Friday, 30 October 2009

Jake's Excited

Jake starts football club tomorrow morning and he is so excited he came downstairs a little while ago with all his kit on. He is now asleep with his kit laid out on the floor in the shape of him and his football book open on the bed..... Bless. I so hope he does ok and is better than I was at his age!!

What's worse than having MND....

Having MND and a stinking cold. Its the last thing I needed. The last bad one I had was last year but at least then I could blow my nose! Now I cannot lift my arms high enough and I dont have enough puff to have much affect. On the plus side, as the cold goes away its nice to experience the sensation of feeling better than befor; a sensation which has been alien to me for two years.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Family Tree

I have been spending many an hour on an ancestory website, putting together the Evans family tree. Starting with a few birth, marriage and death certificates my mum had I continued by scouring online records. Ordering a couple of birth certificates along the way enabled a dead end to be opened and a correct household in a census to be confirmed. You'd be amazed at how within a fairly local area you can find two families of 4 or 5 members with the same set of names. Having surnames in the tree which include Evans, Williams and Stephens doesn't help! My mum's side had some more unique surnames but has been hampered by her mum being French.

Anyway I have currently got 84 entries on the tree going back to Great, Great, Great Grandparents in 1799.

The process is quite addictive (in an oh god its 2.30am kinda way ) and it takes much patience and perseverance to extract the necessary facts by combining data from multiple sources. Its very easy to get the wrong records or make some information 'fit' for the purpose of convenience. If you don't get corroborating information from at least 2 sources there is a high probability you'll have the wrong person, but it may not become apparent until you've spent hours going down the wrong path.

I became suspicious this had happened when ancestors which had for generations, lived within a few miles of one village in North Wales started living in London's East end. And although it would have been interesting to have had a great great uncle who'd served 5 years in Pentonville, it was probably better to have spotted the error 2 generations later and eventually find that said great, great uncle was a shepherd who lived within a few miles of aforementioned village in North Wales!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Sunny Days

Spent the morning enjoying the sunshine in Hampton court gardens -most pleasant. Going to watch Jenson Button throw away some more points later

Pissed off

Second night in a row to have friends over and not be able to contribute to conversations. Stammer and slurring combining to make me unintelligable. Have left to go on computer. I'm sick of the constant struggle and feeling uncharacteristically defeated

I know that overall I'm still fortunate in that I am still active albeit wheelchair bound. I'm not on a vent yet but each progression still hits hard and although nothing has changed dramatically, in the last couple of weeks there been deterioration in several areas and being almost crippled verbally tonight made me feel isolated and depressed. We have friends over again next week and not really looking forward to it. I don't want to isolate myself socially, I spend too much time by myself as it is, but I'm still finding seeing friends hard as its become yet another activity which only serves to remind me of this bloody illness

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Our Extension

We have finally got started on our extension no thanks to a little Hitler at Elmbridge planning. the downstairs room adjacent to the boys room will be a new bedroom which can be used by either of our mums when they stay over, a carer or for me when there is too much equipment to fit in our bedroom. It will hopefully be finished by end of November.

The planning process was ridiculous and the stress, extra work and cost created for us by planning being initially refused was horrendous.

I have felt compelled to highlight the incompetencies of the planning department by publishing extracts from the initial refusal notice alongside the appeal result notice which illustrates the complete lack of consistency and poor application of common sense by the first planning officer. Bits in black are our architects comments. I know its a bit long winded- if nothing else, read the bold bits!


The neighbouring property on the south side would be most affected by any further addition on this flank.

The proposed extension to our client property is sited to the north of the
adjoining property in question. A simple sunlight travel path would clearly
indicate that the natural light levels to said property would not be greatly

In the case of sunlight there would be little or no reduction because of the orientation of the respective properties

The proposed extension would project sufficiently beyond its extended neighbour to result in the flank wall causing an infringement of the 45°, light angle from the rear extension windows. This proposal fails to comply with design guidance that is intended to ensure all development reasonably respects neighbouring amenity and its depth would result in an unreasonable loss of daylight to the neighbour and overbearing impact when viewed from that property.

The boundary in question has mature planting on the adjoining side in the form of
trees and large shrubs - all of which to remain. It is our belief that the
addition of the proposed extension would have no greater impact on the light
levels that the existing natural screening. We would also confirm that you
stated during our telephone conversation that you could not see the windows of
the adjoining property from our client site due to the above.

