Small Town Inertia

Documentary & Portraits by J A Mortram

Market Town : David : As cold as clay

Throughout the course of 2014, I’ve visited David frequently, documenting his daily routines, listening to his memories, fears, dreams and frustrations as he has navigated a year filled with challenges as a result of his being blinded in a freak accident, and the loss of his beloved Mother, Eugene.

Eugene’s passing has left a wound, for David, every part as brutal as the loss of his sight. Days, weeks alone, isolation and enforced solitude permeate every waking day and night.

Fear of the outside world has taken centre stage, fear of bullying, verbal abuse from unseen strangers, as he makes his way through the crowded streets and roads into market town for food.


David in his late Mother’s bedroom, where he’s slept since her passing in late 2013.

“It’s no good pretending things have got better, they haven’t, they’ve got worse, much worse since Mother died. This year has been the worst of them all. It doesn’t improve, it all just seems to get worse and worse.”

“I can manage all right in the house, I don’t have any problems managing things indoors, strangely enough, I know where I put all my things and if you’re there on your own, as I am, they don’t move, do they, like, I’ll put a box of cup a soup in my cupboard, and I know where I put them, so they’ll be there, and I can go straight to them. So, things have been relatively ok inside the house, it’s just a pity the rest of it, going outside, is not as easy.”

“I get very lonely. Sometimes when I go out and have an unpleasant experience, people saying things to me in the street, having a go and saying nasty things, then I’m thankful to get back home and I think to myself, perhaps it’s not such a bad deal after all, staying here, alone, if all I find is trouble when I venture outside. It’s a catch 22, there’s no one having a go at me if I stay here, but if I stay here, I’m always on my own, so then I have to deal with the constant loneliness.”


Leaving the house to walk into town to buy food.

“Sometimes it goes well, going outside, but, I’d say half the time, more than half the time it’s been very difficult, to say the least. There are days every single week where things do not go well, when I leave the house to go into town. People keep saying that I must be 85 or 105 and they don’t want me about. They say I must be using my white stick because I’m old and decrepit, they say some terrible things.”


Fighting the fear of the unknown and since the accident that blinded David, the unseen.

“I used to go into town early, but the trouble was, there is always such of a crowd by the bus stop in the centre of town, and sometimes that can be a lot of trouble.”

“I’ll always try to get out before I run low on things, bread, milk but of course, not being able to see, you can’t tell what the skies look like, you can leave and half way to town, it can pour down but you wouldn’t know it was coming as you can’t see the clouds. It was bad last week, a lot of rain, I can’t use an umbrella, use my cane and carry a bag of shopping, so I stayed in for three, four days and I was down to one slice of stale bread left, so I had to go into town, I had no choice. I was all out of milk and everything, so I had to go. What choice did I have?.”


The cane that David uses to walk into town, is essential.

“Women follow me, sometimes it’s children, too, insulting me as I go, especially if I walk through the new precinct, saying they don’t want me blocking the street, and I’m old and shouldn’t be out and about, that no one wants me about, that I’m horrible looking.”

“A few people that have known me since I was a teenager go on like this too, and of course, I don’t know what I look like any more, as I can’t see, they act like they don’t know me at all and say awful things and go on and on in a weird, intimidating, insulting way and it frightens me, terrifies me. That’s my life, now, that’s my reality.”

“Sometimes, I’ll have things said to me and I’ll get all fiery and stand my ground, other times, nasty things will be said to me, and I’ll get really down in the dumps. Other days, I’ll just wake up feeling down, or I’ll go to bed and I’ll seem chirpy but wake up and feel so depressed I won’t want to head out of the front door, so if I have some food in the house, I’ll just not bother and I’ll stay here, alone.”


David waiting for the supermarket staff to collect his order.

“One thing, that’s been very good, is the way they look after me in Iceland (Supermarket). I’d be in a terrible muddle without their help as I’d never be able to find the things I needed on their shelves. I walk from home, into town, and to Iceland and I go up to where the tills are and I’ll stand there and wait until they spot me.”


Supermarket staff handing David his bag of shopping.

“When they see me they will ring the bell or if one of their staff is free they will come up to me and ask me what I want. So, I tell them what I need and they go off and get the things, then put them all through the till, come back, and tell me what the total price will be and I’ll hand over a five pound note, or whatever it comes too, then they pass me the change and my shopping and help me back out of the shop and up the steps so I can make my way home again. It’s very kind of them, a huge help.”


