The Way We Roll

When I said, ‘Stop the world, I want to get off' I didn’t mean this!

December 24, 2020 Season 2
The Way We Roll
When I said, ‘Stop the world, I want to get off' I didn’t mean this!
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome to our final show of 2020. Never missing a controversy, we start the show asking if Covid 19 and the move to home working, gave disabled employees an unfair advantage if employers prioritise and pay for their adjustments and not those of non-disabled colleagues.

Ex-BBC TV maker, Emma West wrote an article asking “Where are we now in terms of representation of disability in popular culture?” We discuss her article and the topic, wondering if this year it has got better. We explore whether quoting the 13+m disabled people in the UK is a useful tool here? 

We round off by considering three positives from this year: something we enjoyed, something we don’t miss, something we’ve done and how we have felt. Yep, we do feelings on The Way We Roll. 


Getting adjustments at home isn’t that easy

Representation of disability in popular culture in 2020 – where are we now?

Emma West

The Disability Paradox BBC4 Television

Moodflow app

My Fitness Pal for calorie counting 

Did you know… we have a YouTube channel? There’s clips edited from the podcast but worthy of keeping. Plus funny moments with guests. And a review of Netflix Crip Camp. Do take a look.

The Way We Roll YouTube Channel 

Have Zoom calls meant we’ve finally stopped using the landline phone? 

Crip Camp review with Phil & Simon

One last thing, Simon and the comedians from Abnormally Funny People will be performing on Sunday 17th January 2021 Zoom so Covid safe and to everywhere you are. It's an amazing line up and will be a fun, celebratory show. Tickets £10 & £5. Click to Southbank Centre to find out more. 

Announcer  0:00  
This is The Way We Roll with Simon Minty and Phil Friend.

Simon Minty  0:13  
Hello, and welcome to the way we roll with me Simon Minty. 

Phil Friend  0:18  
And me Phil Friend. 

Simon Minty  0:19  
(Singing) It's Christmas time mistletoe and wine. Yeah, okay. It's probably Christmas when you're listening to this or maybe a new year, or of course, you will be celebrating lots of other things. We hope you're having a lovely time, whatever that may be. And we do feel for you if you're not with your family this year. 

Phil Friend  0:41  
Yes, like me, for example, 

Simon Minty  0:43  
What's happening? 

Phil Friend  0:44  
Yeah, no, it's not gonna be easy is it? My family aren't going to be around, they're going to be doing stuff together. But we, because of our age, and all that stuff that our favourite listener knows all about we're gonna be we're doing jigsaw puzzles and crosswords for Christmas, and a little small joint. I don't mean when you smoke. I mean, I mean, instead of a big Turkey. I mean, the little. Anyway, it'll be fine. We'll sort it out. 

Simon Minty  1:11  
Right, let's crack on with our first subject. I actually got this from our friend Susan Scott Parker, she's feeding us a lot of good topics. I've also been speaking to a couple of organisations that this has become a real issue. Here's the question, has COVID created a situation where having a disability creates an unfair advantage, as employers refuse to pay for remote working equipment unless you have a disability? So the essence of this is, you're the disabled person working at home law says you need adjustments wherever you are, let get back in. But there's 95% of the staff who may not get any kit at all because they don't have a disability. This is gone. It's gone too far, hasn't it? Phil, disability has gone too far.

Phil Friend  1:58  
No, no, no, there's a serious point here, which is, it's a very interesting example of where the law provides protection for one group but not for the other. So for example, if the employer refused to make an adjustment for me or you, we have rights to do something about that through the tribunal system. If a non-disabled person isn't in this case, as you've, you know, outlined it able to get the equipment they need, they have no rights to go back and say, because a non-disabled person can't claim they're being discriminated against because they're not disabled. Yeah. So that's the first point. The second point, though, is, I think, is far more interesting, which is, why would any employer not give their staff the equipment they need to be as effective as possible? It's one that you and I use when we're talking about ourselves, you know if you don't give me a screen reader, and I'm blind, then don't expect me to be very efficient. Why would a non-disabled person not be given what they need? That doesn't make any sense to me at all? 

Simon Minty  1:59  
Okay, well, let's everything so when lockdown one happened, suddenly we're all bundling out the office, we didn't know what was going on, and how long it's going to be. And you're saying organisations should be spending 1000s upon 1000s of pounds on kit and making sure Wi-Fi and chairs and, footrest and they might be at home for a couple of weeks. So they've got to spend a fortune, there are budgets, Phil budgets? 

