The Way We Roll

Oh Bristol, so much to answer for - Getting paid for disability advocacy & creating a safe place or exclusion?

December 23, 2021 Phil Friend & Simon Minty
The Way We Roll
Oh Bristol, so much to answer for - Getting paid for disability advocacy & creating a safe place or exclusion?
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Bristol recently advertised for a Commissioner for their Disability Equality Commission. You need skills and experience and be expected to be a spokesperson. Time commitment is up to seven working weeks a year. Salary, zero. How much do we value equalities work? What value do we give to different contributions? When should we get paid, and when is it voluntary? How do we value those who help achieve it?

There has been all-party support for some new play parks for disabled adults in Bristol again, coincidentally. So good news? Well, it might be, but why has this cropped up? A mum of a disabled adult said they were 'met with verbal abuse and complaints when using play areas in Bristol's parks. They want to create a safe, fun, accessible and life-changing disabled adult play park". Phil and Simon grapple with the conflict of why can't disabled adults play where everyone else does; why are those who are the abusers not being moved or educated? Is this a pragmatic and beneficial solution?

Geoff rocks up with his cultural pics: a book called Moving by Jenny Eclair and TV show Baron Noir, on Prime.

A bumper Listeners Corner with your brilliant emails and messages. We finish with a heartfelt Christmas message. See you next year and thank you for listening.


Bristol Disability Equality Commission

Playing Parks in Bristol 

Moving by Jenny Eclair book

Moving by Jenny Eclair audiobook

Baron Noir IMDB

Announcer  0:11  
This is The Way We Roll presented by Simon Minty and Phil Friend. You can email us at or just search for Minty and Friend on social media. We're on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Simon Minty  0:30  
Hello, and welcome to The Way We Roll with me Simon, Minty.

Phil Friend  0:34  
And me, Phil. Friend,

Simon Minty  0:35  
You may well be listening to this around the Christmas holidays time, in which case a very Merry Christmas or very merry, lovely time you're having I hope you're having a really good break. It's also when we're recording its International Day of Disabled People.

Phil Friend  0:51  
It most certainly is when did it start? 1980 something I don't know. No we had one in Britain in 1980. Am I doing anything? I actually am doing things I've been asked to do one or two presentations for smaller disability organizations. I'm really pleased to be doing that. Yes, 

Simon Minty  1:08  
Small people organizations?

Phil Friend  1:10  
No not small people. Mr Minty. No, it's all about you. 

Simon Minty  1:13  
It's my day actually?

Phil Friend  1:16  
Yes, I'm doing a major conference for small people. You weren't invited No, it's disability organizations, but they're sort of local or regional. It's nice to be asked.

Simon Minty  1:30  
Absolutely. Well, it is our busiest week of the year, isn't it? Suddenly, everyone really is on it 

Phil Friend  1:36  
The rest of the time I do nothing at all. 

Simon Minty  1:38  
We have debated this in previous shows. And whilst we do tease it a little bit. I think we're alright with it. And I think we know it has. It's a worldwide thing. That's the point. It has an international impact.

Phil Friend  1:50  
Yeah, it's an opportunity to party for some people. There'll be purpling all over the place. There's lots of purple going on

Simon Minty  1:59  
Yeah, I did an event yesterday and I ran out of purple things that were crappy old purple t shirt. I mean, I felt awful this is a proper corporate event.

Phil Friend  2:07  
Have you got any face paints? Couldnt you do a face paint purple something? Like, there used to be a song when I was a young man called the Purple People Eater. I don't know if he features or she features. It's not gender specific. The Purple People Eater

Simon Minty  2:24  
We'll have to drop that in. Okay, look that up people so I'm gonna go get all grumpy again.

Phil Friend  2:30  
Good man. Good man. 

Simon Minty  2:31  
A bit of Christmas cheer for you. This was a little it's about a month or so ago Sam Renke who has been on our show she's a disability rights person very glamorous person. This was posted fifth of October by Bristol City Council. I won't read it all because it's quite a long job spec. But the title is Commissioner Voluntary Post Bristol Disability Equality Commission. It's an exciting role for disabled persons who's got a strong personal interest in disability as an equality and human rights commission, you will be part of a high-level strategic group working to improve the lives of disabled people. You will lead the work of embedding disability equality in the city that's about the Commission. In this role, you'll bring knowledge of  Bristol's diverse community awareness of one issue impacting disabled people work for the team, be a spokesman for the commission, ensure that the work of the Commission reflects the community that should include all impairments. And it goes on into this role is voluntary. You'll be able to claim expenses, the time commitment is expected to be two to three days a month. You will get some training and support.

Phil Friend  3:48  
Free no money?

Simon Minty  3:51  
Sam posted it. And then I posted about someone who had approached me recently and sort of said, you know, we'll you'll get lots of profile or lots of exposure, and I stole that comedians line "you can die of exposure". Pay me! that is a big commitment. That's 36 days a year potentially that's six weeks of work seven weeks of, you know, working days, and there's no payment.

