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 :)
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Friday, 15 December 2017

wise man

Merry Christmas season






Life is difficult for us all. However, the human race has lived on forever, because we all experience joys and wonders. Remember that all of our lives consist of moments, both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’. If facing a difficulty, remember to zoom out. Reduce focus. Another moment awaits. Find a ‘positive’ (which may be obscurely distant, or surprisingly similar), and focus on this. Remember the alternative. There has to be a ‘positive’ somewhere. Always remember the ‘negative’, recognising that it is a real problem, but if you are suffering from it too much, focus yourself on the ‘positive’.
I now take life as nothing more than a series of moments. We must live each moment as best we can, responsibly and ethically. Everyone’s ‘moments’ are unique, therefore we must not compete against others too aggressively.
‘Moments’ are very special, and will only ever occur once. Therefore we must learn to live our current moments in the best way we can. Respect our past moments. Protect our future moments.

“I’m going to tell you something: thoughts are never honest. Emotions are. Do not go around asking for honesty in what people think; much of what they perceive as thinking is empty anyway because it’s thought out again and again and comes out refined and muddy. The ones who know how to feel might have to say to you a couple of interesting things or not and when they do that, you ought to know how to listen. So learn how to listen. You can’t make someone open up about their feelings in case they don’t want to. But you can remain open yourself through listening deeply and completely; they might want to talk about the weather and keep it simple — allow them to feel the simplicity…Emotion pours out directly or indirectly each time people engage themselves in the process of genuine interaction.” 

“Everything I know of morality, I learned on the soccer field.” 
... a very wise man.

My next comment/note, is essentially an obvious necessity when we all live in a world, relying on finite resources.
Only use a light in the room that you are in!
It should offend us, finding that people who act so lazily, are full of disgusting greed, and do not abide by such basic moral principles.
I will not delve deep, but it offended me greatly, to find that one of my favourite, local, coffee shops, commits ‘this crime'. A toilet room is never in constant use, therefore being lit constantly, is totally unnecessary. Such waste of electricity is offensive.



I was a welcomed guest to the House of Lords, the other week. We had a special, guided tour by Baroness Jenny Jones (to whom, Kingston Green Party are extremely grateful). An amazing place. I found that everything seemed utterly fabulous, and then... I had a coffee! It was ok, but just ok! No complaints, whatsoever! ;)




I need time, to recognise my benefits. Oh man! I feel so lucky to be able to do this. No-one else that I know has this luxury of being able to think so freely. People claim that they are too busy with work-life. People may seem to focus their entire lives on their work, so essentially, this can be viewed as narrow-minded. Many people work so intensely, are not free, and apply too much pressure on themselves, that what they actually gain is negligible. Set your mind free. Take a new look at things, from a broader view. You will be able to witness more ‘essences’, and so, a more accurate picture is viewed. By ‘essences’, I just mean aspects of definition, and maybe character.

A classic view...
A Twitpic sent to me, depicts a contrast between a historical skyline view, and the same view including very recent developments competing to be the most obtrusive. 

Friday, 8 December 2017

Bounce back

Some might say that I am getting too excited, too early. Every fourth December is the same. End of the month brings a World-Cup year! This, forthcoming World-Cup however, could become a bit of an anti-climax. Amongst many others, no USA, no South Africa, no Turkey, no Ghana, no Ivory Coast, no Austria, no Greece, no Romania, no Wales, no Chile, no Norway, no Scotland, no Ireland, no Holland, and no Italy!
The graphic below signifies countries that have qualified (Blue), and those that did not qualify (Yellow).



You all know the significance of 2006 for me (my accident). It was an amazing year of ‘my sports’, being a keen cyclist and a lifelong football fanatic. I recently discovered the following online video. 
An eye-opening, interview of England’s core, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, and Rio Ferdinand



This blog is entirely about me! Therefore I am totally comfortable talking about my lifelong heroes. Good friends will already know that I have always loved the music of Jeff Buckley, even though i became a devoted fan, after he left us in 1997.
I never saw him, I was too young when he released his one studio album ‘Grace’, in 1995. The man provided such an outpouring of emotion through magical, amazing songs. The energy given to everything was unsurpassable.



I cannot believe that i have only just discovered this cover version of the LedZep classic…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2BMXH8BSUg When the Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin cover)



In times of difficulty, think progressively.
Progressive = Positive
Bounce back.


