Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Still still here

Just a quick post to let you know I'm still here! There's nothing really much to report at the moment, just enjoying having some time to myself before the stresses of final year and my new student union position start.

I've also decided to stick around on blogspot for the foreseeable future - I just don't have the motivation to up sticks and restart at the moment, blogging should be fun, not stressful I think!

I'll be back soon with an update on what's going on with me - I have something very exciting potentially happening, but I don't want to say too much about it yet in case I jinx it.

Hope everyone is doing well!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 18 July 2011

Still here!

Just a quick post to say I'm still around and intend to blog again soon. I'm currently attempting to move over to Wordpress as Blogger's starting to drive me a bit insane, so I'll keep you posted on that when I have it all set up and pretty-looking. I've had a couple of really good few weeks - my work experience in London was amazing and I ended up making a five-minute speech in our parliamentary group in front of MPs, transport bosses and the Transport Minister - scary but so exciting! Hope you all are doing well, I promise I'll make it up to you for abandoning you all for so long.

Monday, 20 June 2011


I seem to have started many of my last few posts with apologies for not posting for a while, and this one looks to be no different! I've attempted to blog a couple of times over the past few days, but I've got so much to fill you in on that it's been a bit daunting. However, I finally have enough time and energy to get you up to speed on what's been happening in my life over the past few weeks.

  1. Summer is here! I moved back home on Friday for the holidays and won't be going back to Lancaster until (hopefully, barring any resits) at least the end of September or the beginning of October. My exams went as well as could be hoped, so am trying to push the thought of them to the back of my mind until 14th July which is when I get my results. Fingers crossed I will have done well! It also means that I'm finally free of my problem volunteer, here's hoping that I will get some great volunteers next year.
  2. My brother's wedding was last weekend (the 11th). It was a really amazing day and will remembered for being so special and a great big party. I will try and do a dedicated wedding post over the next few days with photos, if anyone is interested?
  3. I go to London for my work experience a week on Saturday. I will be working for three days, so have the rest of the time to do some touristy bits and bobs and hopefully see a show. Any recommendations for places to go to?
  4. I got a position on my student's union for next term - Liberation Campaigns Officer. You might remember me mentioning this a while back and I decided to go for it. I won by over one hundred votes which is pretty amazing considering I don't consider myself very well known. If you're interested in reading my manifesto, take a look at the Facebook event I set up here.
  5. I also mentioned in that post that I was considering applying for a tv thing called Battlefront. I did apply with one of my Trailblazer friends, but I got a call today saying that we weren't chosen. I'm not too disappointed as they had tons of applications and wasn't really expecting to be picked - of course it would have been nice! - but I'm glad we tried, as nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
Sorry if this post has bored you to death, hehe, and I will hopefully be writing something more interesting soon!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Tasty Friday!

Yes, I know it's not Thursday, but I couldn't wait until next week to share this recipe with you. I'm not sure what the weather is like where you are, but it's really sunny here, and this is the perfect recipe for this sort of weather!

Strawberry Shortcake (from Sorted Recipes - also has a video tutorial on making it!)

You will need:

  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • drop of vanilla essence
  • 225g self-raising flour or 225g plain flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt
  • 150g white chocolate (chocolate chips are easiest)
  • 300ml double or whipping cream
  • 2/3 large punnet of strawberries
  • spoonful of icing sugar to serve

  1. Preheat the oven to 150oC
  2. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl until smooth, light and fluffy
  3. Sieve in the flour and stir it in to form a dough
  4. Chop up the chocolate (if using a bar of chocolate) and mix it into the dough
  5. Push the dough into a round cake tin so it's around 2cm thick
  6. Bake for 20-25 mins depending on your oven until cooked through. It shouldn't be too dark-coloured and will look quite soft, but will harden up as it cools.
  7. Leave it in the tin to cool and harden up a bit before you try getting it out of the tin (we were a bit impatient, so ours broke a little down the centre!)
  8. Whip the cream (either by hand or with an electric whisk) until it forms stiff peaks and spread in over the cooled shortcake base
  9. Slice the strawberries and place on top of the cream
  10. Dust with icing sugar
We had a bit of a disaster getting ours into the fridge at uni, and unfortunately it crumbled into a big mess! It still tastes amazing though and is a really great way to enjoy the summer strawberries!