Phil Friend  3:29  
Well, I love the way you kind of take that and expand it right out to all these things. Very often, the things that you just outlined the person has already, they don't they sit, they have a chair at home, they're not asking for another one. I do think there is an important point though, which we know that the Health and Safety at Work Act makes the employer liable for people who work from home, you know, they've got to check that they're safe, and so on. And we've talked on this show before about the loneliness factor and sitting in a shoe cupboard to try and do Zoom calls if you live in a little flat on the top of a tower block or something. So there are issues of that sort. But I go back to effectiveness. Does the employer want me to be effective or not? 

Simon Minty  4:11  
You're answering a different question? The question 

Phil Friend  4:15  
I always do that. 

Simon Minty  4:15  
Yeah. And I obviously a being devil's advocate just in case someone's listening thinking Blimey, Minty's gone really bad. But the question is, everyone bundles home the law would say focus on the 3% 5% you have a disability that leads to the kit. They're your priority because of the law, and they've got protection, don't worry about everybody else so is it right that an organisation should be focusing on the 5% that need extra or additional adjustments. And then 95% well, perhaps they're unproductive. Maybe this company is going to go bust while they kind of make accommodations 

Phil Friend  4:54  
Or be saved by its disabled workforce who are the only ones who are efficient! 

Simon Minty  4:58  
They're working at three hundred times capacity cos all the non-disableds are ....?

Phil Friend  5:04  
 Yeah. It's interesting, isn't it? Because I'm struck by the irony of this, that, you know, disabled people in all other respects of COVID are being completely sidelined. I mean, we're dying more often and all that kind of stuff. We're not able to have our personal support workers with us anymore, because the local authorities have cut that. But here, the employer is saying, we're not going to worry about all those non-disabled people, you have a bit of adjustments team. And they'll seem a bit strange.

Simon Minty  5:34  
Yeah, I'm gonna push you because I feel you're standing answered it, you just go to something else. The whole point is that this is ironic. They're saying do disabled people have a disproportionate unfair advantage, in that they will get the priority for adjustments compared to those without disability, who you're going to do first, Phil is my question.

Phil Friend  5:53  
Well, for the first time in disabled people's history, they've got the advantage, Hurrah Hurrah. Yeah, there's, there's more irony in that to it. Look, fairness, if what we're talking about is fairness, then clearly, it's not right. I mean, the fact that one group have an advantage over another, but let's be clear, if it was just a question of a disabled person getting a laptop, and a non-disabled person not getting a laptop, then I think your argument would stand up. But if the laptop is adapted for my use, because I have a serious sight impairment, then I need that to even just do my job, generally, which a non-disabled person doesn't have to worry about. It's not an issue. So I think where there's I'm trying to be serious now, where there is a clear need for an adjustment in order for a disabled person to do their job at all, then the employer, I think it's probably right, to put them up there first, and then look at what they can provide for people who don't need that sort of adjustment.

Simon Minty  6:59  
I've been doing a little bit of training and consultancy with different companies. And it has come up as a real issue. And sometimes the priority was the non-disabled because we've got to get the kit, we've got to keep the service running, we've got to keep this business going. Then there's this kind of curious bit, I've heard this twice, where a manager said, We rushed everybody home, but the disabled employee who had the chair and the different stand or keyboard, they didn't take that with them. And then we were forbidden for going back into the office for four weeks, six weeks. So it's not like they could even sneak back in and get the kit to bring it home. And then I've made a mistake about assumption, obviously, you and me, we work from home and have done for 20 years unless we're out with clients and so on. Now, my whole home is set up for me to be productive and work from home, I would admit I bought a cushion since lockdown because I don't normally sit in my office chair as long but all these bloody Zoom calls. Anyway, the point of that was lots of people didn't work from home disabled people. So all their kit was at the office, and now they're working from home, they didn't get a chance to take it. I think the best solution I've heard and it's not a good one, which is yes. Although the law says to get the disabled people sorted, you may have a real issue with productivity. So, therefore, you might have to get the 95% sorted, those who have a disability would be on reasonable adjustments absence or where is in, it's not any fault, there's that they just got to wait until you can get the kit in. But there is a proportionality. You don't need it too long. It might be you know, weeks, not months. So that is one bit or you could say to the disabled person do what you can do, will have an expectation of certain hours. I know a lot of people who've got kids or had other responsibilities, they couldn't do their full day job anymore at home. But so long, we don't leave it too long. So there was an advantage, but it could backfire on you. That's the that's the issue.