The walk, to and from town, is along a busy, noisy road.

“When I was a boy, a little boy, after the Cuban missile crisis, they really thought there was going to be a nuclear war, and a lot of people were going to be killed, I’d still be in primary school, they blind trained us, put us in blindfolds and taught us how to find our way out of the school, as though a bomb had been dropped and we’d all been blinded.”

“Norfolk and Suffolk you see, they were going to be the front line of a Nuclear war with Russia, because America had so many tactical sites here. So, we were told, “If you’re not killed by the atomic bombs, you’ll be blinded, or burned and have radiation sickness and die of cancer, as a result.”

“They blindfolded us and there we all were, all us children, feeling our way around in the dark, trying to find our way out of the school. They blindfolded us, but we were never given a stick, to aid us, so that’s how now I know how much better it is to use a cane, to feel your way around.”


Navigating the pavement on the journey home, each step, a step into blackness.

“I felt my way, by hand, out of the assembly hall and along the corridor, found my way to the cloakroom and when I reached there I followed the wall to the door to outsides and made my way out to the playground.”

“We were all put through that because the thought was we were all soon to be blown up, they, the teachers and adults were talking about it as though it was really going to happen.”

“When I was first blinded, in the hospital, I was begging them for a stick as I’d remembered this experience of being made to understand blindness, without a stick, when I was a child and when you have a stick, you can hold it out in front of you and tap away, feeling for obstructions in front and around you as you go.”


“I’m holed up here, like an outlaw, if I venture out, I have unseen enemies after me, the weather can be an enemy too. I’m outside of everything, because I’m blind, I can’t be a part of things, so I’m apart from them, I can’t go in anywhere and have a look, I can’t really mix with other blind people, as they may have gone blind in another ways to me, so, I’m outside every group, an outlaw.”


“What caused the collapse in this country, was banks. Greed. It wasn’t anything to do with anyone in a wheelchair. According to David Cameron, he presents it as a handful of people in wheelchairs and disabled are responsible for draining the finances of the country, when the truth of it is, too many people borrowed money and never paid it back and the banks ran out of money. There’s no connection at all to the state of the country and someone that’s lost their legs, or is blind, or in a wheelchair.”

“They want to cover it up, blame people that have nothing at all to do with the countries financial collapse, and that’s exactly what politicians do, blame people that have nothing to do with this collapse.”



Eating dinner, a one pound ready meal, alone.

“I’ve only been blind under this current government and I feel like the current regime, really, has not helped my situation, by the way they talk about disabled people, and with their policies. If anything, the way the government talks about the disabled within society, it makes it easier for people to be nasty to us.”



“When you hear on the news, and they are having a go, at disabled people, then usually, there’s a lot more trouble, a lot more hostility, when I go out into town the following morning. It’s not a one time event, every time anything unfavourable is said on the news, the next day, you feel it, hear it, in the words people say and in the way that they say them, that hostility, resentment.”


David, 2014.

“Like when Lord Freud made that statement that disabled people should work for two pounds an hour, he really should not have said that because, we have a minimum wage, right?, and once we have a law in place, you should not break it, so if anything he’s suggesting businesses break the law. He makes a clear division between us, the disabled community, and them. Really, they all do that, everyone seems to do that, making us something ‘other’, outside and apart from everyone else.”

“It’s difficult to explain, when you’re so pushed away from other people, it just all adds up to this feeling that you don’t and shouldn’t exist. It makes you feel other, other than a human being and that’s partly what makes you feel so down in the dumps.”


“I haven’t got a future, so I don’t think about one. I don’t expect to be around too much longer, so I just don’t think on a future, my future at all, that’s a strange thing to say, I know, but it’s how I feel. When Mother died, that was as bad a blow as losing my sight, if not worse.”

“Now, even though I can manage around the house, there’s no emotional back up, now she’s gone. When I’m down in the dumps about no longer being able to see, or from things said to me in town, Mother would listen and help me through those times, but now, I’m all alone. When you go downhill, emotionally, and there is no one there to help pick you up, you just stay down, you understand?. It’s very difficult.”


David, pointing out a scar, the result of a physical assault prior to the accident that blinded him for life.