Before it broke!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Cinema campaign

My posts are like buses, you wait ages for one and then two come along at once! :)

Anyway, our latest campaign with Trailblazers is campaigning for better access to cinemas. We've been doing research for a couple of months now, and are currently working on a documentary about it, which will (fingers crossed) be shown at cinemas before a film.

As part of this, we are also making a petition to present to the cinema manager big-wigs about access to cinemas in the hope they will make some changes in order to better accommodate people with disabilities, particularly those in wheelchairs,

I'd really appreciate if you could sign our petition here; every single signature counts and hopefully we can make some progress in ensuring our trips to the cinema are as enjoyable and pain-free as possible!

Spoon theory

I feel bad that yet again I've not posted in a while, but with revision, exams, wedding prep and more volunteer trouble, I just haven't had the "spoons" to be able to write anything.

"What are spoons?" I hear you ask?

I touched on this briefly early on in my blogging 'career' in my post about defining tiredness but I guess now is a good time to go into it in more detail.

The term "spoons" comes from Christine Miserandino's Spoon Theory in which she talks about her life with Lupus; you should definitely check out this link if you haven't already, it's very insightful and puts into words what a lot of people with chronic disability go through everyday.

For me, I do have to ration my "spoons" to make sure I make it through the day. Even getting a shower, sitting in my wheelchair too long, or just wearing uncomfortable clothes uses up spoons I could be using to go out, read a book, write a blog or any of the other things I enjoy doing. It's definitely a balancing act between making the most of opportunities that come up and enjoying life and making sure that I keep well. For me, if I use up my spoons, or overspend one day then I pay for it with next day's spoons, meaning I'm completely exhausted. Conversely, if I know I have a spoon-intensive day coming up, I'll try and save some up in the days before.

I hope this gives you an insight into my life a little, it's sometimes difficult to explain these things, but I hope I've done it justice. Thanks to Emily Ruth for inspiring today's post; she's also talked about spoon theory from her perspective today, it's a really interesting post and definitely worth a spoon to read it! :)

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Thought for the day

I'm sorry but I don't really have time for a proper blog post today - I'm currently swamped with revision for my exam on Friday. I have a meeting tonight about the officer position at the student union, so hopefully I'll have something positive to report back from that!

I saw this today, so thought I'd post it - it certainly made me smile!

Saturday, 21 May 2011


I have a couple of things which have popped up in the last week or so which I'm interested in getting involved in, but not sure if I'm brave enough! If I talk you through them, could you let me know what you think and whether I should get involved?

  1. Battlefront - it's a Channel 4 thing looking for campaigners. It looks like a great opportunity to raise awareness and get some experience. I could either apply alone or with some Trailblazers.
  2. There's some Cross-Campus Elections going on in a few weeks at my university student union for Officer positions for next year...there's a couple of campaign ones which look interesting and it would be a great chance to make some changes benefitting students like me.
What do you guys think? I'd be really interested in your feedback and support!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Tasty Thursdays

This week's recipe should be a blast from the past for a lot of you - Crispy Cakes!

I made these on Monday after my exam as I needed a chocolate fix! Apologies for the lack of photos, my iPhone battery is playing up, so it was in my room charging.

It's a bit of an unusual recipe (I found it online when I was looking for measurements) as it uses syrup. I've never used syrup in crispy cakes before, just chocolate, but I'd definitely recommend it, it makes them more chewy and gooey than without. This is just the recipe I used, you can variate from it quite a lot - try Mars Bars or marshmallows melted in with the chocolate if you fancy something a bit different!

Crispy Cakes (makes 10-12, depending on case size)

You will need:
  • 90g rice krispies
  • 60g butter, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons maple/golden syrup (golden is more subtle and less strong, but I only had maple!)
  • 100g chocolate
  • Cake/muffin cases

  1.  Melt the chocolate, either in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water, or in short bursts in the microwave.
  2. Mix the butter into the melted chocolate (you shouldn't need to heat it any more to melt it, the residual heat from the chocolate should be enough).
  3. Add the syrup.
  4. Spoon into cake cases and leave to set in the fridge. 