Phil Friend  8:53  
What about the question of access to work here? And how that applies, whether that might defray some of the cost to the employer because what you're right about is they may end up buying the same bit of equipment twice. Yeah, it's a bit stuck at the office and then providing it at home as well I get that whether access to work can be used to help with that. I don't know, I'm just thinking about,

Simon Minty  9:19  
um, and if you are international, that's our government scheme who you can get funding towards the cost of your accommodations or adjustments. Yes. Although, again, for me that sort of addresses another issue maybe if Access to Work is quick enough. If you already got an account, you can set that up. But yeah, I mean,  you would like to think they threw money at it as well and said, well, we want everyone productive so we'll buy you the same kit or did Access to Work say well, they'll only be a couple of weeks. You know just hang on a bit. Yeah, except it's been nine months. You don't have to tell me that!

Announcer  9:54  
This is The Way We Roll hosted by Simon Minty and Phil Friend.

Phil Friend  9:59  
The next subject I thought would be interesting is the numbers of disabled people appearing on TV in Film and so on and so forth it's an old chestnut, one we talked about before. But a recent article in Disability Horizon in our old friend Martyn Sibley has a lot to do with that. He was on our show a while back. It's sort of saying, look, there's clearly more people we recognise Liz Carr, one of our favourites, you know, Silent Witness all that stuff. But it is abysmal that 13 million people still only pop up now and again, that's the essence of the article. Nothing much has changed. Now, what made me think about it was the enormous swell of change around under Black Lives Matter, the issue for women and what's going on for them and yet again, and I still get very annoyed when I hear people list off the, you know, we're doing a lot for women, and we're doing more for black people. They never mention disabilities, not even on the agenda. So I just wondered, as somebody you are very interested in this subject and have been for many years. I wonder what your take was whether you think that things have moved on? Are we better at it now than we were?

Simon Minty  11:07  
You're right. It's a classic chestnut, and it will continue to be this article is September. So since then, there's even been things like Crip Tales, and a few other shows that there's been a bit more what I did love was she's done a list. And for a long time, I've been saying, could you see the next generation of disabled media people? No, say there's nothing on and then when I grew up, there was nothing on television representing me. You and I used to say that, and then we thought things were popping up. But even the next generation saying there isn't the fact that she did that list of things that have appeared. And I could add to that list. That makes me kind of say, Well hold up, there has been more than you think. In the olden days, you say you can count it on one hand. Now you need several hands to do that. And I think there's been a huge change now in terms of not disabled people playing disabled roles. That is close to being unforgivable now and that's a huge huge change. And I love the latest generation who are saying it's cultural apartheid they do not mince their words. It's, you know, we used to go It's terrible. This keeps happening and you get an Oscar for it. The next generation is just launching into people and saying you can't do this.

Phil Friend  12:22  
Mind you she points out, I mean, I'll take that point. But she points out that Max Bowden in EastEnders, and the in quotes, "amputee" Cormoran, Stryke play by Tom Burke in the Stryke series. Were both non-disabled actors playing disabled parts? And they were, although, in the Stryke programme, there was a blind woman playing a serious part in the show, who was really blind. So it's interesting, I'm not sure if they really dealt with this issue of non-disabled actors.

Simon Minty  12:56  
No, but how long you're missing something I didn't say it stopped. What I'm saying is when it happens, people are getting crucified for it

Phil Friend  13:02  
Okay, okay

Simon Minty  13:03  
That's the difference the backlash is so strong. So there was Sia, the singer who had a new film out with someone with autism, and she got someone without autism to play. Oh, my goodness me she was absolutely and the problem was, she didn't say, oh, I've screwed up she just went stuff you. And that even got it worse. Ann Hathaway the actor who is in the film The witches, she's the woman, she's got different fingers. She afterwards said you know what, I think we've messed up. We shouldn't have done this. I wish I hadn't done it. And so there's a kind of response now that's different. Here's my big issue, Mr Friend.

Phil Friend  13:36  
 Oh, hang on, I knew we'd get there go on.

