annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Why I won't watch the winter Olympics

Today I am mostly livid about the Winter Olympics. I know, Lapintorade, I should forget what's out there, all that stuff I can't do anything about, but this isn't out there to me, it's right here.

My daughter wouldn't have that wheelchair adapted Berlingo, wouldn't be able to go home to her family at weekends, or leave the institutionalisation of the care home at all if it hadn't been for my LGBT friends and relatives.

When we could not longer get her from wheeelchair to car I decided I was going to do some fundraising, but all I could imagine was doing a sponsored walk myself and maybe raising a few hundred quid as a starter. I mentioned it to my best friend SC and her wife MK and they immediately said, "Oh no, we can do much more than that - we'll walk too - we can set up a facebook page and a fundraiser page and -"
"Whoa - I can't do ANY of that, I can't even handle the differences between wordscraper (good) and words for friends (fucks my head up every time) and they're just online scrabble games. I'm shit at all this,"
"Bless you, we know what you're like - it's easy, look, I'll do it all now."

And she did, dear SC, there and then, set up all these pages and all I had to do was write a bit of blurb about ED and why she deserved a bit of normality in her life, now while she had the chance. Well, of course I couldn't do that. All those years of teaching GCSE English, the media studies component - deconstructing the hard sell. I know all about emotive language, all the tricks people use to squeeze a bit of cash out of someone.

But that was theory, this was my daughter, who has lost enough of her dignity without me making her the subject of a bleeding heart begging letter. And it is begging, middle class begging for sure, but begging none the less. Which takes you onto the politics and my and ED's relative position when it comes to hardship on a global scale, and obviously my fragile head couldn't begin to cope with all that but I did manage to blog about how fucked up it was, to think of myself as a writer and not be able to write when it actually counted for something.

Next day, in the comments was this:

A lovely, gracious soul who deserves to share that smile with the world.

ED has MS and is confined to a wheelchair. Her physical condition has been deteriorating, but one of her simple joys is to go out into the world and interact with Nature and other people. Her ability to engage in such activities has been severely restricted by her condition, but having a Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicle would greatly expand her options and her quality of life.
We, ED's family and friends, are walking between the piers, from Here to There to raise money to buy a WAV for her

Please help us help our ED, as she has helped so many in her brief lifetime. Every contribution is a blessing for her.

from outer-jessie, an American lesbian woman I am proud to call my friend - we have never met, but she's read my blog and wrote from her heart to mine [crying as I write now].

So that went up, as it was, all the pages went live and darling Poolie started the ball rolling by making a donation and a few others did and we reached a hundred quid pretty quickly. Then, wham out of nowhere, someone put in two grand, two fucking grand! It came anonymously but I have a wonderful gay niece who is dead wealthy, hardly ever goes on facebook (where the big page was) had left a comment on a pic of mine two minutes before the donation went in, so I put two and two together and I was right but I'm saying nowt.

We were off - we could have bought an old shitter with that, job done, but the walk was a few weeks off so we left the page up and after that cash came pouring in. MK tweeted and shared all over the fucking universe and gay sisters and brothers and trans people I'd never met donated hundreds of pounds.

On the day of the walk the weather was vile (like today but October so tons warmer), lashing rain, and 21 of us fetched up to walk from Here to There. Another of my gay friends JA is too frail to walk but fetched up with her car and a whole load of cards with her mobile number, which she handed out in case anyone needed food or a drink or a plaster or a lift. She spent the day driving to and fro, stopping to take wonderful photos. We raised nearly eight thousand pounds.

I mean obviously I'm not saying straight people didn't also play a massive part, but it's my lesbian friends who did all those key actions that made it a success (nine weeks from idea to purchase of van, if I remember rightly) and many of my male gay friends donated generously.

And the Olympic committee chooses to hold the games in a country where to be gay is to be in fear of having your children taken away, to be equated with paedophiles - to basically live in fear of your life. Unspeakably vile. They've had bloody years to say, sorry actually, but we won't bring our people to your country until you get this shit sorted out. And no, giving Snowden sanctuary does not balance the scales.

And I'm pissed off because I could really do with some mindless telly that's just on for hours without me having to make any choices. I can watch people doing things on ice and snow and the Jamaicans have got another bob-sleigh team, but I won't. Channel 4 (big terrestrial channel) have made this message which they're bunging on between shows (not the games - the BBC has them):

so that's nice.

Today I am grateful for: SC (her again) getting me up the allotment, albeit briefly; leftover curry so I didn't have to cook dinner; living on a hill in these wild and floody times; reading a great thriller - The Verdict by Nick Stone; Son coming down tomorrow (yay!)

Sweet dreams xxx

1:34 p.m. - 08.02.14


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