Wednesday, 13 July 2011


The children in my little street aren’t the the most genetically perfect bunch you’ll ever meet.

There’s my daughter, with her rare chromosome disorder, Josh next door (see my last post, Legs), an autistic girl across the road, and another girl who used to go past on her way to school every day struggling up the hill with a walking frame.

My husband thinks this is an unusually high proportion of young people with disabilities. (We don't live in Springfield, by the way. There isn’t a poorly-maintained nuclear reactor nearby, with a lake filled with three-eyed fish). I think the cause of all this comes under the heading: “Sh*t happens”.

“We should change the street name to Raspberry Ripple Close,” my husband decided. 

As the father of a girl with a disability, he can not only get away with this, but I’m also allowed to giggle at it. It’s all about intent and context and laughing at the bad stuff to take away its power and hold over you.

If Ian Dury was still around, you could ask him a thing or two about this.

“Hello to you out there in Normal Land
You may not comprehend my tale or understand
I'm spasticus, I'm spasticus
I'm spasticus autisticus"


  1. I watched the Stiff documentary the other night and both Chas and Norman from The Blockheads talked about Dury being a raspberry. Friends, I guess, can do that.

  2. Hi Drakey,

    As a bit of a raspberry myself your blog is highlighting many of the thoughts and experiences my parents must have encountered. Unfortunately, that was at a time when stuff like this wasn't spoken about. Keep it up, it's a fascinating window.

    Phil P