Monday, 16 May 2011


Surrounded by a sea of faces
Who stare at me
Judge me
Pity me
Before they even know my name

Why don't they reach out
Look like they understand
See the real me
Not the wheelchair
Not the disabled body

Just me

(Sorry, I am horrifically bad at poetry!)

Friday, 13 May 2011

New look!

Ok, this is going to be a bit of a disjointed post today as I have lots of little unrelated bits of information to fill you in about:

  1. New look for my blog - I did like my old layout, but it was just a bit too pink for me to be entirely comfortable with it. I'm quite proud of my new layout as I did a lot of the images and coding myself. I hope you like it too - let me know what you think in the comments!
  2. Blogger broke - I'm sure most of you know Blogger was down half of yesterday and half of today - hence no Tasty Thursday this week (I didn't think Tasty Thiday had the same ring to it!)
  3. Revision - not going fantastically, I'm getting really nervous about my first exam on Monday now...I just hope I don't panic in the exam, then I should hopefully be okay.
  4. My Bipap broke again on Wednesday night - it's been overheating a bit over the past couple of months, I've kept sending it to be fixed but it just keeps doing it again after a couple of weeks - very annoying! Because I use it at night, I can't get anyone out to fix it until the following day, luckily my wheelchair charger uses the same connector so we were able to rig it up to work overnight until I could get the engineer (or Bipap man as I refer to them) to come out and look at it the next morning. I've got another loaner machine to use until mine is fixed, or, hopefully, replaced.
  5. I'm having a few problems with one of my volunteers - I'm meant to be coming back to Lancaster for a week after my brother's wedding to pack up my things and meet with my dissertation supervisor. I'd already moved my end date for her - her mum and stepdad are going on holiday so she needs to be home to look after her grandma. However, her birthday is that weekend, and she said she doesn't want to come back after it, and if she did she would want me to pay her return fare! It was not a lot of money (around £10), so I was going to pay it, but my other volunteer and carer have both told me not to, as she is being out of order - the rules say that the project fund only pay for the journeys at the beginning and end of the project, and the university holidays. I've spoken to my volunteer manager, as has my volunteer (not the one I am having problems with), and hopefully she will sort it. I've already said to her that I need her to come back, but she fobbed me off by saying we need to "discuss" it - what is there to discuss?! I'm just worried she'll freak out (she is quite a confrontational person) that I have gone to the manager behind her back, but I have exams coming up and enough stress to deal with, right? Any thoughts on handling volatile people?
How has your week been?

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Blogging community

I've only been blogging for around 2 months now, but already I feel welcomed by the blogging community. Through and their bloggers' group, and people who's blogs I've stumbled upon along the way, I've already 'met' some wonderful, inspiring bloggers who've offered me support, friendship and advice during my short time as a blogger, and for this I'm truly grateful. I started my blog during a time which has been quite emotionally difficult for me, in order for me to work through my feelings, and I think it's good for me to do this. I could've just written down my thoughts, problems and worries privately, but I'm so glad I decided to start a blog; my followers have made me realise that I'm not alone. You've also helped me take a step back and look for and write about the positive thank you!

In a similar vein, a couple of weeks ago, the lovely Rosie gave me a blog award. For this, I'm supposed to:

  1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
  2. Write a post about it.
  3. Pass it on to 12 blogs that you think really deserve it.
  4. Insert the link to their blog.
  5. Send them a message to tell them about it.

So a big thanks to Rosie for giving me this award! I started my blogging journey shortly after Rosie, and her blog is one of my favourite reads at the moment. She has a number of different features on the go (I don't know how she manages to keep track!) and always has something interesting and inspiring to say. She's also a really lovely person who I keep in touch with regularly, and is one of the bloggers I refer to above.

My favourite blogs at the moment are:
  1. Uncommon Sense 
  2. Assimilate This 
  3. 2nd chance @ life? 
  4. Infectiously Optimistic 
  5. What Sadie Did 
  6.  Chronically Creative
  7. Phylor's Blog 
  8. Creaky Girl 
  9. Living for Lucy 
  10.  Touch and Tickle
  11. A Lovely Little World 
  12. Welcome to my world 

How has everyone's weekend been? Unfortunately mine has been filled with a phonetics essay which is due in tomorrow. I finished it a couple of hours ago, so am just about to go back over it, do references etc. My first exam is a week tomorrow, in a weird way I'm actually looking forward to getting it out of the way!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Tasty Thursdays

Yes, it's Thursday again, so time for another recipe for you to try. After last week's fiddly recipe, I'm going to share with you something that's really quick and easy for those times which you want cake and you want it NOW!

