Welcome to my blog. I post on this, roughly once a week (it does vary). I sustained a 'Traumatic Acquired Brain Injury', and a six month coma from a 'road traffic accident' whilst cycling, in October 2006. I spent the following 4 years (22-26yrs old), in a combination of hospitals and rehabilitation homes. Now, I have been living independently in Surbiton, England since October 2010. This blog begun life in December 2010, as i realised that there are many people worldwide that i want to share experiences with. I know that, as a wheelchair user, I am obviously not as mobile as i wish, so, use the internet to connect to you. I enjoy letting my thoughts represent through type. I type honestly. As numerous readers, as well as email recipients, will understand, I find typing to be very therapeutic. Thank you :)
Please note that this website cannot be viewed 100% successfully everywhere. It is designed for optimum viewing on a screen of 1920 x 1080 pixels.



Friday, 23 June 2017

never extinguished

Summer solstice 21st June
The middle of summer definitely brought us fine weather. We are British, we must never be disappointed with such!
OK, 23rd June marks the date equi-distant pre/post Christmas 25th December! It is afternoon as I type, so it's almost CHRIIIIISTMAAAAASSS!

I am cross. I am confused. I should be sad and depressed but I'm not! I haven't been with a girl since before my accident. Over ten years ago! TEN YEARS!! I have no guiding light either. I am honestly totally used to this fact, but i know that this is a key part of life that I may forever miss out on.

So I have absolutely nothing to hide or lose, approaching good-looking females. Honestly, if I think that someone is beautiful, i am desperate to tell them! I never expect anything in return, it makes me happy to cause due happiness. I am a huge flirt! OK, and?... SOMEONE needs to be honest! I know that I cannot hide 'my biggest flaw'! Most people can and are pre-occupied in doing such.

To my total surprise, whilst in the supermarket, I did so, and...
The compliment was returned!
'You're pretty good looking yourself...'
I was left feeling over the moon!! I could tell she was genuine. 
When i own up to this ‘bad habit’, i am given a questioning look, told the opposite, paid much gratitude, one day… 





This poster has slowly been developed over the past two weeks. Inpiration was supplied from a speech given by Caroline Lucas, i wanted to show my support.

The Greens power a flame that will never be extinguished.




A 'lifelong fan' (almost). I am 32 and I fell in love with Radiohead's OK Computer shortly after release (20 years ago). I remember buying the album on CD for my mother at Christmas '97. Their release of 'No Surprises' won me, early '98. I was also taught learning to play along, on guitar, with a few songs. I started by learning 'Karma Police', and 'Lucky' with my tutor. I bought songbooks, and determinedly learnt 'Paranoid Android'... and, WOW!
It wasn't until I was at university in late 2002, did i get my hands on the 'Airbag/How Am I Driving? EP' This rare, imported EP was my treasure, it contained many B-sides, that I had missed out on on previous releases. There are some gems on here! ;)





It was then, earlier this year, announced that these songs would be incorporated in the special 20-year anniversary release, (as well as a headline set at Glastonbury).



'Man of War' was heard, first played anywhere on BBC6music, Thursday 22nd, by Shaun Keaveny! Very good. 






I remember lying in hospital after my accident and 6-month coma, pondering. A few key things kept revolving around my head. I realised that my life had been shaken, but there a few key points of my framework that I had completed successfully, and held me strong (i knew that i must keep positive). I had an amazing girlfriend. I had completed my desired education courses. I had cycled up the Alpe D'Huez in 2006, watching the Tour de France atop a mountain (the best mountain). I had experienced the best performing the best, at the best, Radiohead at Glastonbury in 2003 (maybe their prime?). 

Glastonbury 2017 headliners
... So, the best are back at the best venue again! 
TONIGHT ON TV...

Radiohead - BBC2 10pm Friday 23rd June

Friday, 16 June 2017

Ups and Downs!


Sarah Jarosz


I open with soothing music from the latest album of Sarah Jarosz, entitled 'Undercurrent', released in 2016. 

I have always been irritated by these harmful idiots. 
Misbehaving cyclists get instructions.
I had previously refused to refer to them as 'cyclists', but now, over ten years later I give in to my own laziness. I feel detached, so refer to them as 'cyclists'. 'People' fully geared in dayglow jackets, helmets, bags etc pay less attention to 'rules of the road', because, why? 
Just because they may be dressed like a ****, does NOT  negate them from the Highway Code! What they regularly ignore is their effect on pedestrians (i count myself as one, disabled but still a pedestrian). I am not afraid to use my vocal chords to express my dismay at illegally behaving cyclists.