Design for Dis-assembly
A ‘design for dis-assembly’ was a supremely important issue that was taught, through my ‘Industrial Design and Technology’ degree. Part of any product’s life-cycle, is it’s end-of-life. Unfortunately, perhaps importance of the issue was not prominent enough. It is only really since that I can recognise the utter waste of material. Many products/packaging that have been created are produced in a mass-scale, therefore mass-waste after use. Whenever I throw things away, I try to break them down. One’s general-rubbish bin can remain surprisingly empty, if one discards correctly, different parts in different bins! Reducing waste must be the direction forward, for the entire globe.

Marissa Nadler's new release of 'old' songs. Incredible.


‘Covers’
Covers include songs by Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, The Lemonheads, Radiohead, 2 Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, David Bowie, Loudon Wainwright, Duran Duran



“Become so very free that your whole existence is an act of rebellion.” 




Although I personally discovered this band last night, this video clip is dated last year (I’m late again)! April 2016. 
Escondido




Friday, 1 December 2017

beneficial

I was never, ever in doubt of this…
‘Drinking more than three cups a day was not linked to harm, but the beneficial effects were less pronounced.’



I apologise if any of my blog is nonsensical for you! You will probably know that i type each post, from a collection of notes, made throughout the week. I then collate them on Friday, and publish the post. A graduate in both 3D and 2D design, the true quality of my ‘English Language’ has always been suspect, even before my accident (so do not want to use it as an excuse)! I admit, that I am perhaps lazy when i create a note for discussion. I type, and type as i consider the meaning of the note itself. I do not cut-down the rambling language when i publish. Sorry.

I am currently enjoying the read of ‘The Fastidious Assassins’ by Albert Camus. The author explains the psychologically complex issues regarding Communism of the Post-War years.

‘History is only governed by two principles, the State and social revolution, revolution and counter-revolution, which can never be reconciled, and which are engaged in a death-struggle. The State is the incarnation of crime. ‘The smallest and most inoffensive State is still criminal in its dreams.’ Therefore revolution is the incarnation of good.’
Page 45 ‘The Fastidious Assassins’, Albert Camus

“Every revolutionary ends up either by becoming an oppressor or a heretic.” 

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” 

Tuesday...
I am at Waterloo whilst I type this note, as i am planning an important trip on next Monday.  I am very grateful to  the rail staff who are everywhere around, allowing me to feel totally relaxed. I restrain from sniggering to myself when I witness other fully able-bodied people, foolishly, stumbling around, demanding help from staff. Some people can be so arrogant, and yet simply stupid! Please maintain a respectful attitude towards any staff, anywhere, that are there to help you. Do not act above them, you are not!

I know that I am fairly memorable. I smile because I am terrified by the thought of someone recognising me as a miserable, disabled man. 


The new Noel Gallagher album ‘Who Built The Moon’, is superb.
A BIG sound, from a man who knows what he is doing! Here he has successfully demonstrated to everyone, that he knows how to write music, not just rock’n’roll.
A third of the way through the album, an amazing song showing us that Noel is truly breaking free. Midway through ‘It’s A Beautiful World’ we are given an alert announcement in French! Mr Gallagher correctly feels confident enough to engage listeners, in such a new style! 
‘Attention, attention! Mesdames et Messieurs...’ 
One of the best songwriters around.


Track 10, ’The Man who Built the Moon’ is such a strong, anthemic tune. This will be big.
The album also includes one of my favourite ‘Gallagher songs’, of all time. Quite a bold statement, yes, but it is true. Recorded live, acoustic, in Dublin, ’Dead in the Water’ an amazing completion of an amazing album.  

101 years later, we still fail to understand. We choose the most patriotic decision of all (‘we love ourselves too much, so we’re gonna quit Europe’). Tragic.


This beautiful memorial, just on the edge of Trafalgar Square, is on to St Martin’s lane. It stands out, supreme, for me, because it does not attempt to glorify those who have fallen, it explains how we have gone wrong. It’s quote, dated from the middle of the Great War, explains the true Human tragedy, and how we must avoid it. 
Edith Cavell
‘Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness for anyone.’

Undivided attention 
I speak on my mobile phone sometimes, although largely communicate through text messages. I am fortunate. I cannot talk on my phone, whilst driving my wheelchair. I do either/or. One at a time, allows my full attention to be given to both. It disgusts me when I witness those able-bodies who try and talk on their phone whilst failing to walk without colliding into others. Some idiots love providing such arrogant body language (‘oh,  i am just SOOOO busy, because I am SOOOO popular. I’m in a RUSH because I lead such a MANIC life’). Grow up.

