AUTHOR: James Dowen

Inspiration in Estepona

I saw an incredible woman on the beach today.

I’m over in Spain for a few days for my old friend, Ian Marmion’s, fortieth
birthday celebrations and I am delighted to let you know, blog, that I have
stolen a few hours each day to chill out on the beach in Estepona. The
water has been warm, with some cracking waves rolling over, and the weather
has been fine. Life is good.

This afternoon I was stranded on my sun lounger, as usual, looking like an
enormous pink beached jellyfish, and a very attractive woman, the other side
of the beach, caught my eye. A mother of two children, that she was looking
after, swimming in the sea and building sand-castles with, feeding up on a
Spanish picnic, and keeping generally entertained…all with just one arm.
The way she managed to compensate and use her ‘stump’ (are you allowed to
use the word ‘stump’, blog? Is there a preferential adjective available?)
was quite inspirational. Nothing stopped her and it was transfixing to see
the way she didn’t allow herself to be held back in any way.

Did I go over and have a chat with her? Did I pay her an admiring



Wouldn’t want to do anything possibly productive or chivalrous like that.
Might involve having a little bit of spine in a moment of slight social
awkwardness. No, no, no. What a silly thing to do, that would be.


In other news:

Carrying on in a similar vein (actual disability, not my social inability) I
went to the Paralympics recently and saw the table tennis. I have to be
honest and say that it wasn’t thrilling but the great sense of human spirit
hung in the air thickly enough to cut with a knife. It was one of those
events where you just want everyone to win and make their dreams come true
on what would have, most probably, been the biggest day of their lives.

Later that evening I went for dinner with Jerry ‘Warfumstaw’ Croxford and
Tom Power, and the superb event that is the Paralympics, was our primary
point of discussion. Then out of the blue, Tom told us that he was amazed
Joe Cocker had achieved so much as a musician, seeing as he was a ‘spastic’.

I was simply lost for words and, in spite of Tom’s protests, I ridiculed his
suggestions that the said singer, had Downs Syndrome. Tom was deadly
serious though, simply wouldnt hear any of my claims to the contrary, and
said that he had been informed by a ‘very reliable source.’. Err, yes,
possibly the same source that informs the Scottish Highlands police each
week of Loch Ness Monster sightings?!

I am able to confirm to all, not just Tom Power, having searched at length
regarding this topic, using Google, that Joe Cocker, most definitely, does
NOT have Downs Syndrome.

Will get back to you again soon, blog.

Ben x