A time and a place

Good evening readers!

There most certainly is a time and place for everything! Both here right now in 2018 and throughout our human existence! Obviously, there are only 40 or so years I can personally comment on, but here goes!

Starting firmly in the present.

I really don’t think it’s right to wear gym clothes whilst shopping in Waitrose (that’s a Whole Foods Market type shop for my American friends) carrying your active drink bottle, strutting around like you own the place and with that high and mighty look! It’s only a bit of exercise, and you haven’t saved the world from an asteroid impact or anything!

Observing this sight from my scooter, with her condescending looks at me, makes me want to push her into the chest freezer! Little did she know I was a great runner in my time, and with a slight aggressive tendency! Yes it is one of those atmospheres that once you are disabled people “appear” to look down on you. Well actually they do, I am quite low on my scooter!

And If I wanted to be confronted by that part of camel at my head height, whilst choosing my plump and ripe avocados, I would go to Egypt!

It’s just wrong readers! And a message to Mandy (that could have been your name), 1 size bigger please in the body hugging active wear department! And can you pick up my bag of plums please?

Wouldn’t have happened back in my day, nor my parent’s day!

That reminds me of my Dad and the old days. I was talking about driving tests the other day, as we with MND do need reassessing every so often, and it sparked a memory of my Dad telling me.

Lee, I never did actually pass a driving test

What!” I retorted.

He was in the RAF at the time on National service, the instructor was late, and rushing to get somewhere. So he just signed a pass certificate!

That was a different time and place!

And staying on driving tests. I remember my first lesson, which was just before seat belts were made compulsory here in the UK. My instructor, rather like a belligerent smoker these days, said

You can wear it Lee? But I never will!

He was rather fat (sorry not PC these days, but how else do you put it. It certainly wasn’t glandular!) and I guess he assumed that his extra padding would protect him! No thought for me and the possibility of his giant body exploding over me in a crash! But that again was a different time and place!

Assuming that he has probably now passed this mortal coil, he wouldn’t like today’s cars, of which some won’t start unless a seat belt is worn!

Another time and place I remember was when the average ‘Joe’ would install his/her own car alarm!

Yes, people used to do that, you youngsters! I even installed our own house alarm.

But, back to car alarms. We had bought a Toyota MR2 MK1 (it was cool back then). It was quite revolutionary in the late 1980s but had no alarm, so I thought I’d install my own. It was easy after all. Its just wires and electrics folks!

As you all know car alarms typically trigger the horn (or a siren) and flash the indicator lights.

I was, and still, a very precise person. I purchased the extensive wiring diagrams from Japan, and planned the installation carefully. All was perfect with just one last wire to connect up.

Ok, I needed to connect the alarm into the switched indicator circuit. It’s was a black and white wire in the loom under the steering column.

Humm, there appeared to be two black and white wires in this loom. Oh well, let’s try this one!

All connected, I was ready to test. Alarm set, I opened the door to simulate a nasty unwelcome guest.

Off went the horn, and to my complete and utter surprise the front wiper blades on the windscreen activated (windshield for my American friends), but worse than that, the screen wash as well!!

Ooops, at least the screen would have been clean for the burglar’s getaway!

I did ponder whether to leave it, but decided to fix this embarrassing mistake. The black and white wire was actually brown and white on closer examination. After connecting to the correct wire, all was good!

Keeping on cars, one of ours is very old and might have to go to the scrap heap if it doesn’t pass it’s MOT next week. Wish it well. It’s been reliable, but the new MOT rules could make it worthless.

Mind you I might ask Lord Bragg Autos to work on it. He’s apparently very good. I read this recent reference on his website

I took my car to Bragg’s Autos with a problem that had been annoying us for a while. There was a persistent whining, grating, penetrating irritating sound all the time whilst driving. You know the sort of sound? One you argue with your partner – “Can you hear that?” We had taken it to several repairers but to no avail. However, Bragg’s sorted it in just one hour.  They were laughing, as only car mechanics can, when I picked it up, when they explained the problem. There was an Ed Sheeran CD stuck in the player! They removed it and the car ran like a dream. What’s more, they found a Cliff Richard lifetime CD Box Set in the glove box, which they said could have caused a major incident even if only 2 tracks were played. And to top it off they installed some free Rolling Stones and Bryan Adams CDs for me. What a guy, what a service”

Arthur “it’s not like old days” Spanner, from Purley

There is, however, always a time and place for innovation, especially for the disabled community.

From assistance in facilitating access to buildings, travel and most importantly within the house.

This item caught my eye the other day, and on first viewing, looked like a complete and utter horrendous disaster waiting to happen! It’s a device called the StairSteady.

This contraption aids climbing stairs and is comprised of a bar, levered on the bannister of the stairs, on which you pull and guide yourselves up the stairs. Looking rather like a tool I would actually design to wrench an old bannister off of a wall, my immediate reaction was to say “this won’t end well!”

However, the website states that you must have the bannister and fitting supplied with the device to utilise. So, perhaps, not as bad as I thought, but I still think it’s a bit iffy.

And for accessing cars you can buy these handles that sit in the door catch to help you lever yourself out of the car.

Again, I think this is just the sort of thing to buckle your door frame/catch! So you get in the car only to have the door blown off on the next journey wrecking your hair! At least it comes with a seat belt cutter to free your passengers. Pity my driving instructor didn’t have one of these!

On the subject of disability. I am very slow to get to the front door for deliveries, so a number of our regular delivery services now just simply walk in our back door and deposit boxes! I pop to the toilet, and by the time I return another delivery has appeared inside the kitchen! Its great!

On a different note completely, I have recently received complaints from South African relatives that they find Lord Bragg a mystery and just don’t understand his brilliance! Fortunately I have tracked down a Southern Hemisphere relative of Lord Bragg, Andre Van Braggzee! His life story and business acumen match that of the master. His story will appear soon and I hope the “in-laws” will now get the Bragg legend!

Anyway must go, it’s our Village Open Gardens this week and bushes need trimming!

You need help, Ms Buttercup?

Next week another MND Awareness Month Post and adventures on my scooter!

3 Comments

  1. Meera says:

    Thats a lovely story about your Dad, I wonder how many of our elder relatives did actually “pass” their driving tests. Great to see you all at the Open Gardens,

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