‘Recycling Awards’?
I include a photo of a pack of leaflets that we all received through the post in the local area. Shocked and surprised, yes i am. It is brilliant that such an important issue is being tackled by my local borough. However, I personally am ignoring this. 

'Recycling' is not a competition. It does not start and finish. It should not have a closing date! It is a lifestyle change. I find it an unfortunate strike of reality, to find that some people may need this sort of incentive to introduce this 'lifestyle change'.

96, 670
Total number of views that this blog has had since the beginning. Over six and half years...

The following note explains a mood that I can be in. Life varies. I am not feeling such today. Ups and downs. 
!!!!!!
Compliments 
Tuesday, the sun was shining, making most people smile. I journeyed from Waterloo, along the Southbank to City Hall. 




I was smiling, beautiful girls were smiling. Problem. As soon as eye contact is made, I feel the need to be honest and truthful. I speak, refusing to just stare like a fool. I offer valid compliments which are usually received well (about 90% of the time). I think it is rude to look without explaining why. I own up to my noticing of their 'attraction'. No problems. I am often complimented in return, for complimenting them in the first place. Girls like 'confident honesty'. I struggle to understand men who remain forever silent. By taking this course of action the only person that loses is me (but not with my will power)! One day...

Just live. It is wonderful to dream, but better to live. Don’t waste your life, living in expectation. Just live your life and be happy. Learn that you can find joy in everything that you experience, why lose energy striving for different experiences?
Love to live. The less that you expect, the more you will love.

I always feel so guilty when I go to bed, having plugged my powered wheelchair into charge. I do not  believe it necessary to do so EVERY night (despite everyone 'in the know' telling me to do such). When I choose not to, I make sure that my planned use for the following day, is minimal. I maintain that it is a bad thing to overcharge a battery (of any kind). I do not want to 1) waste energy 2) waste money 3) speed up the death of my battery! 

The best way of buying music, and a wonderful acoustic version of a song from her latest album...
have a listen in following link...









Friday, 9 June 2017

...has NEVER won



I open this week's post with a photo of my current read, and below, a six-word quote from Albert Camus, whose work, i love reading.

'There is no sun without shadow'
As ever, people will read different messages from such quotes. Personally, I read it as a simple message that there will always be a negative aspect of something considered to be positive. It may be hidden, but will exist.



If you are not new to this blog, or indeed myself, you will understand that I love my coffee.



My weekend nights involve time dedicated to my Bialetti! It is too big for one person, so I keep the second half, to consume cold in the following morning.

My Bialetti ‘Espresso Macchiato Freddo'!




;)

Little Hurricane Slingshot

Vorrei un cafe SENZA ZUCCA, SEMPRE!

Wednesday, I visited '2 Love Tea and Coffee' in Clapham Junction (http://independentcoffeeshops.blogspot.co.uk/p/2good.html). Amazing shop. I felt relaxed enough to type the section below. However, I also noticed that I was on part of a road  which introduces successfully, a 'curbless' pavement. It may sound crazy, but as a wheelchair user, I found this to be so incredibly liberating! I don't really know why, but I think it was the fact that I seemed to have more similar abilities to a fully able-pedestrian. I didn't, but i could cross the road whenever needed. No curb keeping me stuck until i reached the next opportunity. Wisely labelled and sign-posted, with shallow gutters on either side, I don't know why this system is not more widely introduced. 



Pavement in Clapham Junction, St John's Road

I type this note on Wednesday (even though this week's post will be published on Friday, after the General Election). I am scared pre-election. Please be warned, I don't mince my words!
(edited)
This country has decided to support the 'ultra right-wing' in a nationwide referendum. This country seems to be masochistic, electing a right-wing government in 2015, AND leaving Europe. However, I am lucky enough to live in a democracy, I shouldn't complain. A democracy can be unbalanced by the media, but essentially it is still a democracy in which all votes are counted. A democracy, but not really. The government is going to be left or right. Unfortunately there are bigger problems facing the entire human race, other than tax ratings. We have taken too much from this world, without paying back. I fear that we maybe awaiting a global, natural disaster before people force their governments to take notice. Until then, people everywhere, are happy to live in massive ignorance! I find it abhorrent that people as introspective as Mr Trump, are voted to lead a democracy. Such power he triumphantly parades, yet he has no power against nature. Why do we accept this? Oh, because our 'strong and stable' prime minister acts like his pet dog! I cannot handle five more years of this. This election will not affect our country alone. We must stand beside Macron of France, up against Trump’s dangerous, greedy, ignorant decisions.

