Sunday, 27 December 2015

400K+ Blog-Views

Thank you all so, so much…

My blog has breached



Blimey & WoW!


P.S. Being a tad OCD, I love the fact that I snapped the image of the count when it had attained a palindromic number, i.e. 400,004! %D

Thursday, 3 December 2015

International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2015

Today is the United Nation's International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD2015).

United Nation's Perspective 

According to the UN's webpage:

Theme for 2015: Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities

The estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide face many barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society. As a result, people with disabilities do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others, which includes areas of transportation, employment, and education as well as social and political participation.
The right to participate in public life is essential to create stable democracies, active citizenship and reduce inequalities in society.
By promoting empowerment, real opportunities for people are created. This enhances their own capacities and supports them in setting their own priorities. Empowerment involves investing in people - in jobs, health, nutrition, education, and social protection. When people are empowered they are better prepared to take advantage of opportunities, they become agents of change and can more readily embrace their civic responsibilities.
The sub-themes for the 2015 observance of the International Day are:
  • Making cities inclusive and accessible for all
  • Improving disability data and statistics
  • Including persons with invisible disabilities in society and development
More information about the International Day and the UN Enable programme is available at UN Enable.

Retrogression of Rights

Wonderful aspirations to be sure. After the United Kingdom signed up to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and in the preceding few years, matters were ameliorating little by little. Unfortunately since the ConDem co-alition from 2010-2015 and the Conservative government elected this year until 2020, our gains have been disappearing at an alarming rate. Search my blog or the internet for fuller details. However, I list a few examples below:

* The restriction in the number of benefit awards via tightening of eligibility criteria as people are re-assessed for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults, and Employment & Support Allowance (ESA), which replaces Incapacity Benefit (IB).

* The introduction of a "Bedroom Tax", the Under-Occupancy Penalty, which massively & disproportionately effects families with a disabled member - two-thirds of those effected!

* The reduction in local councils' budgets has had a concomitant knock-on effect in the amount spent on social care, with many more folk unable to access help with toileting, bathing, cooking, etc. The English Law has even ruled that care can be removed from individuals as long as they are placed into adult nappies, whether or not the individual concerned is in/continent!

* The reduction in access to Motability vehicles, due to the reduction in the amount of disability benefits paid out, the benefits that were handed over to the charity in exchange for the lease of a car or motorised wheelchair. This effects tens of thousand of disabled people, some of whom have thus had to give up working!

* The reduction in access to justice in the jurisprudence system via Legal Aid, due to drastic cuts to its budget and eligibility criteria.

* The closure of the vast majority of Remploy factories, places where disabled workers could work in a supported environment. At last count most of the employees had not found alternative employment despite government's promises of every assistance being made available.

* The removal of part of ESA benefit to those classified as NOT being fit for work, but able to work in the future, so that they are paid the same as job-seekers - this group includes groups with cancer, degenerative diseases, fluctuating conditions and even folk with issues such as cystic fibrosis - which will NEVER go away nor ameliorate, save for a miracle or wonder-drug!

* The reduction of Access to Work grants, despite government insisting that they want and that disabled folk ought to work.

* The abolition of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) which supported the most severely disabled to live &/or work as independently as possible.

* The removal of the obligation to conduct impact assessments, which determine whether a proposed or planned action will be advantageous/neutral/detrimental to various groupings, one of which is people with disabilities.

* The removal of assistance to support prospective, disabled MPs, in order to increase the woefully tiny number of MPs with disabilities.

Cumulative Impact Assessment

There have been so many changes that disabled people and their carers & supporters gained over one-hundred-thousand signatures for the WoWPetition to request a cumulative impact assessment (cia) of all the cuts and changes. The government refuses to do so, despite other organisations having done the best they could without access to governmental data. One of those is the Centre for Welfare Reform. In the following four-minute video, "Counting the Cuts", Dr. Simon Duffy gives a brief overview.


In a single example of how the changes in the UK have effected me this year, my local town ran a survey to determine residents, workers & visitors' attitudes and desires for the run-down town-centre, nationally embarrassed in the media for same. I replied as a disabled person, expressing concerns for others like myself and also for the elderly with whom there is a commonality of needs, such as seating and toilets. I also contacted my local council and requested under FOI for details of what account, if any, had been taken of the disabled/elderly needs & requirements. Despite two requests they refused to respond. Alterations have gone ahead, including the removal of parking, and replacing conventional paving with cobbles. I now can no longer visit parts of the town centre due to my inability to walk very far. I, and presumably those in a similar position to myself, have lost amenities. Only yesterday I read that Southampton is planning on removing ALL its disabled-parking spaces. Ay - overt disability discrimination!