Phil Friend  4:16  
And, there's a bigger picture issue here, which is which you and I used to talk about when we worked closely together, which was to do with what you're bringing into the room. You know, in our case, your case, for example, you've been on the planet however many years it is you've been working in this field for 20 of them. They're getting that for free. That can't be right. They wouldn't do that with anybody else would they?

Simon Minty  4:45  
Your spokesperson you've got to go out and speak on behalf of this commission. It's very different to me from like a charity that you become a trustee and you bring your skills and you do this voluntarily. This is quite epic, and the fact that you've got to do all this stuff. This is a Bristol City Council commission, and they're not valuing the people that they're asking to give them their advice. I there may be, there may be something that we've missed. I mean, the events that I was asked to, I was asked to chair a conference on valuing employing disabled people. And I said, I'll do half rates, because I know you, you're a new organization to me, l I was getting to know them. And then they said, Well, we know we won't pay you, but we'll put you on social media. And I know I do need some payment. And I said, don't forget the title of this event is valuing disabled people in employment. You want me to chair this event, the way I'm looking, is I'm going to be the only person in the room that isn't getting paid. So all the panelists are getting paid, or the audience presumably doing their day jobs, or the tech crews to everyone else gets paid, except for the disabled person who is chairing the event. I had to say no,. So I don't know what's going on. Are we being devalued? Or is this always been the way what's happening? Well, it's,

Phil Friend  6:19  
it was something that was around when I started back in the 80s, when people would expect me to turn up for things to do it for nothing. And I wasn't alone. I mean, a lot of other. I mean, there were far fewer disabled people doing what we do back then. But it was still, they were amazed when you said Excuse me, how much is the budget for this? What?  Well, well, I mean, we rather thought you do this for nothing. Oh, really? Well, I'm terribly sorry to disappoint you. But that's not the way it is. I always make a judgment call when it's a charity for disabled people or being run by disabled people, I used to take a view that maybe I'll only charge expenses, that would be that, because there's a value in that too. You don't want to do everything for nothing. But generally speaking, as we both know, because we did it together, we charged the going rate for our consultancy skills and our ability to chair and all that stuff.

Simon Minty  7:13  
One is I totally agree, you know, huge international corporate might be one level, local authority, a county council, public sector might be a slightly different rate, and then your local disability or DPO, disabled persons organization. No, I'm going to do that because we arew part of the same group. But it's like the big corporates or the public sector are playing into that disability thing as though we're doing this for the common good, which we are, but they have got budgets and money, they're not valuing the experts, they're bringing in

Phil Friend  7:44  
I'm prepared as we always were prepared to look at a local authority differently from a corporate, you know, and you would say, we have a different rate for the local council. And we know that local authorities particularly now have been put through the wringer because of COVID and all the rest of it. So let's accept that Bristol, you know, is strapped for cash. Fine. Okay, then don't pay anybody else.  Ask them all to do it for nothing. The point is, it's about what value they're placing on disabled persons skills. That's what it's about. Now, in your case, someone like you very, very much at the moment, you know, doing all sorts of stuff, regarded highly by all sorts of people, has a good reputation to do all sorts of bits of consultancy and all those kinds of bits of work. And here's somebody saying, we'd love to have you, but we're not going to pay you for

Simon Minty  8:39  
Skills and time. I go back to potentially 36 days a year, which in working time, is seven times 5 =35, seven weeks.

Phil Friend  8:51  
And what would you expect to earn? That's the other thing, you got a business to run. So you know, you're going to give up 35 days income, and how you're going to make that up by charging everybody else more. Well, thank you very much. It's a pity come on Bristol, you can do better than that. And Bristol used to have I remember Bristol Council back in the 80s and 90s pioneering stuff around disability they had some really exciting programs around disability stuff.

Simon Minty  9:18  
And just as aside one, I got sent a job spec for an energy company and they said, We want you to be on a panel. It's about customers. I sent you a text message about it. We expect potentially two days a month. And I think it's something like 13,000 pounds a year. And I'm like, that's how you do it. That is valuing you respecting you. It's not crazy money, but it's a really nice, what's the word? It's, everything is quite right about that.

Phil Friend  9:49  
Yeah, you're you're gonna be able to do it without having to put other things at risk. And you know, yeah, well, okay.

Announcer  9:58  
if you enjoy The Way We Roll please do like and subscribe.

Simon Minty  10:02  
New topic, Abby. We're gonna carry on with Bristol. What's happening in Bristol now, Phil? 

Phil Friend  10:11  
Honestly, that's a very good I haven't spotted the seamless link there Mr Minty. This is why you're so good at what you do and why you deserve to be paid.

Simon Minty  10:19  
I'm not getting paid a bean for this it costs us! .

Phil Friend  10:23  
Why don't we do it the other way around. I'll pay you if you pay me like it. You see what I'm saying? Yeah. Okay, Bristol,

Simon Minty  10:30  
I do really like that idea. I just feel slightly better about we won't be any better off but you and I pay each other?

