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  • : freewheeling
  • : Blog on being a disabled person, different cultures, diversity, equality, disability, travel, being diaspora Chinese and disabled travel.
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Here are some of my photos. This shows some of my travels.


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Books I am reading

Xiaolu Guo
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
A love story - cultural differences, misunderstandings and yes, I see what she is saying.
Su Tong
Binu and the Great Wall

Binu and the Great Wall

Binu And The Great Wall is a wonderful myth retold in the words of Su Tong, the author of ‘Rice’.  The myth of Binu and how her tears washed away the Great Wall have been passed down through the ages. It is a tale of hardship, brutality and undying love. Su Tong’s version of the myth, brings to the reader the harshness and brutality that led to the constuction of the wall and the terrible effects it had on the common people.

19 octobre 2009 1 19 /10 /octobre /2009 00:02
Tonight I spoke to an old classmate to whom I have not seen for over 25 years and we arranged to meet in December. I felt the years have not changed our relationship - she's still as efficient as ever, she told me what she was doing, what she's spending her time on and how she has no time till December. She did not ask me once what I was doing except to ascertain that I was not in UK for a visit.

I am bemused and curious as to know how to react. Shes coming to see me here, she would not entertain me meeting her in London and why was I not more assertive?

...but I also spoke to Sally today, I found her phone number in my old address book and called just out of curiousity. She was a student in Strrasbourg when I lived there and we fed her quite a bit and now when my son is in Brussels, I guess I hope she would do the same for him - give him some home cooking!

Maggie is someone else I got to know in Strasbourg - as an expat American family. We shared many pizzas together. Shes now back in Colarado but we catch up with family news.

People come in and out one's life however I guess I am not static myself
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2 juin 2009 2 02 /06 /juin /2009 22:24
I've been following Sam's progress for a long time - well, since 2005 when there started a website to fundraise for equipment for him http://stuff4sam.wordpress.com/ and had a link to this site since then. It is so sad to learn about his death - and that of his parents Neil and Kazumi - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/sussex/8079123.stm

May you all rest in peace up in some lovely park in the ever after.
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31 mars 2009 2 31 /03 /mars /2009 20:34
i've been neglecting this blog because I have so many others to write and administer - I am beginning to feel I haven't got a life!

But I think this blog is reserved from the other part of my working life - this is where I meander and just write about whatever I feel like. I am a bit perturbed by the fact that over bolog now displays advertisements on my blog. It never used to. I shall have to do something bout it.

I have now bought a flat here in Coventry - I think it means I am settling down and putting down roots. Some people are surprised that I chose Coventry but for now, Coventry suits me. It is easy for me to go to London or elsewhere and Birmingham international is just 15 mins train ride away. My new flat has a very small balcony on which I hope to start gardening again. I think the last few years I've been focusing much on disability issues - which is important but it meant that I was getting too focused and I need something different - something to get me away from the computer screen and dare I say it, make some local friends.

Also found http://twitter.com/Coventry_Guide which gives some idea of whats on in Coventry.

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11 octobre 2008 6 11 /10 /octobre /2008 21:22
Lately all the news is full of the global economic disaster, its fightening. I cannot even think what will happen to resources for disabled people, benefit recipients because their councils have had their bank deposits frozen.

I went back to look for Malaysia news, why? I think part of me still think of Malaysia as home and I want to keep  up with its politics and news. Its like reading the monthly supplements not the daily tabloids or broadsheet newspapers.

I found a good way of catching up on the Malaysian scene at Malaysiakini on youtube. Okay, its more like the editorials than really catching the news - for that I read The Star online - but it is good to hear voices of lecturers at universities, proffesionals ..somebody mentioned an 'educated voting public' - that has such a resonance in the US elections now...but then, I don't think education has any impact on intelligent voting there...ah well.....

it is so good to hear Malaysian voices.

p/s I was told that the one of the places to really catch up on Malaysian news is Bernard Khoo's blog.
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30 septembre 2008 2 30 /09 /septembre /2008 03:45
Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to friends back home in Malaysia. I am not sure what they wish here - I think it is Happy Eid.

Over here I was working - I went to a public meeting in Walsall.
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18 août 2008 1 18 /08 /août /2008 02:55
When I was working in Massachusetts, I had the fortune of contacting and talking to Tom Olin who was kind enough to give me permission for one of my favourite photos from the disability movement - I cannot find a bigger version of this picture.

