Monday, 2 September 2013

Thinking Out Loud

    I'm usually at a loss as to what my next post will be about. I remember the time, being a total novice I asked of fellow bloggers 'What's it all about, Alfie'. Several helped me out and my 'Grumpy Old Ken' blog flourished in my own haphazard way. And one thing I learnt (how ignorant I was in those days a mere four years ago) is that a blog is whatever you want it to be. A 'diary' if you like, YOUR thoughts etc, but on the internet, not paper. So no attempt this week at creating a masterpiece of wit and wisdom.  No doubt all the better for it! Just a mere musing of what the weeks been for me!
     I'm still struggling along, the knee refuses to show any real progress, the rigures of physiotherapy continues to dominate, life is not easy; but there are so many worse off and every situation in life teaches us something if we allow it to do so. For instance, I had no idea as to the trials and tribulations associated with disability. Steps are everywhere, there are few concessions offered. Lifts in the public arena are few and far between and frequently out of order. The world out there is a survival of the fittest. Welcome to the real world, Grumpy.
    My wife and I visited Wollaton Hall, a magnificent structure built between 1580 and1588.       . Except that the lift, you've guessed, was out of order and the steps at the front of the building were almost impossible for someone in my condition. Plus disabled parking was available, yet very poorly advertised Mind you, an attendant had the sense to find me a wheelchair to make my visit enjoyable. Well done that man! (I got the impression that 'cuts' had made staffing a joke, but not a 'funny ha ha' joke.)
    Everyone ought to have a session in a wheelchair, be they fit or otherwise to get some insight into the world out there offered to the disabled. But lets not get too negative, life is still good in the main. Two individuals I met in a week in which Jamie Oliver suggested the British young are feckless, work shy and lazy.
    Seeking advice on kitchens we visited B and Q (they found me a wheelchair, rather battered but usable). A young employee, mid twenties, gave us time and advice in our quest for the kitchen of our dreams. He was civil, dedicated to kitchens, knowledgeable, ambitious. I wouldn't mind selling kitchens, but only for a morning. My shortest 'career move', selling Betterware lasted four hours! He had been employed by B and Q for ten years. Again, well done that man.
    At Wollaton Hall we found a cafe. I have seldom seen a cafe so busy; particularly with young mothers and their offspring. To put a not too delicate slant on it, Nottingham and district certainly knows how to breed! A young man around nineteen years of age (he reminded me of a young Elvis Presley) appeared to be in charge. He fetched tray after tray after tray of used cups, empty bottles etc from the tables in the courtyard. He also swept up and delivered black bags of rubbish to bins provided. He even responded at one stage to a message that a child was locked in a toilet and couldn't get out! When he eventually paused for a moment I commented on his frenzied work rate. His answer was interesting.
He basically suggested that he was paid to work and that is what he did. Eat your heart out, Jamie Oliver!
     Concerning disability provision we attended the Derby County v Burnley football match on Saturday afternoon. The parking is good, an electric buggy picks us up at my car door and deposits us at the entrance to the main foyer. A lift ride, a few steps, stewards to hand and hey presto, in my front row seat. Big business can be disability aware  when it tries. (Now all we need is a winning team!)
    Limping around, 'big time' is not to be recommended. But one thing it does, is slow you down and give you time to think. I sat in front of the magnificent old building and do you know what was going through my mind. I've no doubt a little chap with five or six children, possibly called Percy or Montmorency worked on the building of Wollaton Hall all those years ago. Where are his mortal remains now, I wonder. Life is short with an inevitability that catches up with us all.
     Enough of my geriatric ramblings. One final thought. How many of you, not from this area, recognise Wollaton Hall. It does of course feature in the latest Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, Wollaton Hall was of course Wayne Manor. Grumpy's blog may well be boring but it's often educational!


Helen Devries said...

Mother having had a hip replacement at 95 and a knee job at 96 felt able to make the trip to Spain with me, flying into Barcelona and taking the train from there.
We were both delighted and touched by the staff who not only did their job, getting her from A to B, but showed their pleasure in enabling an old girl to get around.
Full marks to Southmpton airport, Barcelona airport and Spanish Railways - RENFE.

A Heron's View said...

Isn't it strange how we view life. For as we age life is often remarked as being short and yet I recall that it was only a few months ago when I was 10 of thinking about being old.
Yet now that I'm 70+ I realise that I am still young.

Valerie said...

Your blog is never boring, Ken.

I'm sorry to hear that your knee is not mending well. I have heard that knees are complicated things to put right, more so than hips, and take longer than hips to recover from surgery. No consolation, I'm afraid, and I'm sorry about that.

Wishing you well.

fizzycat said...

Wishing you luck with the knee and recovery.

Troy said...

When I was at the University of Nottingham in the 1970's I used to walk over to Wollaton Park and visit the hall most Sundays. A very nice setting with the deer and the lake and the stuffed animals in the Hall (which I assume are still there?).