Simon Minty  13:40  
We can't keep doing this 13 million disabled people thing. Now, contextually, that article says, we want more roles where disability is not mentioned. It's just part of the deal. Yeah, fine. In which case, you need someone with a visible impairment or something it's very noticeable, of those 13 million I'm making up the figure here. Say for example, 10 million of them are non-visible conditions. Yeah. If you want them on TV, they may already be on TV. There's a whole bundle of actors who will have disabilities that don't talk about it. So I feel it's a mixed message if you want 13 million. That means those with non-visible have got to mention their disability all the time. But we don't want that.

Phil Friend  14:27  
They'll get very boring. wouldn't if they did. Hi, my name's James and I've got epilepsy. Yeah, or whatever.

Simon Minty  14:33  
I'm the love interest but I just want to say I've got asthma. If there's a real issue with this 13 million It's trying to bung it into something where it doesn't always fit.

Phil Friend  14:45  
So it's about saying that what we want to do more visibly disabled people on screen.   I mean, I love Adi, Adi Adipotan but he's always up a mountain somewhere. He's never queuing at Tescos is he you know what I mean?  Maybe he has someone to do it for him. But that that idea that we're all extraordinary, you know, rather than just being ordinary we appear in a show like EastEnders queuing up in the Queen Vic for a beer and we have it and then we leave. And we're never seen again that you know, disabled people do that. 

Simon Minty  15:17  
And when, when they order the Lemonade Shandy, you could have the bar person going, don't forget you've got epilepsy, that's quite a lot of sugar in there do you could bring it in naturally, without making it a big thing. I did I say epilepsy, diabetes,

Phil Friend  15:32  
Epilepsy, which wouldn't have mattered. But you could have said diabetes,

Simon Minty  15:35  
I've even ruined my own rubbish joke!

Phil Friend  15:39  
The bartender would have to say excuse me just a health warning. It's not written on the glass but just in case you have diabetes da dum de dum.

Simon Minty  15:47  
Yet, you put that in, put that in. There's been a couple of authored pieces you put me onto one, the Paradox one, the Disability Paradox that I found quite compelling because the guy who was a disabled person has got Ostial-imperfecta essentially was saying, can you be happy and disabled? And am I Oh, my goodness me. That's a tough call because I don't think you and I quite see that

Phil Friend  16:11  
He was talking to be fair, which would have appealed to your philosopher bit of you. What is happiness anyway? How do you measure it? What is that concept of happiness? It was a really good piece that you're right. The Paradox thing was very good. If you haven't seen it, listener, watch it we'll leave a link for you in the show notes

Simon Minty  16:30  
BBC Four or something. I don't play spot the disabled anymore. I don't that I think there is enough smattering of us in but occasionally it does surprise me from time to time. So it's not for want of a better word normal yet. So yeah,

Phil Friend  16:47  
I mean, the other point, which is interesting is that every four years when the Paralympics comes round, you know, we see a load more disabled people on screen and all sorts of things, and then it will die away again. And it's the consistency I think the other bit, which we just before we leave the subject is important as what's going on behind the camera, what's going on in the editorial suites, what's going on, there are disabled people part of that conversation because we can influence how something looks by being part of the production team, rather than

Simon Minty  17:19  
And there is a sea change.I spoke to Matt Fraser recently, he was the exec producer of Crip Tales, the sort of six authored pieces and they're looking to do more work around this and the fact that you've now got writers and performers and producers all that have a disability. And they all know I go back to your first point, you know, every other equality strand seems to be getting a push. There is a belief that disability is having its moment it's starting to come and things are starting to change now not starting to change. I mean, they're gathering momentum.

Phil Friend  17:51  
I suppose what happens to us a bit is that we've seen it come and go and it keeps on coming and going what we want is for it to come and stay.

Announcer  18:00  
This is The Way We Roll hosted by Simon Minty and Phil Friend.

Simon Minty  18:06  
Time for listeners corner. This has been quite a fulsome one, probably because we did a big discussion on that trans ableism article in a previous show, show 10 came out in the middle of November. Steve O'Hear, who was our guest last time he listened to it fascinating topic. He said it wasn't he wasn't sure how it's possible to feel disabled without a physical disability without experiencing all the things that come with it. It's like, it is like how can you feel what you don't know? That reminds me of a JK Rowling as in being a woman is a whole load of other things as well. And you've got of all even Germaine Greer, that said you haven't experienced being a woman growing up all your life. It's really tricky, interesting.

