Jeremy Vine

I happened to catch a bit of The Jeremy Vine Show today. I do like the programme, but I often miss it because there are usually other things going on. He has a know-it-all GP on there whom I find irritating (most doctors I’ve met, their favourite phrase is “I don’t know”) but nobody’s perfect.

Today he covered a story about a girl with Asperger’s who was ejected from a cinema for laughing too loudly. The story is also reported here.It sounds like a very tricky situation for both parties. On the one hand, this seems heavy-handed, but on the other, the cinema has other clients’ interests to look after.

I can’t pretend that I know the answer, but would just make the following observations:

  1. For a disabled person to basically say “cut me some slack, I’m disabled” is very much a last resort. Trust me, I know. On the converse, I will judge people based upon whether they force me to reveal that I am disabled (under circumstances where it isn’t otherwise obvious). In so many of life’s scenarios, it just shouldn’t be relevant – my background is none of their business. I mean, it is very difficult to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, but I wonder if there are parallels here?
  2. It’s interesting that a part of the story is that some guy was also ejected for shouting “you’re retarded”. I can’t help thinking there of a hate crime, as defined by one of Tony Blair’s early acts (1998?) I mean, that certainly seems to meet the definition of verbal abuse. I’m not sure whether Asperger’s would count as a disability, it wouldn’t surprise me. Of course the difficulty would be showing that the abuse happened because the woman said “I’m autistic”. He could just claim that he said that because of her behaviour, not because she was autistic or not. But certainly, people need to be careful. I’m sure if this woman made a complaint, then it would at the very least lead to a degree of inconvenience for the guy, in terms of interviews under caution etc. So, wiser just to keep one’s counsel. 


I love it with pills, you open the box and you have to take one of the trays out in order to get at a pill. You get the pill, then, when you try to put the tray back, you find that the tray will not go back into the box, because the box has been stuffed with paper. You try to force the tray back, but it won’t go. So you end up getting frustrated and destroying the box.

The joys of being one-handed.

A Stroke Day

An all-round shitty day. First, I was criticised about three times for having a pop at my wife – not something I intended – so decided that the best thing was just not to say anything. So I’ve been sitting in silence since 11 o’clock this morning.

I also picked up a new batch of meds today, when we went out for groceries. As we got home, I was carrying the meds in my teeth and a shopping bag in my hand. The bag containing my meds fell apart, the meds went everywhere. When I picked the meds up, I’m missing one. Did I forget to order it, or have I lost the box I already had? I’d only just started that one – meds never all run out on the same day, and this was the last one in my particular cycle. I mean, in some ways, I’m thankful that it was just the statin, which isn’t one of the major meds. But annoying – I’ll have to rejig my schedule next month to make sure I don’t run out.

A couple of hours ago I was having a cup of tea and watching some comedy on tv. I must have taken a sip when something made me laugh. The next thing, I’m choking. Our mouth goes down to our stomach one way, and our lungs the other. One of the very common effects of stroke is that the valve which decides between the two is damaged. So, someone who has suffered a stroke is more likely to have their food “go down the wrong way”. In fact, it is one of the diagnostics – hospitals will do what they call a “swallow test” to ascertain the state of someone’s airways.

So I’m sitting here, coughing, gradually expelling the air from my lungs. I’m desperate to get some air in there. I managed to get the back door open, to get some fresh air, and am out on the patio. In between splutters, I’m starting to get some air into my lungs and feel a bit less desperate. But unfortunately, I’ve been sick all over my jumper and pants. Not only that, but when I’m breathing enough to go back into the house, two of the chickens had also come in, and were almost into the bedrooms. So lots of shoo-ing followed, then a change of clothes.

I’m faffing around getting clean stuff on, and putting the dirty clothes in the washer, after which I finally get to sit down. On my glasses. Who put them there? I pick the glasses up and check for damage. One of the lenses is missing. I’m sitting on that too. I get the lens and put it back into the frame, but the frame is loose. The tiny screw is missing. The lens will just about stay in, but it is all very flimsy. So I’ll need to go to an opticians to try and get them to replace the screw – I can’t find the old one, and even if I could, my vision isn’t good enough to be able to get it in the hole. With only one functioning arm I wouldn’t be able to screw it in anyway. So I’m basically sitting here feeling very cheated – I don’t see what I’ve done to deserve any of this. And I hate relying on other people.

I should have just stayed in bed today.


i wasn’t particularly intending posting anything else today, but I just caught an image on Facebook. Do you see the red text on the black background? Well, I can’t really read that. I can manage the white.


At Christmas I bought myself a subscription to Audible, which has helped me get back into “reading” books.

I’ve used this subscription to find more out about economics. Not personal economics, but economics at the state level. This is something I’ve wanted to learn more about, although of course unless you’re prepared to study it academically, the scope is quite limited.

So I’ve read several of Yanis Varoufakis’s books. He was the Finance Minister of the 2015 Greek Government, which famously pushed back against the EU. I’ve mentioned him before on the blog and must admit I’m also quite sympathetic to his left-of-centre analysis of things, which helps the ease of the read, but would, I’m sure, be different from a right-wing commentator. But obviously it is a subject which has evolved many layers over the years. Peel them back, and its not rocket science. I’m sure that in the real world, these things are for more complex, but his books wil be specifically aimed at the general public so I’m assuming are dumbed-down to an extent.

I think Varoufakis is an interesting character. In his books – some of them are almost purely about the politics of his tenure – he talks about his dealings with the EU. To put it mildly, the stories are quite a turn-off. But these days, Varoufakis campaigns to be a part of the EU, but to reform it into something more fair. I must admit, when I read the stories, my gut feel is to distance myself as much as possible from this organisation. I’ve held my own views on the EU for many years, but Varoufakis is a useful confirmation to me.

But I think he is arguing the wrong thing. Rather than just arguing that the EU is in a poor way and needs to be improved, he should subtly change focus and argue “the EU might well be less than perfect, but this is why we need to reform it from within“. As I have said already, right now I can go along with his analysis but my conclusion is different.

But maybe that’s the book he’s writing at the moment?