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> > Richard Downes

I once wrote for life now I write in life. I'm looking forward to developing a blog presence with personality for DAO whilst delivering comment, reviews, photos and views on disability and how it's represented.

Signs: Dystopia

4 June 2016

Blog

Roll up Roll Up Change your disabled babies here Fucked it up the first time. Have another go. But can I say Can I ask What happens to the old one? Recalibrate We have the means We have the method You mean Intervention Experimentation? Call it as you will The less names We say the better But surely not Abortion Termination Death Camps Dignitas? No. Not those Not no longer We can fix them Put them right Make them some how useful But how Hasn't all these things been tried before And left them...

Comments: 0

Signs: Juxtaposition

29 May 2016

Blog

We the people of Gritsalt
Are free to stand
On little yellow boxes
And exclaim
About the shame
For we have grit
And we have salt
And we will cut
And we will sear
With little fear
For we are the people of Gritsalt

Comments: 0

Signs: Discrepancy

22 May 2016

Blog

Standing by your locked gate My inner core is iron My outer shell is tin Hit me with a hammer To let my past times in I turn to drink As I try zinc To get my red corpuscles moving For being here Beside you As left me totally still I return to the institution. It's different. Still for kids. Kids lost in activity. It feels right and pleases me as much as anything ever will. The gate is iron. Visitors press 0 for reception. Code words are not needed, no special numbers, no secret signs. Just...

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Impairment Haiku

9 May 2016

Blog

Chest cooed like a dove A Cardio-vascular Expression of love Walking up a hill, feeling weary, I thought my chest had started up again. But no it was a dove. Or a pigeon. Probably a pigeon actually given their current predominence but I thought it was a dove. So, the words were basically there; a given. I wrote it down on an envelop somewhere. It was on the table. Then it wasn't on the table. Now its not on the table. Probably in a cupboard somewhere. The cupboard is still there. So is the...

Comments: 0

Signs: Shrinkage

1 May 2016

Blog

The Old Garden is fixed in my mind forever. There is no getting away from the system. Out there its inside too - internalised. The work house is industrial red brick; portioned out in millions with millions separated by cement but morticed tight together as if a full soul lock in of lost, forgotten names.   Though we spent our lives together behind the walls we never learned each other's names. In fact the number ruled.  I was 21 as I've said before. 21 cotton stuck to...

Comments: 0

Signs: Float On

25 April 2016

Blog

Why for the choice to live in bubble floating high in Dreamland encapsulated, ensconced and apathetic untouched, unloved, unwanted unengaged but separate and untroubled too cut off from pain and hurt refusal and rejection Why for the choice to live in bubble when bubbles burst and lose their life as soon as contact with earth is made Why for the choice to live in bubble and not to raise the stick or roll forward to prick and break free of depressive thought numbed by convention bricked off by...

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Signs: Read Em, Write Em, Weep and Vomit

15 April 2016

Blog

Sitting on a train from Harpenden to Kentish Town I see a blue panel with 5 characters on it. A wheelchair user, a woman, a man, a baby and a carer. I think that's the correct order. So i start telling their stories in my head. Photograph the panel as I'm leaving and cut and paste it here. My stories feel true today. Austerity claws on and attitudes stink - worse than you think. So here in reply are my two profound moments Scenario 1. Baby comes into the world, grows up to be a man,...

Comments: 0

The Green Man Walks

8 April 2016

Blog

The Green Man steps out. Ginger. Late for the Vernal, early for May the red orange Beltane fire. Vapid grey skies pierced by blue Cannot deny the yellow hue of the daffodil, the snow of the drop nor the vivid darkness of the bell. The ginger man steps out. Green The rain, the cold, the winter shroud of hearth, quilt and blanket kept him home but not alone And the black tar, scarred and shadowed pleurositic lung raps at a lack of confidence Keeping the green man; ginger This green man went for a...

Comments: 0

Signs: Sold

30 March 2016

Blog

If we could sell our day what would we be bid who would want to buy we who were always sold who would profit from our debiit what would be our lot who would take our benefit Found this new sign today a short distance form the Swale. It amused me. Today is what I have. Today is what i've done. All the thoughts thought during the hours. Experiences. Sights, Sounds, Dreams, Emotions. I took a whole tranche of photos of the Short Brothers creators of amazing flying machines. Close. Together....

