Rambled musings

Days and hours flow, moments change into others

Time passes, minutes fly, hours drag.

Things get done, sometimes by being avoided.

The time works onward. Light comes in and it fades again.

Being and doing, sensing it all.

Focus and out of focus, it all come in.

Wind, movement, noise, speech, brightness 

All to process and adjust for.

Sometimes rightly sometimes wrongly.

Does it make sense? Did it have to?
I see myself, in mirrors, I look and look at myself

Is that me? Aged and fatter and grey.

It doesn’t match inside my head

My vision of me, not him.

The lines on the face, the eyes, the hair

Details and a life all shown there.

But mine? 

Not the thoughts that sore, not the crush of feeling and memory. 

Not the heartbreaks and disasters, not the little wins.

Doesn’t show the goodness and the hope and the..

But it’s there and it’s rounded and broken up by that nose

It’s shows no energy, no vitality.

The smile is offset and squeezed and doesn’t look right.

It doesn’t carry the lightness and deftness of thought.

Of the inside speed of thought and slowness of tongue.

It’s the face I see, the one I have, it looks at me.

I raise an eyebrow, puff up the cheeks.

Always end up at the eyes and the colour and the shine.

It lifts the rest of the face, but shows it’s own story

I rub my face, hands in hair. I look at the screen.

Sometimes the reflection, othertimes just that light.

What can I say here, what can I type? 

How do I be clever or funny?

What do I say? How I feel?

What words mean empty?

How do you express the pit of the stomach.

The sighs that aren’t sighs, the air that’s blown outwards?

The dreams, the hopes and wishes.

The desire to be friendly, to get to know.

Wanting to understand and see and get the point 

Wanting to hear and experience.

She’s had many forms, a girl, a women.

Many ages and hair colours and figures and shapes.

Dresses and trousers and colours of tops or blouses.

Hair blonde or brown or black or red

Eyes blue or green or brown.

Arms long or short and hands and fingers.

She doesn’t exist, or maybe she does and is and has been 

I imagine the touch gentle, the words soft and knowing.

Perfect and right and just so.

Knowing me and giving me hope and courage.

The mistakes to come, the time forgotten, the minutes passed.

Holding me, wanting nothing, understanding.

I drift off to see her, a dream, a memory.

A sunny day with just a breeze.

Not thing wrong in the world and no distractions.

I wake and I don’t remember. I don’t see the face.

I don’t know the detail or the where and how or anything said.

It’s just there. It’s unconscious thought and dreams

Leicester City last eight in UCL

A remarkable story.

But, I feel for Claudio Raneri. I wonder about the players. I see some fans online reaction to these results after Raneri was replaced. I had nothing but goodwill for them in last season’s odyssey to win the English Premier League.

If you’re a Leicester fan, you’ve had a rubbish season, the manager gets sacked, results start again. You don’t boo getting in the last eight of the champions league. It’s maybe bittersweet or horrible seeing Raneri out, but think of the big guns in the tournament that are left.

Fickle. A success with an aftertaste. Player Power? It’s a combination of factors that only those in that dressing room know. Did they ‘chuck’ it? How does that square with superstar salaries and professing to be ‘with the fans’? Will it happen again and at which club?

I wonder how dads and mums explain it to their kids. I know I’d struggle.

Sherlock vs Elementary (TV)

Tonight sees the last of a three part run of BBC’s Sherlock.

It is carrying the hype and the vibe about the previous two episodes. 

It has been excellent, like all previous episodes and I expect tonight’s conclusion to thrill in equal measure with presumably a cliff hanger.

It’s a feature length show, it features layered stories and doesn’t always throw you the dots you need at times. The writing of Moffat and Gatiss is near universally praised.

There aren’t many episodes though, the availability of the starring actors squeezes the availability of the show.

Elementary on the other hand, sets a modern Sherlock Holmes in New York with a female Watson. 

It’s essentially a police procedural with Holmes and Watson consulting for the NYPD. It has more episodes with a US TV drama season schedule and more continuing back stories over the seasons.

I don’t think either show can be compared as both are equally valid in terms of their take on Sherlock Holmes. 