Just a warning, if you think you live in a open democracy ...

Prime minister, Theresa May has NEVER won a General Election!


Friday, 2 June 2017

We owe it to ourselves

I feel that humans exist with the drive forward, to attain their target, and aim to reach a moment of pure happiness with everything complete. Once you have reached paradise, everything stops. People cannot live in paradise, there are always things in life that can be improved. Paradise is not a place on a map, it is a moment in your life. It is how you feel. If you think that you have reached it, be warned. Nothing lasts forever. What will you do next?
I feel wounded, but so strengthened and proud of the fact that I can realise/understand this concept. I am wounded so deeply psychologically, as i watch other loving partners hold hands. A symbol suggesting equality, respect, aid, support and love between two people. Over a decade. I am sensing fear that it is my destiny to continue alone forever more.

Thank you to everyone who leaves comments on this blog, or messages back to me. I cannot show enough appreciation. Positives all around can only seem to benefit myself, primarily. Thank you.

Overcoats 

I am a fan. Not primarily because they are a female duet (although much of my recent iTunes playlists contain many female vocals). I describe the album as regularly presenting 'progressive vocals'. The band offer a new sound to me. I recommend.

Rwanda Tanzania Brazilian… Coffee blend
Wow!!! 😳 

Tuesday, I was free and decided to visit Central London, and my regular haunts. I was pleased to realise that I had timed it well, meaning that all three could be visited and current coffees, sampled! A single shot of Espresso accompanied by a glass of water were had in ‘The Espresso Room’ (St Martin’s Lane - http://independentcoffeeshops.blogspot.co.uk/p/new-row-espresso-room.html), ‘The Bar Italia’ (Frith Street, Soho - http://baritaliasoho.co.uk ), and ‘The Fleet Street Press Office’ (Fleet Street/Strand - http://independentcoffeeshops.blogspot.co.uk/p/fleet-st-press-coffee-on-edge-of-city.html). 
My wheelchair behaved well, power lasted well, and visited them in the order stated above. The expressive note above, was made on St Martin’s Lane. The flavour of this new blend resulted in the most stunning espresso that I have ever had. Flavour explosion, outstanding! I had lunch outside Bar Italia which correctly prides itself on everything served. Heading back down Drury Lane, towards the Aldwych crescent, I decided that it’d be totally foolish of myself to not veer to the left of the crescent, and ignore ‘The Fleet Street Press’. I had to enter and let it provide a ‘fair comparison’. It did. I can now comortably, confidently state that these three shops are the best (my favourite), of anywhere in the capital! 
Wednesday coffee purchases seemed boring!

My cry for Great Britain to embrace Proportional Representation in it’s political ‘democracy’ is supported by text of previous week’s posts, and the graphics below explaining the problem...




These two graphs were entirely personal creations, developed from information supplied on the 'electoral reform' webpage.

‘Proportional representation is the idea that seats in parliament should be allocated so that they are in proportion to the votes cast. Although there are many different types of PR, this is the base requirement for a system to be described as proportional.’

‘Rather than the winner-take all approach of other systems, PR ensures that votes carry equal weight.’

Part of my work for 'London Green Party' promotes key parts of the Green manifesto for this Thursday's General Election...



We are less than a week away.
I hope that I will be writing next week’s post, under a new government! Otherwise, this country remains stuck for another FIVE YEARS! Please.

Don't worry, some comedy and some music...
The late, great Rik Mayall, had offered an amazingly realistic and accurate prediction of our state of affairs.
Brexit.

Music
Initially promoted last week, on this blog, 'Little Hurricane' get a further introduction.
Little Hurricane

Wednesday saw me handing out ‘Kingston Green Party leaflets’ at Surbiton Station. I had designed them, we had them printed sustainably, and now i was directly involved in a final process of ‘communication’. Often, my wheelchair has resulted me in not participating in this late stage, but ’Surbiton Station’, i couldn’t resist! I gave a high number out, now i can only pray that they were received as positively as i thought… 
The more votes for The Green Party, the louder our Green voices will be heard, with greater attention paid to us and therefore enabling a greater effect, for everyone.


I hope that everyone votes with a conscious effort, next week. We owe it to ourselves and every generation of the future.

Friday, 26 May 2017

absurd?