Legal Perspective

The UK Parliament's Human Rights Joint Committee, in their report "Implementation of the Right of Disabled People to Independent Living", stated:

The impact of current reforms
While we recognise the exceptional economic circumstances facing the UK, we conclude that there is a risk of retrogression of the UK's obligations under Article 19 as a result of the cumulative impact of spending cuts and reforms. There has been particular concern about the effects of reductions in funding for local authorities, changes to Disability Living Allowance under the Welfare Reform Bill, caps on housing benefit and the closure of the Independent Living Fund, and the way in which these might interact to restrict enjoyment of the right to independent living.
Many local authorities are restricting eligibility criteria for social care support. We argue that this risks breach of Article 19. We recommend that the Government's forthcoming Disability Strategy includes measures to monitor the impact of restrictions on eligibility for adult social care on disabled people's access to independent living.

Since the aforementioned report, matters have pejorated for those of us with disabilities.

Governmental Attitude to IDPD2015

The government seems not to care, but obdurately continues steadfastly with its dogma of permanent austerity. It is therefore unsurprising to view the government's disdain for even acknowledging IDPD2015. Today is the United Nation's International Day of Persons with Disabilities Day. I shall iterate, as they cannot be bothered. The UK government, as per previous years (see relevant blog-posts), appears to be ignoring it as per usual. Below is today's page from the Office for Disability Issues (ODI):

Apparently broad issues for folk with disabilities on access & empowerment across all levels and areas of society are of no concern to the agency supposedly looking out for disabled people interests.

Is it any wonder that the UN is investigating the UK for serious breaches of UNCRPD?

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Lords & Ladies Troubled By Your Sexual Practices!

Warning: this article refers to anal sex; do not continue if the subject matter might offend!


Apparently, peers of the realm are at it again. All my adult life they have been discussing this sexual practice or another. They are as obsessed as the modern main-stream media and popular culture. On this occasion they were caught trying to blame urban, pornography-using, heterosexual males for the spread to the rest of the country of the practice of anal sex.

[Image description: scene of man engaging in anal sex with woman,
on ancient Greek pottery; photo © u/k]

Utter poppycock*! This kind of sex has been going on for æons. When I was at university, it was then known that anal-sex, so-called sodomy, was more widely practised amongst hetero couples than between gay folk. Contrary to popular opinion homosexual men do not necessarily desire to be stabbed up the derrière. Whilst folk may have tried it, they have not enjoyed the experience and so refrain. Of course, contrariwise, other individuals enjoy the experience. As with most things: some like, some dislike. Some straights like, some dislike. And remember, dear reader, in this day and age any female partner is quite capable of giving her male partner a good rogering up the backside, and thus rubbing the all-important prostate-gland, whilst simultaneously stimulating her own genitalia, for example with the aid of a strap-on dildo.

What someone gets up to sexually is no-one else's business, as long as it is consensual. I personally would not wish to participate in sexual activity involving cutting, and so on. To me such practices are personally repugnant. But that is no reason for me to condemn nor police others' activities.

Conservatives are meant to be Libertarians or at the very least laissez-faire  i.e. hands-off approach and small state. I suggest the Tories, along with all other Parliamentarians, keep the state out of citizens' bedrooms!

* From Dutch 'pappekak' meaning 'soft dung' and thus nothing to do with penes other than a serendipitous co-incidence.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Disability Activism Relinquished

With the exception of my long-standing friend Michelle (who made a genuine Barnabas attempt to keep me at it) and a couple of folks over at Manchester DPAC (with a well-meaning exhortation resulting in my feeling guilt-ridden and even more demoralised with the whole activism-thing!), there was no resounding endorsement of my continuing as a ‎disability-rights activist despite over a hundred views (113) of my blog-post, A Disillusioned Activist: Falling Down the Rabbit-Hole.

Therefore I have exited all the disability groups to which I was aligned, unfollowed news-feeds and switched off most activist feeds.

Moving forward I am going to attempt to carry on being a bedtivist by continuing my support for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (shortened to M.E. and known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or C.F.S. in the USA) and other invisible-illness causes.

However, if I still feel as if I am being dragged down, I shall stop such too. My all-round health (including physical, psychological, emotional & spiritual) has to come first, however much I should like to help.

I hope folk will understand and accept my decision. Bless us all! %)


Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), including the Manchester branch, do need support; so, if you are able, please offer to volunteer or donate.

[Image description: Manchester DPAC's logo ©]

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert?