Comments: 1

Signs: Inducement

28 March 2016

Blog

Beneath a Waterloo arch I spied an empty Billboard. Fill it with your own message. A sign for your own making. The sign is bordered by bright lights. I couldn't get far enough away from it to get the vertical lights in. If i did the words Prime Sight would have been clearer. The sign backs onto a wall. Invention, building, design. Is it a contradiction of capitalism that even where there is no capitalism that capitalism is every where; not just elsewhere. My signs read; 'My life is the...

Comments: 1

Signs: Truth

20 March 2016

Blog

The sun goes down in the west I walk towards it The sun shines long on the Debden I walk along it The sun goes down darkness in time I walk amongst it The sun has gone It was 2014. There is a river walk in suffolk I like to do. Not too long, not so hard. There is a good time to do it. Late or early when the sun is low and the tide is likewise. Little riverlets form strange shapes in the mud. I love to photo into the sun. I like it because it works well. I like it because they say don't do...

Comments: 1

Signs: Unhinged

17 March 2016

Blog

Many thanks to the good burghers of Brent who tickle my fancy every time I pass this sign. Yes even today when the clouds amass stormliness and I have to use the flash..... well, i don't have to but its digital and i don't know how to turn it off yet. And so onward........ Before we go through the keyhole to this far from salubrious one storey affair, we trepass along a down trodden path past a hole in the ground which may or may not have once been a fish pool full of koi carp but now...

Comments: 0

A Special Residential School Experience

25 February 2016

Blog

Illustration by Paolo Veronese of Jesus healing a woman with a flow of blood

Independence is an attitude If Jesus don't want ya Fuck im And your parents too You don't want no one That don't want you Well, that's what I think anyway. it all came back to me today. Independence ain't got nothing to do with life skills. Life skills they can teach you in schools and centres. It's how they tie you up. Life lessons happen outside the classroom. They come to you in the dark, day or night, like blinding flashes of light. You don't need to go to school...

Comments: 5

A Dort S'lection of Shreams

18 February 2016

Blog

She said when she slept she slept in a shack surrounded by the outdoors. All she knew for sure was that the wind blew and then the wind blew some more, harder and harder still, until such time as the foundations shook and the walls buckled and the nails came loose and the timbers bent, came off one by one and flew away. And as the house, the shack, was shaking she'd become ever more, acutely, aware that she was on the toilet with her knickers around her ankles and that she just couldn't...

Comments: 0

Signs: Evolution

1 February 2016

Blog

Disabled Person, Baby, Lady
Gentlemen Excluded
A sign of evolution
Growth
Disabled person in reverse
Back to front
Skidding into the future
Facing up to the past
All those signs we missed

Comments: 3

Berghaus. Karrimor. North Face.

18 January 2016

Blog

Berghaus. Karrimor. North Face. A rambling Forecast Lumiere will leave you cold Poor. Variable. There is something special about London's new Lumiere Festival, imported from County Durham. But it’s not in the art work, the reason to be walking. Its elsewhere. London doesn't need Lumiere. It’s always alight anyhow. Road signs, street lights, late revellers and the tat on the local trattoria. But it does need that which is special and this is best seen at Kings Cross. Wide...

Comments: 2

Trudell's Gone To Mama

12 December 2015

Blog

Trudell's gone to mama He'll meet her in the sky Trudell's gone to mama He knows the reason why   Trudell's gone to Mama I never heard him cry Trudell's gone to Mama His ideas won't die   Sorry about the words. I just wanted to say something. I knew John Trudell in sound. He only lived in sound. For me that is. For others John Trudell breathed love. John Trudell breathed fire. I'd heard the name John Trudell. Not in sound. I never heard the name in sound. I...

Comments: 0

A proper right winger

8 December 2015

Blog

Today, in history, John Lennon was murdered. I'm wondering now we're bombing Syria if Give Peace A Chance has been removed from the Beeb's playlist as it was when we went into Iraq along with any other peace song. Last night in my history for the first time I watched Gerard Deulofeu play for Everton for 90 minutes. A proper right winger. Everton, the toffee men. Almost got themselves into a sticky mess. In spite of having a proper right winger. Like a proper right winger he...

Comments: 2

News from a Die-In for the dying

4 December 2015

Blog

Blast! Just when I committed to life Parliament decides to take a vote on air strikes. Blast! Just when I’m gettting on with living I’ve got to go off to a die in. Blast! Parliament  Square. December 2nd. A pathetic tranche of resistors move to a penned-off part of the road, at no one’s inconvenience, to lie down, act dead and yet somehow find the breath to chant ‘Don’t Bomb Syria’. I’ve got my legs bent and pointing towards Bean...