Phil Friend  10:40  
Well, in a sense, we do because we share the expenses, I have to do a reconciliation with you over some things, you do it the other way around. So you know,

Simon Minty  10:48  
 it all goes out nothing comes in anyway 

Phil Friend  10:50  
People's Republic of Podcasting. Right now then this is a this is a slightly more serious issue actually, in some ways not not that the last conversation wasn't serious. Parents, a parent in particular in Bristol has a very severely learning disabled adult son. And she and other people in a very similar position, ie other parents with very severely disabled learning disabled, specifically learning disabled, that they may have other physical impairments to became very concerned about the fact that in public, their adult children were being bullied or, or vulnerable to abuse, verbal, primarily abuse. And this led them to think about where are the safe spaces for people with these sorts of impairments, and concluded there weren't any. So we have adventure playgrounds and playgrounds for children. But we don't have a safe playground for adults with severe learning disabilities in this particular case. And so they came, they campaigned for it and got 53,000 signatures on petitions and so on. And Bristol City Council are going to pursue this and see if they can help provide a facility for people affected by this kind of situation. So I read that. And I thought, yeah, this is interesting. And here we go, again, people being scapegoated and bullied and all that kind of thing. And it has to be said that some of these adults clearly behave in ways which are unusual for adults, you know, this should be so a safe space make sense? And then I thought, but the people with the learning disabilities aren't the problem. It's the people doing the bullying.  And I thought integration, and I thought, why should we all be put away somewhere because other people don't like to seeing us kind of thing. Don't get me wrong, I think what the this is a real difficult one. The parents are really very upset about what's been happening to their young, young adult children. And wanting to do something about that. And this seemed to be a good idea, but on a kind of more philosophical Disability Rights level. It left me feeling uncomfortable. What do you think Simon? What's your take?

Simon Minty  13:22  
I'm with you, you could argue this a little bit both ways. But I have got a fundamental issue that why could the person not go to the same playground as everybody else and just get on with it? That's the sort of fundamental base point. Let me clarify for the sake of being weird. Is it the other people don't like seeing them? Or is it actually they just other people are bullying them? I mean, I know they're the same. But

Phil Friend  13:49  
I think it's hard to know about the first one ie are they seeing them? I suspect there will be some of that, but no, I think it's more likely that they were name called and they were there with verbal abuse and various things of that sort, which the parents clearly were very worried about.

Simon Minty  14:04  
So it's not the other parents going I don't like your child being around my child. This is other people

Phil Friend  14:10  
Not as far as I can understand. So I'm bordering on the kind of hate crime. Yeah, you know,

Simon Minty  14:18  
And that's the bit for me, I want to move the thugs and the teasers out, they have to go to their own one is that classic bit you know, you're on an aeroplane and someone sits next to someone with a learning disability and that person says, Excuse me, I don't want to sit here next to that person. They go okay, we're gonna move you to economy. It Oh, no, I you know, it's like, you have to move because you're the problem, not the other person. So I'm sort of with you. Now, the problem we got with that is well meaning parents who are going I don't want my child to be put in the middle of this and so their intention is absolutely spot on. It's about you said it a safe space where they can Just get on that I also think of conventions, so I get to hang out with all my short people. That's a safe space. You know, we know there's not gonna be any grief or bullying, actually, I need to qualify that, that will still happen. But it generally doesn't happen on the basis of being short. So they're unsafe, but but I don't wanna spend my whole life there. So what happens when the learning disabled kids leave that playground and go back to life?

Phil Friend  15:24  
The other side of this story, which I'm interested in, and there's no there's no clues in the piece, is who's speaking for the learning disabled adults? Now, I have to tread very carefully here, because I'm a big fan of carers. I'm a big fan of people who support us. But I'm not a big fan of them talking for us. And I know that with severe learning impairments, it is difficult sometimes for people to express their point of view or their will. And parents do know their kids, there's no doubt that, you know, I think I know my kids pretty well. So I feel reasonably confident that I could express an opinion about what might happen to them. But there is that line to in this story about where is People First, for example, where are the learning disability charities, voluntary groups, DPO's? Are they working alongside this to see Do you know what I mean? To see if there's another solution, 

Simon Minty  16:21  
of course, and you think the other solution is People First come and do a lot of training with the the people who are taking the mickey or being horrible bullies and get them steer them on the right path? I got two quick points. One, it reminds me of the old line oppression of kindness, where parents aren't doing good things. But actually, it could be slightly oppressive because it means I'm booted out to another place. And that's not the intention. What about the we call it Relaxed Performances at the theatre. So people with some sort of learning difficulty or involuntary noise or whatever it may be? They go to the theatre on this day, because if they go on the other days, it could cause disruption to the rest of the theatre. Now, this is very contentious and very difficult. At the moment, our stop gap is relaxed performance. Anyone can go do whatever you want to do. But the balance there is. But what if I can't go on that date? So I'm trying to work out on this one? Did the people with the learning difficulties, are they causing any disruption? Or are they literally just the victims of bullying?