Both series are set in the modern era. I almost typed that all have to be set in the Modern Era. 

A very high bar on the adaption of the Conan Doyle stories was set by ITV in the eighties and early nineties. Jeremy Brett’s performance was immense and the stories were relatively faithful to the base material.

So we have a modern update on Holmes, in two different versions. 

One that applies a standard serial format and twists the format just enough. It’s onto 5 seasons and well over 100 episodes. 

From that, it could be thought that Elementary is the defining show featuring a modern Sherlock Holmes with Jonny Lee Miller’s performance setting a benchmark. 

His partnership with Lucy Liu takes the point that two men living together in this modern era would be surmised in a certain way and John/Joan is clever transition away from the source material.

 It may not be traditional, it may take a liberty or two in its initial set up, but the drama serial then goes from week to week and case to case whilst carrying a story arc. 

It follows the US television season by season convention and a team of writers that can utilise the writer’s room and be inventive with character and episodes.

Sherlock utilises the resource and prestige of the BBC as prime time ‘Event’ television. Cumberbatch and Freeman have movie commitments to work around.

 The format is feature length allowing for both a case and the ongoing development of the relationship of Watson and Holmes. 

It also allows for diversions, for throwing in red herrings for the audience and developing characters. Things like the creation of Mycroft, Mrs Hudson and Moriarty as supporting characters. 

The casting and quality of acting helps, Gatiss as Mycroft is perfect as an intellect similar to Holmes and Andrew Scott’s Moriarty carries an air of menace and also fun as a criminal genius.

The writing, the loose linked trio of episodes, the characterisations of a show that is an event. 

Moffat and Gatiss both created remarkable episodes of the new Doctor Who, they carried this partnership onto Sherlock.

Cumberbatch adds presence as a man that’s not normal, he describes himself in character as a high functioning sociopath. A remarkable detective without the social functions of others. 

Freeman’s Watson is ‘normal’ or as normal as someone that’s Holmes sidekick might be. 

The writing, the performance, the feature length add to the show’s mythology. 

It lends itself to being able to have fan speculation, blogs and modern television and social media events. 

Sherlock as event. Elementary as a regular show.

Two treatments of a concept, two methods of drama being defined.

The character has similar concepts across both ‘treatments’ – a quality close to Aspergers in having high intellect but no social abilities. 

Perhaps the high functioning sociopath, perhaps the troubled drug addict with exceptional insight. 

Neither Miller or Cumberbatch gives you a comfortable easy friendly character that you can relate with. 

Genius. Troubled, sometime drug addict, necessary to the police, necessary to take on an arch-criminal like Moriarty. 

Is either more valid? Probably not.

Me and Inner Me

You probably already know the meme with Kermit and his evil twin.

‘Me’ has had an ok week, bobbed along, seen the kids, been at work, been doing stuff as normal, getting on with things and being the usual. ‘Me’ has been buying Christmas stuff here and there and even wrapping it.

‘Inner Me’ has had a hell of a week, first with letters and lawyers and things, next with a disastrous bit of news after calling about PIP application. 

‘Inner Me’ had microwave pizza for dinner on Wednesday.

 ‘Inner Me’ lost the will to live in a pizza restaurant on Thursday. 

‘Me’ has been trying to keep all the mess at bay.

 ‘Inner Me’ can see Christmas far enough.

‘Me’ keeps the lid on the chaos. ‘Me’ writes the blogs. ‘Me’ talks and doesn’t talk to people. 

‘Inner Me’ knows what he can’t do, ‘Me’ at least tries.

‘Me’ is conditioned through school and parenting, he has sets of formulated phrases and plans for most situations. 

‘Inner Me’ mainly wants to scream at the maelstrom of information, and sensory inputs throughout a day.

‘Me’ gives ‘Inner Me’ the hairdryer treatment of regular bollickings and ‘c’mon man’.

Before I go further, I’m not schizophrenic, Me and Inner Me are just the way I can rationalise how my own mind works. 

Me is the ‘masking effect’ doing it’s job, Inner Me is the difficult bits, the anxiety, fear and depression with the puzzlement on faces, imprecise language, the way time works and just what to do. 