Released yesterday, this poster for next year’s World Cup, is brilliant.
It should become iconic.


BBC.co.uk provides relevant background information... 
Dedicated to Soviet-era goalkeeping icon Lev Yashin, widely considered one of the game's greatest stoppers and the last keeper to win the Ballon d'Or, the poster is designed by Igor Gurovich. It features old school design techniques and aims to shed light on Russia's footballing heritage.
“It’s a true reflection of Russia’s artistic and football heritage,” said FIFA’s secretary general, Fatma Samoura.


Friday, 24 November 2017

Live Forever


Recycling symbols
Society has developed progressively, in recent years. Now that it is almost the normality for people, to responsibly recycle products and packaging, when we can. However, who can accurately name all of the different colours, logos, and understand fully the important graphic labels that are spewed at us by every different product? No-one. No-one can fully understand these vital instructions.

bin bags

Rubbish bin bags have one destination in their life, a rubbish dump, a waste site. My basic research (entering three high-street shops/supermarkets), explains to my horror, that they live forever! Fully bio-degradable bin bags would obviously be problematic, but surely not an impossibility (as proved by food-caddy waste)? I find that companies want to advertise how ‘ethical’ they are, by telling us all that the paper label is recyclable. I am discovering that my best option, contains 40%  of previously recycled plastic (I may have to litter the planet forever, but ‘2/5 recycled’ is the best it gets, at the local supermarket).
Wow!’ (sarcastic)

Ok, I have been troubled by this issue far too much. Unfortunately I know that i am a rare person, to be thinking like this. I cannot help it, I hear stories regularly, of how much plastic is harming our planet. It offends me hugely that there is a serious lack of thought regarding this issue, from other humans. Ok, concern is felt by a few, but it is a drastic problem! I am in the shops, searching, and I can find none that are bio-degradable (apart from food-caddy bags). Why can’t bio-degradable plastic bags be the norm? Read labels fully. Don’t be fooled, be ethical. Please.

My philosophical thoughts, and my existentialist beliefs, better be true! I try to be ‘a good person’, as does everyone. Unsurprisingly, I do have difficult times, as does everyone. More difficult than some, less difficult than others. Maybe, I will forever feel frustrated that I am alone, maybe I won’t. However, we all experience the present, now. Now I am alone. It just so happens that i have been alone for the past decade. What can anyone do, about anything? We have to let fate take its course. We must ride the waves.

What do you call an alligator wearing a vest?
An investigator 

Soren Kierkegaard
Fear and Trembling

I decided to read the original. Generally, the philosophical theory of ‘existentialism’, is traced back to this author’s writings. First published in 1843, Kierkegaard explains here, the terrible position that ‘Abraham’ finds himself in. An intelligent, faithful, religious man (who, later on we learn, is mute), Abraham is asked by God to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Should Abraham please God by doing such?
Deep. A deep book, but I am so glad to have read!
Back-cover description:
‘Regarded as the father of existentialism, Kierkegaard transformed philosophy with his conviction that we must all create our own nature; in this great work of religious anxiety, he argues that a true understanding of God can only be attained by making a personal ‘leap of faith’.


A section from the Guardian article (linked below), explains an inspirational belief of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
“Once Sartre and de Beauvoir became politicised,” Bakewell says, “they said that since one is free, what one does really matters. You must choose what you do as if you were choosing for the whole of humanity.”

I am used to strangers severely patronising me. People see me and they belittle me, because i am in a wheelchair. Yes, they do, the harsh truth of it. I am used to this. C’est la vie. They think low of me, but i think much lower of them. If you presume i go to a day centre, then you don’t know me, and I don’t want to know you!


Soulwax - From Deewee
‘Is It Always Binary’ 



It is ‘Black Friday’ today...
You can guess my attitude towards this totally unnecessary event that exists purely to explode our greed. I am unsure about the history of this American celebration, or if there is any necessary reason to celebrate greed. ‘Greed’ is bad. The more ‘positive’ that you will feel now, the larger the ‘negative’ that awaits humanity.


Friday, 17 November 2017

grrrrrr!

17/11/17 Surbiton, facing north across Thames

Beware.
Life must never be complete. I remember being dumbfounded and puzzled, back in 2006. My life had reached a strange point. I had completed all of my desired, educational qualifications that had been directing my life for the previous 18 years. Everything had been achieved. I had part-time employment. I had cycled in the French Alps (including l’Alpe D’Huez) to watch the Tour de France (a lifelong dream). I had seen my favourite band headline at Glastonbury. I was so happily in a relationship with my wonderful girlfriend. I vividly remember staring at my girlfriend’s bedroom ceiling, thinking... ‘now what?’ ...
The following Saturday was the last time I rode  my bicycle.

