Hi readers. It’s a new year post following my last little outing! You will find, herein, writings of recent adventures, misdemeanours and darn right fantasy in onein300 land. This is all wrapped up in a parable-laden report for our future days as we now exit the slip road of 2020 and join the highway that is 2021! Just feel the brutal acceleration as you squeeze the gas pedal to the floor cutting across all the traffic into to the fast lane…….

As the great Enzo Ferrari allegedly once said,

What’s behind, doesn’t matter!

And he was right, we always need to look firmly forward, and only partly and selectively look over our shoulders at the past.

So what would we all like the new year to bring? Receiving the covid vaccine into my arm ASAP is the number 1. But what else? A calm, exciting but above all controllable, life? I have always strongly advocated being organised. I am extremely proud of having that just ‘coordinated’ life.

However, the best laid plans of mice and men can be toppled as we have seen this year.

My life plan was interrupted rather badly before 2020, and blooming rudely I must say, when I was diagnosed with MND back in 2014. But over the following years we have just had no choice but to settle down to adapting to new normals. One of these new norms is, of course, the use of my wondrous and impervious rollator, seen here recently on my return from a trike ride (essential exercise (covid rampant or not)) waiting to receive me. Please note the strategically placed handrail on the wall of the shed. This was task number 25, a while ago, on a Wednesday afternoon, after a nice cup of sprout soup!

Just the other day, after ticking off a new achievement list, and feeling very very smug, I planned a simple, and yet quite challenging, rollate over to the sofa with a tasty coffee within the cup holder! So off I set, passing such fearsome adversity as the Victorian glass cabinet, raging fire place, door ledges and those stray dog toys (remember a dog is for life folks! – but I am not 100% sure they reciprocate the same focus on care and safety for me!). 

Items like cuddly toys are a disabled person’s nemesis!

Upon my safe arrival, and before adjusting my hair (always maintained as Jean is constantly reminding me that my hair will be the next part of my body to fall apart and I don’t want that!) I applied the brakes, and all of a sudden I heard a dramatic ping and twang!

No, not my knicker elastic snapping, folks, but a flipping brake cable!

Phew, that was a very close call because I was planning to be on the Lhotse face of Everest emulating the first rollator ascent attempt of the mountain by the legendary climber Mabel Louise Bragg (Lords Bragg’s* great aunt) in the 1950s. A snapping brake cable would have been a total disaster! Sadly (some would say fortunately) covid has put paid to any such frosty plans!

* for any new readers who have no insight into my alter ego, Lord Bragg, do have a read of the introductory post to my blog.

The ease of modern online shopping actually made the acquiring of that essential new brake cable a somewhat trifling task.

Last year, to add to wonderful online shopping, Zoom literally did zooooooom into our world and has become a new (and as many predict, permanent) way of life. Virtual meeting software has been an incredible life saver or even life maker for millions, including, yours truly. But there have been bumps along the way….

A good friend of mine, Dave, who also has MND, but unlike myself, still possesses a perfect voice, but no mobility or use of his arms. During one of our now regular zoom calls, what could only be called a perfect storm struck! Dave now uses his voice to control the software. Upon joining he was experiencing problems, unknown to the rest on the call. All appeared routine until he was seen to be on mute when he was granted permission to talk! And of course, the immortal phrase of 2020 was shouted by all…

Dave, you’re on mute, you idiot!

He was in fact actually frantically trying to use his voice recognition software to disable mute and all of us on the call were shouting “You are on mute” at the very same time! The software was being bombarded by our shouting and couldn’t detect Dave. Dave has since configured the software to use swear words, and choice colloquial rural phrases, to achieve the same in the future!

By the way Dave, I can lip read!! It was written all over your face!

As we continue to hurtle on the 2020 slip road, one thing I will be attempting to do in 2021 is practice the highly skilled art of using hand sanitiser dispensers in shops. As one of probably the most annoying things in our historic year, I often felt a right twat when using, as they all varied in their ‘push-ability’!

Picture now, a weekly typical scene in 2020 during the times when we were actually allowed out…

Sitting on my scooter, I approach, at haste, a dispenser only to then depress the squeezy cap that proceeds to release copious amounts of smelly, runny and slimy liquid all over my crotch with but a mere drop on my hands!

“Are you alright, sweetie?” asks a doting attendant..

”Wes I am, but just wook at my gwoin!” – I retort.

”Security to aisle 4, team member experiencing verbal abuse!”

Before I sign off for 2020 just what did happen to Mabel on Mount Everest? Did she make it?

Yes, she completed the climb (rollate) to the top in 1959. Despite a few wheel jams and knocking a few iconic stones off their historic perches, Mabel became the first rollator assisted person to summit the highest peak in the world. Tragically, however, on her descent there was a very nasty incident as she caught her cup holder on a rock and disappeared into the cavern of disability legend! Despite an extensive search for Mabel, only her thermos flask was found. The oxtail soup was still hot and quite delicious a very hungry searcher exclaimed!

Like Mabel we all need to be focused on the down journey of covid over the following months, as often the most danger can appear when you least expect it. I know she is out there somewhere, pushing and shoving her rollator with pride! If she could say one thing to the modern disabled person, it would be….

Look after your Rollator, and it will look after you!

Viva Mabel! 

I am due to write an MND research update following the recent MND Research Global virtual symposium which I attended this year and also more on the MND Association, MND Scotland and My Name5 Doddie Foundation Campaign for game changing funds for MND Research right here in the UK in early 2021. 

On that very subject, do have a listen to my recent appearance on the legendary Doddie Weir’s podcast at Christmas. You will enjoy some of my dulcet tones!

All enquiries from media to my agent now, please readers! Although he might get the sack as he called yesterday cheerfully and proudly extolling

”I’ve got you a walk on part in the world’s biggest TV soap”

Back soon, readers and a happy new year to all!