I’m cut frae fit tae hunker-bane, deef, gless-ee’d an stumpy.
But wi my cairtie an me nithin’ll stap or stint us. An I’m no grumpy.
I’ve lost my legs from foot to thigh-bone, deaf, glass-eyed and stumpy.
But with me and my go-cart nothing can stop us or make us desist. And I’m not grumpy.
My uncle in a wheelchair raised me – mostly. He still had his legs, it was most of his fingers that were stumps.
He had multiple sclerosis.
From a Doodle.
The hunker-bane drawing has links back to that time.
It has been adapted from a doodle I did a year or so ago.
It was made during a staff meeting full of long winded patronising managerial rhetoric about opportunity and diversity. The doodling was my mind numbed reaction.
But in adapting the doodle I saw that it contained a lot of references from my childhood and my disabled uncle.
The Things in the Drawing.
The steering wheel and throttle comes from the old Massey Fergusson tractor my uncle used to drive.
The wire wheels come from an old Victorian three wheeled basket chair that he was gifted.
Two of which ended up on a garden cart by the time I came along.
The motor was a car starter motor which he converted to create a lathe to go in his shed.
The batteries were from when he recycled lead from car batteries to mock up an engine for a large toy tractor he made.
The battery sulfuric acid was stored in big Schweppes soda bottles in his shed for years. I used to use it to pit metal to watch it fizz.
The Schweppes box is because we lived near an old bottling factory and those were the various storage boxes in his shed.
The woodworm on the sign is because a great deal of those boxes had woodworm.
The brake lamp comes from the selection of oil lamps we kept because power cuts were common since electricity was then a recent thing.
The plasma cannon I suspect was derived from the old brass blowlamp that was used regularly. It was like a jet engine when you pumped it up.
Nothing Daunted was his Watchword.
Nothing daunted my uncle. He was always at something. building power tool benches from iron bed steads. Customising his three wheeler (hence the fog lights). Fixing anything at all that broke. Learning Gaelic. Learning to type. Playing chess and drafts well. Getting stuck up mountains in his blue three wheeler disabled vehicle – unending in adventure and risk until he died.
I was his assistant and helper.
Into 2018 Undaunted.
So in response to Trump and his ilk I say: let us in 2018 make it a year of opportunity and diversity for every ability, creed, religion and race.
Make the year an utter rebuke to those who fear the very idea of inventiveness, difference and change.