Phil Friend  18:55  
Steve take on it was interesting. Yeah. Absolutely.

Simon Minty  19:00  
My mum listened to it. Cynthia is her name, she said to me and you afterwards, I don't really understand what you were talking. And in essence, she said, it seems ridiculous that someone would want to live deliberately disable themselves. And I thought, thanks for bringing this back on track. there mum. Melanie Coughlan. I hope I pronounced that right, Melanie, she got in contact. She is a PhD candidate at McGill University in the philosophy department. And she teaches part-time at Carleton University in Ottawa in Canada, a wheelchair user-adaptive software user, so she's ticking all the credential boxes, and she wrote us four complex interesting paragraphs that Melanie I think I told you, I'm not gonna be able to do justice, the bit that I will take from her. She was saying the most confusing thing to me about the piece at first was there was hardly any arguments offered for its various normative positions, nor any references to the specific points that it made that made it surprising that it was published at all, which made me think, Oh blast. We've sort of grabbed onto something that has been posted on to us by something else. And it could be any random Joe Schmo who's decided to knock out a piece and there's no other academic validity behind it.

Phil Friend  20:19  
Yeah, she was wondering how valid it was and whether it had been, it may be can we use the term fake news perhaps?

Simon Minty  20:29  
Yeah. I don't know. But yes, I mean, it wasn't the subject, still a worthy subject.  Our question is now who was this person and what's their credentials and credibility?

Phil Friend  20:42  
Yeah and Melanie being an academic herself, I think was on that track wasn't she rumbled? it? She did, and we didn't spot it well done Melanie, thank you for that. 

Simon Minty  20:50  
Thank you, Melanie, and lovely that Canada is listening. Dave Rees who is itching to have his own show. You came in about best practice because we were talking about the changing definition that might be needed around the concept of best practice. And he said, what might be a better phrase is "good practice"  best practices it can't get any better. Whereas good practices, there's always a way to get it to make it better, though. Yeah, that was kind of a nice alternative.

Phil Friend  21:20  
Yeah, I like that. I like that. I worked with Dave for many, many years, as many of you I think, know. And he's good at that. He another one of his little favourites, I always remember was, I used to say something like, I wish I could play the piano. I just can't play the piano. And he'd say yet. He'd always add the word yet. Which makes it you know,

Simon Minty  21:40  
You have just given me an idea for your Christmas present, piano lessons!

Phil Friend  21:48  
Piano lessons that we would be the day. 

Simon Minty  21:51  
We are moving on to a new subject. It is getting towards the end of the year. My goodness me what year it's been. This is your subject. I really liked it. The three most positive things that have happened to you or for you this year, and you wanted personal rather than work-related. 

Phil Friend  22:11  
Yeah, I thought we should try and it has been, we've acknowledged it a really difficult year, but I thought it might be quite nice to just try and find something that has been uplifting or something and not a worky thing like you know, I won an Oscar or something for a podcast, but best podcast in town.

Simon Minty  22:31  
What's your first?

Phil Friend  22:32  
Number one on my list and then you do number one on your list. My number one on my list was this is very, very low key. But I love it. Watching the birds in my garden feeding. We've got a bird feeder right outside our back doors. And Sue goes out there and we've got a range of different foods. And we get the most amazing collection of birds. And I've been watching them for months. And I'm beginning to understand something about birds and how they operate. They're very clever, you know, birds. So everything from spotted woodpeckers nuthatch, blue tits, great tits, long-tailed tits, you name it. We've got kites that fly over, but they don't feed in our garden. So birds, watching birds has been lovely.

Simon Minty  23:19  
Now that's good because that's a positive. I remember in a former show, there were parakeets and you ready to shoot animals for fun.

Phil Friend  23:29  
Can I just update you listener? I had a dozen parakeets in my garden. About three days ago. I got my gun. I fired a warning shot above their heads. I did not aim at them. I did not aim at them. I just fired my gun. It's a .22, by the way. It's not a big shotgun thing. And then they scarpered and they haven't been back. I do not include parakeets in the bird population that I enjoy watching

Simon Minty  24:01  
Oh, let's stay happy. Let's stay positive!

Phil Friend  24:06  
Well, that's my number one what's yours?