“When I was a boy, I had some chickens and sometimes you’ll get some and they’ll start pecking at one bird, and it seems like once one gets a bit of blood, a feather or two gone from a hen and they get to the blood of the bird, they all jump in, pecking at it, attacking this one hen and the only way to stop them was by putting some tar on the hens feathers and then when this gang of birds would attack, then they would get this tar in their beaks and not be able to spit it out, and they don’t like the taste, so they stop.”

“That blood lust, that mentality, that seems to me to be the way people can be. I think of that a lot, especially when I get trouble in town, we are like chickens in a run and when one has a go, the rest join in, jumping on the same one. It’s exactly the same thing, isn’t it?, except instead of birds doing it to one, it’s people doing it, we really are no different. We are no better, are we?.”

“The thing is, you can stop the birds doing it, but people, I don’t know if there is a way to stop people behaving in this way. You’d think the deterrent would be guilt and shame, for acting in such a fashion, but no, people don’t seem to have those feelings any more, they just do as they want, well, some people have feelings of guilt but, they are never the ones that have a go or become a bully.”

“That’s how I honestly feel about it. When the poor blame the poor, it’s the gang of chickens, singling out the weak ones, and trying to peck them to death, when they should all be against the farmer, for it’s him that’ll be cutting their heads off.”


Enduring a panic attack, which have been frequent, since Eugene’s passing.

“When my Father died, people would have a go at me, they used to have a go at me before he died when I was eight, because he was working on the land and in those days working on the land was looked at as bad as working on a chain gang.”

“People always had a low opinion of anyone that worked on the land. People never had much respect for me because my Father worked on the land.”

“Then, when my Father died, they had less respect for me, because he was dead, now, being blind, I feel that same absence of respect from people, I’ve gone back to how it was when I was a boy, only lower down now as I can’t see anything, so it’s worse now. Full circle, only worse. Back where I started, like I’m an outlaw.”

“I remember going to the big school, and there were six or seven hundred boys there and only one other boy and myself had Father’s that had died, so we were outcasts, outlaws then.”

“People prey on other people as the know they can get away with it, they seem to look for a situation someone is in, and if they feel no one cares about that situation and the person, they are the ones they go after, as no one will give a damn, like, it’s socially acceptable to hunt down the weak.”


In the kitchen, illuminated by a halogen heater, David’s sole source of heating.

“I dream, I dream just as much as I ever did. Now, my Mother is in them. When she was still alive, I’d seldom dream of her, but since she died, I do. When you wake up, it’s even worse, as in my dreams I can still see, I can see Mother and she’s there and then I wake up and I’m returned to this reality where my Mother, and my sight, are gone, so that makes everything so much worse.”

“Whenever I dream, it’s never here, never dreams of this house, street, this town, it’s always when we lived in another village, in the countryside proper. In some dreams, I’m looking out of what would have my bedroom window as a boy and my Mother is there. I remember what her shoes looked like, from when I could still see, these small shoes, and in this one dream there were her shoes, standing on a mat all alone, because she’s gone. I remember that dream very vividly, and waking up from it, waking up every morning and she’s gone. She’s gone.”

“Some nights I don’t dream at all, and perhaps the morning after I’ll fare better, I mean, when I dream, it’s sort of like it’s real and I can still see, it might be daytime in my dreams whereas my reality, my every day is, it’s always black, blackness. So dreams, they make it harder to cope with blindness, as you can be dreaming, seeing, in daylight and when you wake, again, returned to blackness. Every morning, it’s like being blinded, all over again.”


Alone in his front room, David sits next to his late Mother’s chair, since her passing, now empty.

“The main thing about Christmas is, how many days the shops will be shut, and if I can get enough food in, to last me over when they are all closed. Christmas, I usually get in a bigger muddle than any other time of the year.”

“When you’re looked on like I am, you know there will be no people running around after you, as you’re not wanted any more, you’re of no use to anyone, so, I’ll be on my own. All I think about Christmas is, I hope I can get enough food in, that’s all I have to say about Christmas.”

“I am going to end it, only, I don’t have a good means to do it. I want to get out of it. I’ve thought about going to Switzerland and getting it done there, I’ll see what happens next year. I’ll see how I feel then.”

In this holiday season please consider donating to the Guide dogs for the blind association.