  ©Tom Olin

Here is a tribute to him and his work by Mike Ervin and Pat Figueroa, Jr.
 Tom Olin holds his camera up while loolomg tpo the side

Tom Olin is someone everybody sees at national disability events, but few realize what he has done.

Olin, director of the Disability Rights Center, is known for his pictures. But, more than simply a photographer, he is a photojournalist and social documentarian. Olin’s photos have produced a pictorial chronicle unrivaled in the history of American ideology, including the civil rights and women’s movements.

Read the rest at Independence Today


Thank you Tom for all your photos!
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18 août 2008 1 18 /08 /août /2008 02:26
At last this is finished. This is my own access auditing video of the interview with David Bancroft of the Herbert -

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2 août 2008 6 02 /08 /août /2008 22:19
After my gym today (I have some work out exercises with a trainer at Coventry Sports Centre) I thought I'd explore further afield and I went to try Golden Parlour Oriental Restaurant. I heard it did offal. Strange as it might sound, I miss eating innards! On the menu - Five spiced chicken feet, pig's tongue with chilli oil, pigs ear with spring onions, pig's stomach, spiced pig's offal.

It is a traditional Chinese restaurant with typical Chinese decor. The receptionist, waitress was very friendly  and best o0f all, it is incredibly cheap. I had an enormous bowl of soup noodles with pig's offal. for £4.40. It was big enough to serve 3 people. I couldn't eat it all, I took some away as a take away.

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15 juillet 2008 2 15 /07 /juillet /2008 18:03

P/S This incident while frustrating is nothing compared to what my compatriot, Peter Tan,  has to face in Malaysia. Read his blog entry.

PPS read the response of the manager of the bus company in the Hastings branch

Today I went to Hastings with Phil. We set off from Charing Cross Station and got to Hastings station at about noon.

We were actually heading for St Leonard on Sea and after a lenthy discussion with the conductor decided to stop at Hastings station rather than St Leonards Warrior Square because access out of the station involves a steep hill which the conductor was not sure I could negotiate.

On leaving the station, Phil said it might be nice to have a look at the old town but it was on the opposite direction from St Leonards for which we were heading. So  I went to look at the buses and asked the driver which had a low floor wheelchair accessible sign on it. he said the 20,20A bus does go to the old centre and he lowered the bus for me but I still could not get on because there was a gap and a step. I asked him to get the ramp out but he said the ramps were stuck down and he couldn't do it. According to him, none of the ramps of the accessible Hasting buses  function which I found incredulous.

I gave up on the buses for the moment and got on the promenade and enjoyed the sea views and breeze. I stopped (Phil thought I accosted other wheelchair users all the time) another wheelchair user and asked her the low down on the buses but she said she had never been able to use the bus and told me what trouble she had just to go to Sainsbury in a taxi. It never seemed to have occurred to her to question why low floor accessible buses did not work for her.

I took photos of the buses and made a note to see my legal advisor for discrimination under the DDA.

 Accessible bus? I dont think so.....
Bus flap/ramp which driver says cannot be taken down

I really like St Leonards. I had not realized how much I miss the sea.

The promenade was very flat and easy to go along - we stopped at a restaurant at the seafront and ate a late lunch there.

Phil had the tagine while I had sea bass.
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26 mai 2008 1 26 /05 /mai /2008 20:09
In the UK, disabled parking is allowed by a system known as the Blue Badge system. The government has released a Blue badge map where you can search for parking etc on an interactive map. This includes airports and train stations and shopmobility centres. A shopmobility centre is a wheelchair/scooter lending facility in a city for the less mobile to facilitate shopping and walking distances.
Overview of the Blue Badge map

The Blue Badge map can be used to find:

* Blue Badge parking bays in 101 towns and cities across the UK
* Red Route parking bays in London
* petrol stations and their service facilities on major routes in the UK
* accessible public toilets in 101 towns and cities across the UK
* railway stations and their accessibility
* Underground stations and their accessibility in London
* taxi ranks
* shopmobility centres
* accessible beaches
* wheelyboat locations
* mobility centres
* locations of interest, like town halls, hospitals, museums and tourist attractions
* parking rules for all councils in the UK

The people who did this map (Pie Guides) also have other useful maps which can be bought.

I'll be interested to try it out and judge its accuracy. So far it seems to be accurate for Coventry.
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