Phil Friend  17:27  
I suspect that there will be some behaviors which are unusual from adults in the normal round of things. So I think these young adults with their learning disabilities might get very excited about something might, you know, make lots of noises? I don't I don't know, Simon, if I'm really honest. But you know, my experience tells me that that is a possibility that learning disabled people like this might well be making, but the sheer fun of being out of doors and going on something.

Simon Minty  17:56  
I mean, I need to correct myself as well. Because watching a serious piece of theatre, where you need to concentrate is very different from being in a kid's playground. That is where you're meant to make lots of noise

Phil Friend  18:06  
And of course kids it. You said it's a kid's playground. Yeah, it's not a grown ups playground. And although these are grown ups, they are functioning in ways that might be childlike in some regards. But to present them with their own playground, seemed to me to be a bit of a step too far. Could we find other ways of doing it? But I have no as usual with these things, I have no answer.

Simon Minty  18:31  
Is it? Is it optional. I can go to my playground and know that it will be stress free. Also, we were assuming that all learning disabled people don't bully each other. I mean, that could happen.

Phil Friend  18:44  
Yeah, I was a special school. I remember being the bully. Absolutely horrible. 

Simon Minty  18:48  
There are those learning disabled gangs on gangs, crimes that we've got to sort out. So I mean, maybe that could still happen. If it's optional, so I can go there. Or I can go to the, you know, publicly open one.

Phil Friend  19:01  
Yeah, it's for me, it's about and I feel for the parents, because the real issue here are the name callers, bullies and so on. But in order to change them, we've got to spend years we have been spending years and the journey goes on. Maybe what we need is Bristol Council who don't like spending money on things like disability consultants. So here we go. Here's some free advice Bristol Council, we're not charging for this. Perhaps they could have patrols around certain areas of play, or when learning you know where they would they would pick up on I mean, I said hate crime earlier. And I'm not joking about it if that you know, there's a line here. And so to offer more protection to the families that want to go and in quotes play. We should heighten patrols at certain times of the day maybe or something like that. 

Simon Minty  19:54  
Again, can we use different words just like supervision, patrol sounds like dogs and guns and guards and stuff. I mean, just a bit of supervision. Is that what you're saying?

Phil Friend  20:04  
No, the community needs to be arrested and charged. Alright, I'll change the word patrol I believe policing policing

Simon Minty  20:12  
And maybe snipers we can have some sniper rifles. Yeah. Positioned on the roof tops.

Phil Friend  20:18  
You're going a little far now.

Simon Minty  20:20  
Well I take your point and I can see this is awkward I'm also it's a little bit what phrase I'm looking for here. It is amazing. It's still kicking about you want the world to be a little bit better and smarter all these years later and yet still, we've got this level of bullying or intimidation it's horrible.

Phil Friend  20:46  
I applaud the families for trying to do something about this and the idea seems I just it just echoed a bit. I felt uncomfortable after I'd read it and I feel for them because it's not their fault. They're not the people that we should be looking at is bad anyway. Okay. Thank you for your thoughts on that Mr. Minty gratefully received.

Announcer  21:07  
Thank you for listening to The Way We Roll with Simon Minty and Phil Friend. If you enjoy the show, don't forget to subscribe, rate and share.

Simon Minty  21:15  
So Parking?

Phil Friend  21:18  
Yeah, I had a I went away for a night and two days, which was brilliant. Actually, I haven't done it since COVID. And it worked very well from the point of view of the conference and all that stuff. But I had the usual hassles. It's been two years since I parked my car in a car park a proper carpark and here we go This was in Birmingham good old NCP. I'm going to name check NCP stands for National car parks. Parking not a problem loads of disabled parking bays. parked the car got out no problem first thing. Door very heavy door, which would not open because it was jammed.

Simon Minty  21:57  
To leave the carpark? 

Phil Friend  21:59  
Yeah, so I'm gonna think I'm on level three or something got to get to level one or ground. The first part of that process is to go through this door. What they're very conveniently done is stick a ramp on either side of the door. So and by the way, I have got, a wheelie, suitcase. Yeah, just imagine the scene. You're in a powered wheelchair, you've got a wheelie thing and you got to negotiate up a ramp through a door that stuck on the other side. So I did it. I managed it. I mean, God knows our managed it, but I got through it.

Simon Minty  22:35  
Can I ask is it just a straight ramp? Or did it have slopes? Either side? Because if it's straight ramp, your suitcase falls off. If it's sloped on either side, it rolls away. How did you have to put it in front of you? 

Phil Friend  22:46  
Yeah and it sloped either way. So as soon as I went through the door, and I let that suitcase go because I had to get shot out and disappeared. And then I realized that if I turn right and my goodness me, there wasn't much room. I went down the stairs was a flight of stairs immediately to the right. So there's the lift. The lift is minute for me in my chair and a tight, you know, suitcase. But I somehow got in that then I got out only to find that I couldn't open the door because you needed a QR code which didn't work, I'd got it on my phone. That didn't work. Somebody came in as I was going out. So I got out the car park scanned my QR code didn't work, went off to the conference had a very nice time came back couldn't get back in the car park. Me and three other guys in our trapped outside, none of their cards worked. They all had different cards and phone apps and whatever. None of it worked. So we get on to control a nice person said yes, I'll check this. I've got to check first. In the meantime, someone came out the door. So all three of us went straight in and then of course  you have to pay so but some of the it was two things going on for me. One was disability specific. How are you supposed to travel independently in a wheelchair, when the doors are so heavy and not automatic when you've got ramps in all the wrong places. And then there's the everybody is disabled by the technology. None of it bloody worked. And it's all very Wizzy and I'm very impressed with QR codes when they work when they don't work. So I just thought a deaf person. What do they do in that situation? Because they can't communicate with this voice you can't hear it. Anyway. Thank you for listening.

