GTA Committee – Steve Dunne
Steve was quite a character. He was blind, but that didn’t stop him attempting almost anything that a sighted person could do.
His committee role was to arrange visits for GTA members to other companies to see how they used I.T. He was cheesed off when GEC decided to only allow him to organise visits to telecommunications companies.
This tied his hands so much that, as far as I remember we didn’t go on any company visits.
But he was a doer, as you could see from the things he filled his spare time with.
A driving force
He drove a Land Rover alone in a big field with only a guide on a two-way radio link between him and a high-speed crash.
This sounds a bit improbable, but, yes he did go scuba diving. His girlfriend was keen on the activity and they dived together.
An international footballer
He played blind football (there was a bell in the ball), representing England in the Blind Football World Cup. They got to the semi-finals but were knocked out by Spain, who only won because they played dirty.
Impressive or what!
You could say that Steve did these and an array of other daredevil activities to prove to all and sundry that he was as impressive as any sighted person.
He was, except more so.
GTA Committee – Ipanema
Ipanema was in charge of publicising GTA events.
She kindly invited me to her wedding. It was very strange, to me, having only ever been to ‘western’ weddings. Throughout the ceremony the men stood outside and chatted and the women sat and chatted. Meanwhile, ignored by everyone but the happy couple on the stage, a Brahmin sat at a flaming fire, chanting.
At one point he tied a rope around the groom’s neck and the groom led his new wife three times around the fire. The bride and groom then swapped positions and she led him around the fire once.
I wonder if this is the origin of the phrase ‘tying the knot.’
GTA Committee – Todd Redgrave
Todd was one of two candidates for the post of GTA Social Secretary, responsible for organising fun times. Someone asked a question of the two would-be social secretaries, “90% of us are blokes – how are you going to get girls to GTA events?”
I thought it’d be a good idea to somehow approach nurses at Walsgrave Hospital, a place I was later to get quite familiar with. I said to Todd, who was sitting next to me, “Find out where the nurses’ accommodation is and invite them.”
He made that his response to the question, got voted in and did nothing.
At least he had something impressive on his CV.
Buying a house
After a few months I decided to buy a house. Despite being a terraced property, inside it had very much the feel of a cottage. It was a lovely little place, and it was very handy for work, being less than ten minutes’ walk away.
Coventry: From zero to hero
Until my uni days I was as shy as a biscuit. I’d shot out of the family home, determined to spend my 4 years study not only getting a qualification but becoming able to fearlessly speak to all sorts of people, particularly those fragrant, mysterious creatures who waft by every once in a while beautifying your days and enriching your dreams. I’m talking about women, obviously.
I was still a man on a mission – not a NASA-style one to find out more about the outer edges of the known universe, but to find myself and push back my own outer edges.
More coming soon!