At present trees and shrubs along the boundary already restrict daylight to the particular rear
window of No37 with that house’s own extension creating further shade. While
the proposed extension would not pass the recommended 45 degree angle test with
regard to the small corner area of No 37 I consider that its impact on natural light would not be significant and in all likelihood less than the screening of daylight resulting from the present
boundary trees and other vegetation.

The proposed extension would also result in the need for extensive
work to reduce the Pine tree shown within the neighbouring property but
overhanging the applicants land. The extent of the work would most likely lead
to its demise and as such the application has been considered in light of the removal of this tree.

I also note that the proposed extension would require extensive work to reduce the pine tree on the
immediate boundary resulting in trauma placing its future
in doubt. However, I share the Council’s view that the tree has no particular amenity value and therefore this does not affect my findings on the main issue.

Reasons For Refusal

The proposal would infringe light and amenity to the ground floor rear elevation windows of the adjoining property due to the excessive depth of projection being proposed within
close proximity to the boundary, as such it fails to take account of advice in the saved policies HSG16, HSG20, ENV1 and ENV2 of the Replacement Elmbridge Borough Local Plan
, also Government advice, Planning Policy Statement 1 (Delivering Sustainable Development), Planning Policy Statement 3 (Housing).

Together with existing mature planting on either side of the boundary benefiting its setting and
screening, I do not consider that this modest development would have an overbearing impact on the outlook from the neighbouring property.

In my view the proposed extension would neither harm the character and appearance of this
residential area nor have a significant impact on the living conditions of the occupiers of the neighbouring property.
For these reasons I conclude that it would accord with policies HSG16, HSG20, ENV1 and ENV2 of the Replacement Elmbridge Borough Local Plan 2000. For the reasons given above I conclude that the appeal should be allowed.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Up to London

Ventured up to London today to make the most of the last mild day and for a change of scene from Bushy Park and Hampton Court. Getting up and out now takes the best part of two hours with carer assistance so leave at 11 on chair and head for nearest manned station - Hampton court. Takes about 15 minutes giving me about five minutes to get ramp sorted. Approached staff member with "train dispatch" jacket and get response of "I don't do ramps, go and find the guard" an unusually unhelpful response. so with train about to leave I go to look for guard. Manage to find and get aboard. Reach Waterloo, ramp arrives and off I go. Accessing the south bank is a breeze and on a warm sunny day its a good place to go. I had come up a week earlier with less time available to see if I could get to tower bridge, which I could despite the uncomfortable cobbles around Tooley St. But I also discovered that the Thames Path at Blackfriars has been shut until 2011! So wheelchair users have a half mile detour to rejoin path 100 yards further up. Anyway I thought id go to Tate Modern where there was a Pop Art exhibition. was hoping the trip wouldn't require any tricky tasks but exhibition required ticket which involves following

1)having to speak to ticket counter lady and hope a)she understands my slurring and b)doesn't then treat me like a idiot. Unfortunately neither occur.

2)get her to understand that she will need to get my debit card out of bumbag

3)try and enter pin with knuckle

4)try and get her to understand that the phone she removed to get my debit card needs to be put back in the right way so I can pick it up later.

I know what I'm in for every time and there is a massive temptation just not bothering and as everything gets harder the temptation is given into more - but not today!

with aquired ticket I go in. not sure it was worth £12 but there was some good exhibits including ones by damian hirst.

only other challenge is the constant issue of lift buttons being too high to reach and having to wait for someone to help. I had to wait in a lift for 10 minutes once because the doors had closed and I couldn't reach anything! Finally someone else called it.

next challenge is lunch. Earlier I had got my carer to make a sandwich and put it in the wheelchair side pocket. The challenge now was to get it out! I had only just managed it last week but today - no. so have to ask passerby to help (see 1 above)

sit on south bank and notice how london's skyline is permanently spoiled by at least 20 cranes, but its still a nice place to spend time.

took myself across the millennium bridge and back before heading back to waterloo. got the faster surbiton train (always a bit risky because if they forget to unload me i'll end up in Alton or Portsmouth! ) and came home via kingston and bushy park. home at 5 in time for carer to help me with everything.

despite usual hassle, a good day out.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Cold weather

have been spoiled by the warm weather. Getting out is such a pain and unlike last winter I need to have someone to help get everything on and be sure someone is here when I return to get it all off again

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Expensive Trip to Wisley

went to look at the gardens and ended up buying this. tracy mentioned she had no ideas for my birthday so I mentioned that I liked this. It looks great in our garden.