The 140

I was fortunate enough to spend the afternoon at the South Oxhey Community Centre, doing African drumming. The vibe was great. At the end I told the other participants that being and drumming with them had been a fantastic experience, helping me with the ALS. A short while after, a lady said to me she thought it was great I had said that; she told me she has a condition which is wasting her spinal column. I reached out for her hand and she said she found it hard to talk about. People need a hand, literally and metaphorically. The more I look the more I see people whose lives aren’t just perfect; a decent community helps them as they try and help themselves.

During the tea break I spoke with  Raymond. He drives the 140 from Harrow to Heathrow Airport, starts at 3am, does three round trips per day and works five days a week; he’s been doing this 16 years and is 67. ‘I love it, every journey is different and I like helping people.’ I like reality TV programmes which show and recognise the working lives of the people who may not have glamorous jobs, but who keep the cogs of our interconnected world turning. With folks like Raymond there’s not much ego; how fantastically refreshing.

When I was in the business world I was certainly appreciative of the man who drove the bus, the cash-desk person at the canteen or the check-in agent. I always thanked. As I have opened myself, I have seen that many many people who do ‘boring’ jobs are in fact totally happy. It is not correct that the amount of money you have or your level in the hierarchy is proportional to your happiness. This is probably something you already know. 

Hope you like the photo of the cake to celebrate the end of the drumming course!


Author: Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

2 thoughts on “The 140”

  1. Hi Andrew,

    I look forward to seeing a new post from you pop up in my inbox. You have a marvellous way with words and in my opinion you have better insight into the current state of society than BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day.

    Keep it up.

    All the best,

  2. Hola Andrew,

    I am just discovering your blog thanks to Mr. Lohmann, It is impacting me, I like the way you think.

    I always remenber your great caracter and homour sense, even with the trainees and all the persons around you :-).

    Please receive my best wishes from Madrid and keep pushing.

    Best regards Sir,

    Javier Valdés

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