Comments: 5

A Lesson Learned

11 November 2015

Blog

Fans of this particular blog-o-sphere - and there are thousands - will know I spend quite some time bashing the tragegy model as often as I am able to. Someone has to do it. ANd here's another opportunity. I never watch children in need. I prefer to attend Burn Pudsey Friday. But there's no avoiding this really is there. A creature of habit my tele viewing usually goes from the news to the local news to the awful one show and the one show represents one of the pudsey peddlars....

Comments: 2

Another Begging Letter in the Post Today

16 October 2015

Blog

I got another begging letter from the Alzheimer's Society today. I can't remember how many that is now. But they clearly won't take no reply for a no. I was going to say indifference for a no there because when these things arrive I am usually indifferent to the causes they say they support, and having had once scanned them for negative imagery it's normally into the bin for them. This time though I didn't even bother reading the letter except for the new post script that...

Comments: 0

Speak Up Sooty - That's Representation

2 October 2015

Blog

Two charidee boxes on a coffee counter asking for support on the Isle Of WIght for Scope and in Sooty's case support for RNIB

Posted this on my work facebook page the other day: "I'm really looking forward to having some little monkeys visit at the end of next month. But something has got my goat today and its a pig of an advert in the Times for Debra in support of Butterfly Children, kids 'living with Epidermolysis Bullosa - a painful genetic skin blistering condition which makes... skin as fragile as a butterfly's wing. To find out more about butterfly children.....' Should be used to it by...

Comments: 0

And don't forget to eat from the plate

1 September 2015

Blog

I've not been to the Isle of Wight for a long time. First time I went I stayed with Islanders. I was defined by being a mainlander. We were different. I am different. They are different. Our language, our culture, hopes and aspirations are not the same. This time I was a black country man staying in a hotel owned by brummies. My regionalism stood on high alert. Warning! Warning!! Holte Ender ahoy!!! Separated by a borderline and the trammels of history. Yet Brummies are in my bloodline....

Comments: 0

To interupt the series on Liminality.....

25 February 2015

Blog

...... I went out last night with Suzanne Bull and Peter Hope and as i've already said on facebook Its a simple comment but it blew me away. We talk about isolation and loneliness and here are two people who i wouldn't normally thinks that applies to but Pete was talking to me about making friends with us all through our activism and finished by saying "and here we are twenty years on". Blimey is it so long since we changed the world. Another 20 and maybe we'll be gone but...

Comments: 0

Flo Brooks - A Heavy Load; Participatory Review 3

23 February 2015

Blog

Tribute to Colin Hambrook. Who said this review looks more like a series of blogs rather than a review. he knows so much that man. The original review with this photo was short, succinct and so very, very, wrong and it contained this nugget: "I am fascinated by the look of the Muddy Lane String Band. Folk is white, folk is old, folk is cashmere jumpers and a finger in the ear. I wear my prejudices well. Black and white for this colour snap". And I know What i know And what I know Is...

Comments: 0

Comments

Rich Downes

/
26 January 2012

Kev self organising, self advocating, putting ourselves forward to be counted should always be important whether we are within or without a movement. your point certainly picks up on Deborah's point that to be heard we need to speak and be received appropriately.

Imelda i love your QUIM and will remember it. Its very funny. I only asked one question whilst outside the Lords but carried it and the criticism that was made with me all day. The reply led to the other questions. I did resolve for 2012 to return to questions. I gave them up as irrelevant in 1983 but recognise that if i am to understand i have to ask.

Thanks for the support Bib.

John i didn't see the Francesca Martin interview but others have commented on it and claim to be alarmed and concerned because of how she was treated (is it on you tube?. Was this just another part of what i call the current media conspiracy to attack disabled people. Can we prove there is one?

I like Bob's idea of an organic movement. It chimes with what Kev was saying. I also like common aims, shared agendas, different styles of getting a message over, and think that's why we achieved what we did over 20 years.

I'd like to say Mighty Villa has a point but i'm with Bob as a Baggie but, unlike Bob i'm real black country so who care what the higher strata says.

So..... YES.... continue with our model, build on it, positively promote rights and opposition. Hang the thought that we can't say what is ours and continue asking questions

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