Extroverted Introvert

I have considered myself since the mid-1980s as an extroverted introvert (after Dorothy Rowe's The Successful Self), as - more than my need to be social - I HAVE to have alone-time; I start to get very tetchy if I cannot grab time to myself. Don't get me wrong, I love being with friends; but being alone on a desert-island does not fill me with horror whereas being in the Big Brother house with nowhere to go away from others really does mortify me. When alone for my sojourns in Spain, I am more than content - as long as I get to go somewhere familiar and have a brief chat with someone I know at least once per day.

Myers-Briggs Personality Types

About three weeks ago a questionnaire appeared on my Facebook timeline from the i newspaper. I took a short Myers-Briggs test and came out as an INTJ, Introverted INtuitive Thinking Judging, personality:

[Image Description: the results of my test plotted on a W8 web-graph]

"Expert - Unique and pursuing excellence. 
You have many creative thoughts. You always try to turn your ideas into fact tirelessly reaching your goal that you set for yourself. You can understand the connotative model of the outer world and think with a long term perspective. Once you make a commitment, you make a plan and accomplish it. You are very independent and skeptical. You always have a high standard no matter if its for yourself or other people." {all sic}
This past week, I did a different, more complex and much longer Myers-Briggs test and came out ENFJ, an Extraverted (sic) INtuitive Feeling Judging personality.

It seems it depends how the questions are framed alters whether I am introverted or extroverted. I think the issue is that I am very close to the border between introversion/extroversion (recall I consider myself an extroverted introvert) and thinking/feeling, both of which I consider important and use in decision-making.


This past couple of days I discovered a term I have never previously encountered "ambivert", which originated in the 1920s - a person who is neither an extrovert nor an introvert, but rather someone who is in between, or, as my computer's dictionary states:

"a person who has a balance of extrovert and introvert features in their personality."

I suppose that is the top of the curve on the standard bell-curve.

"Ambiverts fall somewhere in the middle of the extrovert-introvert spectrum. Ambiverts gain energy from both time spent with others and time spent alone. Socialising and meeting new people may be important to an ambivert, but they also value time for themselves. Typically, ambiverts are good socialisers, as they keen to talk as well as listen to others. In the work place, ambiverts make efficient and adaptable workers as they are able to work well alone and within a team."

Which Label?

Now I have discovered ambiversion, I am unsure what to label myself. Is it more correct to aver I am an extroverted introvert or to say I am an ambivert? Maybe, I need to put both terms out there and let others decide. After all, I am still me on the inside, whatever label is affixed me. And I am certainly not going to attempt to alter aspects of my personality to conform to someone else's labelling system. Still, something to ponder. %)

Saturday, 24 October 2015

A Disillusioned Activist: Falling Down the Rabbit-Hole


Since the increase in anti-disabled polemic in the UK, some five years or so ago, I have had to go back on to anti-anxiety medication.

This past week I sold my mobility-scooter, as for the past few years I have been unwilling to use it. This was due to ongoing verbal abuse every time I have used it on my own since the ConDem co-alition came to power. Obviously such attacks shake one's confidence and adversely affect one's independence. The official statistics suggest that there has not actually been an increase in disability discrimination year on year since 2010 - although very slowly the number of crimes reported to the police services has been increasing. So it must just be me & my friends who are experiencing the increase!

On top of these personal and main-stream media (MSM) attacks, my anxiety has been exacerbated by the topsy-turvy nature of politics both here in the UK, in Europe, in the USA, and in Oceania. Logic, rationality, reasonableness, evidence and proof have all been thrown out, to be replaced by extremist ideologies, dogma, propaganda, spin, outright lies and MSM manipulation (including by the once fairly unbiased BBC - see my blog-posts January 2013, February 2013, August 2013, October 2013, June 2014, August 2015), let alone the usual political rhetoric and polemic. How can one respect authority, when the powers-that-be cannot respect the electorate: one simply cannot.


For the past few years I have turned to activism - attending my first ever political demo only a few years ago. Since then, whilst I have attended a handful of protests or demonstrations, due to my chronic ill-health and ongoing disabilities I have mainly acted in the rôle of bedtivist (I am bed-bound for the majority of the year).

I have learned to use my blog, twitter, G+ and of course facebook, and latterly linkedIn, to attempt to apprise, share and promulgate alternative perspectives, evidence, reports and harrowing tales of discrimination and in some cases death at the hands of the state apparatus, mostly via the dreaded and notorious Department for Work & Pensions (or DWP).