Simon Minty  24:41  
No, get it off your chest man. You know what I'm going to ask you. I totally agree that arrival and that process. I went to a hotel in Manchester and they had disabled bays outside the front door. And there was five with them, and it was really obvious. And then the doors are automatic. And that's what you want. It was a joy. Yeah, but that arrival is critical, isn't it? Because it sets you off. And it sounds like yours was miserable.

Phil Friend  25:09  
And also, you know, you've just had a long drive. It's like you're trying to so you know, everybody gets a little bit stressed when they got a check in hotels and all that other stuff that comes with traveling around but the car park did not help.

Simon Minty  25:24  
Have you written to NCP?

Phil Friend  25:26  

Simon Minty  25:27  
Are you going to

Phil Friend  25:28  
No well, because this show, is listened to across the world. And I know that the listeners the 1000s and 1000s of listeners that we have, will be making their feelings known to NCP carparks I know there will be I trust the listener

Simon Minty  25:47  
I have a feeling you will be at the NCP Christmas conference as a keynote speaker. And they'll put ramps that are slippery and slidy all on the stage so you can't get up if

Phil Friend  25:58  
There'll be dartboards going up all over NCP offices with my effigy on

Simon Minty  26:03  
we have got your side sir, but you need a QR code Of for goodness sake.. 

Phil Friend  26:13  
It was nice to go away though. I did. I mean, I did have some apprehensions about doing all of that. And of course, as we speak, listener, we've now got the new variant. COVID hitting town and masks are being worn again. All that stuff.

Simon Minty  26:28  
Okay, I'm gonna go personal though. In COVID. Wasn't that good? This was you going? Can I still do this? 

Phil Friend  26:34  
Yes, absolutely. No, good point. Good point

Simon Minty  26:36  
How did it feel?

Phil Friend  26:36  
I could do it, but it was dodgy. dodgy. Yeah. In the two years that I haven't traveled. I've obviously lost some more strength  so some things were a bit difficult, but it was okay. It was lovely to be with people that bit I really liked.

Simon Minty  26:49  
What about confidence?

Phil Friend  26:57  
In what sense? 

Simon Minty  26:58  
Well, I always think it's a double it's physical capability, but it's also confidence to do it as well were you fine on or just about, okay, on both those and think you're not as old as my parents, but my parents could drive but they're losing a little bit confidence about it.

Phil Friend  27:12  
Yeah, the traveling and all that stuff was not an issue. The issue for me is can I manage in the hotel? The bedroom bathroom scenarios. I'm just worried the confidence for me is about falling. It's about having an accident and not being able to cope with that. So at home you know, like you at home and your parents you know, at home everything set up for you. So it's all it works, but I managed it okay, and I will do it again. It didn't I did say to Sue when I got back that I'm beginning to recognize if I'm going to do some of that stuff, she might have to come with me. And that really filled her with joy!

Simon Minty  27:54  
I'm trying to think Jen used to come with me to some stuff but it was because we'd go to an interesting place and then she'd go out for the day.

Phil Friend  28:01  
Yeah, and that's what Sue's done that once or twice with me because we're going somewhere nice. He just wants to Edinburgh Yeah, who wouldn't want to go to Edinburgh for example? So yeah, well then we will see how we get on. I think the world has moved on a bit hasn't it? We're doing lots of this now the Zoom stuff and and so on, but it was what was most lovely was to be with people that I've Zoomed with for two years and see them all again and just be in their company really it was good.

Announcer  28:31  
You're listening to The Way We Roll with Simon Minty and Phil Friend. If you like what you hear, please leave us a review or search for us on social media.

Phil Friend  28:40  
As always, well not as always because sometimes we don't have him but we have got Geoff Adams Spink with us today to do what he normally does, which is enlighten us and educate us and give us something worth watching. Christmas isn't far off, Geoff. So perhaps there's something in your sack that you want us to pay a bit of attention to?

Geoff Spink  29:02  
Well, yes, and I have to say by the time this podcast is in the public domain, my name would have changed from Adam Spink back to Spink. I got hitched with Caroline Adams in 1997. We got divorced in 2004. Here's the soap opera of my life. And when I married my lovely wife Dawn in July, we decided we will both be called simple Spink. So I'm changing mine back from Adam Spink to Spink by deed poll. So that's done on our Now Geoff Spink.

Phil Friend  29:33  
So that comes as a relief to both of us because we always put the SS in the wrong place. That would be Geoff as you so you are Geoff Adams Spink at the moment, but will soon be Geoff Spink.

