Getting There

A wonderful autumnal day in Walsall Arboretum, testing out my new camera


It seems I am at odds with authority again. This time it is the National Field Archery Society. I am getting well used to being at the wrong end of poor decisions these days, so I shouldn’t be surprised however, this was a bit of a sucker punch coming as it did from a Friendly Society I have been involved with for 20 years. 

In these enlightened times, it is no longer accepted to pick on someone because they are different. Regardless of age, gender, orientation, race, religion or ability, we are all allowed a chance to be treated as equals. In sport, with all the hype for the Olympics and the Paralympics never more has the focus been on equality in sport and yet I am being denied the right to compete as an equal with my peers in a sport I love because my disability will give me an advantage. The Executive, represented by the General Secretary are willing to allow me to tag along for the fun of it but not compare my score to able bodied competitors.

Now I do love shooting, I must do, I keep going back each year but I’ll be honest I like winning too and not being allowed to win because I am disabled just doesn’t cut the mustard. I put £1000’s into the sport each year but I’m not doing it for the raffle prize. I guess I had better gen up on the Disability Discrimination Act, European Disability law and the United Nations Convention 30.5. and book a ticket for Strasbourg.

But enough already, I got a last minute appointment with the Specialist Counselling service in Walsall. Two days ago when I was referred,I was advised of a nine week wait for an appointment so was very surprised to get a call this morning. The meeting lasted an hour and a quarter and covered every aspect of the anxiety, the panic attacks and the depression. She was a great listener and was able to create order in the chaos that is my brain. Ironically, given the chapter above, she felt it important to focus on what I enjoy, although riding a bike is a non starter, going out to archery competitions was something to aim for. Oh well I can always look forward to winning raffles. We discussed strategies to help physically and mentally whilst I adjust to the changes. I left feeling very strange, very shaky and nervous. Tackling my problems is now a reality and from my perspective, quite a daunting one. 

Once I had collected my thoughts I had two very narrow escapes at the Arboretum  traffic lights. With seven lanes to negotiate, I patiently waited for the green man on each occasion. Whilst waiting for the green man, Walsall’s answer to Jenson Button made a fantastic start but missed his apex and clipped the curb a metre in front of me. I shit myself as Jenson collected himself and dropped a harsh move on Sebastian Vettel in his Ford Focus. At the next green man I was half way across when white van man did a high speed U turn straight at me waiving his middle digit in agitation. The more I think about it, them more I believe that a completely separate infrastructure system needs to be provided for less motorised users. But I suppose a death or two is far cheaper than providing a safe environment for all.

Hopefully I will have a less interesting day tomorrow.

An Afternoon walk around Park Lime Pits. We spotted two Greater Spotted Woodpeckers and numerous Long Tailed Tits. Hopefully I’ll get my camera on them next time