In some senses, I am one of the fortunate disabled in the UK: I can afford to engage legal assistance. Most folk who need such, no longer have access to Legal Aid to claim what is rightly theirs. I know myself that I was too ill to pursue appeals with the DWP, so had to let benefits to which I was entitled go by the by in the 1990s. Even now though, I live in dread, as most other chronically sick &/or disabled folk, of the brown envelopes from the DWP or even worse the white ones from ATOS/CAPITA/MAXIMUS - the private companies paid to assess one's fitness-to-work.

Illness & Disability

I have a neurological illness (categorised by W.H.O. at ICD-10 G93.3).
I have a nervous system illness (categorised by W.H.O. at ICD-10 G72.3).
I have musculoskeletal illnesses (categorised by W.H.O. at ICD-10 M15, M16, M17, M18 & M19).
I have a connective tissue illness (categorised by W.H.O. at ICD-10 M79.7).
I have a circulatory system illness (categorised by W.H.O. at ICD-10 I73.0).
I have a digestive system illness (categorised by W.H.O. at ICD-10 K58).
I have a respiratory symptom illness (categorised by W.H.O. at ICD-10 R07.1).
I have a mental disorder illness (categorised by W.H.O. at ICD-10 F06.7).
I have mental & behavioural disorder illnesses (categorised by W.H.O. at ICD-10 F40, F41 & F42).

The chances of me ameliorating permanently are slight at this juncture - obviously precluding any medical advances or divine intervention. My health is so complex and its management so complicated, I have two lead heath-care professionals (HCPs) rather than the usual one. I keep a spreadsheet of all the illnesses, major symptoms and co-morbidities totalling eighty-five in all. The document includes: supporting evidence; frequency; treatment (if any); and, notes. It is thus, no doubt, quite clear the reason for keeping a record for ease of reference.

State Harassment & Warning from History

Despite all this, and the fact I am unlikely to ever be able to hold down a job ever again, the DWP still believes that I need to be constantly re-assessed. Each time this costs the UK tax-payer (I am one myself) hundreds of pounds, even though the outcome is known - not fit to work. This of course is financial madness, as well as being medical lunacy. But the extremist politicos continue their harangue against we spongers and idlers (recalling the NAZI polemic against Germany's disabled in the run-up to WWII).

Some four years ago I posted the following on my facebook page:

[Image description:  barbed wire graphic; the text reads -

First they came for the disabled,
and I didn’t speak out -
because I wasn’t disabled.

Then they made millions unemployed,
and I didn’t speak out -
because I had a job.

Then they came for the NHS,
and I didn’t speak out -
because I wasn’t ill.

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
to speak out for me.


Many of my chums eventually signed the WoWPetition, which called for Parliament to debate the war on welfare (previously named social security and paid for via a specific tax called National Insurance contributions or NIC) and specifically calling for a cumulative impact assessment (cia) of all the government's changes and cuts to recipients. The petition gained way more than the necessary 100,000 confirmed signatures. The debate happened in February 2014. The ConDem government refused however to carry out the cia despite the debate having been won. Now under a Tory (Conservative) government WoWCampaign have started another petition to get the cia debated in this new session.

Political Disengagement

Poll after poll of the public finds majorities against the vast majority of cuts being implemented by the politicians. Up to and including the 2010 elections I had always read the parties manifestos prior to voting to ensure I was aware of their policies and aspirations. The ConDem government blithely ignored their 2010 documents and forged ahead with a co-alition document, which itself was never fulfilled. Prior to the election this year, the Tories promised this and that and already, after a mere six months, they have breached at least twenty of those promises. This makes the political manifesto moot and not worth the paper it is printed upon. If the political parties cannot be trusted to do what they say they will do, then how is the electorate supposed to decide for whom to vote?

Week in, week out, at Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs), in debates and in committees, we see politicians lying unashamedly in Parliament. They also lie to the MSM, some ministers of government even stoop so low as to feed mistruths and spun statistics to media outlets that will blindly regurgitate them. And there is no redress. There is absolutely nothing the voters can do about it. Parliament either cannot or refuses to hold the miscreants to account.

Now we have the Prime Minister threatening to shut down the second chamber if they do not do what he wants. The result would be no secondary oversight of potential legislation.

The Home Secretary, responsible for internal security, has now defined extremism so broadly that anyone who speaks out against the government, or even a department, can be labelled as an extremist, watched by the security services and subject to detention without trial.

The latest ministerial code advises ministers of the government that they may ignore issues of justice and international law - quite probably illegal, but the UK courts appear to be impotent.

This is NOT democracy: at best it is an oligarchy; at worst, we now have a totalitarian state.