  • Terry

    December 21, 2014 at 2:32 pm → Reply

    Hi Jim

    I think it’s great that you’re highlighting David story in your usual sensitive way.. I hope David takes some comfort in the fact that his story is being read and felt by hundreds if not thousands of people who otherwise would never have known of him, just like me.. No one should be alone! I wish him lots of love and hope somehow things will improve for him soon.
    Keep up the good work Jim and thankyou for sharing x

  • Ron Hewit

    December 21, 2014 at 4:05 pm → Reply

    a heartbreaking story beautifully told with a quiet, simmering anger. Every MP in the land should be made to read it and then do something to help people as vulnerable as David. Here’s hoping for a better 2015

  • Paulo

    December 21, 2014 at 4:14 pm → Reply

    I really don’t know what to say Jim but I will ask you for a small favor, please give David a hug from me. Sending him my very best positive thoughts all the way from Lisbon.

  • sc

    December 21, 2014 at 8:12 pm → Reply

    Could you put him in touch with the Salvation army? or ask them to contact him? He may be able to join them for their Christmas lunch and that way have some company too in a safe environment without being judged. Well done on bringing this to people’s attention.

  • Riordan Smith

    December 21, 2014 at 9:57 pm → Reply

    As one of the staff at Iceland I would just like to say thank-you for highlighting David’s story and to David for being so patient with us. If we are all serving it can sometimes take us a while to get over to him but we let him know we are coming and he always tells us its fine. I think we feel worse about the wait than he does. I’ve only been there a few months but he is a lovely man and I know the rest of the team will agree with me when I say he is very close to our hearts and we hope we have the pleasure of serving him for many years to come.

    • JA Mortram

      December 22, 2014 at 10:17 am → Reply

      You, all, are the best!. I know for a fact how deeply David appreciates your help, patience, understanding and vitally, the way you talk with and treat him, like a human being. Thank YOU!.

  • Debby hook

    December 22, 2014 at 9:04 am → Reply

    This is the second blog I have read about David. His situation seems to be much worse. I live in Dereham and would like to help him- if he wants it. I have always thought what a brave man he is when I have seen him in town but didn’t realise how he was struggling. You have my email to get in touch if you think I could help

  • JA Mortram

    December 22, 2014 at 10:22 am → Reply

    Thanks, Debby. As ever, I will pass all these supportive messages on to David, thank you.

    Whilst working on this story, once I was aware David had no fridge or freezer, I put a shout out on some local community boards on line, and within a day had a freezer donated, from a very kind family, in town. I’ve taken the freezer to David’s, it’s installed and will be filled with food for the Christmas (and, importantly, beyond) holidays. I’m also sorting him a fridge, for daily use.

    Thanks, all for the comments and care, David (and I) truly appreciate them.

  • Richard Davies

    December 23, 2014 at 11:04 am → Reply

    Thank you for sharing these stories. Absolutely heartbreaking, It makes me so angry how callous people can be, both the people who give David a hard time and the government for making his life worse. Why do people blame and punish the unfortunate?!

    • JA Mortram

      December 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm → Reply

      What David really desires, and what he desires, is vital and must be respected, is for society, to change, and for policy not to create an atmosphere of blame and hatred towards those within society, that need our empathy, the most.

  • Karan Kettle

    December 31, 2014 at 8:38 pm → Reply

    I’m from Dereham, now lucky to be living in California. I remember seeing David out and about in town before his accident. Your stories about him are so touching, thought-provoking and well written. I’m so glad he has you (and Iceland) looking out for him and giving him access to some of the things he needs to make his life easier. I can’t believe how cruel some people can be, David has had to contend with the most heartbreaking of circumstances. Thank you for the updates and wish him a happier and easier 2015. I wish I could help.

  • Yve Collins

    January 3, 2015 at 5:54 pm → Reply

    I cannot believe people could be so cruel. Reading Davids storuy broke my heart. His community should be helping him, not spurning him, what is wrong with these people, have they no hearts. Give David a big hug, and tell him he is worth double any of those thoughtless creature. Well done to Iceland for caring and treating David as a human being, bless you all. The S.A should get involved in helping him, cannot understand why they have left him on his own like that. Stay strong David. xxxx

  • JA Mortram

    January 4, 2015 at 11:39 am → Reply

    Thank you.

