’t dyslexic) are quite a good example, or those who clearly don’t bother to stay in touch, this makes me lose faith in humanity. This is broken record territory so I’ll u-turn from this particular cul-de-sac. I like viewpoints that are not afraid to rise above the tide of effluvium that is political correctness and the sort of ‘right on’ leftie (ironic that) trendy proto-feminist Guardianista politics (spouted by both sexes)

that seem to have infected a lot of people who I thought knew better; It makes me worry that I am and have been a useless judge of character all my life and it’s gotten worse. It reminds me of one of the most valuable pieces of advice I have ever been given, by a trainee psychologist (at the time) called Patrick in Putney hospital (I believe he’s now called Dr McKnight), and the context he was addressing was my extreme fear at choosing carers/housekeepers and living outside the comparative safety of hospital in about 2007. As an essentially defenceless person, I was fretting about two strangers who I wouldn’t know living in my house who I relied upon to survive that I wasn’t going to have perfect information about, in much the same way I couldn’t possibly have realised that the college I chose (incidentally as the result of a coin toss) would mean I’d meet so many like minded friends who’d stay loyal even after I ceased to be a properly functioning human. In essence, what Patrick was saying was don’t sweat over information you’re never going to get. Make the decision based on the information you have and don’t worry about anything else – it’ll achieve nothing. Basically, use the 80/20 rule and don’t think twice about it. Have a bit of confidence in yourself that you have done the best you can. This worked just fine until my last carers were a blip. Shit happens. He was essentially telling me to use 80/20.
I compel people to use it if they don’t already. I don’t care if you think it’s clichéd. Half the stuff I do is probably clichéd in some shape or form. It will remove so much worry from your life
The 80/20 Rule means that in anything a few things(20 percent) are vital and many things(80 percent) are trivial.
This is literally the dictionary (well, Wikipedia) definition. Now, my last few jobs before I was disabled flooded me with unintelligible management Jargon but JL had a particular gift for creating ‘three letter acronyms’ or TLAs, my particular bogey was MLS or ‘Mid Level Signage’, now every buyer under the sun believed that increasing the information they gave to customers about the ‘stuff’ they sold would increase their sales but no-one wants to see a shop or anywhere crowded with signage so how did it get regulated? Well, as it happens, I never found out, having this damn stroke intervened. There was a lot of ‘who shouts the loudest gets the most’. It was often pretty Darwinian. If you learnt to ignore the trivial 80% but pay special attention to the other 20%, you’d pretty much get it right and as in any job the better you got at it, the better your 80/20 filter became, as no-one is an expert at living (think about it, anyone who thinks they’re a living expert can just piss off. The best you can hope for is to be prepared to take onboard little bits of advice hither and thither, it’s why I have a counsellor and why I haven’t given up always looking for people to talk to even if I find talking pretty damn exhausting these days, I think we all just prefer listening, and the chap who I went to listen to this week , (in fact twice because of a slight administrative mix-up) It was just as well, because like all really good comedians, you’re too busy laughing to remember what you’re laughing about but his, he was called Simon Evans incidentally

deconstruction (demolition more like) of football and John Terry was spectacular. Basically Football exists to make sure the underclasses are effectively coraled in out of town holding pens so they can shout abuse at people who are just like them but wearing different colour shirts for a few hours once or twice a week, thus allowing the rest of us to get on with life safe in the knowledge that we’re not going to get assaulted, this will also get a lot of their natural aggression and fear of other living creatures out, ‘everyone’s a winner’. Things were going fine until middle-class people with little real interest and no right to be there decided they needed something else to talk about, seeing the extortionate cost of attending a game they thought ‘this must be good’, the middle-classes infiltrated football, driving a lot of the underclass back into pubs on the high-street, completely defeating the object! Now, as you can see, this isn’t a PC viewpoint, but it’s not a nasty and offensive one – which is my kind of viewpoint (ie not the nasty and offensive one)! Doubtless, some middle-class bleeding heart will puff out their chest and be ‘outraged on behalf of the underclass who surprise, surprise, don’t give a shit. One of his other sharp observations was how wrong the modern philosophy of ‘if you have kids, all your plans should probably be completely binned because ‘what’s best for ‘little Johnny’ is what matters’, ‘little Johnny might not be the #1 priority! Shock horror! Outrage, burn the heretic!
Now it is empirically obvious that Children are the future, that is tautologous. Does that mean we essentially have to spoil our lives for them now? Well, as someone who looks unlikely to ever father any children despite the fact that passing on a neurological AVM like mine doesn’t happen, there aren’t a mob of fertile mums in waiting who want my genes despite me being in a pretty good real-world situation (ie good neighbourhood, good local schools, my finances are stable blah blah) I don’t see a queue forming. I have made overtures like ‘ wouldn’t we have good-looking and clever children? Unsurprisingly these have been flat rejected because blokes in wheelchairs aren’t anyone’s choice(we’re 2nd Class citizens basically regardless of our brains). I was going to write ‘I’m not bitter’ but I am.
Having seen what has happened to a lot of my friends I have to agree although I would assert ‘Children are for grandparents primarily’. I only have to extrapolate what my housekeepers #1 priority is, It is their grandson Grayson, it is nice that by living here they can be so close to him. It is a glorious mutually beneficial arrangement, up there with meeting Jose, I can’t point to a whole lot of good stuff since my stroke but there you have it! For 2 days a week Gary

and Gwen

look after Grayson, and the little fella (I think he’s about 18 months) is probably here two afternoons a week. I can confirm he’s definitely a human toddler but my goodness does he make Gwen and Gary happy!
Their voices go up several octaves and I swear I can almost see the sun shining out of Grayson’s arse.
I know I’ve said it a lot before, the same is true of my mother. I think to her, success in life is judged by the number of grandchildren she can easily call to hand,

so with my sister and her kids being in Connecticut, she must be a little disappointed. She has been known to talk as follows ‘[name of friend], of course she’s got [x] grandchildren living just down the road’, all I can say mum, is your non-performing son has tried and it isn’t looking good. My new focus is finding new local friends but it’s difficult. I’m still stung by not being the type of human that people can be bothered with.
It’s the unfortunate nature of a 1st person journal. It is self-indulgent shite to the max, but my efforts to come up with a decent bit of fiction are fruitless so far (FSF).
Thanks to the guys who took me to see Simon Evans this week, Ched on Tuesday,

we’re hopefully starting a Homeland and Red Wine evening next week. Ched’s wife Terri had originally suggested ‘Gossip Girl’ but that was quickly dispatched! And thanks to my schoolmate Owen for taking me to see Evans on Wednesday. Clever resonating comedy.



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