Simon Minty  24:09  
Mine just like you very close to nature is an app on my phone. It's the mood flow app, which I have been doing training around managing mental health at work or managing yourself with my colleague Juliette. I didn't think an app would do anything of value in terms of managing mental health, I thought was a ridiculous concept. And I started using it four or five months ago. And every night I put in one or five smiley faces when I'm, you know, very happy or really down. And then I put a few lines in about what happened today and then a whole series of emotions and thoughts and whether I slept well and all this stuff. And then every two or three weeks you can press a little button called insight and it measures how you been at different points and it tells you key phrases. So if I'm always happy when I've done a podcast, yeah, well, that's quite interesting. It looks for correlation. One thing that surprised me, you know, I love sleeping, and I don't want to get out of bed. But then my happiest days are when I've had an earlier start. So there's this little thing that's telling me stuff. It told me that my weekends I dip, I'm good during the week because I'm busy. I'm working weekends I dip. The mood flow has been a revelation to me. I know you and our friend Geoff tried it, but it didn't quite crack it. The bit I've learned is you need to set it a little reminder just before bedtime, because in the middle of the day when the evening, you know, not going to do it, but just before bed. So I've really appreciated it.

Phil Friend  25:40  
And it's called mood flow. Okay, we'll include that on our list. Good. 

Simon Minty  25:46  
Your second one?

Phil Friend  25:48  
My second one is not sitting in traffic jams. I've realised how much I don't miss that. I do not miss sitting for ages and ages two or three times a week in traffic jams. And the knock-on links actually to your last bit, which is I do not feel as stressed. I'm not as angry. I hate sitting in traffic jams. I love driving. I love driving. But I do not like sitting in. I don't think anybody does do they? So I love not having to do that.

Simon Minty  26:28  
The best bit of being a traffic jam is you listen to podcasts like ours. And that time is now gone.

Phil Friend  26:32  
Well, that's true. I do miss Radio 4 and podcasts and things like that. I realised I haven't listened to radio five seriously for nine months, because Radio Five was the sort of default station in my car. If I wasn't listening to music, or podcasts or something,

Simon Minty  26:47  
I think this is timely because you were getting tired of doing the journeys and coming into town and all that sort of stuff. I also noticed and this is no big thing. But you might be a little bit more late, not never when we were recording. But to other meetings, I'd often get messages from you go either traffic's a nightmare, I'm going to be late. And I thought, Oh, this is a bit different. And it is the traffic and everything else. But it's also you going you know what, why am I doing this, so it was timely, 

Phil Friend  27:14  
The anxiety you touch on it. But although I tried really hard not to be late for things, I get very anxious if I was I could see I was gonna be particularly if I was running a training programme. If I knew there were 15 delegates sitting in a room waiting and I wasn't there. God that used to freak me out. So I don't miss any of that. So the joy for me of not having to do that has been fantastic. What's your next one?

Simon Minty  27:40  
U m, mine will be weight loss. I've lost a stone, six and a half kilos in three months, at the start of lockdown, I thought, Oh, we gotta have everything full fat. So proper milk and a big breakfast that's always something that's going to keep COVID away. And obviously then put on quite a bit of weight. And then I thought now I've got to change this. And I've just done calories, just measured calories. And it's lovely because everything fits better. And I can walk a little bit better, and sleep a little bit better. There's just a whole bundle of things that have happened. And there's no, smugs the wrong word, but I'm chuffed that I actually had the discipline. I also understand how easy it is for people to spend three months lose a lot of weight. And then their friend Geoff sends them a tin Quality Street for Christmas. And it all goes to pot!  I mean those chocolate and there were six favourites of mine. It's not as if there's a whole load of coffees I don't want to eat they were the best of them. Um,

Phil Friend  28:46  
Is it fair to say that this very generous gift from our friend Geoff would you say arrived a couple of weeks ago and you opened yours? Isn't that right?

Simon Minty  28:57  
Okay, let's qualify it these are personalised tins. Any tin of chocolates you normally get would be sellotaped around the edge. It's not even taped. It was empty. It was open.

Phil Friend  29:08  
So you thought you had to open it properly.

Simon Minty  29:12  
He sent us biscuits, rich sugar biscuits two weeks before that I managed to resist them. You can't put a big tin Quality Street for a single man who has been dieting

Phil Friend  29:22  
Well, you know what happens at my house because I live with somebody she has put it where I can't reach it.  Well it's disableist, it's but I haven't put on weight. Okay, so my final one is not having to worry about what to wear. 

Simon Minty  29:39  
Did you ever? Ha! Ha!

