Access to Work

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Knowing the cost of everything is not knowing the value of anything…

The Musings of Milco

It appears that the Government want to further cut funding to Access to Work. Let me tell you how Access to Work worked for me, as a deaf man who was working in a very high-skilled field, with much public interaction and many meetings and conferences to attend.

At present I do not claim Access to Work because my current job is mainly desk bound and self focused. I only have perhaps one meeting a month which would require a note-taker, for less than a hour. For this reason, I chose not to pursue funding, because I was already fully aware of how severly strained Access to Work was, and I wanted to ensure that funding went to those in actual need of it. However, I knew that if I were to secure another job, I would probably need to pursue support again.

Even in my high-demand, full-time job, I…

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Seasons greetings

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It’s been a while…

But it was what needed to happen…

…but I’m thankful for the attention of so many Twitteratti and bacefook fellows…   You put up with more than you should from me, you’re all heroes.

…And then there are the family issues following my father’s stroke. He’s made a substantial recovery and is nearly back to what he had before, with the added bonus that it’s seemingly convinced him that now is the time to stop smoking… (although my mother has refused to stop)

…the knock on is that they are bickering like pre-teens these days… …which will make for an interesting Christmas day tomorrow…

But, dear reader, have yourself a merry little Christmas …

R x

Pig Three

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William Stafford (the Novelist, not the Poet)

Pig Three was fed up. His siblings had outstayed their welcome and were eating him out of house and home. To put it bluntly: they were pigs. They tried it on every year. Oh, we can’t stay at home, they’d squeak, not with a known predator in the neighbourhood.

Pig Three had tried to tell them they should build their homes out of sturdier, predator-proof materials. Sticks weren’t enough to keep the wolf from the door and as for straw – well, that was bloody ridiculous. Bricks were the only way to go. Good, solid and dependable – just like Pig Three himself tried to be.

But those two were taking advantage. You can’t chuck us out, they grunted. We’re brothers and brothers look out for each other.

Yeah, Pig Three mused. You only look out to see if the supermarket van’s bringing the food delivery.

But enough was enough…

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Next: a book with bite!

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William Stafford (the Novelist, not the Poet)

I’m currently preparing the manuscript of my next novel for submission to my publisher. Feedback from my readers is good – the book is a little different from the others.

It’s set at the end of the 19th century. Hack writer Hector Mortlake is travelling across Europe in the hope of finding inspiration for a new story. He enlists the people he meets to take part in a story-telling competition (much like The Canterbury Tales) and so the narrative is broken up with the short stories as the characters tell them. I tried to make sure each story is in keeping with the style, period and theme of the main plot. Variations on a theme, you might say.

I’d wanted to write a vampire story – but these have been done to death lately. As a compromise a couple of the short stories have vampire themes: my homage…

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Cult of the Sub Personality

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One day I’ll be brave enough to look into a mirror and see all the real me’s

James Austen's blog

Who shall I be today? Unlike most people I know, I am aware that we all use masks to interface with the world around us. In each grouping we find ourselves playing different roles forced by the group dynamic as much as who we really are. For example, some self proclaimed extroverts, when on Big Brother and surrounded by other extroverts, inexplicably find themselves being introverted. Similarly I noticed that in some groupings I will be forever doomed to play the naughty little boy, whereas with others I am a paragon of virtue and mature. So we cast ourselves and each other in roles and like self fulfilling prophecies they exert irresistible gravity on our behaviour. There are practical applications to this; if you see the good in people they will be good, if you see the bad life gets worse for all of us.

The idea of masks implies deception…

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Sunday sighs

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It’s been an odd couple of weeks… The black dog has loitered near by on a number of occasions, but it didn’t actually call…

And I’ve felt lonely rather on my own too… But not entirely alone…

Why do I feel so inept with people? Why does it change? I’m not sure…

I think a major incident with my lower back might have not helped (the medication to deal with the sympathetic pain from prolapsed discs in my neck doesn’t work on actual pain) and thankfully I no longer feel like in being kicked in the base of my spine.

I’ve also had a major outbreak of foot in mouth syndrome (mostly, but not entirely on line) and fortunately I think I’ve mostly been forgiven…

I wish I felt bouncier and less sigh… hopefully saying it out loud will help you give me a hug or a poke or something when I am sighing too much…

X

Breathing deeply (may be considered to contain spoilers)

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It was just over a year ago that on a BBC one special that Peter Capaldi was announced as the new Doctor.

There were viewers (I can’t call them fans, as fans know better) who back then said “he’s too old”…

…but the Doctor is old, he was always old. “I’m the Doctor, I’ve lived for over two thousand years”… And let’s face it Peter Capaldi is a damned fine actor.

…and he needed a good opening story. Did he get it…? Well, it might have been better as a two parter, novel as a new Doctor’s story in the current run, but the first part of the episode rang a little empty, running up to a nice potential cliff hanger.

There were a number of occasions when characters seemed to have “DaVinci Code” syndrome where one minute they don’t know something, then do. And the Impossible Girl was inconsistent with what she did and didn’t remember about the Doctor…  …and I’d like to brush over them, but we’re now 9 years into the run of the returned series (10 years in production) with the man who is meant to be the best thing since RTD at the helm, but… You see I find Sherlock everything that Steven Moffat’s Doctor Who should be, but hasn’t been since 2010… And for someone who is a highly regarded as one of the best new era writers, his Who has regularly not delivered, often missing the mark by some substantial distance.  So, did it happen this time? Ultimately time will tell more than me… but…

There were too many silly gags, although delivered better than in previous episodes, do they really add anything?  The thing with the newspaper…?  Just why? It added nothing. Strax’s examination of Clara spent a long time on her upper chest…  And then the Lizard Lesbian Kiss… Tokenism or normalisation? I wish it were normalisation but like most of Moffat’s gay jokes it “Was There To Make A Point” and felt painfully constructed.  The Paternoster Gang are a good short hand to give time over to other story telling by giving us characters we already know (like Jackie and Mickey all those years ago when Christmas was invaded) but they weren’t given the strongest of scenarios… Would Madam Vastra really have treated Jenny like that when Jenny thought she was being painted? And the Tyrannosaur…  …a wasted set up and rushed, considering that for 40 minutes there is so much padding.

…and then the phone call… This was deeply uncomfortable to me.  Mr Capaldi doesn’t need his predecessors validation to affirm him. He is The Doctor (whether I think he’s good, bad or indifferent) just as his predecessors were, whether I like them or not. It wasn’t needed, it just felt like a vanity trip…  Now, if their stories had actually overlapped, that would be different (not my idea, but Andrew Collins one day I hope you get to write/contribute to/see your overlapping Doctor’s regeneration story, it’s nearly 30 years old now) but not this, not here…

So… not terrible,  mostly better than so much of the last four years, but Mr Capaldi deserved better. Just my view… It was better than “The Eleventh Hour” (OK not that hard) and here’s to new Doctor, whether he’s a good man or a great one…