Monthly Archives: July 2015

Observations of Life By A Disabled Fruitcake

The Author -The idea of this book is to take its readers through the path of life, detailing every major landmark that the fortunate among us will face, whilst exhausting that most underused of human assets, humour.

Whilst reading try to picture me, your author, for if you can, it may help you to comprehend the observations of life made through the one and a half eyes of a disabled fruitcake.  Imagine then, if you will a 28 year old man, with wildly overgrown strawberry blonde (to me its ginger) hair which makes me look worryingly like the honey monsters evil twin.  That look is complete with a wonky left eye, accompanied by a pair of bottle top glasses, ginger stubble and a white sports wheelchair with Quckie written on its back and sides.  Ladies that’s right, I am out there, come and get me.

Okay so now you have an idea as to the sort of halfwit who’s writing this, please read on if you will.

Birth

Well it seems that this is the most logical place to begin writing a book about the path of life. Let’s go back a bit though, to the act that enables us to be conceived in the first place. For the uneducated among you, this act is known as sex or making love, if your of a fairer persuasion.

Men take a second. No seriously take a second to consider the impact, the power, we have on the life cycle. I mean, literally in some cases, two minutes work and 9 months later, you’ve helped to create a life. There will be men reading this, thinking two minutes, he’s selling us short but think about it for a second, there will also be men thinking, blimey, I don’t feel so bad now.

Also gents, you are responsible for so many changes in a woman’s body during pregnancy. Not, despite what you have been told solely, it takes two to tango after all. 2 minutes work though, 50% of men reading this will be fuming now, there he goes again, on about 2 minutes, selling us short, the other 50%, yeah thanks for confirming that, it’s reassuring.  Seriously though, one act and you are responsible for so many changes.  A woman’s heart literally grows to cater for the being growing inside her. Her organs are literally squashed in her body, stomach, liver, lungs squashed together to make room for her expanding uterus, causing immense breathlessness. Her spine literally curves to counter the weight she has to carry, causing unrivalled back pain, a question from your author though gentlemen, do you ever hear about it? If you are reading this with your partner, the smart answer is no.

Now after 9 months of preparation, the best bit of which, for men is that it’s like a microwave meal, you did your bit by taking the foil off. Never actually use foil by the way, either during sex or for that matter in the microwave, in both cases it may cause bleeding.  In fact for those unfamiliar with condoms, they are also cheaper than foil too.  After nine months of preparation, though is it unreasonable to expect a battle ready being. A babies only defences in this harshest of worlds is to pee, puke or poo all over anyone that goes near them. Hahaa, go to pick me up will you, have that.  For a baby to arrive like little Spartans, with little shields might be asking a lot but a good defence is what you need in life. However, ladies you do as nature intended, the best part of which is that at the end of that 2 minute collaboration, you create a being so fragile, so in need of love, protection and guidance, that  you and your partner can shape and support to be whatever they want to be. All joking aside, how amazing is that? Ladies seriously though, the world could do with a decent batch of politicians so, if you could work on that, we’d all be grateful.

Death

We may as well join the circle of life before filling it up, right? This section will naturally be less humorous, sure the one liner’s are there but the reality of death is just not funny.

If you are fortunate enough to get good parents, they will prepare you everything you need to face in life and sadly for some this truly is a privilege and not a choice.  However, they cannot prepare you for death. It’s not the pain, people know what pain is and by default the love ones of those departed would expect it.  It is however, the emptiness you feel. Just how do you explain to your children what emptiness feels like? It is after all the one feeling you are programmed to protect your children from. How do you explain the void you feel when you stare into that empty chair or that prang of despair, when you burst through the door, egger to explain the story of your day, only  to realise they are no longer there to listen. How do you explain that the jobs, the money and the security you push your child so hard to gain, count for nothing because, you know within a moment that you would give yours away just to see their face once more.

Death is something we will all experience but until you do, in truth, you will remain clueless as to what to expect and despite the fact that death is all around us, you will never be ready for it.

