When the clocks go back and the cold creeps in, I often find myself retreating inside.
Winter is not a hospitable season for wheel-chair users.
I’m all for exhibiting some of the resilient British spirit that this country is known for, I just don’t much like freezing my arse of outside.
It’s not like much has really changed since before the accident, I’ve always found myself leading a more reclusive life during the winter months anyway.
Some people are ‘outdoors’ folk. They love to get out in the great wide open: hiking in the rain and slipping over in the mud. For these folks, the weather simply doesn’t affect them. They spend hundreds of pounds on puffer jackets and gilets, waterproof coats and rucksacks – so they can spend as long as possible outside, with big silly grins on their faces. These people enjoy a nice cup of tea, but they enjoy it most when they’re sipping from a tin cup perched on a rock in the middle of nowhere.
Just to reiterate – this is not my idea of a good time.
Despite the common conception of the working mechanic – I’m not what you’d describe as a man’s man. Yes, I fix cars for a living but I don’t get involved with the traditionally masculine aspects of the job.
As a happily married man of many years now, I don’t much hold with misogyny or cat-calling and the lads who work with me know that they’ll get short shrift from me if I catch them acting out. We run a tight ship in our workshop and I’m proud of the solid work ethic that we’ve managed to uphold over the last few years.
You might think that I get stick from some of the boys for taking such a hard line approach to this kind of behaviour, especially when I only work 20 hours a week, but I think they understand where I’m coming from. In reality, these young lads want to change the stereotype of the sexist mechanic as much as me. Most of them were born in the mid to late 90s, they’ve been brought up in middle class households who put a high value on morality – they understand what it means to be victimised and they don’t hold with it.