Geoff Spink  29:48  
I'll be Geoff Spink by the time your listeners listen to this podcast,

Phil Friend  29:51  
Brilliant Okay, So what's in your sack? 

Geoff Spink  29:56  
Well, I mean, Christmas is a family time as we know For many, and that can be a mixed blessing. Sometimes it's great to get together sometimes, you know, Uncle Fred snores in the corner and makes a bit of a fool of himself having had too many whiskeys or whatever it is, and all the old tensions come out about that Cortina he crashed in 1973 didn't pay for all that stuff. But if you want a really good family saga, I want to recommend a book called Moving by Jenny Eclair. Now Jenny Eclair I've already given her a plug on a previous episode of the way we roll for her little lifetimes, broadcasts that were on the BBC. And this is a great book that I started to read and think, okay, it starts with a 70 something lady wandering around her house, obviously desperately lonely. And as she moves from room to room, because she's about to sell it, all the memories of life in that house come flooding back and you think, okay, it's a sort of Alan Bennett type, lonely old lady type saga. And that's where it's going. But no, Jenny Eclair isn't happy with that. So she we tell Edwina, the the lady's story. And she tells us of all the family tragedies. And, you know, she hints at the fact that she's no longer in touch with either of her twins, the children that she had, and she had a desperately sad relationship with her stepson, Lucas. But we don't quite find out why. And then the narrative completely shifts to a young girl studying drama in Manchester in the 1980s. And she is sort of tangentially linked to it Edwiners family so we get to hear the story from another end. And actually, this this new narrator, Fern, is having a relationship with Edwina's son, Charlie. And then finally, when we've heard Fern story and Charlie's story, and I won't give away the ending, because it's, you know, that's not the way we do things here on the way we roll with it. No spoilers. But finally, another narrator takes over. And that's Lucas, the stepson, who is a pretty nasty character, and Edwina never got on with him when he was a child. He never liked her kids, she never really liked him, but she tried her best to, to, you know, to be good to him. And we come to him when he's in his mid 50s, a bit corpulent, you know, a bit, a bit jaded and a bit fed up with the world. And I again, don't want to spoil the ending, but there is, shall we say, a glimmer of hope and redemption at the end of the book. And it all weaves together incredibly well. And it tells you exactly, you know, why families stick together and why they repel, like, you know, same poles of the magnet in some points, and how these things how these small things in life can intersect and collide. And cause sometimes seismic shifts in the way family dynamics work.

Simon Minty  33:07  
Thank you, Geoff.

Geoff Spink  33:09  
Being Jenny Eclaire. It's all done with with great panache

Simon Minty  33:12  
I know you're a big fan of Jenny, Eclaire. The question of the Moving in the title. Is that, is Edwina moving? Or what? Where's that come from?

Geoff Spink  33:23  
Yeah, Edwina is moving house. So so she she's going around her house, she's actually going around with a young man from the local estate agents. And while she's talking to him, she gets lost in a reverie of, you know, oh, this is where my kids used to do their colouring. And this is where I have my first row with my second husband. And it's, it's, it's a cracking yarn, and it's very, very, very listenable or readable,

Phil Friend  33:50  
And what's the investment of time, Geoff, the audiobook for that I was asked the same question of you don't I, how long is the audio?

Geoff Spink  33:57  
I think it's 11 hours or something of that of that ilk I'd say if it was a paperback, you'd be looking at a couple of 100 pages, maybe a bit, the fat end of 200 pages, but it's I would say it's a great book to sit down with over Christmas with a glass of something nice. Whatever you consider nice and you know, to put put your noise cancelling headphones on and drown out the din from the telly and, and the family argument.

Simon Minty  34:24  
Okay, that's Jenny Eclair and Moving and your second cultural recommendation.

Geoff Spink  34:29  
My second cultural recommendation is French this time, it's called Baron Noir in the Black Baron. And it's well the Guardian describes it as House of Cards meets the Sopranos. It's a brilliant tale of political skullduggery maneuvering. It centers on a larger than life character played by a French Algerian actor who's who's got huge, huge presence and who has massive charisma and who is avowedly left wing but who gradually gets consumed by this thirst for power, it goes over three seasons. And the things he gets up to, you know that he is pretty rotten to his friends, let alone his political enemies. And he's prepared to break all the rules for what he sees as the right reasons. But as, as the series progresses, those reasons become in the end, pretty self serving. Now, there's an awful lot I have to say of, you know, French, French political jargon in there. But I think it gets lifted beyond that by the performances of the actors and the the sheer scale of the drama. I mean, I would say it's up there with things like Succession with must say, with Breaking Bad. It's it's really drama on a grand scale. And this Baron Noir does in the end, or shall we say, achieve something quite incredible in terms of his own political ambitions.

Phil Friend  36:01  
But I'm genuinely interested in what it is that attracts cos I'm like you I love French films. Subtitling never bothers me. There's something rather magical about a French film, wdo you have any view on what that is? 

