The Right of the Bay Conundrum

As I write, the BBC News channel is showing the message that the Supreme Court has decided in favour of Doug Pauley and wheelchair users in the “Who has the right to the space on the bus” argument. None of the coverage is dealing with the biggest issues in this:

  • How will this be enforced?
  • How can the industry properly convey the priority to customers?
  • What will be required to improve the situation?

Ultimately, a driver is going to be put in the middle and therefore at risk of passenger dissatisfaction or worse, potential violence. Is this right? Of course not. How can this potential situation be mitigated against?

In my humble opinion, there are three things:

  1. The bus industry chose to market the wheelchair space and accessible buses as “buggy friendly” or “buggy buses”. That marketing now needs to change and be clear.
  2. The bus industry chose to invite buggies on board. The internal layout now needs to change where appropriate to give space to both buggies and wheelchairs.
  3. Customers need to be reminded they can help each other – assisting lifting a buggy into a luggage rack, giving up a seat, considering our fellow traveller.

Regardless of the arguments of who is paying a fare or using an ENCTS pass (which is a separate discussion), everyone needs to get from their bus stop to the destination. How they get there is down to us as an industry – we can get the customer there either seething in anger or with a smile and customer satisfaction.

Alternatively, we can let the law makers decide for us (again).

A thesis review

It’s been a year since I wrote in which a lot has happened, where a lot of my life became ‘offline’ in that there is less for the world to see.  Some of what has happened came about because of the natural flow in the order of the world and some it has occurred because I chose to pursue new opportunities.  I blog less now though as I no longer commute.  I sometimes wish I made more time to write – at other times, I don’t miss it at all.

There has been some crucial news in my health, which I’m not touching on right now for good reason.  Work be work and perhaps it is something I may focus on in the future.  However, in the essence, perhaps it is best to know for now that I am well and have not left the planet.

The Emotional Arrest

This morning I learnt of something that is quite honestly devastating.  Someone who I consider to be one of life’s awesome people, purely on his taste of hobbies alone…

I can’t describe what I’m feeling – nor can I imagine what his family is going through. 

I sat in my bed for a moment… and I remembered one of my favourite stories about him, that was about his future – a meeting with an official someone or other.  And they asked him:

“What three things are most important to you in your life?” [these can relate to any aspect of your life – aspirations, outcomes you wish to achieve or things you are keen to maintain or be able to do again.]
“what things are important to you? …”
“What is important to you? It can be anything at all… Have a think…Is it your mum and dad? Or your family?”
“Can you think of one thing to start off with?”
“Bus spotting.”
“Ah. That’s good. Can you think of anything else that’s important to you?”
“Lorry spotting.”
“Brilliant. One more thing…”
“Coach spotting.”

and it makes me grin every time.

As far as his mark on the wider world, I daresay the best is yet to come.  But for now…

Words can’t describe what I am thinking. 

The rolling with propulsion amendment experiment

I have been told some good news – the Sunrise Xenon, which is the other serious competitor to the Champion, has arrived at the dealership (who have been helping me with demo vehicles).

I’m back to being nervous about the chair again, as I have been back in my old ways in using my own chair again. Monkey seemed quite disappointed that I had gone back to the one, because she wasn’t allowed to use the Champion – she quite liked having a foot bar to stand on when required and has asked since if I can lower the footplates on my own (this, the one I am sat in right now) to offer her a place to stand.

When I pick it up tomorrow, I’ll be on a train in minutes to go to work, so it will be a straight jump into the action. I hope that this chair will be able to handle it…

The other thing I’m hoping, is that this chair folds as nicely or nicer still than the champion. It was a pleasure to have a reduced boot load (so MBW told me).

So, excited, nervous… Here’s hoping.

Good service

I’d like to write about some good service, but first you need some background:

MBW went shopping.  She does this once or twice a week, often with a list, sometimes written in my own fair scrawl.  Todays list had one item: Something nice.  I wasn’t very well yesterday and this is my ‘getting back on my wheels’ day.

