(WMB4X) Nightmare is Xmas

There were so many things I could have written about for today’s WriteMare Before Xmas (WMB4X) piece. Kennedy, the fact that it’s International Disabled Persons day to name but two. But as I sit here now, not in the greatest of moods. I figured I’d use my melancholy.

I am aware lots of people hate Christmas. Lots of folks really love it too.

Guess which camp I fall in. Yep no surprises. So why am I writing this piece in November, well if shops can have Christmas stock in place by September I can write about Christmas whenever I damn well choose. The shops is a good enough place to start too. I am a single guy, I do my own shopping. Sometimes all I pop in for is a pint of milk, in early September I have to turn into some tinsel hoping, mince pie dodging hurdler just to get a pint of the white stuff. Why? Christmas point of sale displays popping up more often than the penis of an average teenager who is thinking.. about anything.

I wouldn’t mind if it was good stuff either. It’s all tat, overpriced overdraft inducing tat that everyone is guilt tripped into buying.

My house is a Christmas free zone. At least it is until I turn on my TV. Specials from Christmas past, present and future. I know it’s Christmas, I’m trying to avoid it thanks, additionally I know you filmed this in 25 degree heat in the summer in the Kent Countryside, so fuck off, get off my TV and stick your fake snow up your arse. Only safe haven is On-demand.

Work. I hate my job, I hate it at Christmas, pressured into parties with people you want to kill because “it’s Christmas” Also there is the actual work too. No-one does anything, which I have no problem with. However I have to report on people doing nothing by producing stats which people don’t read usually let alone near Christmas. So I have to cover people on leave and produce my normal level of work. Hardly comfort and joy.

Beer. I like a nice pint of real ale in a nice country pub. However around Christmas any pub that is any good is packed to the rafters. Full of occasional drinkers on “house white” or “do you do mulled wine?” again because it’s Christmas. Result being nowhere to sit, meaning no beer for me.

Family. I love my family and extended family which includes my friends. But, no family is perfect, so any fuck ups you have made in the last 20 years, which can be managed or swept under the carpet always rears it’s head at Christmas. Even if it’s nothing serious for you (lucky) there will probably be some git who doesn’t like their present. You spend december walking on egg shells probably for something you can’t even remember. You can’t tell them to fuck off either. Because it’s Christmas.

Christmas blog articles. People with no original ideas writing about Christmas like it’s something special even as early as November….


Visit the blog of the Resident Weeble. Send him a Christmas card. I won’t be.


The Dream is Dead… Long Live the Dream

It is the morning after the afternoon before. The dust has not quite settled. The mighty Reading FC have fallen once more at the last hurdle to reach the promised land. I don’t usually write about football, as a game anyway. Partly because I feel the game conveys emotion much better on it’s own than I ever could and there are much better football writers than me. As this is “the richest game in domestic football” I feel I may as well give it a stab.

Firstly, congratulations to Swansea City FC, Players, Management and even those supporters moronic enough to try to break my wing mirror off my car (You won guys, why is that not enough) Look forward now to a tough season in the premiership with a team full of Chelsea and Real Madrid loanees, as Brendan calls in favours from Jose. No sour grapes though, over 90 minutes you were the better team.

In the previous blog I criticised Wembley’s ticketing policy for disabled fans. This criticism  still stands, however the view from my spacious seat was good. Even though after Swansea’s quick fire double I began to look for a hole to open up and swallow me. In a situation like that it is interesting to observe the reactions of people around:

  • Some shout all the louder, for that, at the end of the day is all we, as fan can do.
  • Some shout criticising everything, the ref, the players, the sky.
  • Some turn in to cheerleaders (minus skirts and pom poms mind) try and lift others
  • Some go quiet for a period of reflection, (with a inner hope that the next leap will be the leap home.. no sorry where was I)
  • Some do all these things.

I was the quiet type yesterday. Getting elbowed by the guy next to me every time he got animated. He was up and down like a Kangaroo in the mating season, sitting down with such force that he broke the seat. Funny and annoying in equal measure as my seat was connected to his and hanging on the wembley concrete work by a single thread. Swansea added a third and by Half Time and our chance of promotion shared the same chance of me having a functional seat by the end of game.

Half time in a daze, wondering if my team or me would wake up. Either would do at this stage, only one of our players seemed to have got off the bus in the first half, 1 vs 11 (12 at points, Mr Dowd the ref not on my Dad’s Xmas card list) is not fair really. Then finally at the start of the 2nd half, after a brief discussion with Dad about 3D glasses(when the game is not going your way, you talk about all kinds of things.) we scored. The largest sigh of relief masquerading as a cheer you will ever hear. Then we scored again, game on!

However it wasn’t to be, we came close as we hit the post. This changed momentum, and Swansea were awarded their second penalty kick of the afternoon to send a Welsh team into the English Premiership.

So the dream for another year is dead. Some players have played their last game for the club, some bit part players will now step up and become legends of tomorrow. Strange thing is that this statement would have been true had we won. Football is a moveable feast, with only die hard fans staying truer to the cause than they would to her indoors.

Football is a game about chance, fractions of an inch, the if’s, buts and maybes, that we try to eradicate from everyday life. The grey area that keeps us all alive, if life was black and white, it wouldn’t be life at all and there would be an app to speed us through the dark times.