Having experienced the void that loss leaves, we should not blame parents for not preparing us. How can they? Death  is something that’s too painful to talk about and too difficult to understand. The best we can hope for is that our love ones leave us with memories, good, bad or indifferent it doesn’t really matter. For you see, it is those memories that will shape how you manage without them. If you can remember the good times shared, if you can feel that warmth then you will heal, you will never forget but you will heal. If you can remember bad times then you will take strength, that should you find yourself in a similar situation, you will survive.  Memories are the only thing we truly spend a lifetime building and when all is said and done there all we leave behind.  Objects are nothing without memories and it’s our job to ensure that when we leave, those memories are ones that our loved ones to build on.

Modern Women

Summer has arrived and the captivating nature of the female form can take flight. For you see in summer a woman’s form becomes more spellbinding. In summer it appears exceptionally easy for a woman to create a seductive allure of elegance.  A single glance can enchant and a smile entrance.

Ladies that’s a posh way of saying you look good in dresses.  A man however, doesn’t have the luxury of a dress, for man has shorts. Now I for one have never heard a woman say oooh, I just love a hairy yet abnormally anaemic leg, I must speak to him.  Oh and then there’s the speedo! Now in summertime Bude,  a town spellbinding in its own right, it seems socially acceptable to prance around in speedo’s. I mean seriously gents, would you walk into your local supermarket with a pair of circulation cutting budgie smugglers on?

Disclaimers: before anyone says anything, I only break my Dame Edna out for charitable reasons.   I also firmly believe that bikini’s shouldn’t be worn in supermarkets either.

So we’ve established that women have an advantage in the game of attraction. They also have  an advantage in the art of seduction.  You see the definition of seduction is the process of enticing someone, not as most people think, any of the subsequent results. Women have a more captivating presence to a man, than a man does to a woman and therefore we will listen to you or at least do our very best to. Sadly though men have to do something more spectacular, find something you want to talk about and women have no idea how difficult it is for men to generate worthwhile conversation with someone they are attracted to, without coming across as grimy or cheesy.   I am aware that woman can go giddy over men but they are rarely dumbfounded by them. It is however how certain modern women choose to gain these powers of intoxication that irks me.

At this point friends would be urging me to stop writing. ‘You’ve done well, you’ve told woman that their beautiful, classy, elegant creatures, they love praise, now move on.’ ‘You’re in danger of uncovering yourself as an intolerant douche, woman don’t like those dude, move on.’  Well I think its okay, I don’t think many women would disagree with what I’m about to write. Besides I’m used to people being unsure about how to take me. I’m a ginger haired wheelchair user, I think the worst has already happened.

When I write I try to do so within a well-rounded context.  A context generated by a trigger, usually but not exclusively to do with disability. In this case the trigger was a post on a female friends Facebook page.  It can be seen below.

Empowering words

 

Now I know that the intention of this post was to guide individuals to mature in a respectful manner. However, I could not  help but feel the subtlety of the jab made toward the male population.  Now I know  that women could leave comments of posts with even less subtle implications made against them. I do however think that males are far too accepting of the jibs made against them and I simply wanted to put a perspective out there.

So let’s back up a second to this statement, its how certain modern women choose to gain these powers of intoxication that irks me.  Allow me to elaborate.  As a wheelchair user I have had multiple women ask me if I have feeling in my legs. The answer is yes but very little. At which point woman sit on my lap, safe in the knowledge, I guess, that they won’t hurt me by doing so. That’s acceptable, a little odd if uninvited but borderline ok. I am a guy after all. However, where do we draw the line? Is it when woman are grinding on my lap- their way of enquiring as to whether my male extremities work or if indeed, they are as inept as my legs. I have physically seen a woman place their hand in a man’s pocket, jiggle it a little and then ask him to buy her a drink. Now I’m as allured by the female form as any man, I guess you have to use what you have and if it works then more power to women. However, lets flip this round for a second, if my opening salvo was to caress a women breast, is that acceptable, is a bum squeeze too forward? What would be the result a slap or an arrest?

The Facebook post implies that men are unfaithful, women can be too.  It also implies that men are controlling and one might derive abusive.  Women can be that too. An estimated 700,000 men suffered domestic abuse in 2014. Yes when compared with the 1.4million domestic abuse cases reported against women, the disparity is disturbing but no less alarming.  In 2000  The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal),  concluded that -as they put it, 15% of men had overlapping relationships in comparison to 9% of Women. However, they stress that women are not as open about their relationship activities so figures could never be accurate.  Information on the  latest survey can be found here.