Geoff Spink  36:16  
Yeah, because I think I fell in love with French cinema when I was learning French at school. And, you know, the BBC used to show French movies, the sort of the new wave of French movies, which, you know, to a 15/16 year old, were great because they showed like lots of naked lots of naked ladies. I think French TV and film production doesn't shy away from gritty realism. And it doesn't have to have a happy ending. So I think there's a sort of, let's, let's get the audience and really shake them up a bit. I think that's that's their mentality. Let's make people think a bit. Let's, let's let's get people out of their comfort zone.

Simon Minty  36:56  
My question is, you said Succession, Sopranos? I mean, this is high praise. Is it that good?

Geoff Spink  37:04  
It really is that good? It really is that good. And it's got elements of slight farce as well. At one point, he thinks that he knows that the anti fraud squad are coming after him. And he's massively quickly trying to sell stuff from his house, just so he's got enough cash to put back in the bank to pay to pay back the slush fund that he created from a public housing project to finance a political campaign. You know, there are moments of great sort of humor as well. Sort of a bit like The Thick of It if you remember the Armando Iannucci series

Simon Minty  37:41  
where do we find this Baron Noir? 

Geoff Spink  37:44  
Well, you'll be pleased to know it's not on Now TV Simon it's it's on Amazon Prime. That's the good news. The bad news is it's not if you're an Amazon Prime member, it's not included in your membership you have to buy it. okay. It's well worth it. It's well well worth it.

Simon Minty  38:05  
I think you've watched everything on Netflix and Prime. So now you're just going to stuff you've got to pay for that's what we're getting, isn't it?

Geoff Spink  38:13  
What I'm what I'm trying to do is, is do the whole of Prime the whole of Now TV and the whole of Netflix, so I can say Yeah, watched that. Yeah, watched that. Yeah, watched that.

Phil Friend  38:24  
Well, I think I mean, that's good. Because if you just want to spend Christmas relatively quickly that sounds like Jenny Eclairs book Moving. And if you want to chill out for the whole of the holiday. See nobody. Then you get involved in Baron Noir. What was the actual title?

Geoff Spink  38:44  
Baron Noir

Simon Minty  38:47  
Final question for you Geoff your best Christmas movie what should be watching? What's your classic?

Geoff Spink  38:55  
My go to Christmas movie. I don't think it ever gets better than the Great Escape. O

Simon Minty  38:59  
Oh, that's, that's shown at Christmas. But it's not a Christmas themed movie is it?

Geoff Spink  39:05  
Not exactly you know, full of comfort and joy. But every time it's on, I cannot help but watch it. I know how it ends. Everybody knows how it ends. Doesn't matter.

Phil Friend  39:17  
Geoff as always. Well, we have to wish you a very happy time over the Christmas period. 

Simon Minty  39:23  
Thank you, Geoff.

Phil Friend  39:25  
Thank you very much, Geoff. And have a lovely time

Geoff Spink  39:27  
and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and all the listeners. Thank

Simon Minty  39:30  
See you next year.  Listeners, we are going to Listeners Corner and we've had two out of the last three podcasts the one we did on ableism with Professor Campbell and the one we did on chronic illness and long term health conditions with three guests have gone through the roof. They've been our most popular shows and inevitably that means we get more contact. So thank you for getting in contact One of them Phil, you will not believe this there was a person called or their Instagram title is This thing they call Recovery. And this individual has got a big following. Now, I think it's a she forgive me if it's not, but she posted it. And we suddenly got 60 new followers on Instagram, all of which seems to be 30 year old women with chronic health conditions. So welcome to all of you, I am thrilled that you've come and started listening. So this thing that we call recovery Instagram, the person said, I recently listened to a podcast by The Way We Roll that discuss the interwoven complexities of chronic illness and disability. In it, Catherine, a founder of chronic illness inclusion mentioned how long it can take for someone with a chronic illness, to identify as disabled, or to feel disabled enough to use the term. This individual does a huge it's a lovely text about how she was working it all out how long it took, just jumping to the end, I am disabled, and I use the word because I can, it helps me legally to fight what I do for what I deserve. Because it's a gateway to a supportive community full of diverse individuals. I use the word because it sums up my experience. I use it because I am. It took me a long time to feel I can say that. Now I say it without question. And I don't doubt myself. So thank you. I did ask if they would do a little audio but we didn't quite get it. But um, I don't know. I was just chuffed. It was lovely to see that. So thank you this thing we they call recovery. It was a really lovely comment. And I'm so glad you got something out the podcast.

Phil Friend  41:40  
And I I'm pleased because we don't actually have an Instagram presence. Do we really? We're not sort of Instagramming that much 

Simon Minty  41:47  
we do. 

Phil Friend  41:48  
Yeah, but not it's not a it's not. So I don't it's not in our address when we do our little thing about you know, Phil and Simon, whatever.

