March 2014


I got on a bus to get to the ground, people refused to move and a fat woman was stood on the stairs. I ask the driver if there was room upstairs; he said yes; I shouted at people to go upstairs; they did.

I sat up stairs with Irient fans, arguing about who whose team was worse.

We were then joined by the happiest nutter on the bus ever. He was young and physically demonstrative. There was some theatre happening.

Am in Leyton Technical (£3.80 a pint instead of £2.50 at the William IV) with Les and Marco from the Sparrow.

Am going to see Bradford City play at Leyton Orient and am putting on beer googles and armour, in the belief that I would be seeing ugly things and feeling pain if I watched the game sober.

This Welsh beer is bloody lovely, first one where I’ve had to have a second pint for ages. Really good pub and all. William IV

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I went with Basil to an evening event on Monday, which was a follow up to his getting assessed for autism. It was done by a Doctor and the bloke who assessed my brother, in their own time, to offer an unfunded follow up to the assessment.

The thing was clearly a new venue, and I am writing a review for them with suggestions, as it was a presentation with slides, and I know about them!

I learned a lot, Basil much less, because he knew most of it already.

There were too many tla’s (three letter acronyms) and too much jargon on the slides. I mentioned this in the question session, and Basil underlined it by pointing out that he knew what echolalia was because he knows Greek, so worked out it was repeating what someone has just said (I knew it as well because it has been on QI). The conversation went like this:

Basil: …so I know echolalia is the repeating of what someone has just said.
Doctor: The repeating of what someone has just said. That’s right.
Basil:Yes, the repeating of what someone has just said.

I am not sure anyone else was smiling!

The diagnosis of autism now has legal weight. It classes the person as having a disability, and thus entitled to the protection of disability legislation.

In the past autism tended to be picked up in people with learning issues, because ‘brighter’ autistics could better learn coping and masking strategises, but there is (as I learned on Monday) no relation between intelligence and autism. The current thinking has it that between 1% and 2% of the British population is autistic, and that covers the whole population. So there will be a very small number of hyper intelligent autistics (like my brother) and an equally small number with very low IQ’s; most will be of average intelligence.

There were a fair variety of diagnosed autistics and helpers; and with a lot it was hard to guess which was which; but there were interesting people, and a couple of cute ones; and the next session may be more useful to us both; and I found a good boozer for us to have a pint in.

So we will be going back to Leatherhead next week. Apart from anything else I will be less knackered and more able to take things in.

In the 5 or 6 days up to yesterday I travelled on 17 different trains with 7 different companies; Clapham Junction to Three Bridges being the only bit I did twice.

When I met Basil at the Wetherspoons in Leatherhead yesterday (the first time I had seen my brother since our mother’s funeral) he told me I was looking well, but tired.

That pretty much sums me up in the present.

PS. I miscounted, I travelled on 21 different trains.

Damson blossom from a tree that just grew here. I am making pickle from the fruit that my mother gathered last autumn. This will probably be my last spring here.

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After a few hours at Birmingham New St.; which featured me telling people which platform to catch their train from, because my phone was better than the public info! Trouble was that even though I charged my iPhone 4 from my laptop’s battery, it did not last the full day. So not even 12 hours usage.

I went on to change at Watford Junction and Clapham Junction. Getting to a bed after midnight.

On the train from Birmingham I met Guppy, an Orient fan from Leatherhead, and we had a long chat, on two trains, about following crap football teams and drinking proper beer.

I am a little tired today.

I stayed beerless for the rest of yesterday. Good job too, considering what followed

I went on from Shrewsbury, changing at Birmingham New St – which is still the shittest big station in Britain, and the only obvious result of the rebuilding that’s going on, so far, is the total lack of a Gents!

It also endlessly nags you, with the threat of CCTV, so gents caught short may well be criminalised.

Vile, dangerous, insanity station.

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