Diary… Memories of the Miners’ Strike, an Ealing comedy and a steaming rant

>> Most of the Don McPhee archiving at the Guardian today seemed to be photographs of the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike.

Other random wallets of negatives stole into the mix – of Nelson Mandela in South Africa and several sets simply marked “Wigan”, which were impossible to date.

One of the miners group pictured a horse running around a slag heap. It looked quite corny to me, but that doesn’t make it any less real.

>> At the Golden Social movie show we watched ‘The Ladykillers’.

It was fun to notice the reactions of some of the younger viewers who hadn’t seen the film before.

It was a happy walk down Memory Lane for the rest of us, but Sharon, for example, sat on the red sofa bursting into fits of laughter in all the right places.

I ate far too many Jelly Babies and Wine Gums.

>> After what seems like a million years, physio Katie Campion got in touch to say she is now working at Bridges Self-management full time.

I think the last time I saw her was in 2016 when we jointly delivered a presentation on goal-setting to a Bridges symposium.

She is now heading up innovation and co-production at Bridges and is starting a project to create walk-in centres in hospitals for people with brain injuries.

The plan is to adopt the template of the Maggie’s cancer centres, and she wants to meet to talk over the idea.

I’m happy to do this because I have done other work with Bridges in recent years and enjoyed it a lot.

The Maggie’s mission is to offer “practical, emotional and social support”, so with the experience I have with Headway East London, plus the group work I have already done with Bridges, I will not be out of my depth.

It sounds like an exciting project, so I look forward to my meeting with Katie.

I know from Headway that the fastest growing demand is in casework for people claiming benefits and in support work, both to individuals and in groups. 

So the walk-in idea is challenging, but well worth the effort. Funding will always be the sticking point, but if it can be integrated into the nhs, rocky roads have a better chance of being made smooth.

>> It looks like I can still make myself laugh.

Every month I write a column about living on the Golden Lane Estate for our local newspaper.

I have just filed the February column, but straight after I’d pressed SEND, I took a look at the first draft.

The finished article was really tame, but it started out as a steaming rant.

It’s hilarious to picture myself getting this overheated. Here are the opening paragraphs:

“The title of this column is ‘Residents Opinion’, so it is my duty to be outspoken.

“There is plenty of inspiration. Here on Golden Lane we’ve grown used to being treated as an afterthought by those in power.

“Of our nine elected representatives on Common Council, only one is ever seen talking to residents.

“And you wonder why they bother, since the City Corporation seems to have adopted a policy of Act First, Answer Questions Later.

“The idea to transform Beech Street tunnel into a Zero Emissions retail experience is a case in point. 

“No residents on Golden Lane were consulted before the grand, headline-grabbing announcement before Christmas.

“Only now that it has been shown that the problems of noise, pollution and the likelihood of road accidents will be shunted from Beech Street to Golden Lane, has the Corporation agreed to talk with residents.

“Talking first would have fuelled better decision-making, but when eight of the nine people we elected to do the talking for us are invisible, it’s no wonder the Corporation is quick to spot an open window of opportunity.”

The thing is, I stick by every word.

Read yesterday’s diary.