StrokeSurvivor X

written for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), indignant.

Today’s prompt took me back to when I applied for a Disabled Bus Pass. In the UK, bus passes are handled by the local council. The cash benefit is handled by central government, but as soon as the local council knows that somebody receives that benefit, they tend to just wave the other through.

When I looked on the local council’s web site, I found a blank application form as a PDF. I was meant to print it off, fill it out, send it in.

Because my hand doesn’t work, I have trouble filling anything out. Does it maybe strike you as a bit perverse that somebody is applying for a disability benefit, yet the bar is set so that a disabled person is not able to apply? Yup, me too. But I rest easy knowing that the local council will somewhere have a disability czar, who gets paid £100k/year to think this stuff through. Then gets the answer wrong.

Now, for the most part, I can cope with PDF forms. I actually have the Adobe Acrobat program, which allows me to type onto the blank form, before I print anything out. So, not only do they get a filled-out form, but it is neatly typed and therefore easy to read.

But this form required a signature. So, a disabled person is expected not just to fill the form out, but to sign it.

I was feeling belligerent at this point. So I called them and asked, how on earth do you expect me to complete this form?

Get your carer to do it for you, was the response.

Anybody who knows the stuff I write about here, you can imagine how I felt. And, put the other way, likely anybody who does need a carer would not be mobile enough to use a bus pass!

I should probably finish the post there, to satisfy the prompt, but in case you’re interested…

I typed the form out, then signed it with my bad hand, just a big X. But, you know when politicians talk about joined-up thinking? You might think, it’s a chance in a million that a disabled person would not be able to sign a form, but actually strokes are the most common cause of all disability, and many stroke survivors are left without full use of their limbs. There are an estimated 2 million stroke survivors in the UK, out of a total population of nearly 70 million. And 2/3 of all stroke survivors are left disabled. So, I bet I’m not alone.

Quiz Time! (REPOST)

Okay, if your head isn’t already messed up… please look at this post from a blog I started following.

Farida writes in Italian, but it is a math problem, and therefore universal. But I shall repeat her problem here:

A cat and a half in a minute and a half eat a mouse and a half. How many cats do you need to eat 60 mice in 30 minutes?

If you want to play, please answer on her post, as she will be posting the answer tomorrow.

As you can see if you visit the post, I have attempted an answer, but I could well be wrong. It’s one of those times where I really miss writing, because it’d really help to do some working out. And most of you will guess that my mental arithmetic, being part of my overall mental state, is… fallible!

la borsetta delle donne

Siete pronti per la domanda di oggi?

Se vorrete, potrete dare la risposta nei commenti.

La risposta giusta sarà pubblicata domani. In bocca al lupo!

Are you ready for today’s question?

If you wish, you can answer in the comments.

The correct answerwill be published tomorrow. Good luck!

LA DOMANDA DEL GIORNO/TODAY’S QUESTION

Gatti e topi:

Un gatto e mezzo in un minuto e mezzo mangiano un topo e mezzo. Quanti gatti servono per mangiare 60 topi in 30 minuti?

Cats and mice:

A cat and a half in a minute and a half eat a mouse and a half. How many cats do you need to eat 60 mice in 30 minutes?

La risposta al quiz di ieri: Nell’aia In un’aia vi sono conigli e polli; ma in tutto sono 100 zampe e 40 ceste. Quanti conigli e quanti polli sono?

The answer to yesterday’s quiz: In…

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Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music Challenge (17 April 2020)

In I can, I try to “read” everybody’s posts in my browser’s reader app, which speaks the post to me. It’ll maybe take five minutes, where using my eyes might take fifteen!

One advantage to this is that when somebody posts the lyrics to a song, I usually take in more than if my eyes just scanned them. As soon as I heard the lyrics Californian Sunshine in today’s prompt, it took me here:

Webcams (Fandango’s Friday Flashback)

Yay, it is Friday again, and Fandango has just published his Friday Flashback post. The idea is that he picks a post from this day in a previous year, to give newer readers a better insight into what does and doesn’t make him tick.

I have always liked that idea, so shall also post my own reminiscence. As much as anything, it reminds me of where I was, where I am now, and how far I have come. Hopefully, you will find it entertaining along the way.


A couple of days ago, without knowing what my Flashback would be, I posted a webcam up on the Dutch coast. I also had a notion to post the link to another site I know, of some webcams in France – nice beachy scenes. So, how weird is this?

Also, would you believe that is is a year and two days ago since the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral? On that night, I heard the drama unfolding and went on the internet to find a webcam, so I could see for myself how bad it all was. I actually found a site which pulled together webcams from all over France.

Now, France is a country I know well, so a couple of days later I looked at the site again to see what other webcams they had. In fact, there were quite a few, including from some of my favourite destinations, not least the Vendée region, shown in red on the map.

The Vendée sits on the Atlantic coast, and has its own microclimate. It tends to get disproportionately good weather, and is driveable from the north coast (we’d arrive at a port due north of the region), so we visited several times. There’s also a bit of history in the area, C16th, Henry IV…

In my flashback post, I included a screenshot of a webcam from a town called Les Sables d’Olonne, in this region. I had a flick through some of these cameras again today. Most of the webcams are still active, although it is weird because they show near-deserted cities, because France is currently very locked down. My weather today is not so good, but here is the same webcam in my original post, a year later!

Les Sables d’Olonne, today

Mister Bump

One of the things that came out of my last post, the blaze at Notre Dame, was that I wanted to see the cathedral for myself, so went hunting for webcams in France. In my healthy yeays, I used to go over to France a lot, I speak ok french and found a wonderful site with webcams from many places that I’ve known – https://www.viewsurf.com/. One such place was Les Sables d’Olonne, on the Vendée (west) coast of France.

I’m generally quite realistic about my disability these days I but look at those two guys on the bikes and hope they realise just how lucky they are – a few years ago, that would’ve been me (only maybe in July)!

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