Why call it that? That’s just doom. A simple day out is better.
Unfortunately, I did have a bit of trip this week. I fell over in, of all places, WH Smith! Really quite a tacky shop these days, and this little rubber mat leapt up to pull me over! All ok, but received a bruised, now yellow, knee. But why WH Smith? Why not that Lingerie shop, or at least Bragg’s Bras?
This week, taking a trip is definitely the theme. Forgetting about the aforementioned, the big highlight for Jean and I was representing West Sussex for the MNDA at Westminster, London. How honoured! That’s me with the CEO of the MNDA Sally Light, getting a selfie!
London is, of course, a train journey away. For those of you who are not British, travelling on a UK train is really quite an unpleasant experience. It is definitely below car, bike, and even horse, as choice of travel. However, Lord Bragg got us upgraded tickets into Bragg Class, so we were looking forward to the trip.We were not sure what the Lord Bragg Class provided. Apparently it simply gave us authority to sneer and look down our nose at fellow travellers. I remember once travelling home on a train and this guy got a haggis out to show me! I just like peace and quiet on a train! Leave me alone. There are some real plonkers on trains these days. My favourite is the “Let me discuss really discrete customer business out loud type on my mobile type”. It does make me want to get out my phone and say something like “Right Joe, if Dave says he won’t pay, just mention the vice and mallet”.
I took my rollator (walking frame) as it is perfect for the confident “get out of my way” walk across Waterloo station to the taxi rank, and the rest of the walking I had planned at the event.
It was an easy walk, under the famous Waterloo Clock to the taxi rank. It reminded me of a time several years ago, when I was commuting up and down to London most days. I was returning home in the afternoon, and it was busy. I was walking with my laptop bag, when suddenly 4 men ran at high-speed knocking people and then suddenly past me. No it was not a real situation, but a scene for the “Bourne Ultimatum” being filmed. They ran straight towards some cameras. I am not sure you can see me in the film, but I am going to have another look.
Anyway back to the Bragg Ultimatum, we jumped, sorry slowly boarded the taxi.
“Westminster, driver, now!”
“Oh you’ve picked a bad day to come into Town!”
London cabbies, so pessimistic!
There was no problem, and we arrived in Westminster in less than 5 minutes.
I always like to sound local when I get a black cab.
“Thanks, geezer. How much mate?”
“That’s an Uncle Ben, mate”
“A speckled hen, mate!”
“Jeesh. Speak English man. Anyway, here’s a ten pound note. You are having no more!”
It was a great day. I met many friends that I have made online since my MND diagnosis; MPs, MNDA association execs and guest speakers. Raising awareness of a disease that will hit up to 1 in 300 of us is crucially important. Never assume everyone knows about MND.
The core message that we wanted to get across to MPs is “Why reassess severely ill people, who have progressive, ie one way diseases, for benefits?” It’s unfair, as people with MND and other progressive conditions have enough to deal with. But also, and more importantly, it is just plain bonkers inefficient. Simply ask their GP, do they still have MND, and or are they still alive? Like many things in the NHS, efficiency can benefit the whole service.
Here I am with Barry, a fellow person with MND, just seconds before the nasty exploding balloon incident that left destruction across the room. Apparently the balloons were filled with “Bragg’s lighter than air” gases. A full investigation is underway, but Lord Bragg would just like to say that despite this being a horrific, terrifying and bowel emptying incident, he has a really respectable 95% safety record working with gases. He apologises to anyone eating the finger buffet at the exact moment of detonation.i
I was pleased to meet several people who had used my voice banking guide, as discussed in my Richard Burton post, to preserve their voices before lost through the disease. I have to mention one lady whose voice is still wonderful, but banked her voice ahead of time.
Like me, she has her synthesised voice on an iPad/iPhone. Like me, she is not yet using it. But she did say her husband has got hold of it and has used it to make “suggestive and unreasonable” comments, in her voice, to him!
I met for the first time another online friend, David Setters. He has started the “City against MND” community. You will hear more about this in future posts and on my blog menu. He has a great quiz night planned in January 2017 with Chris Broad and Charlotte Hawkins. Have a read, and perhaps you might like to group together to book a table. Charlotte was very helpful with my fundraising event and I want to support David’s event. As I say, more to follow in future posts.
This week the legendary Phil Collins, my all time rock hero, announced he is playing some concerts next June! I won’t listen to any negative comments about Phil. As one of only 3 artists in history to sell over 100 million albums as a solo and band artist, he is iconic! The other two are Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney.
Despite being in a pretty bad condition health wise (he cannot feel his right leg and his left hand is dodgy following spinal surgery) he is intending on playing 5 nights at the Royal Albert Hall in June 2017. I look about as in the same condition as him! Today, we successfully got tickets! Feeling real chuffed.
Although we got tickets, the concerts were sold out within seconds. Checking the various concert ticket sites, it was clear many were acquired by “legal” touts being sold at crazy prices. This really is disgusting.
Let’s take a little trip back to the Eighties. How did we buy tickets back then? It was so different. We had two options; either go to the box office in person at a certain time and queue, or post a stamped addressed envelope, with a letter and cheque to an agent address. Tickets were then allocated to as envelopes were opened from the mail bags!
I used to keep my ticket stubs in a little black book. Here are some of my favourites. Several Genesis ones, and the Rolling Stones first farewell tour (34 years ago!) The prices are interesting. £10 in 1982 is now £25! So yes, tickets have gone up significantly, and these were legend bands.
I used to buy all tickets by post. There was one exception, when my mate Steve and I wanted to get tickets to see Steve Hackett on his solo tour. Steve Hackett, for those who don’t know, was the guitarist in Genesis. We decided to get up early and queue outside Portsmouth Guildhall. We were the only people there!! Anyway we got row 1 right in the middle. So objective achieved!
Finally this week, we are getting near that time of year, yes Christmas! Of course there will be a special Christmas edition of onein400! Also Lord Bragg is currently organising his office party along with Pamela!
When I was dusting off my concert tickets, I also found this from Lord Bragg.
This report formed the foundation of modern office party rules. Today’s boring events are the result of Lord Bragg’s 1975 event! Blame him!
I will start a teaser for the 2016 Christmas post next week!! Yes it’s only 9 weeks away! Look out for some Bragg family antics!
Same time next week readers!