The key, favourite artist to win this year’s Mercury Music Prize, was Kate Tempest with her album ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’. Kate is a musician also considering herself a poet, a novelist, and a playwright. Her ingenious style may seem fairly new and revolutionary, typified by the album’s final song.

Tunnel Vision

Gggggrr!!
I press the ‘special bell’. I call out to the driver, clearly, so that i am notifying passengers, as well.
‘CAN YOU PUT THE RAMP DOWN AT THE NEXT STOP PLEASE? Thank you’
... if I’m lucky...
But general awareness from everyone is amazingly positive. Incidents which leave me frustrated, rarely happen. The bus drivers’ awareness has improved so much, 99% of journeys are perfect. Things have improved so much, in terms of everyone’s general awareness of wheelchair users, conveniently, along with my own experience of ‘wheelchair-life’. 

One Green Makes A Difference


If you don’t have a Green in the room, these problems aren’t discussed.
Baroness Jenny Jones
Virtually everyone may be aware of certain issues, but it can be so much easier for politicians, to ignore them if thought of as problematic. However, problems need to be tackled and solved, and therefore discussed. The Green Party provide members, who will force problems to be discussed, and will not let the issue be ignored.

'Constant growth cannot exist.' Baroness Jenny Jones

Climate Change is happening. It has been inevitable for years. 
We must act responsibly, trying to minimise the effect of it on our planet, and how it will affect humanity in future years.



People really must not complain, with closed ears!
I name no names, but 'GRRRRRR'! I was at a talk, earlier in the week. Not a Green Party talk, but a new experience for me. It was held midday, and i was very much aware that the whole group was an older generation. An older generation that fortunately made me realise, this sort of insular, self-concentrated, politics cannot last forever. All had truly valid issues, and problems, but described them as if solutions could only ever be allowed for themselves, alone. The possibility that anyone else in the future may face the same problem, was totally ignored. 

I sat there, biting my lip as much as needed (I did provide suitable help, but felt ignored). Yet more notification for me, as to why this country is falling. Problem, the rest of the world follows us! :(



Friday, 10 November 2017

positive link


The reason that I enjoy running this blog is that it allows me to speak to the world, and people, worldwide, can read my thoughts, if they want to. I should never feel lonely.
I go out, and I am always greeted by smiles which I hold, I wear, and I pass on. Smiles last forever, and can travel worldwide. Participate. You are not alone, you are a vital link in the chain.
A positive chain.
Positivity is the key. If an atom does not contain a positive charge, it does not exist. Things may exist conceptually but only reality exists, holding the ability to be experienced by the entire globe.  Unfortunately, some do not understand reality, and cannot accept the real world. 
Donald Duck

Reality: Every living person needs the planet. The planet's existence relies on it's unique climate pattern. Therefore, every living person needs the Earth's climate pattern. 
How dare anyone choose self-greed over unanimous NEED? No country can save the entire world, by itself. Everyone needs each other.
Please help everyone. 
Make the correct decisions.
Personally, I view Great Britain as ridiculously greedy. I am British, and it could be said that we are weak. We have allowed ourselves to be persuaded to adopt this 'greedy' attribute. We have chosen for ourselves. A 100% selfish choice made. The same NFtool has successfully won the US election for their Republican, Donald Trump.
We have let down the rest of the world. British people should feel guilty, as I know how other countries should view us.


31.08kph g16
Another PB achieved at the gym. Whilst this is obviously a big positive, the record alerts me. When anyone achieves a 'Personal Best', they are pushing the target for future exercises, further away!
During winter, I am not training aerobically. My idea is that I train minimally, in high gears (increased resistance). I will then be able to spin a higher gear than previously, for longer, when training my aerobic fitness, in the summer.
Confused? I still have a cyclist's mentality, partially! 
... Don't worry, not very important!

I meant to include this music in last week's post. The 'Lost Horizons' debut album, was released last Friday 03rd November. Truthfully, I had not listened to or bought it, when i wrote the post (therefore no review)!