During my research for this piece I came across an article entitled 6 Signs She’s Thinking of Cheating, which I might add is written by a woman – Laura  Ongaro.,  In the article Laura writes

“ Faithfulness is hardwired into our female circuitry, like our need to cuddle and to buy shoes.  “

Now, is it me or is that a vaguely sexist statement?

However, Laura  then goes on to write an article which completely dispels  the statement above, the best bit of which is when she states that if you leave your partner alone on her birthday and she’s strays then its your own fault gentlemen.

The point of this article is not to state that Women are horrible untrustworthy sirens but merely to state that we all have our faults and make mistakes It would be nice though, if only for a short time, we could manage to put the magic back into seduction.

 

 

Bude – Paradise or Prison?

Our spectacular coastal paradise will soon be awash with swarms of holiday makers. Enthused by our captivating surroundings and intrigued by our menagerie of independent stores, albeit whilst moving with the carelessness of an abnormally lackadaisical horde of sloths.

People will ask me, almost a daily basis, when my favourite time of year in Bude is and I will say summer. The reason is simple, the town is buzzing. Whilst people stopping in the middle of Belle Vue, with a thoughtless that suggests they want to be run over frustrates, the town buzzes. Bude and its people have a rich history of innovation, of overcoming their geographical isolation and for refusing to be excluded when other wished it so. From projects such as the historic canal, to a community combining to ensure proposed rail links did not exclude this North Cornwall corner, Bude has succeed where others would see it fail.

Innovators of the past, such as Goldsworthy Gurney have been replaced by the thriving business of today, such as Gecko and Woolacotts. Better than its own history however, is the fact that Bude creates memories, memories for generations of families who have fallen in love with our mesmerising hideaway.

Such is my personal connection with Bude, where the memories it generates are more precious than ever, that I am also deeply saddened at this time of year.  Saddened because our seasonal high is followed by the autumn and winter low, where buildings like the derelict Strand hotel zone into view with renewed emphasis and yes I know about the Premier Inn. The point however, is that Bude should be flourishing all year round.

The definition of a menagerie is “a collection of wild animals kept in captivity for exhibition.”  If you’ll excuse the wild animals part- oh I’m going to get stick for this, that’s what Bude feels like, like its being opened up for an exhibition, where the work of its talented inhabitants is displayed to enthral the masses, only to then be shut away for another year.

Now I have to say the framework of this piece has been rebuilt following the discovery of this article , in which its author – Sarah Shuckburgh, someone who’s family has a historic connection with Bude states that Bude has been in decline since 1966. Now whilst I would politely disagree, it is true to say that core of the town has not altered much in the 22 years I remember.  Yet change is afoot, the Binhamy farm project, the development of new housing and of course Lidl. Change is something that needs to improve the town and indeed needs to happen if Bude is to thrive during the holiday maker hiatus. I have long stated that Bude needs to invite bigger companies into the town as these are the companies that create jobs, prevent talented individuals from leaving in order to survive and ensures Bude flourishes the year through.

Such is my affection for this town that this article has morphed from its intended form, detailing the difficulties of being disabled and living in Bude, to my concerns over its future. Indeed I was going to write that despite being on an energy sapping hill of monumental proportions and despite half the town being largely inaccessible to anyone with disabilities more harsh than my own, I forgave it. I forgave it due to the memories it has provided.  Instead however, I am here playing devil’s advocate. Questioning whether the actual development, in its current from will advance the town or weaken it.

So lets’ deal with the facts or the two that matter, Bude needs to create jobs and places for its community to live. No one can argue with that. The problem however, is that only a small percentage of the housing development is said to be going to the community and creating more minimum wage jobs will not stop people leaving. What the decision makes, who have for too long opposed change out of some deluded perception that it is more important to focus on the history of the town and not its future, must do now is allow changes that will keep people in the town. Currently I can get drunk in around a dozen different places, get my hair cut in almost as many, visit a variety of charity shops and I will soon be able to shop in four main supermarkets.  Yet I have had to continually rely on the graces of Sainsbury’s for work and entrepreneurial spirit to survive. Even Goldsworthy Gurney was almost bankrupt before he got the recognition his work deserved.