A couple of weeks ago, the Conservative Party conference was held in Manchester - a city in which they have not a single MP nor a single local councillor. A huge demonstration was organised with between 60,000 and 85,000 folk in attendance (depending whose estimate one accepts) in the city centre. This was the largest ever demonstration here. I invited 120 facebook friends, most of whom have complained of some aspect of the austerity agenda or other government polices. Only three attended.

This week the Chinese Premier visited Manchester with the UK's Prime Minister. I was too ill to personally attend the organised demo, so I offered to tweet (@criquaer) in support. Over two hours I typed one key at a time, 123 messages. I managed ten retweets (RTs). This really was not worth the exhaustion and pain that it entailed.

The Mercury is Dropping

The image above has been updated, as more and more of the UK population is effected by the austerity dogma:

[Image description: text as follows -


First they came for the disabled & sick
and I didn’t speak out - because I was neither.

Then they cut legal aid and I didn’t speak out because
I don’t need any legal advice.

Then they came for the NHS and I didn’t speak out -
because I wasn’t sick

Then they came for the jobless [with sanctions, etc]
And I didn’t speak out because I had a job.

Then they came for the renters [with benefit caps &
bedroom tax] And I didn’t speak out because I don’t
rent a home.

They cut the Independent Living Fund and I didn’t
speak out because I’m not disabled

Then they took child benefit & tax credits
And I didn’t speak out because I have no children.

Then they came for the trade unions [ to stop strikes]
And I didn’t speak out because I’m not in a union.

Now they’ve come for me -
And tehre’s no one left to speak to me

{all sic}]

What Future?

My only slight hope for the UK is that Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of the Labour Party, espouses policies that the vast majority of Brits also back - the electorate is to the left of all the neo-liberal parties. He is backed by the party's electorate but not by the party's parliamentarians. After May's local elections, we may be in a better position to feel more hopeful or equally despondent. However, I thoroughly expect him to be assassinated - I am turning into a cynic!

It looks as if my move to Scotland will remain on the cards, although a tad delayed. Although, that should not be taken to imply that I fully support all that the SNP are doing; they do at least actually still believe in and are attempting to support social justice.

Time to Say Farewell…

In the meantime, I do not feel or believe I can waste any of my very limited time & energy on activism, or at least not in its current form. Unless, I can be convinced otherwise, I shall shortly disassociate myself from all political &/or campaigning groups and turn off the notifications of activist chums, as well as refusing to read anything else on politics. There just seems no real point in continuing to hit one's head against the proverbial brick-wall...

[Image description: a red brick-wall]

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

'Flu jabs & Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

[Note for those in USA, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or M.E. is usually known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or C.F.S. in the United States.]


Yesterday, Action for M.E. posted on the subject of "Flu jab advice for people with M.E." The pharmacist is recommending sufferers have the jabs, but admits that there is "limited research available".

I posted in a discussion on whether to have an influenza vaccination. Herewith my contribution:

I have been advised not to have inoculations nor vaccinations, as I seem to re-act to everything. Antibiotics even are an extreme last resort for me, as I end up ill from taking them.

I possibly developed M.E. due to a routine tetanus vaccination which I did not need. Due to my very high risk of developing arthritis, I should not even have been forced to have it (a condition of the G.P. [family doctor] accepting me on his books). Not long after that, his surgery [medical practise] stopped routine jabs unless actually required medically.

Big Pharma (the pharmaceutical industry) knows that we are all different and re-act differently to medications. Whilst statistically vaccinations are "safe" for the population as a whole, there will always be sub-groups for which they, and indeed any medication, will either not work or make matters worse. My advice is to always research any new medication or treatment and seek out advice.

Also, doctors do not always know best. Years ago, a psychiatrist prescribed a drug which caused me absolute extreme testicular agony. He pooh-poohed me before looking up the medication, blushing deeply and then admitting that it was a known rare side-effect.

And what was the outcome of the discussion? Well, some folk are pro and some contra; some have had good experiences, some bad. Anecdotally this supports the assertion that we are all different physiologically.

[Image description: screen-shot of NHS information webpage on The flu jab, ©]


DISCLAIMER: I am NOT medically trained. If in doubt or worried, seek out professional medical advice!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Non-Governmental ESA & WCA Research

Ekklesia are researching how Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)‬ & the notorious and much-hated ‪Work Capability Assessment (‎WCA)‬ might be reformed or replaced. To this end they have devised an online questionnaire. Most of the questions are multi-choice with optional boxes.