However I bought 'Ojala' on the weekend. I love it sooooo much! A short description...
A deep, celestial, swirl of sounds, enhanced by a set of various magical vocals on top.  
Monday - 6music ‘Album of the day’
Lost Horizons  ‘Ojala’

‘Bones’ (featuring Beth Cannon) https://soundcloud.com/bella-union/lost-horizons-bones
‘Winter's Approaching’ (featuring Marissa Nadler)
Including: 
Leila Moss (Duke Spirit)
Sharon Van Etten
Marissa Nadler
and many more...

Recycling 
An issue that irritates me, far too much. Recycling. Education from school started to tell me that contamination is so wrong. Recycling is easy, right?
For most. However there will always be idiots who are lazy, and destroy the cleanliness for the rest. 
It's not hard. 'Plastic' goes in the bin labelled 'Plastic', 'Paper' goes in the bin labelled 'Paper, Card and Cardboard'.


 But no...
Some people, *@£$%^&*s!!!!!! 



I heard the next tune, on the radio this morning. I instantly recognised the original as Blackstreet's 'No Diggity'. This is a super version. I am yet to investigate the 'Hackney Colliery Band'.
Hackney Colliery Band
No Diggity




Friday, 3 November 2017

Recovery is not a destination

‘Angelo’
I am frequently reminded of my young 'self-confidence', which surprised everyone at the time. It even took Mr Di Livio by surprise, as i called his first name to get his autograph, back in 1998. Still 13 years old, my close family and I were staying with my Uncle and Aunt, in Newcastle, and all had arranged to meet the Juventus squad ahead of their pre-season friendly against Newcastle. I was not a very outgoing/confident teenager, so slightly surprised myself too. The reason why I tell the story is just because I can reflect on it positively. If put in the situation, just do it. Believe in yourself, never be intimidated by anyone. Humans are all the same. 

When your brain has been injured, it takes time to recover, and it constantly has to work so much harder than ‘normal’ to do every task. Some tasks may seem easier than others, but all tasks are affected in some way. Find a solution. Human brains can be capable of solving any problem envisaged. Maintain this confidence and belief in your own ability. You can do anything, if you set your mind correctly.
It may take time, but be self-confident and believe. If logical, it is possible.

‘Recovery is not a destination, recovery is a journey’. Thank you Joanna Beckett, for providing me with the quote that i have kept stuck to my noticeboard for many years, and will keep long into the future.

Life is a journey too. None of us know our destination after life, therefore we cannot focus on it. Life is for us to live and experience the journey. ‘Traumatic Acquired Brain Injury’ included, but I am still on my journey. Yes, the injury is a major disruption, but everyone experiences different journeys of different kinds. Ensure that you experience your journey in a way you feel is correct, and fair to everyone (past and future inhabitants of Earth, included). This is why people are viewed as ‘greedy’ or ‘irresponsible’, if not acting fully sustainably. We must preserve what we can, in order that future generations can live and learn from what we know.

Everyone has a unique journey route, so I do not believe that any sport competition can possibly be 100% fair. Space evolves with time. It is impossible to compete fairly, one will always either be at advantage or be at some kind of disadvantage. This is why it is perhaps unfair to vilify ‘cheats’, so much. Everyone is a cheat of some scale. The ridiculously high-level most professional sport has reached, suggests that sport stars have to delve even deeper, to prove success. The human body can only be pushed to its limit.

mogwai
Every Country's Sun

... First added to my CD collection in early 2002 (whilst at college). I fell for 'EP+6'. Their unusual, purely instrumental style won me over so convincingly. I then saw them at Glastonbury in the following year (Saturday afternoon, pre-Radiohead, i think)! Fourteen or fifteen years later, the Scottish act, are still releasing quality music! Their back-catalogue is extensive and quality throughout. New album 'Every Country's Sun' reminds me that they were one of the first bands to provide me with reason to fall in love with 'albums', rather than individual 'songs'. Mogwai regularly supply an emotive journey through listening to the whole album. Similar journeys can be found in songs but only ever last 4 or 5 minutes! 



On the edge of Aldwych, i make this note, that I just offered a smile to an old lady in a wheelchair being carefully pushed along by a young man.
I did not receive a response but the moment gave me great joy. I was able to realise, yet again, of how I used to live in fear. I used to panic, fear that I would always need someone to live my life alongside of me. There is nothing better, than taking this independent trip, in central London!





I posted the above quote, this morning, on social media. Embarrassingly, i made a typo, that has been spotted, only recently. I have developed this into an image file, with correct copy for you!
A ‘deep read’, my excuse, the book has only just now, been read fully by myself. Albert Camus was an outstanding author.