Friday, 25 May 2012

There is a friend of mine in

England who must be much loved by all the children he knows. He has a store of wacky jokes and riddles he likes to tell. He sends them to the Whirlwind - who very much likes the fact that a very grown up person takes an interest in her.
The latest one he sent me - and no doubt her - was, "Why aren't blind people allowed to go bungee jumping?" The answer was, "Because it is too frightening for their dogs."
I have no doubt however that Roger would think it was perfectly acceptable for a blind person to try bungee jumping if they so wished.
Now, I do not know about Roger but I do know a legally blind person who has been sky diving. He has climbed a couple of mountains, been water skiing, skiing, trekking in the Andes and in the Himalaya too. He goes with his wife. They rarely talk about their travels. I only know because I deal with their mail while they are away. He is all too well aware that going on those sort of travels is regarded by many as fool hardy even if you can see well. So far nothing much has happened to them apart from a couple of minor bouts of illness. They are off to Africa next week. I say, "If that is what you want to do, good on you."
I also know someone who uses an electric wheelchair. He has so little control over his body that he needs to be strapped firmly into it. He has also been sky diving, gliding and, "strapped securely on the back" of a very powerful motorbike, he has done circuits at high speed around a race track. The rest of us tell him he is mad but he wants to experience these things and, as long as he is not putting other people in danger, then there is no reason why he should not - after all, he says, he could hardly be more severely disabled than he is so an accident  is not going to make a lot of difference.
My spatial awareness is such that I cannot handle speed - or heights. He can. I still think he is mad to want to do it - but I would say that of anyone doing the same things. I am a physical coward. Unnecessary risk does not appeal to me.
Someone who read my blog post yesterday left me an e-mail suggesting that this is why I do not care much for sport or events like the Olympics.  I do not think that is true. I think it is up to other people to decide whether they enjoy those activities or not. My family is not one of those families who must go to every football or soccer match, who must see the tennis and the cricket on television or will queue to obtain tickets to obtain tickets to watch cars speed around a track. Only one member of my family has ever taken any serious interest in sport but it is not an all consuming passion even for her. We are simply interested in other things.
Sport just happens to be an area of big business we are not very interested in. Does this matter?


LeslieAE said...

Hi, I stumbled across your blog and thought you might like mine :) You seem to have similar interests, I look forward to reading more!

jeanfromcornwall said...

I don't think it matters in the slightest that you and yours are not interested in sport, but, begrudgingly, I have to admit that the people that are could find something more unpleasant to get fanatical about, so that is one little thing in its favour.

One club manager was overheard saying "Football is not a matter of life and death: it is more important than that." Hmm!

Rachel Fenton said...

Each to her own. My daughter swims competitively and trains between five and six sometimes eight times per week - and loves it - and there are three para-olympians in her club. She has also read novels to herself from the age of six. When she's a little older, I'll be glad she's not hanging around the mall or worse, for now, she's tired each evening and content.