I only wrote one long answer in respect to how any future benefit ought to look. My answer for Q. 30:

"I think it should be far more tiered, with the more points you get the higher the benefit awarded in order to account for extra costs - or if not tiered then with the addition of non-refundable grants. For example, someone with impaired mobility should be given an award towards a wheelchair and with each additional impairment an extra grant; someone who is sight-impaired should be given a grant to cover the costs of technology. At the top would be quadriplegics awarded grants to cover all necessary equipment.

Alternatively, the State should have a centralised purchasing body in order to save money through mass purchasing. Or a mixture of the two, so if someone wishes to pay more for equipment or does not want the State-offered product, they are free to choose.

Those requiring care, ought to receive additional components to cover such costs or the State ought to be obliged to pay for necessary care as in Sweden, for example. The additional benefit to society is the creation of employment opportunities and thus more folk boosting the economy.

There may also need to be a way for folk to receive grants or extra benefit to access private health-care which the NHS will not/cannot provide. E.g. I need physiotherapy, which I have to pay myself, as due to very variable conditions I cannot keep appointments, thus the NHS refuse to provide. Similarly, I cannot access mental-health support, etc."

If you have been through the WCA-process, please do help out with this research. One is given plenty of opportunities to save and go back at a later time, if one so wishes.

[Image description: Ekklesia logo ©]

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Musical Chairs

This is my 250th blog-post.


[Image description: Matt Alber singing whilst playing his keyboard]


Regular readers will recall that I have been moving out of Facebook almost since my blog began. A few months back I deleted the vast majority of my music tastes therefrom: with the exception of Snatnam Kaur and Matt Alber (pictured above), so that I may continue to receive news on their tours, releases, etc. It has taken since then to complete this post - partly due to my on-going ill-health and disabilities.

I have listed my eclectic tastes alphabetically. All bar two acts have a Wikipedia listing, so I have included such after their name. This is followed by any official, or in some cases quasi-official, website. Finally I have listed styles. In this regard I have attempted to be consistent and used as few labels as seemed necessary. I realise music can be labelled in multiple ways and my categorisation in no way should be deemed some kind of attempt at taxonomy. The labels are there simply to give a broad overview.

For some artists, they were what is quaintly known as one-hit-wonders. In these instances, I have posted a Youtube link to their unique success. The four stimulate potent and happy memories in me, each connected to someone I love/have loved very dearly.

I have not listed "classical" composers here, as I intend to draw up a further list at some point.

My selections are not particularly avant-garde or even trendy; they are, however, my choices. I am more than happy to engage in discussion over favourite tracks and so on with regards the artists listed, if anyone wishes to do so.

As a young child, my vision was deteriorating extremely rapidly and I had to obtain new, stronger prescription spectacles every six months. I was advised that I should probably be blind by age twenty-one. Thankfully, that did not come to pass. However, apart from trying to teach myself Braille, I decided that listening to music (or oral books) was far more important to me than seeing with my eyes.

Music speaks to one's inner-being, to one's soul or spirit, to one's psyche. Music brings to mind past loves, happy memories and places where one initially heard a piece. Music resonates with one's whole being. I give you, My Music…



A-ha     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, new wave, pop, rock, synthpop
Abba     Wikipedia, Official, styles: disco, pop, rock
Acker Bilk     Wikipedia, Official, styles: trad jazz
Alejandro Sanz     Wikipedia, Official, styles: Latino, pop
Alison Moyet     Wikipedia, Official, styles: blues, new wave, pop, rock, synthpop
Amy Grant     Wikipedia, Official, styles: folk, gospel, pop, rock
Anastacia     Wikipedia, Official, styles: dance, funk, pop, rock, R&B, soul
Annie Lennox     Wikipedia, Official, styles: electronica, new wave, pop, rock, R&B, soul, synthpop
Antony and the Johnsons     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, pop
Armand Van Helden     Wikipedia, Official, styles: disco, electronica, garage, house 
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli     Wikipedia, Official, styles: classical


Babylon Zoo     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, pop, rock

Baccara     Wikipedia, Official, styles: disco, pop
Barry Manilow     Wikipedia, Official, styles: easy listening, pop, rock
Barry White     Wikipedia, Official, styles: disco, funk, R&B, soul
Basement Jaxx     Wikipedia, Official, styles: electronica, garage, house
Bette Midler     Wikipedia, Official, styles: easy listening, pop, rock
Beverley Knight     Wikipedia, Official, styles: R&B, soul
Billie Holiday     Wikipedia, Official, styles: blues, jazz, R&B, swing, torch song
Black     Wikipedia, Official, styles: new wave, pop, rock
Black Eyed Peas     Wikipedia, Official, styles: hip hop, R&B
Blondie     Wikipedia, Official, styles: new wave, punk
Blur     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, Britpop, Indie
Brandy (Norwood)     Wikipedia, Official, styles: pop, R&B
Bruce Springsteen     Wikipedia, Official, styles: pop, rock
Bryan Ferry     Wikipedia, Official, styles: new wave, pop, rock