Reading FC have appeared in 3 playoff finals. Won none. I said to my Dad that if we got to another I wouldn’t go. I think I lied.

Reading 2-4 Swansea City

The FA vs The Disabled

I should be delighted. I’ve had a pretty good week. (I’m not bragging there is a point)
On Sunday 15th May I went to the O2 in London to see Roger Waters perform The Wall.

As you can’t see from my photo, it was awesome, I would recommend it to anyone even if you hate Roger Waters/Pink Floyd/Walls/Bricks. Part of thing that made the show so good was the fact that I was able to sit with my very good friends, within the excellent disabled section at the O2. (In previous blogs I have mentioned my disability, here I am doing it again)

Since 1994 I have attended various gigs/events at all types of venues. During that time the accessibility to venues has improved no end, also most provide a discount on ticket prices to enable you to be accompanied by what most venues call “a carer” I am lucky enough not to require a carer but am happy to take the discount and by accompanied by what most people call “friends” At the most recent gig, I brought two such unfortunates to the O2 and sat with them throughout. Which brings me to the second reason to be happy.

Yes Reading FC (my punishment of choice) have reached the playoff final at Wembley. Today me and my Dad went to The Mad Stad to get tickets. I thought it would be good also to bring The Resident Weeble along too to put to bed the jinx he has on Football teams which he is supporting. After about 40 mins, we got to the ticket window:-

Dad: Disabled, Carer and One full adult ticket please

Ticket Guy: I’ll be right back


TG: I have been told by Wembley that I can sell you that adult Ticket but it will be upto 5 blocks away

Me: Thats a crock of shit.

Yes the FA in their infinite wisdom, don’t want my money. They assume that disabled people only have one friend. To clarify my ticket is a mobility impaired one. Which means, a normal seat, not even at the end of a row. Just cheaper!! Wembley are unable to sell me the seat next to me. Why am I fussing?

Well it’s ok for me, as I stated I do not need a carer. However those who do, may have children they would like to bring to such a showcase event. So now they have to choose, because they cannot sit with their kids and carer, and lets just say it might be considered inappropriate for a 10 year old child to act as a carer to assist in bathroom trips. Yes the tickets are discounted but when presented with such a choice the tickets may as well be 6 times full price. It effectively excludes them from the event.

The O2, Earls Court, Wembley Arena, Wembley Stadium (for gigs!) Queens Park Rangers FC, Hammersmith Apollo. All let me have more than one person accompany me. The third person paying fully. Why then is this option not open to me now?

I will find out and post again. Like it’s something the big wide world should care about.

PS: I got my ticket. C’mon URZ! (sorry RW)

Poem: Demonic Avoidance

When everything is pointless,
All just null and void,
When living becomes a hazard,
That we all just best avoid.

When everything is soulless,
The demons run amok,
Nothing even matters
So we all must stop, take stock,

Time to think things over,
Make those demons gone,
There are more around the corner.
“Bring the bastards on!”

Randi vs Blind Faith

I can heal you my child, I can cure all of your ills when doctors have said there is no hope. I can relieve you of all debt, when credit companies have black listed you. I’ll let you talk to your diseased loved ones . Let you make your peace when you thought that opportunity had passed you by. Anything that is worrying you I will take it away and you will be eternally happy. I ask for relatively little in return, merely a sweetener for your  saviour. Yes by sending me $200 today you will be instantly happier tomorrow.

Of course I cannot do any of these things. $200 would be nice mind! However there are people alive and working today in every country of the world who say they can, and take more than the $200. Mediums, Faith healers, Psychics, clairvoyants, non-ordained prophets, tarot readers and  astrologers. All willing to take the money of those emotionally vulnerable. TV Medium John Edward  for example thought that 9/11 would be a good way to earn a few bucks. He filmed a show with 9/11’s victims relatives in October 2001 that never aired.

So with all the vulnerable people in the world, and all this money to be earned who do we have to protect us to expose these charlatans for what they are. Well three people spring to mind Derren Brown, Ian Rowland and James “The Amazing” Randi. I have a feeling I will write about then all but for now I’ll focus on James Randi.

The James Randi Educational Foundation was founded in 1996 to expose some of those individuals who make outlandish claims regarding their psychic abilities or gifts. Mr Randi himself has been doing this work long before the foundation formed offering a cash prize that currently stands at one million dollars for anyone who can demonstrate under test conditions clear psychic or paranormal ability. The prize is currently unclaimed.

The foundation periodically awards “Pigasus” awards to individuals or companies who contribute to the flim flam trade. One of the 2011 recipeints of this award is Peter Popoff. In the late 80’s James Randi exposed this waste of carbon. But now he’s back, Miracle Spring Water anyone?

Ok so the woman who sent all her money to Popoff is clearly two sandwiches short of a picnic but she is one of those who needs protecting against people like him.  I have issues with all forms of religion,(it is a topic I will return to) however if believing in something helps you get through your day who am I to tell you what to think. In fact if you wanna believe the sky is green and the grass is blue I’ll support you to the ends of the earth, as long as you don’t try and convince me.

However when false hopes are offered in return for sending your lifes savings I am pleased to think there are guys out there fighting the fight. Come payday I may even donate to the foundation, sure as hell beats Miracle Spring Water.