Albert Camus' 'The Myth of Sisyphus' helps to explain the 'absurd'. I had been brought up and educated as a designer, with a strong belief that everything starts existence somewhere. Things/elements may then evolve, change or be designed to exist in another role. However Camus starts to explain ‘the absurd’ and the logical philosophy of existentialist, Leo Chestov, offering a strong argument for a God's existence. 




Chestov explains ‘the absurd’. Humans can design and create almost anything. That which they cannot create, but exists or have existed at some point, can be considered as ‘the absurd’. Camus was not 'existentialist' himself, he has merely told the philosophical stories of others, throughout his books.

50/50

Furthering last weeks note/post regarding my power balance of both arms. I succeeded! The gym bike was used to test my upper limbs...
I know that this means very little, as I remain a fair distance from having equal control of both sides, but it is a minor goal achieved! Happy!

Where did I find this confidence?
People may see me, and think I should have none. 
My mind's self confidence is so strong. You cannot attempt to gauge it. I am always able to fall on it/ believe in it/ use it, when needed.
I then get home, I don't like what I see in the mirror. What I see, is not how I feel.
It makes me sad, to realise what people see when they look at me.
It is no wonder that I cannot attract girls! People should therefore, not be surprised by my relative confidence in my ability to speak to females, face to face. It is my only hope...
I must banish these thoughts. I have to remember how strong my mind feels. 

OK, I am regularly urged to remain ‘quiet’ regarding my political opinion!
I take this into account, but i happily, completely ignore it. It just isn't 'British', to express dismay at our 'British, Conservative personality'.
Personally i think that many problems with British politics are due to lack of approachable candidates. Very few leading politicians, in parliament, offer any type of an attractive personality. It may seem that most MPs offer nothing. The charming smirks of Jeremy Hunt and Iain Duncan Smith represent so much. It is no surprise that the public want nothing to do with them.
Not a real democracy, but this country considers itself as ‘free’. People must voice opinions  and not live ‘under a whip’. ‘The whip’ being controlled in your constituency, by the same political party for a whole life-time (probably). If you are lucky, you may have experienced another party’s rule, for 5 years. Our country is broken. The only choice has ever been ‘left’ or ‘right’. That is not a proper, free democracy! In the recent past decades, we saw both sides funnelling centrally. I have a theory that, as the population realises that this country has jammed itself in becoming too central, we will see rise of extremes on both sides.  This may seem scary, but at least people will become more interested in the system. History shows us that the far-right is always a terrible option. British people were influenced to leave the EU, and they are only just realising that UKIP lied to us. Are they ‘far-right’? Scary. Green is the one sensible option. Not ‘left/right’, or ’21st Century Fascism’, a party concerned with the future existence of planet Earth. Slightly important! It hurts me that this party is not bigger. This country is stuck. Our electoral system has jammed to a stop, but the ‘big two’ aren’t going to help, because they forever want to be in this position, 1st or 2nd.
I ask everyone to seriously re-think who they will vote for. We need to break free. I am not young anymore, but i recognise that we owe it to the future of our country!
This system is broken.

Personal new music discoveries, that i wish to share...
Current, new music, 'Overcoats'. I am yet to investigate these properly, but it appeals... 
may 2017

but… Little Hurricane
I continue on, discovering a super, duet. Lead guitar is accompanied by very strong, rocking drums. This performance is old, relatively.



I cannot believe that I have only just found out about this band.
I love this. They do have a new album ('Same Sun Same Moon'), released April '17, proving that they are as rocking as ever!



Friday, 19 May 2017

I feel more balanced

I feel more balanced. 

I find that machines in the gym are able to prove my relative symmetry of power outputs through legs (mentioned previously on this blog). This past week showed me that a similar power balance is being developed through my upper limbs.
Arm symmetry 49/51

I realise that this may not mean anything, to most people. I know that when I used the same machine much earlier, in my 'rehabilitation home', I used to reach such balance 20/80!


You should all know that I am a keen supporter, and faithful member of the Green Party. We all know our relative small scale, as a political party, but each of us fiercely believe that our manifesto is unique. Unique perfection.
I urge you to catch re-runs of last night's TV shows, on which the Green leaders were allowed to voice opinions, which not only offered sense, but also made the opposition parties portray how weak they are themselves!
(feat. Caroline Lucas)

(feat Jonathan Bartley)

I admit that much earlier in my life, I had considered myself an 'atheist'. I now realise that this is so wrong. I am a believer, but i know nothing more. 
Below I go on to explain a reasoning against aethism. I am agnostic.