Chic     Wikipedia, Official, styles: disco, funk, soul
Chicane     Wikipedia, Official, styles: chill-out, electronica, house, trance
China Crisis     Wikipedia, Official, styles: new wave, synthpop
Chris de Burgh     Wikipedia, Official, styles: easy listening, pop, rock
Chris Rea     Wikipedia, Official, styles: pop, rock
Clannad     Wikipedia, Official, styles: folk, Irish, new age, rock
Cocteau Twins     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, pop, rock
Coldplay     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, pop, rock


D:Ream     Wikipedia, Official, styles: dance, pop, rock, R&B, soul
Dan Hartman     Wikipedia, Official, styles: disco, new wave, R&B, rock, soul
Daniel Barenboim     Wikipedia, Official, styles: classical
Daniel Bedingfield     Wikipedia, Official, styles: dance, electronica, garage, gospel, pop, rock
Deep Forest     Wikipedia, Official, styles:ambient, electronica, new age, world
Don Francisco     Wikipedia, Official, styles: gospel
Donna Summer     Wikipedia, Official, styles: dance, disco, funk, gospel, pop, R&B, rock, soul


Édith Piaf     Wikipedia, Official, styles: cabaret, chanson, torch song
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf     Wikipedia, Official, styles: Lieder, opera, operetta
Ely Guerra     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, chill-out, jazz, pop, rock
Enigma     Wikipedia, Official, styles: electronica, new age, world
Eurythmics     Wikipedia, Official, styles: new wave, pop, rock, synthpop
Eva Cassidy     Wikipedia, Official, styles: blues, folk, gospel, jazz, pop, soul


Faithless     Wikipedia, Official, styles: electronica, house, trance
Fatboy Slim     Wikipedia, Official, styles: electronica, house, rave
Frankie Goes to Hollywood     Wikipedia, Official, styles: dance, new wave, pop, rock, synthpop


Gary Numan     Wikipedia, Official, styles: electronica, new wave, rock, synthpop 
George Michael     Wikipedia, Official, styles: dance, disco, pop, soul
Glenn Miller     Wikipedia, Official, styles: big band, swing
Gloria Estefan     Wikipedia, Official, styles: dance, Latino, pop
Goldfrapp     Wikipedia, Official, styles: electronica, synthpop
Gorillaz     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, electronica, hip hop
Grace Jones     Wikipedia, Official, styles: chanson, dance, disco, electronica, funk, new wave, R&B, reggae, rock
Groove Armada     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, chill-out, electronica, house
Guillemots     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, indie, rock


Heather Nova     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, rock


Isha D     Wikipedia, Official, styles: dance, house


Jace Everett     Wikipedia, Official, styles: country, rock
James Blunt     Wikipedia, Official, styles: folk, pop, rock
Jamiroquai     Wikipedia, Official, styles: acid jazz, dance, disco, electronica, funk, pop, R&B, rock, soul
Jean Michel Jarre     Wikipedia, Official, styles: ambient, electronica, new age, trance
Joan Armatrading     Wikipedia, Official, styles: blues, folk, pop, rock
John Denver     Wikipedia, Official, styles: country, folk, pop, western
John Michael Talbot     Wikipedia, Official, styles: country, folk, gospel, liturgical
Joy Division     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, new wave


Kalimba     Wikipedia, Official, styles: Latino, pop, rock
Keith Green     Wikipedia, Official, styles: gospel, rock
Kiri Te Kanawa     Wikipedia, Official, styles: musical, opera, popera
Kraftwerk     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, electronica, synthpop
Kylie (Minogue)     Wikipedia, Official, styles: dance, disco, electronica, pop, synthpop


Lady Gaga     Wikipedia, Official, styles: dance, electronica, pop
Liza Minnelli     Wikipedia, Official, styles: cabaret, jazz, musical, pop
Lotte Lenya     Wikipedia, Official, styles: cabaret, chanson, musical
Louis Armstrong     Wikipedia, Official, styles: jazz, pop, swing


