The Reason I’m Not There is Only Because I’m Here

Being Disabled is one thing but there are people out there who are not only trying to convince me that I’m the one who is losing my marbles but they are doing it so cleverly that I have to be one step ahead of them all the time.
One of the great design faults of communication is that it doesn’t rely upon osmosis; this means that it actually requires people to listen to it and take note of its meaning. Sadly, a great many people hear messages then wilfully set out to do the complete opposite.
This morning, transport which was due to pick me up from home to take me to a hospital therapy appointment actually tried to pick me me up from a Care Home where I had stayed for a week’s duration three weeks ago. ‘The reason I’m not there is only because I’m here !’

“Your transport today has been cancelled
Because you weren’t where we went
To take you to your therapy
In the transport that we sent.”

You were told I wasn’t there
And you were surprised to hear
That the reason I’m not there
Is only because I’m here.

“It’s a stipulation of travel
That you must be where we say
Even if you are not there
At any time of day.”

“If you’re not there to collect you
We will abort the call
Even if you are not there
Or never were at all.”

You were told I wasn’t there
And you were surprised to hear
That the reason I’m not there
Is only because I’m here.


Copyright©Ian m Allan 2017


Keep the Wheels Turning

I was thinking of what to write for ‘The Ghillie File’ this morning – It struck me that the most important thing is to keep on going and Never, ever give up ! I wrote this poem a few minutes ago which sums up how I feel.
There is always a new challenge, a new thing to learn. There will always be an alternative to what you can no longer do. If nothing comes to mind you will have to look for it. Search hard for a new opportunity to learn something new and if you are in a wheelchair – Keep the Wheels Turning !

Keep the wheels turning
Never rest awhile
Keep on plodding on
Another weary mile.

Keep the wheels turning
Though the journey may be slow
You will get there I the end, my friend
It is all good to go.

Keep the wheels turning
And never look back
Upon the road so hard
Or upon the uneven track

Keep the wheels turning
Never stop to rest
Wheelchairs were made to move
And humour will do the rest.


Copyright © IanmAllan 2017

Out of Reach

News has reached ‘Ghillie File’ of a secret Government Department which has its base somewhere within the labyrinth of corridors underneath Whitehall. Its exact location is only known to few people who have close connections with the booze-befuddled brains of the hapless workers therein.

In the midst of Brexit and May Madness in Government those staunch workers are gleefully and anonymously beavering away at trying to invent ways of making life unbearably awkward and infuriating for the Disabled.

No more will we have to put up with the orderly, well-thought out ergonomically positioned plug-sockets or light switches. We now are able to incorporate our 2017 modern life requirement into our daily physiotherapy routine.  One quickly sees the benefits that this can provide. No more will we have to contend with the boring concept of finding a strategically placed dropped kerb at the end of the pavement the length of a Roman road. This new fitness regime bears all the hallmarks of ‘Challenge Anneka’ and we should be grateful that the Labyrinth gnomes have thoughtfully rewarded us by thinking up wonderful challenges for us.

Their expertise at producing four inch kerbs and ‘Near death on-road vehicle avoidance schemes’ is to be applauded. Who else could possibly come up with wonderfully innovative ideas like having a zebra-crossing where only one side has a dropped kerb.

In my previously able but boring life I would never have thought of the sheer excitement that these adrenalin junkies could engineer. Visiting a Care Home for a week’s Respite is just the answer for an otherwise sedentary lifestyle. Who else would think of putting the only light-switch on the opposite wall from the bed. One has to train for days to be agile enough to be able to use the plug socket at ground level in order to charge up your mobile device.

Knowing where to incorrectly position appliances within the bedroom and do it with such flair must take hours, possibly minutes of training. The en-suite facilities really have to be seen to be believed. One does marvel at the amount of hallucinogens consumed in order to produce such a wondrous layout.  This is of course, choosing to ignore the fact that sliding from a wheelchair onto a toilet seat of different height is nowhere near possible as the bathroom isn’t large enough to swing a toothbrush.

One does not have to look very far to see the problems which could and are routinely encountered by those of the Wheelchair Brigade. It is emphatically not a case of ‘I’m Disabled, I want everything done for me’ – It is more a case of ‘OK, I happen to be disabled – if you provide me with the basics, I will happily do the rest.

Sadly, the basics are not always what we get.


Copyright © IanmAllan 2017




4 Wheels instead of 2 Legs

This tall severe looking matron came bounding towards with her clipboard. “What height are you?” She boomed.  “Four foot six” I replied nonchalantly not knowing if sudden death would befall me. “Come, now. You must be taller than that ?” she asked, to which I casually replied, “ Not when I’m sitting down all day, I’m not !” Her withering look of disapproval did fortunately  slowly change into a beaming smile and I survived the encounter.

That incident in hospital was the first time that I realised my view of the world had taken on a whole new perspective. Everything and everyone seemed so tall. It was hard enough coming to terms with my reduced height due to an almost permanent sitting position; it was quite another to consider how this would pan out in normal living out-with a hospital environment.

My whole world was now governed by what I could do on four wheels instead of two legs. It certainly did not help that most things are geared up for people of average height which is by no means four feet six.

The realisation that most of my hobbies relied on the fact that I could use my legs and hands did ©not impress me. No more Driving, Hill-Walking or Flamenco Guitar Playing or even rushing the bar when last orders were shouted.  Instead I was going to have to find things I could actually physically do. This line of thinking was bringing me to the conclusion that not only had my life changed irrecoverably beyond my control but that anything I wanted to do from here on was because I had to make it happen by my own stamina, strength and choice.

Nobody could show me how to live my life as a Disabled person – I was going to find my own way. The Impossible became Challenges and surmounting these challenges became part of my plan to create my new way of life.


Copyright  © IanmAllan 2017



One of the most obvious challenges of being disabled is working out how to get from A to B. It is bad enough trying to navigate your way around indoors but a whole different ball game outside in the great outdoors.

“Nothing to it !” I hear you cry. Here in Sun Drenched Cliftonville we have what I consider to be the first of its kind. It is the Cliftonville Rising Adaptable Pavement – or CRAP for short. This integral part of Urban Street Planning is solely designed to provide the local wheelchair users with an on-site 24 hour Physiotherapy.

We can now experience the sheer joy of knowing that wherever whenever we go our trusty 4×4 Boneshakers will be tested beyond endurance. The CRAP part of the equation when you discover that one is faced with an insurmountable rock-face which might as well be Mont Blanc.  If the council workers have done their job properly and the kerb is higher than the mandatory 4 inches then this obviously provides the challenging bit.

The council have thoughtfully added a nice little touch in providing notices plastered to nearby lamp-posts which proudly display the contact details of Accident and Injury Lawyers which are ready to fleece you – sorry, help you if you suffer some dreadful accident as a result of non-conformist pavements. Sometimes, the best you can hope for is a minor bump as anything more severe and which requires hospital treatment may just see you being transported to far flung places as there are no local beds available.

Every morning my heart is filled with deep joy as I face my daily challenge just to get to the shops to buy ‘The Daily Gloom’ Newspaper which usually describes in minute detail why certain politicians should never be allowed near to anything remotely important.


Copyright ©IanmAllan 2017