Friday, 31 January 2014


My second home lately seems to be my lovely Kia Venga. I’m on the road a lot, mostly for the Arsenal, but I’m not complaining. Some people’s idea of hell might be sitting in a car for 5 hours just to watch a football match but I can’t get enough of my Away Days. Even when we lose, I enjoy visiting a place I’m not familiar with because everyone knows that travel broadens ones horizons. I realise that Sunderland is not at all like backpacking across Australia but it’s just as attractive to me. The plus is that talking about cities/towns I have visited makes me sound knowledgeable and well rounded.

Whether it’s a away game up north or a home match at the Emirates, motorways are an integral part of all my journeys. I think I know pretty much all service stations in England and whether they have a KFC, Burger King, McDonalds or all three. I have to say though that most look really similar and it’s difficult to tell them apart. What annoys me the most about services is the extortionate prices for just about everything. I can get petrol for 126.9 per litre in St. Albans but on the motorway where you have no choice, they get away with charging 20p more.

Anyway, my next away trip begins next Friday when we take the trek up to Liverpool. The actual match is on Saturday but it’s a lunchtime kick-off so it’s easier to stay over the night before. I can’t wait.

People who like football (or just want to hear my voice) might be interested to know that as well as writing for The Pub Corner, I am now involved in the podcast. We recorded episode 2 last night if you want to listen:

Bye for now!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Teenage kicks…

Today is the 30th January so I have been in my 20’s for a whole month. I know it sounds weird but since the turn of the year, I definitely feel older and people seem to be treating me like an adult (the beard may be helping with that). My birthday seems a long time ago but I want to reflect upon the mixed emotions I have been feeling since reaching that milestone. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for everyday I’m still alive because I know that there are people who haven’t made it to my age and I was glad to say goodbye to my teenage years but it came with a bit of sadness.

The years you spend at Secondary School are meant to be the best days of your life but I can safely say that mine weren’t. Of course, there are good memories such as trips abroad (bus banter in France was a highlight) but I wasn’t happy in the main. I don’t want to moan or get the violin out but all of my insecurities and confidence issues stem from not being popular at school. Everyone would be polite to me because being kind to Wheelchair Boy seems like the right thing to do but I was always on the outside, looking in. A floater if you like.

I wasn’t going to get personal but apart from David and Aaron, no one really made time for me (inviting me out or to their home). It seemed that as my disability got worse, I became more and more isolated with people steering clear of me. They didn’t literally walk by and ignore me but clearly weren’t up for being my friend. People would nod in my direction and ask me if I was alright but that would be where the interaction would stop.

You’re probably wondering why I am bringing this up now and the answer is, like I usually do, I suppressed the feelings and they’re surfacing as I reflect upon my teenage years. School wasn’t the only negative in my kidult years. Arsenal did not give me any cause for celebration during these 7 years. Neither did the fact that I started teens walking and ended permanently in a wheelchair, pretty much dependent on 24-hour care.

As you can see, my teenage years weren’t great. I just hope that the next period of my life is a little bit better.

Bye for now!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

They put me off my dinner…

I just read another article that I thought I’d share with you all because it’s about two words that don’t really go together, ‘disability’ and ‘TV’. I’ve spoke about this subject many times before but the post ( by actor Mik Scarlet is particularly poignant as he is inside the industry and therefore knows a lot more than me (his appearance in Brookside was long before I was born).

The way I see it is that the people in charge of commissioning at the main TV channels such as the BBC have it in their mind that audiences don’t want to see disabililty on their screens. Now, most of my readers will probably disagree with that sentiment but there are parts of society who would be in uproar and complain that having disability thrown in their faces makes for uncomfortable viewing. The potential backlash from having, for example, a wheelchair bound presenter on a mainstream show is probably the main reason why there aren’t any.

A lot of you are probably thinking didn’t he write an article about ‘The Last Leg’ (new series starts on Friday by the way), praising the programme for building on the success of the 2012 Paralympics and keeping disability in the public eye? Yes I did but I don’t class that as being mainstream. Can I just point out that the only shows focusing on disability are after the watershed. It’s almost as if this taboo subject can be spoken about but only after the kids go to bed. We don’t want children to learn about those freaks and start to believe they are normal. They must remain blissfully ignorant.

Without sounding like Martin Luther King, I hope that in the future humans look back with shock and disbelief at the lack of disabled coverage on TV. Just like I do when I watch old programmes and see that people of any other race than white are few and far between.

Bye for now!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014


It’s going to be a brief post today as I’m off on my travels, this time down to Southampton for the Arsenal match tonight. Just before I leave, I thought I’d share a shocking news article from the weekend. It basically is about a carer who steals money from a disabled person she works for. Most people will find it disgraceful but I am particularly appalled. I have carers and it’s not easy to accept that you’re so disabled; you need help all the time. Once you do, it’s difficult to find the right people. So, to trust someone in your house is a massive thing and to have that abused is horrific.

Bye for now!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Given the run around…

Not for the first time, my parents and I have been frustrated by Hertfordshire wheelchair services. Nothing new but I’m still dumbfounded by their sheer incompetence and the lack of ‘service’ that they actually give, contrary to the name. The recent set of problems began a few weeks ago, January 3rd to be precise. My mum phoned up the repair team in late December and they came around a few days later. Quite quick you might think but they didn’t fix the chair. A part would have to be ordered in which would take about a week. Fair enough. You can’t expect them to have thousands of parts ready for immediate use.

They set a date the following week and helpfully told us they would be with us between 9AM & 4.30PM. However, we received a call that evening explaining how they had ordered the part and received it but turns out, it was the wrong one because my chair was ‘exotic’ (eventhough it’s clearly a standard NHS manual wheelchair). Quite clearly, they had mucked up but reassured us that they had now placed the correct order. Little did we know they were lying because about a week or so later, they called to tell us the part had not yet been ordered.

I couldn’t believe it. Why lie? There was no point. This time, they said they had ordered the part but I didn’t believe them. When they phoned up last week and told us that the man would be coming today (Monday), we still weren’t sure whether he would definitely turn up. He did and fitted the part but oh my, what a moron. The idiot said that I had clearly hit something and bent the chassis in an accident. Oh yeah, I forgot about that horrific crash where my chair was severely disfigured but I was unscathed (that’s a joke by the way). Then, he said that my brakes were loose and tightened them so that they’re now rubbing against my wheels.

I really don’t know how cavemen who can barely rub sticks together get jobs, especially in the public sector where disabled people are involved.

Bye for now!