John Lennon

Mind Games

My mind is cluttered up at the moment as the need to Save WILG increases and my disability continues to progress. Throughout all this I am surrounded by some amazing friends and comrades who really keep me going, yet still I remain intrinsically lonely.

This is not meant to be a self centred, depressing blog. I am just stating my feelings on a sleepy Sunday morning. Hopefully others will be able to relate to my story and it is in this spirit that I am writing.

After enjoying an evening watching the superb Joe Solo at The Sun Inn, Llangollen. This award-winning musician, writer, poet, activist, broadcaster and washing machine engineer hails from Scarborough. His musical odyssey began in 1987 fronting a bash-em-out band at school, and has seen him play seven countries either as lynchpin of pop-punk upstarts Lithium Joe or hammering out his unique brand of Folk, Punk and Blues in his own right.

He put on a wonderful sincere show that obviously came straight from the heart and he managed to spread his passion for politics throughout the packed pub.  As he was performing I couldn’t help but wish I had remembered to bring a #SaveWILG postcard for him to pose with. I had to compromise and took a photo of Joe and I after the gig so that I could show that he was a supporter of the campaign.

Then I saw the photo…

At the beginning of the evening I chose to wear my new New York City t-shirt in homage to John Lennon. Unfortunately, I do not resemble the former Beatle in any way whatsoever so could only be disappointed with a photograph of a chunky bloke slouching in a wheelchair with a recognisable t-shirt hiding his flab. I was disappointed with the picture. Joe looked great and we captured the busy pub behind us, but the shot was ruined by me. I guess this is what happens when you are a perfectionist trapped in a imperfect body.


I think the problem is not that I am especially overweight. I recently got weighed and was pleased to find that I was only 13st. This is about average for someone of my age and height. The main issue that I have is my posture in my wheelchair as due to Friedreichs Ataxia my hips tend to roll forward causing me to slouch down to a uncomfortable position. My spine is of no use at all as I am suffering from Scoliosis which means my spine has a sideways curve.

I guess this is one of the hard things of living with Friedreichs Ataxia – it is constantly changing due to its progressive nature and I am always having to come to terms with accepting changes to my body. At a time when I am fighting the Welsh Government, Wrexham Council and Wrexham AFC this is particularly hard to cope with.

However, I am a fighter and I will continue to fight while trying to learn to ignore media perceptions of what is beautiful and accepting that I should really love myself.

I really should spend longer writing this blog, but I just do not have the time to explore my feelings in a deeper way. Tomorrow afternoon I have a meeting with Wrexham Council that I need to prepare for plus countless emails I need to write without any comfort eating…

The fight continues.


After watching Joe Solo, my own creativity was sparked into life again and when I got home I wrote the following Tanka while lying in bed.

Sepia stained youth

 Running free through fields of gold

Stranded in the past

As your whole body erodes

Revealed in digital form



Now for Something Completely Different…

Instead of waffling on about the #SaveWILG project, I have decided to write something a little different this morning. My Facebook page is full of people posting about the song that was number one on their 14th birthday. Apparently, some chancre on Twitter decided to suggest that the song that occupied the top spot as you blew 14 candles out of a Star Wars birthday cake somehow defines your life. 

It is all bollocks but I couldn’t help but wonder what song was littering the airwaves as I celebrated the start of my second teenage year.

Lots of my friends announced really cool songs such as Imagine by John Lennon or Blockbuster by Sweet. I couldn’t wait to find out what song I could share with my friends to impress them. Would the lyrics include some special line that I could claim I had lived me life by?

Sadly this was not to be the case. I celebrated my 14th year in 1991 and as you can see from the table below, this was a tragic year for music:


Dates Artist – Title
« 1990 1991 Number One Songs 1992 »
 –  Iron Maiden – Bring Your Daughter… To The Slaughter 2
 –  Enigma – Sadness Part 1 1
 –  Queen – Innuendo 1
 –  KLF – 3 AM Eternal 2
 –  Simpsons – Do The Bartman 3
 –  Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go 2
 –  Hale and Pace – The Stonk 1
 –  Chesney Hawkes – The One And Only 5
 –  Cher – Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss) 5
 –  Color Me Badd – I Wanna Sex You Up 3
 –  Jason Donovan – Any Dream Will Do 2
 –  Bryan Adams – (Everything I Do) I Do It For You 16
 –  U2 – The Fly 1
 –  Vic Reeves and The Wonder Stuff – Dizzy 2
 –  Michael Jackson – Black Or White 2
 –  George Michael and Elton John – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me 2
 –  Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody / These Are The Days Of Our Lives 5


I am sure you agree that this was a nightmare period in the history of music, but number one on my 14th birthday was possibly one of the most tragic examples of the British public’s musical tastes:

I had a look at the lyrics to see if there was any pools of wisdom locked inside this track, but unfortunately this provided no comfort. Take a look at the lyrics and see what a low point this really was for popular culture.

Lucky I don’t pay no attention to such social media trends. Back to #SaveWILG business I think…