    Many folk are becoming inspired, understanding that they can, we can, all do more for those around us, communities are ours, no one else’s, ours.

    The staff at Iceland, have and continue to be amazing. If we all do a little something, for someone else, each and every day, it brings us all closer together.

  • jamie dearden

    January 4, 2015 at 3:35 pm → Reply

    David’s story blew me away. totally swept me off my feet. It is such an amzingly fresh insightful story. I had never considered what it would be like to see life through the eyes of a blind man. It’s blown my mind. The blind thought at school with the blind folds. The social comparission between the chickens and people. It’s a simplistic almost child like analogy, it’s that honest almost innocent perspecive resonates such purity. Anyone who is not emotionally moved by Davids story has a heart of stone. It’s really sad that one of his only sources of positive human interaction is through the staff in Iceland. Them being so nice, when they are duty bound to assisst all disabled shoppers. Corporate policy. So a corporation treats him with more dignity then his own neighbours. it is a shocking state of affairs. Wish I closer to him, I would offer my time to provide a stranger some comfort. But their are millions of people like David isolated, alone and vunerable. Their is only one of me. But if we all work together to help all of the people like David then the world can be a better place for everyone.

  • JonathanJK

    January 5, 2015 at 1:10 pm → Reply

    Wow, Jim, such a tragic story, made more tragic by those people around David treating him so badly. Who the hell picks on the blind? I’m equally annoyed that people listen to the Tory government regarding disabled people. Argh, we are overdue a revolution with a systematic shakeup of the power structure. We know it’s corrupt when those in power can say without any shame that the disabled should work for 2 pound an hour. It’s their job to make the world a better place!

    I live in Hong Kong now and everyday I see cripples, amputees and people with birth defects on the streets as I go about my business, all of them begging. This doesn’t include old people with bent over backs pushing carts piled head high with cardboard so they get paid pittance for recycling it.

    You get a larger sense that we are being engineered on a daily basis so that we don’t find the compassion and time to care so much about those less fortunate than us.

    Thanks Jim for this, it’s harrowing and I want to help out, I’ll be donating after I finishing typing this, this story has amplified things that I’m already thinking about at the moment, I try to donate money to the people I see here when I can, I’ll be ever more mindful in the future.

    I’ll leave you with this quote as this work brought it to mind.

    “We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.”
    — Charles Bukowski

  • Alice

    January 6, 2015 at 3:56 pm → Reply

    So sorry David is having to cope with all this.

    Just in case its any help Age UK Norfolk run a telephone programme, if David wanted someone could call him once a week to see how things are and offer support. You can contact them at 01603 787 111/ Although face to face is always better this might also be a way to find out about other forms of support that were available locally:–support/befriending/

    By the way, staff at Iceland you sound wonderful, thank you to Riordan and everyone at the shop for being so kind.

  • Brett Patching

    January 8, 2015 at 11:30 pm → Reply

    Thank’s Jim for sharing this update about David. It’s really heartbreaking to read, but I think it’s wonderful how you give him space to tell his story, and support it with your excellent photography.

    I’m in hospital with a depression right now. Is David getting help for his depression and panic attacks? He’s up against so much already, without having to struggle with this illness as well. Please tell him that he’s in my thoughts.

  • Andy

    January 9, 2015 at 10:42 am → Reply

    As a lifelong deaf person I have suffered from similar feelings of loneliness and being afraid to go out, as a society we need to be ashamed things are this way, i think the bullying and uncaring attitudes are fostered from the top down, I don’t think we can change the elites and I agree with JA we can improve our communities on our own, it’s the little things, we can all make a little time to include others where possible, we need to change.

  • JA Mortram

    January 9, 2015 at 1:16 pm → Reply

    Brett, Andy thanks so much, so much for your comments, feelings and care. I wish you both well.

    Brett, no, David’s not getting any help RE depression. I’m hoping and suggesting as many positive plans as possible, without encroaching on something vital, David’s right to be respected, most of all, I’m here as his friend, my door is forever open for him. X

  • Anne

    January 9, 2015 at 11:32 pm → Reply

    Beautifully written, beautifully illustrated, profoundly moving piece. I live in London, or I’d be round David’s tomorrow. I am so glad he has you for a friend. Thank God for that. I notice a crucifix on his wall. One possible suggestion is maybe, if David doesn’t mind, you could talk to a local vicar/priest, if there’s a church nearby – and he or she could maybe mention David’s plight to some members of the congregation, some of whom might be glad to drop round for a chat or to read to him or to go out for a walk with him, protecting him from cruelty just by their presence. 15 years ago, my vicar mentioned a blind man on my road, and I started visiting him and he has become one of my closest and most valued friends. And it’s mutual. Anyway, just an idea – please give David my very best regards, and huge respect. And same to you.