Phil Friend  29:40  
That's a very vicious thing to say (laughter)  I don't know I'm not I've never been I'm sure. I'll let other people decide this but I've never seen myself as being the world's greatest dresser or world's best-dressed man or any of that stuff. But I did use to take care about because I think I'm going to Do this thing I need to do that I didn't wear suits and stuff. But I was careful about what I wore every day. Now, who cares? I just sling it on. It's clean, but you know, I don't care. And I just don't. It's just a joy not to worry about, you know, so long as it's warm, I always worry about being warm. But after that, the only consideration is, is this going to keep me warm today? If the answer is yes, I don't care that it clashes with that, and I'm wearing this with it.

Simon Minty  30:33  
it is a joy that and you've always made an effort my cheeky comment. Yeah, I know, you've always made an effort. And where are you at on the going commando? (Laughter)

Phil Friend  30:45  
Well as a permanent wheelchair user, and running the risk of pressure sores that is not on my agenda. 

Simon Minty  30:52  
Okay, so underwear is necessary 

Phil Friend  30:54  
That it is indeed necessary and preferably seamless.

Simon Minty  30:59  
I agree with the relaxed clothing, it has been great. And you know, I have board meetings every now and again, and I dress up a bit more, but I don't have to put the suit and tie on. Although I miss a little bit of that. Occasionally dressing up is lovely. But that's the point, the joy of just jogging pants and slippers and soft tops. But yeah, I totally agree with that. I slightly, I'm slightly concerned that there's, I think you've enjoyed some of this too much. And you'll don't want to ever go out in the car you're never going to put proper clothes on again, I do want to make sure you do a have little bit of return to form afterwards.

Phil Friend  31:36  
Listener you have to you don't know the conversations I have with this man. But he's always looking out for my welfare, which is actually very nice of him. But I  have to say that with the vaccine, maybe not too far away. I am looking forward to going back out and doing things. But I think what I want to do like all of us is to decide when I need to do that. And it's important to do it like meeting friends. And when I can just do a Zoom call because it's so much more convenient for everybody as well. So going back the way it used to be I do not intend to spend my life sat in traffic jams again if I can avoid it. So what was your last one?

Simon Minty  32:15  
So my last one you sort of brought us into it nicely. Um, I think it is about friendship, and it's been about friendship during this time. Not some I've been able to see I've met in the park or gone for a walk. I think we had a meeting in your garden we did in the gap between lockdowns. I've only seen you once in the flesh in nine months. I mean, it's pretty rare. So the value of friendship in this time has been immense and been really important. There are one or two people I can go to the theatre or go for a meal. And it's been immensely special, particularly being a single man who lives on their own. And that bit of company, something that really touched me recently we mentioned Geoff, and we keep mentioning him because we did that the COVID podcasts every week during the first lockdown. But more recently, once or twice, listener, you won't know but one of the three of us has said ah, it's been a terrible time. And then the three of us jump on and have an hour's conversation about how we're feeling. And what a bit of a revolution isn't it? You know, three older blokes saying how do we feel? And the rest of them being supportive? You know, there's still humour. We don't get too weird about it. But I don't know I think some friendships have gone up a gear because of lockdown. And that I really appreciate I think it's it's been remarkable.

Phil Friend  33:39  
I would second that. Without doubt. I think you me and Geoff having those conversations. And I've had one or two with other people, but primarily with you two, actually. It's become part of the way we seem to operate together, isn't it that we're looking, we're watching each other's backs to a degree or we feel confident enough to just say that I'm feeling terrible. And one of you will respond. So no, I agree with that. I think friends, and that's what we all miss, isn't it? We get so much from each other. When we're together when we can't be it's, it's not much fun, really.

Simon Minty  34:10  
We have got to the end of the show, as well as the end of the year. Thank you very much, Mr Friend I do hope you have a good break

Phil Friend  34:19  
Likewise, Simon, I hope you do too. It's been a lot of fun. It's been a difficult year, but it's been fun too. So good for you. And I hope you and your family have a very good time over Christmas

Simon Minty  34:32  
Thank you and those listeners out there it will get better you know it'll get better. What's happening today is not gonna be the same as tomorrow. And if you want a bit of context, I always want to go back and listen to our weekly COVID lockdown shows because it seems like a long time ago it was only April May but so thank you, listeners, thank you forever for getting in contact and always obviously for listening.

Announcer  34:58  
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

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