MBW returned with bits and pieces, including but not limited to: crisps, pittas, Pepsi and Baked Cheddars Snack Packs.

I had one of these afore mentioned biscuits shortly after my lunch.  You’ve guessed it – it tasted… foul.  This did not go well with the reputation that normally comes with such biscuits.  Normally, if I were at work, I’d throw these in the bin, saying “pah” and “uggh” and suchlike, but since I’m at home recuperating, I thought I’d phone McVities and tell them what had happened.

feAnd do you know what?  The lady on the phone sounded actually upset that this had happened and is sending me a voucher to replace them.  How thoughtful.  She also told me to bin the rest and thanked me for my call.

McVities – well done.  I feel slightly better as a result.

Disclaimer: I wrote this to show some good customer service.  I paid for the biscuits first, there is no commercial gain and no animals were harmed in the purchasing of this.  We squashed two flies on the car windscreen, but it wasn’t our fault.  Also, I don’t know if the Mail people squished anything or not during their supersonic journeys along the roads, so I can’t verify how accurate the animals disclaimer is.  If I had a delete key, I’d remove it.

A creative predicament

Park at dusk

Park at Dusk

Its not often that Monkey shoo me out of a room – the only times are Birthday and Christmas.  I’ve just had the former and we’re halfway to the latter, so one feels this was uncalled for (in my opinion at least).  Let me take you back to the incident…

We were doing some painting, Monkey and MBW flicking paint and I… I was just playing about.  I wasn’t any good at art as a child so now I rarely bother to pick up a pencil and paper, let alone paint.  But I joined in, we were all laughing and having fun.  I named my first bit of work “Park at Dusk” and the second “Car Wash”.   My third was apple.  At that point MBW said “There’s no need to show off” and Monkey simply said “Nooo Daddy.”  Brushes were confiscated. Tears budded at the corners of my eyes.

Car Wash

Car Wash

Pah.  I’ve uploaded to images for your thoughts.  Monkeys pictures are going to Nonna (by Monkey’s declaration, no less).  I’ll save those photos until I’ve framed her pictures up.



How to work out if I think a movie is any good…

MBW just asked me if I have seen “Dirty Dancing”.  I replied in the affirmative…  She thought for a moment and then said: “Does it have any explosions in it?”

“No”, I replied.

“Does it contain any car chases?”


“Does it contain any naked women in it?”

“Not really,” I said.

Sums up my thoughts as to why I don’t think its any good.

A literal theory

At midnight, William Gibson’s original masterpiece ‘Neuromancer’ is available on Amazon Kindle. How kick ass… naturally, I have a pre-order so it should just drop onto my phone. I’m quite excited as I am beginning to enjoy reading once more. The other thing is that it does inspire me to write a little more.
So there’s that. The theory part of the title – it should just sync to my phone at midnight… its a theory.

Tailoring Prince2 to Birthdays

Now, not a lot of people know that MBW has a birthday coming up soon.  Last year was her 21st (which makes this her… 22nd) and I took her on a date and out for a birthday dinner.  However… that was last year.  Which means this year has to be… different.  I smell a project coming on.

So, planning is in the making but as she’s reading this no doubt, lets cover some basics…

To give MBW a wonderful day involving fun activities.

Bit of a problem – the Project Executive and Project Manager is… me.  Whoops.  But PRINCE2 can be tailored, right?  Well – probably not to this extremes but I’ll give it a go.

The brief is:
Produce a fantastic day that she won’t forget

Senior User:

Senior Supplier:
My bank account

Like I’m going to tell you

Right now, I’m past the Start Up, I have done Project Initiation and now I am planning out the day… and the next stage is to organise.  What MBW doesn’t realise is… I have some interesting things coming up… ohhhh yes.  Very much so.

I just have to stop her opening up the post, now…