  • Imelda

    January 10, 2015 at 9:09 am → Reply

    I have just come across this desperately sad story, thank you for telling it and for David letting his story be told. I hope that David had a wonderful christmas and that in 2015 he will find the care and support he deserves.

  • Anna

    January 10, 2015 at 8:55 pm → Reply

    I’m shocked at how cruel people can be.

    Wishing a very good year to you both, I hope things get better for David.
    I will make a donation to the charity you have suggested.

  • Rāj

    January 16, 2015 at 4:12 pm → Reply

    James, I found you through Huck Magazine. Instantly bookmarked this site. Superb photos, touching stories, wonderful project. Makes you wonder where we’re going as a society.

  • Stuart Pilkington

    February 20, 2015 at 12:20 am → Reply

    I wish I could impact on David the great value he has, his intelligence, his wisdom, his sense of right and wrong, his understanding of human nature, his sensitivity and irradicate the impact of those pecking chickens. Indeed, I wish I could bring his sight back and his Mum. I just wish he was surrounded by more kind people like the ones in the supermarket and you Jim. These bullies are more than dreadful. This man should feel nothing but good about himself. Thanks for the excellent piece highlighting what life is like for people like David.

    • Peter Flynn

      February 4, 2019 at 7:30 pm → Reply

      I totally agree with this. The over-riding sense that I got from reading David’s story is what a sensitive, eloquent and emotionally intelligent man he is. He has a fantastic way with words and a desperate reality that cannot be allowed. We cannot be bowed by inhumanity and unbelievable cruelty, it’s obvious from Jim’s (incredible) work and the comments here that there is love and care for “Davids” everywhere. Just a smile on the street for a stranger is worth a lot. David – if you are hearing any of this, please hang in, there are people who you do not know who love you and care about your plight. Anyone near him or who knows him, please look after him, we must not let him down. Jim, thanks for your work, you are a perfect ego-less conduit for your friends.

  • Kelly

    May 2, 2015 at 6:12 am → Reply

    I am disgusted with something’s I’ve read in this lovely article on David about people in Dereham but I hate to say not surprised as some Dereham folk do not respect our town or people in it!!!
    This story is lovely to read as me and my family have always seen him about and found him to be a where’s wally character as you just didn’t know where you would find him next with all his walking,”there he is!”
    I will be one still keeping an eye out to make sure he is safe and looked after on the streets xxx

  • Neale James

    June 1, 2015 at 2:32 pm → Reply

    I’ve read this story over and over and I still take something from it each time. Jim, you do such important work with your sensitive coverage of the neighbours within your town. I can’t believe how ‘humanity’ works on so many levels. But I’m sure, little by little, and it must truly feel that way often, your stories and your real empathy for the subjects you spend time with, will surely help, if only sometimes to show the ‘sitters’ that they are an important to someone.

  • Sudeep Mukherjee

    August 16, 2015 at 2:00 pm → Reply

    Hi Jim,

    Your blog is one of the best I have seen, and I seen/read a lot of them. Great work, very inspiring!

    Warm regards from India,

  • Fiona Pickett

    February 24, 2016 at 10:52 am → Reply

    I hope David has more help now. The BWBF (British Wireless for the Blind Fund) could help with equipment & there’s the Norfolk Blind Society in Norwich. Above all, he needs some friends and some company – is there anything locally? I’m sure you’ve considered all this though.

    • Tiffany

      January 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm → Reply

      I’ve just read the article and it’s broken my heart and have had a cry for David.
      I live locally and if I can help David with shopping or something I’d really like to help. Do you know how he is getting on now I’m 2017?
      Please get in touch
      I’ve left my number for you to text as emails tend to go to junk.