M People     Wikipedia, Official, styles: dance, disco, soul
Madonna     Wikipedia, Official, styles: dance, disco, electronica, folk, jazz, pop, swing
Malena Ernman     Wikipedia, Official, styles: cabaret, chanson, jazz, opera, popera
Mama Cass Elliot     Wikipedia, Official, styles: folk, pop
Maria Callas     Wikipedia, Official, styles: opera
Marlene Dietrich     Wikipedia, Official, styles: cabaret, chanson
Maroon 5     Wikipedia, Official, styles: dance, pop, rock
Matt Alber     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, disco, easy listening, folk, torch song
Meat Loaf     Wikipedia, Official, styles: rock
Michael Card     Wikipedia, Official, styles: gospel, liturgical
Mieczyslaw Horszowski     Wikipedia, Official, styles: classical
Mika     Wikipedia, Official, styles: pop, rock
Moby     Wikipedia, Official, styles: ambient, dance, electronica, house, techno
Mono     Wikipedia, Official, styles: electronica, trip hop


New Order     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, dance, new wave, synthpop
Nightcrawlers     Wikipedia, Official, styles: acid jazz, house, soul
Nina Simone     Wikipedia, Official, styles: blues, folk, gospel, jazz, R&B
Noël Coward     Wikipedia, Official, styles: musical, operetta, pop


Oasis     Wikipedia, Official, styles: Britpop, rock
Odyssey     Wikipedia, Official, styles: disco, soul
Olive     Wikipedia, Official, styles: electronica, trip hop

Orchestral Manœuvres (in the Dark)     Wikipedia, Official, styles: electronica, new wave, synthpop
Orquesta sinfónica de RTVE     Wikipedia, Official, styles: classical


P!nk     Wikipedia, Official, styles: folk, pop, rock, R&B
Pat Benetar     Wikipedia, Official, styles: pop, rock
Pet Shop Boys     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, dance, pop, synthpop
Peter Skellern     Wikipedia, Official, styles: easy listening, musical, pop
Phil and John     Wikipedia, Official, styles: gospel
Phillip Glass     Wikipedia, Official, styles: classical, opera
Portishead     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, trip hop, rock
Pulp     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternatice, Britpop, indie, rock


R.E.M.     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, pop, rock
Rodrigo y Gabriela     Wikipedia, Official, styles: flamenca, pop, Latino, rock
Roxy Music     Wikipedia, Official, styles: new wave, pop, rock
Roy Orbison     Wikipedia, Official, styles: country, pop, rock
Röyksopp     Wikipedia, Official, styles: ambient, chill-out, electronica, house, synthpop


Sade     Wikipedia, Official, styles: R&B, soul
Scissors Sisters     Wikipedia, Official, styles: disco, pop, rock
Sebastien Tellier     Wikipedia, Official, styles: electronica, new wave, pop, synthpop
Sigur Rós     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, ambient, electronica, pop
Simon and Garfunkel     Wikipedia, Official, styles: folk, pop
Simply Red     Wikipedia, Official, styles: pop, soul
Sister Sledge     Wikipedia, Official, styles: disco, pop, R&B, soul
Snatam Kaur     Wikipedia, Official, styles: liturgical, new age, world
Snow Patrol     Wikipedia, Official, styles: indie, pop, rock


Texas     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, Britpop, pop, rock
The Blues Brothers     Wikipedia, Official, styles: blues, R&B, soul, rock
The Cure     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, new wave, rock
The Divine Comedy     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, pop
The Gipsy Kings     Wikipedia, Official, styles: flamenca, Latino, pop
The Human League     Wikipedia, Official, styles: electronica, new romantic, synthpop
The Ink Spots     Wikipedia, Official, styles: easy listening, pop, R&B
The Mamas and the Papas     Wikipedia, Official, styles: folk, pop
The Monks and Choirboys of Downside Abbey     Wikipedia, Official, styles: Gregorian, liturgical
The Tourists     Wikipedia, Official, styles: new wave, pop, rock
Todd Terry     Wikipedia, Official, styles: house
Tracey Chapman     Wikipedia, Official, styles: blues, folk, pop, rock, soul
Transglobal Underground     Wikipedia, Official, styles: electronica, fusion, world
Tricky     Wikipedia, Official, styles: trip hop


U2     Wikipedia, Official, styles: rock
Ultravox     Wikipedia, Official, styles: electronica, new wave, synthpop
Underworld     Wikipedia, Official, styles: dance, house, trance
Urban Species     Wikipedia, Official, styles: dub, funk, hip hop, jazz
Ute Lemper     Wikipedia, Official, styles: cabaret, musical, opera


Vangelis     Wikipedia, Official, styles: classical, electronica, new age, rock
Vienna Blood     Wikipedia, Official, styles: country, rock


Wilfried     Wikipedia, Official, styles: punk, new wave, rock


Yazoo     Wikipedia, Official, styles: alternative, new wave, synthpop