It’s been quite a while since I last regaled you with the trials, tribulations and, yes, triumphs of my travels. I’m sure your life, dear reader, has not been bereft without my irregular ramblings but I thought a brief update was probably due.
Now I don’t want you to think that I’ve stopped using public transport. Far from it. My blazing wheel tracks can still be found all across London and beyond. Neither do I want you to think that suddenly everything is rosy in the garden. The hitches and hiccups I face every journey remain consistently and depressingly familiar. I could simply change the dates on old blog entries and republish them in many cases. In fact I no longer even report failed bus ramps to TfL as over a year of doing so has made no discernible difference. The definition of stupidity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result, as Einstein is often mis-attributed as saying.
But the outlook isn’t unrelentingly dreary. A good part of the reason for the dearth of posts is that keeping a blog going takes time and I have simply had other priorities for my waking hours.
The recent elections in London sucked up a lot of time, meeting with and lobbying candidates for both the Mayoralty and Assembly on how transport in the capital was failing disabled and older travellers and how they, if elected, could make things better. Now many of them have their feet under the table the effort switches to holding them to their campaign commitments. I’ve got promises in my pocket from a number of people to come out on a trip (you know who you are), so these should appear as posts at some point in the not too distant future.
For some years now I’ve been part of Transport for All and the excellent work it does to promote the Right to Ride of disabled and Older people. This means taking more trips to events, meetings and campaign actions but of course means less time to actually write up the stories. I’m proud to say I was recently elected Chair of this excellent organisation so pressures on my time are likely to get worse, rather than better.
But all work and no play makes Alan a very dull boy. Summer in England is a time for the thwack of willow upon leather (or is that leather upon willow?), and I’m fortunate enough to live within the gravitational pull of The Oval, home to Surrey County Cricket. The club has made huge efforts to be accessible to disabled people. Over the winter a new stand has been built with excellent wheelchair seating, and the fantastic Access Officer is always available and eager to help, a real champion of equality and accessibility within the club. So on those all too infrequent sunny days you’ll find me in SE11 enjoying the gentle pace of this quintessentially English sport, or the frenetic pace of T20, the illegitimate offspring! Anyone wishing to join me is very welcome.
As for the regular updates and tales of my transport woes, please hold, as they say, normal service will be resumed shortly.
Whatever ‘normal’ is.