Monday, 23 January 2017

See me at "The Mighty"

At the end of last year my first story was posted at The Mighty and I've just realised I forgot to link that here.


So here it is now

Into week 3 of positivity #positive #oneword365

Day 14
mission shaped ministry comes to an end on a high
Mike and Rachel tour the oxford castle
and we end the day with a well earned curry

day 15
I'm with the young people and learning lots
then enjoying time with the church family
before planning home group sessions coming up
busy busy positivity

day 16
there's been resting and chatting
back to choir and singing
and missional praying

My New Superpower: Invisibility

Becoming disabled means accepting a superpower or two.  You know, like x-ray vision, watch out boys; and telepathy, again watch out boys; and spoon bending, I'm not sure who should watch out now.  I however haven't gained any of these famous comic book inspired superpowers, mine is much less exciting; it's invisibility.

Typically I never fancied the superpower of invisibility, or even owning am invisibility cloak; but it's a fact of life now I'm severely sight impaired and using a wheelchair.  I'm invisible.  I can't tell you whether it's the blindness or the wheelchair that makes me invisible but Rachel (wise beyond her years) thinks it's probably just being disabled which does it.

I know what you're thinking. I must be on about the fact that I can't get out of the house much any more so I'm literally invisible in society; and yes there's that great annoyance; but I'm being more abstract in my thinking.  You see I've come to realise that I have become invisible because no one thinks about what it's like to be disabled.

I'm invisible to businesses
I'm invisible to charities
I'm invisible in the media
I'm invisible in social groups
I'm invisible in sports clubs
I'm invisible in music venues
I'm invisible in churches
I'm invisible in government
As well as being invisible in society

I'm not sure what's at the route of this invisibility; it might be lack of awareness or understanding or financial concerns or ignorance or laziness; but whatever it is it has to be brought out into the open and seen for what it is.  It is not funny. It is discrimination!

It makes no business sense to make such a large proportion of society invisible, why not make your premises accessible and positive for disabled people?

It should be something to be ashamed about when you fail to meet the Disability Discrimination Act by not thinking about disabled people and what they need you to do to be made welcome.

Come on society, stop giving me a superpower I don't need.
I'm not invisible!

Buggy vs Wheelchair: You Decide

I'm sure you've seen the news reports about how a wheelchair user "won his case" to have priority in the wheelchair space over buggy's on the buses.  I am sure you might have an opinion about this.  I am sure you're sure I have an opinion about this.  And of course you're right, I do, but it might not be what you're expecting.

My opinion is that we should stop!
Stop judging
Stop pitting parents against disabled people
Stop causing arguments on buses based on lack of facts
Stop distracting everyone from the poor state of provision for wheeled users on public transport

You see there are no winners in the fight between wheelchairs and parents with buggys.  Well, actually, to be more accurate there are winners, but only the lawyers and paid for media.
The debate just doesn't work when you look at it in any detail.  How can you pit a wheelchair user against a mother of twins who are asleep?  How can you pit a disabled toddler in a buggy against an elderly person with a walking frame?  How can you pit a blind man and his guide dog against blind me in my wheelchair against my friend with twins and a toddler?

You can't.
And that's the point.
There is no easy way forward.
But that doesn't mean we give up.

Instead we should start!
Start fighting together for more flexible space on public transport
Start seeing each other as equal members in community
Start working to find solutions that work
Start communicating openly

It shouldn't be either or, it should be more!! 

More buses on busy bus routes
More spaces on all buses for wheeled forms of transport of any sort
More accessible buses on all bus routes, there are some places without low floor buses
More conversations about the rights of everyone in society to be able to get from A to B.

Positivity Continues

I know what you're thinking
She's managed five days positivity
And now she's hit a wall
Well, that is what I expected
(Based on past experience)
But I am still positive 
Here at day 23
I've not written it all down
And of course it's not smooth going
Some days it's only minutes positive
But each day, so far
I've found something to celebrate
Here are the images created
From day 6 onwards
Now I'm heading off
To catch up on images

Friday, 6 January 2017

day 5 #positive #oneword365

today wasn't great
in fact it was shit
but I decided to do
something about it
so I went out in the garden
although it was cold
and took lots of photos
of the frost over the world
it made me feel better
to be creating again
and through it I could see
some detail within

day 4 #positive #oneword365

day four
came as a shock
back to school
hitting the books
my mood suffered
all on my own
but it wasn't that long
until she was back home
art homework was huge
and a bone of contention
but in the end
we avoided excess tension
during the day
I amused myself
with instant pot cooking
and phone calls too
it's good to achieve
these things I can do
despite exhaustion
and sight loss too

day 3 #positive #oneword365

today was the last day
before school starts back
it started with struggling
just to get up
then after breakfast
it was double bass practice
which progressed
to some cool compositions
at lunch came friends
that we don't see enough
an afternoon of joy
and much catching up
days like these
are the stuff of joy
positive days
that should never end

Day 2 #positive #oneday365

Today I got out of the house
It might not seem much
But it's a big deal most days
I completed three tasks
Off my to do list
It's a huge relief
And in between all of this
I've found time to rest
And enjoyed time hanging out
As a family

Thinking Positive #oneword365

This year my aim
After a hard end to last year
Is to think positive
With the hope that it will lead
To feeling positive
Each day
All 365
I'll be finding
The positive
And sharing them