  • Darren Sponer

    January 19, 2017 at 1:14 am → Reply

    The fact you managed to get the trust and the respect to actually sit down and get to know this individual only says outstanding things about you as a human. Everyday on my usual walk, I see David. Everytime, I quietly with no noise leave the path I am on to give him the whole path to be confortable, unscathed by unknown footsteps, and everyday I see David a bit of my heart yearns for him. I am glad, that somebody spent time and showed his story interest. Maybe one day my broken heart for this guy will pluck up the courage to say hello and that his story through your words is truly inspiring, without feeling id add to his already huge list of fears and social anxiety’s. I have completely lost faith in this town. And to think people say anything about this guy different than offering help makes me want to move from Dereham the ever quicker.

  • Denise ward

    January 19, 2017 at 6:34 am → Reply

    I leave near Dereham I want to help.
    Even if it’s just popping in for a chat and to read the paper for David.
    Please get in contact with me.

  • Hilary Williams

    January 21, 2017 at 12:29 pm → Reply

    Have you thought of getting David to Meeting Point where he would have company,hot food and a hot drink for a small amount. It is a lifeline for the lonely. I wish him well and thank you for helping him.

  • JA Mortram

    January 21, 2017 at 3:46 pm → Reply

    Thank’s everyone, it’s great to know that there are so many caring folk in Dereham, your comments and wishes, all, are much appreciated!.

    Sometimes it can be very scary for Dave (Understandably so!) when a stranger’s voice comes out of the blackness and says “Hello!” scary, and disorientating, as Dave has to memorise every step of the routes he has learned.

    RE help, I know what Dave would say, he’d say “I don’t wish to be singled out for help, I just want people to be more considerate and polite, society is a lot harder now, people ruder, less caring!” and to distil his point, something we have talked about a lot, community, it’s ours and what we make it, collectively, it’s easy to think we are impotent and unable to do anything, but in truth, we really can, from being as active as possible in community meetings, striving for more funding, fighting for less cuts to vital health budgets, to something relatively simple, like checking along your own street for anyone that might need help or assistance. It’s really a case of every little help’s and being a part of the people around you.

    RE David in the now, we’re currently working on a story update and a positive one, David’s made the transition from being a man blinded, into a blind man, he copes well and in truth is a huge inspiration, the simple fact that almost entirely on his own, he’s come so far, is of testament to just how strong a man he is, that’s illuminating and enlightening.

    I wrote this article recently, on just how inspiring David truly is :

    The sad truth, in the now, is, in Dereham, just as thousands of other towns in the UK, there are hundreds of thousands of people struggling to survive, put food on tables, enduring illness and stigma and stereotype, marginalised and forsaken by multiple policies that place people behind short term profit. The best way to effect change is to come together, stand together and care for one another.

  • Susan Sklar

    March 23, 2018 at 9:47 am → Reply

    Hi, came across this in the Guardian pictures today. How is David now? Moved, inspired and humbled by this precious man. And what a service you have done in your blog. Thank you.

  • sean Hardingham

    March 25, 2019 at 4:18 pm → Reply

    some beautiful comments here , lovely to see ! Its a cold cruel world sometimes.
    Kudos to you Jim for putting this out there and having such compassion and empathy

  • Mark A Zilberman, LCSW

    May 1, 2019 at 12:14 am → Reply

    I first heard about you and your work on the podcast with Kevin Mullins and Neale James. I’m really impressed with what you’ve done here. I’m a photographer but I’m also a social worker in the New York City area. I’m stunned to read the life of David because it was my assumption that social services in the UK we’re far superior to that. I don’t understand why he’s on his on and alone. I don’t understand why organizations don’t send case managers over. I completely don’t understand the people are so vicious to him. I’m not blind and I’ve never worked with the blind but I’m not familiar with blind people being treated this way anywhere. It’s in comprehensible. I think the best thing that could happen to David if you could get a dog. And I wonder how one goes about that in the UK and if there’s anything I can do to help that along.

    • JA Mortram

      May 19, 2019 at 9:20 am → Reply

      Thanks, appreciated. David is reluctant to get a dog through fears of and seeing-eyed dog being harmed in any way, in addition, he has his routine, a routine he has grown accustomed to, he has his independence and is admirably headstrong. RE social services, austerity has seen devastating cuts, it has also seen (caused) a dramatic rise in anti-social behaviour and hate crimes upon the disabled. Many thanks for your concern, I feel it too, every day.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Market Town : David : As cold as clay