Simon Minty  41:57  
Yeah, I'm being pernikity. We do have a presence. It's just that we it's not the number one thing to go to, but it is now with all our new followers. Thanks everybody

Phil Friend  42:08  
Yeah we're on Instagram all the time. I've got a I've got a correspondent from Natalie, Natalie Illsley. And Natalie  I'm sure this is connecting to again, the energy limiting conditions conversations we were having. And in that somewhere, we did talk about palliative care. I can't quite remember how that arose. But Natalie picks up on that. And she says in her email to us. You said in the episode that there are painkillers that eliminate pain for people who are in palliative care. There are some people like me, who are genetically predisposed to have horrible hallucinations in response to opiates. The hallucinations are as bad as the pain. People like me may want the choice to end our lives if the end of life is near and we are in extreme pain and there is no way to relieve that pain. And that links to the podcast we've just released where we talk about assisted suicide and so I think in the conversation we were having pain of course is hugely distracting, very difficult to do things when you're in enormous amounts of pain. And the use of modern medicines can do an awful lot for that was the point I think we were making but Natalie points out there's always some groups or some individuals where that isn't going to work. So Thank you Natalie for pointing that out. And bringing that to our attention and for taking the trouble to write to us that was very, very kind of you

Simon Minty  43:38  
it seriously Natalie, we adore people who correct us as well. Is we you know we spout our stuff and and we don't get it right. And there's stuff that we have to guess or assume. I mean, I agree. Natalie's right. You know we can take painkillers, but doesn't mean say that all the pains gone or we can't always take certain things. But it's lovely to hear

Phil Friend  43:57  
And there are people who have a genuine. You know, we know there are lots of people that show a genuine, genuine fear about taking medications. They don't want to do it. They just want to try and manage it in other ways. As we heard on the conversation with our three guests,

Simon Minty  44:11  
As a slight digression. You reminded me I've been having some pain on my other hip the non replaced one. And I just pop ibuprofen or paracetamol, like they're Smarties. I mean I I've got to watch this cuz it's very easy to start, you know, suddenly you're on 8 day and it's all like that and I'm thinking but it's so lovely I take them and then half an hour later, some of that pain is gone. And this is, you know, lightweight paracetamol. But thank you very much for those of you who've contacted us is adorable and lovely, too. Why do I say adorable it's lovely to hear from you. And we're on Facebook, we are on Twitter. We are also on Instagram, as you now know with all our new followers and we've got an email address.

Phil Friend  44:59  
We have and its the, you try every time to catch me out don't you and nearly managed it.

Simon Minty  45:07  
And the irony is I've forgotten our email address if Phil didn't know it will be stuck but yeah, drop us a line put us on the straight and narrow come up with ideas whatever you want to drop a line get off your chest we always welcome that. So thank you

Phil Friend  45:22  
We're nearly at the end but of course at this festive time does feel a bit early ish to be saying festive time but we're not far off are we?

Simon Minty  45:31  
Well don't forget. We're recording a bit earlier but they may be listening nearer the time.

Phil Friend  45:36  
They could be eating their Christmas pud. 

Simon Minty  45:38  
I think they're in the bath Christmas morning getting ready for their big day. If you don't do Christmas, whatever your afternoon

Phil Friend  45:45  
Dare I mention Paul Nihill. He will be in the bath won't he Paul, Paul, are you in the bath? I was just gonna say I just got this image now listeners. Oh, no, I mean, Christmas. Let's hope it (Simon starts singing) No, no

Without any tears doubt. So this is Christmas.

Blimey. Complaints will fly in on Instagram, we'll have 70 people signing off. No I was just going to say let's hope Christmas doesn't get you know, wrecked by what's happening at the moment. So we're we're guessing that Christmas is safe. And that you're all gonna have a lovely time with your families or doing whatever it is you do at Christmas, whatever that might be. Just put your feet up and watching terrible Telly

Simon Minty  46:38  
is it wrong of me to say but if there is another lockdown between now and then that means people are more likely to listen to our podcast.

Phil Friend  46:45  
Well, there you go. There are some good things.

Simon Minty  46:49  
I mean, if this is your Christmas Day, thank you so much for listening. Now go outside. 

Phil Friend  46:55  
God you must be bored 

Simon Minty  46:56  
Get a little bit of air and have a little wander that always makes me feel better. There will be people Christmas is a bit miserable. And I totally get that I have those little moments as well. It's a funny old time It always feels like a lot of pressure. So if you are one of them, I hope you can just chill out like Phil said, Put your feet up. Whenever I get it. It's just it's just another day in two days. It's moved on. We've all moved on to other stuff. So we hope you're having a lovely calm content peaceful time wherever you're doing.

Phil Friend  47:25  
Agreed. That's exactly what it should be about. So anyway, thank you for listening to us all this year. If you have been and let's hope that next year we can continue to have you as part of our little group it would be nice to keep in touch. See you soon.

Simon Minty  47:42  
100% Thank you very much for listening.

Announcer  47:46  
This is The Way We Roll presented by Simon Minty and Phil Friend. You can email us at or just search for minty and friend on social media. We're on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Transcribed by

Would You Work for Nothing?
Protection or Segregation?
Car Parks and Access
Cultural Corner with Geoff Spink
Listener's Corner