Yeah, even I need to work out which me is running the show.

Questioning my legal status (Aspergers)

I had a look a the qualifications required for a disabled person for a concessionary pass in Scotland.

One of the chaps from my aspie group has one and I thought, is that automatic as a result of an Autism/Aspergers diagnosis?

Now, to figure that out I went between Transport Scotland and SPT websites and there’s reference between each other’s website.

The first gatepost is DLA or PIP being granted.

Transport Scotland refer to the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 as another route.

Now this has a clause referring to mental disorders and classing mental illness, personality disorder and learning disability as mental disorders.

Now, as far as I can tell I have a Learning Disability (that’s what Aspergers is defined as)  under the terms of the act and definitions that I’ve been able to find. 

The definition under The Equality Act 2010 is a different paragraph and there isn’t the equivalent of the Autism Act in Scotland.

The doozie is that under that section in the Transport Scotland website there is then a section on learning disability written by Enable Scotland in clear and easy English obviously for those with a learning disability and that have a carer. 

It’s not so suitable for me as my difficulty is more in terms of social communication than understanding what I need to do. 

Unfortunately my condition is in with other types of learning disability that are quite different.

But in the clear and simple English you contact the council for a set of forms if you are DLA/PIP or if you’re not.

Concessionary Travel in Renfrewshire is administered by SPT as a historic overhang from the Strathclyde Region Passenger Transport Executive.

SPT refer back to Transport Scotland under their concession section and the NCT001 form.

But, the easy to read Enable Scotland guide says you need NCT001 and NCT002a if you don’t already receive DLA or PIP.

Now, there is an Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act, but it won’t necessarily apply to me as I have ability to make decisions for myself and I wouldn’t trust a guardian or some family member with power of attorney. I may need support at times, but not my legal capacity removed from me.

The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 is a piece of legislation meant to protect vulnerable adults. Again my diagnosis may come under that and I’m aware of the protection it can offer in terms of discrimination or possible abuse I may suffer from other adults. 

So, there’s no clear legal position, I can see that clearly helps me, I’m protected by a couple of different acts.

I’m defined as having a Mental Disorder. I’m defined as having a learning disability. I could potentially be detained for treatment if I had a public meltdown.

There are proposals to amend the laws they may not change until 2018.

But in terms of help or support for me as an Autistic Adult, there’s nothing. Diagnosis, a post diagnosis course and then the void of nothing.

As I’ve previously blogged, the DWP have stiffed me in terms of a written application for PIP by claiming to lose my application.

I’ve had no other help or support from the NHS in Scotland, Social Care or my local council. If I want something then I must ask, pursue myself. 

It’s tiring. It’s frustrating.

Applying for PIP (Aspergers)

I got brave enough this morning to finally call the DWP helpline on my PIP claim.

I wrote in a March for the claim form, got the claim form completed and sent off in early July to the prepaid address on the envelope.

I was pleased I didn’t need to call the claim line as I thought it’d distress me. I followed the advice of the NAS, I did everything I was required in terms of the paperwork and included my diagnosis.

I found out this morning that my claim is not received, that the DWP have no record of my application for PIP. 

I’m currently living on a disposable income of just over £40 per week due to my situation and even although I work, I’m toiling each month.

I was scared to apply straight after my diagnosis in November 2014.

If my application from July is lost, I get no back payment assuming my claim doesn’t get referred or refused.

I’m at the edge of my limits and I’m really upset.

I had to wait 11 minutes before speaking to a call advisor, the music was a loud and jarring version of green sleeves interspersed with voices that were direct and insistent. I was feeling sick even waiting and before getting the bad news from the agent.

So, any hope of a back payment or regular payments to help me is gone. I’m stressed and upset. 

I feel the system cheated me. 

I have no idea where to turn next. My work environment makes private phone calls impossible as it’s open plan and there’s no privacy for such calls, even if I actually wanted to do so.

Any hope I had of sorting my finances out is gone. It’ll be another application and six months of waiting to see if PIP is possible for me. 

My depression and anxiety will get worse. I may need to take time off work if I feel like I do today. It’s another burden and worry.