 


Agnosticism is the view that the existence of God or the supernatural are unknown and unknowable.

Why Am I Here? - The Atheistic Worldview
'Why I am here? Well, if God doesn't exist, that means that life must have come about through some natural impersonal, unintelligent, and ultimately purposeless process. That means we're ultimately as purposeless as the very process which brought us into existence. Life's just an accident and so are you. You can find short term reasons for living like you're here because your parents wanted to have children, etc., but ultimately you're just an accident and so are your parents. Life is one big accident. You serve no purpose, you'll cause no lasting effect, and in the grand scheme of things your life is utterly meaningless. Without a Creator in the beginning, there was nobody around to put you here on purpose which means you aren't here for a reason. It's that simple.'

Existentialism - how i view much of life.

My words...
We have no choice but to live the path our fate designs for us.
We must accept that our 'free will' can exist, but our fate is the over-riding power, able to account for the choices we make through our 'free will'.
Importantly, our free will allows us to ignore the possibility of a 'fate'. If everyone just lived, believing fate, the world would collapse.
'Fate' = 'God'.

 

A very interesting, scary explanation of politics. He starts by explaining the US problem,  but continues discussing the French and British elections.
A very wise man.



Friday, 12 May 2017

two words

...Two words
'Shit happens'
The easier that people accept this concept, the quicker their mental approach towards life becomes more relaxed, and their life is easier to live. 'Fear' is the actual notion that cripples most people, unsurmountably. OK, I am physically damaged, but I feel that I have gained so much through accepting this two-word phrase. I am so incredibly lucky to know that '**** happens'.
It was one of the first comments that i made, after awakening from my comatose state. People were startled, taken aback, so I then explained. It was a phrase used by one of my heroes, David Millar, back in around 2003/04, being interviewed on TV, when explaining failure of a 'performance-enhancing-drugs' test. As a very keen cycling fan, with plenty of background knowledge, I kept faith and belief in him. I was left to understand that phrase a lot more.

'Maglia azzuro' et 'Maglia verde'

 3 cross the line together as Caleb Ewan wins stage 7 of the Giro D'Italia, today. Pictures, screenshot from EurosportTV. Thank you.

The above set of words is a personal note reminding me that things have changed in the last decade. I followed the sport of professional cycling so closely, in 2006. I cycled parts of the Tour de France route, and wrote my book 'Colours of the Peloton'. Jerseys awarded to the leader of various competitions have changed. Blue is now green, which in the Tour de France is the same as 'Ciclamino' in the Giro! Sorry, you probably do not know what i talk about. In this 21st century world of 'global pro-cycling', I think that each national tour should involve the same leader's jerseys. No confusion? Greater value? 

New iPhone 'case' 


My screen cover has had a few too many air-bubbles. They drive me crazy, so... I felt the desire to peel it off. I am now aware that my phone is facing potential ruin, if damaged. So, a plan was made. I will protect it when carried in my bag, using a cycling sock as a sleeve. I now only check my phone's notifications when I am stopped and am ready to look under the 'Campagnolo sock'! My phone continues to buzz and whir at me, but I am going to ignore it until I am ready! 'Notifications' will no longer run my life! I want to regain part of my life that has been eaten by my phone!



Please…
I understand that unfortunately, we are probably too late to organise this for the 2017 General Election, but this country is in desperate need of an update to our 'fair' electoral process. Everyone's vote is just as important as each other. We cannot allow our opinions to be squashed, becoming so insignificant because we live in 'the wrong borough'. We must be proud of our democracy, therefore we should allow it to exist properly. The UK is not a 'mini-USA'. Each county is not an individual state, governed individually, each with their own laws. We do not live in divisions of race, gender, sexuality, or location. The smallest division, is this countrywide. I am just as equal as anyone else in this country, therefore my vote should be valued just as equal. Unfortunately we are still living under a government which is elected through a seemingly ancient system. It should surprise no-one that many people do not vote. The whole system is rigged.

CV and work examples


This past couple of weeks, has seen me create a '2017 updated'  CV and Mini-Folio of work examples...



Music.

'To Bear Sir' is an artist that I have previously promoted on this blog. Released today, 'Hold Yourself Tight' the album was bought/downloaded this morning. I have only listened to it once, so far. I can tell that it is not as downbeat/depressing as his EP that i fell in love with ('A Carnage, Uneasy Moan'). It is  a wonderful record, and i encourage you to investigate.