I almost never watch countryfile, but feel today's episode needs flagging up. It has been a busy day: I had an idea for a film and was working much of the afternoon. More on that soon. I just flipped the box on, to chill out before dinner, and came across quite a brilliant article on wheelchair access to places like the Peak District. When I lived up north, I always felt hard done by because I couldn't always go where I wanted. According to the report I just saw, though, that area is now being made accessible to wheelchair users. More people with disabilities can go to that beautiful area of the world, following improved paths with adapted gates. I think that is great, and definitely worth mentioning. Check out the story on iplayer if you can, even if you don't usually watch countryfle.
Just for he record, I still hate being patted on the head, although it does not happen much these days. I was just checking my archives. Mum and Dad came to visit earlier: we had a lovely time, and it made me feel slightly nostalgic. I can hardly believe it has been ten years since I wrote this entry, a rant written after one of the canteen staff at uni patted me on the head. I remember the event vividly, as well as how angry I felt. At the same time, so much has happened since that moment that it makes my draw drop: the lad from cheshire, so fond of the fields, became a firm urbanite; the resigned bachelor became happily coupled; the boy reliant on his parents now looks forward to their weekly Skype conversations and occasional visits. However, one thing remains certain: I still hate being patted on the head!
I was just mucking around with my masters playdraft again today. A few days go, it occurred to me that I could have mentioned that Picard actually misquotes Melville when he recites moby-dick. The original two sentences are in chapter 41, and are slightly longer and more archaic. For example, picard says cannon when Melville uses 'mortar' etc. Hardly worth mentioning, and I don't think my thesis suffers too much for it's absence. However, when googling for the text, I found this fascinating website devoted to the book. It has all kinds of fascinating background info on the book, Melville and so on, as well as the full text itself. Definitely worth a look for literature buffs.
I just got in from my daily stroll, and think I should note something odd. Today, having a question to ask at the council offices - I still haven't received my voting papers, but was assured they are on their way - I took myself over to Woolwich. It's a bright, sunny day, so after I went for a roll. I usually just look around the market and high street when I'm in that area, but today I decided to explore a bit. Crossing the road, I suddenly found myself in a quieter, stiller area. Although there were a few cars, the murmur of traffic, constant in London, suddenly seemed gone. Something about that place, with it's long buildings and wide, deserted streets made it feel very different to the rest of Woolwich and London. This place seemed old, and indeed it was: I had entered the old arsenal, the site of the old munitions factories for which Woolwich is famous. They had restored most of it, and the area was shiny, clean and modern; yet there was a feeling of ancientness to it, an uncanny, unhiemlich feeling, as if the place was once, many years ago, teeming with life but now was dead. The faces of victorian and edwardian factory workers peer out from photographs dotted about the place. This place once supplied the empire with it's guns, but the empire is faded. What remains, despite the restorations, are ghosts.
[Edited 23/04/2015 at 19:34:56 - added a bit]
I just heard on the bbc lunchtime news bulletin that scope has reported people with disabilities still have major problems when they try to access polling stations. Many stations still do not have ramp entry, and wheelchair users have been turned away. This utter disgrace is why I opt for a postal vote - that way, I can put the cross in the box sitting at our dining table with plenty of room. Yet the story reveals a major problem, though: this has been an issue for years. To deny a group of people the vote, for whatever reason, is an affront to democracy; but that is precisely what is happening. Whas makes me even more angry is that media, including the beeb, say nothing about it; and when they do they have it in the ''and finally...'' slot at the end of the bulletin when it should be the headline story. That implies it does not matter to them. There is also not a word about it on their website. I find that disgusting, frankly.