Five minute chocolate mug cake
You will need:

  • 1 mug
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa (don't use hot chocolate powder like I did, it doesn't taste great!)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • Optional extras: chocolate chips, peanut butter, jam, nutella etc
  • Optional: cream to serve


  1. Mix dry ingredients together with a fork.
  2. Add the egg, and mix well.
  3. Add the milk and oil, and mix well.
  4. Add in any optional extras.
  5. Microwave on 1000 watts for three minutes. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, so don't be alarmed!
  6. Leave to cool for 2 minutes.
  7. Add cream if desired. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

10 reasons why being disabled is cool

I've been feeling a bit down this week, back at uni after an amazing Easter break has been a downer really. I just feel so alone here, I feel as if I'm balancing on a tightrope trying to keep my emotions in check and not break down into tears - I've been really close a few times and I've only been back 4 days. I'm so close to just packing it all in, but I don't know what I'd do if I wasn't here, and I need a degree to do all the jobs I want to do :( so it's a bit of a catch 22 situation. I'm just taking it one day at a time at the moment, I have a lot of deadlines coming up, so that's keeping me occupied for the moment...just trying to keep busy I guess!

In trying to cheer myself up, I thought I'd compile a bit of a light-hearted list on why being disabled (specifically my disability and how it affects me, though obviously there's overlap with other disabilities/conditions) is cool* (or you might just think I'm a bit of a freak!). So without further ado, being disabled is cool because:

  1. feel like a celebrity because you get stared at so much.
  2. ...your shoulder dislocates spontaneously whilst in a conversation with a friend, and, without flinching or stopping the conversation, you pop it back in with one swift motion whilst said friend looks on in horror/disgust.
  3. have an encyclopaedic knowledge of pain relief, and your friends ask you to advise them on the best painkiller to take by describing their pain to you.
  4. have enough pain relief in your medicine cupboard to sedate an elephant (according to my dad, anyway!)
  5. ...despite never being able to walk, you've sprained your ankles 6 times...twice which you're not sure how it happened.
  6. ...your emergency pain relief kit consists of paracetamol, ibuprofen, codeine and chocolate buttons.
  7. your friends, you sometimes wake up with random injuries you're not sure how they happened...unlike your friends, you were not drinking the night before and went to bed as normal.
  8. ...your best friend plays 'guess where Catherine's internal organs are because of her scoliosis'
  9. ...and you join in.
  10. can never decide whether you're hot or cold because each part of your body is a different temperature, ranging from boiling hot to ice cold.

*Disclaimer: I hope my readers see the intention in which this was written in is just meant to be a bit of lighthearted humourous fun. In no way do I want to make fun of any disabilities or symptoms, as I know from personal experience how debilitating they are and how hurtful it can be to be mocked.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Royal wedding

I hope everyone who had the day off yesterday for the royal wedding had a good time and enjoyed themselves. I had a really great day, to be honest, I had a much better time than I expected! I'd invited one of my friends to stay over to watch the wedding and to come to a BBQ of one of our mutual friends. We got up around 10.30 and watched the wedding whilst eating breakfast. I really liked Kate's dress, quite understated but very flattering, and I thought the bridesmaids were really cute! Prince Harry looked so nervous, bless him, but you could see the support he was giving to his brother and how proud he was of him. I was slightly disappointed the Queen did not have a blanket which matched her dress, I mean, a couple of billion people were watching, she could have at least colour co-ordinated! (sorry, I looked for a photo, but can't seem to find one)

After the wedding, we made our way over to Kathryn's. The weather was lovely, so we spent all afternoon and evening in her garden, just chatting and laughing. It was so nice to have a day off, where I didn't think about uni work at all. I'll leave you with a photo of my cupcake which I had at Kathryn's, very appropriately themed!

What did you get up to?

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Tasty Thursdays

I've decided to christen Thursdays Tasty Thursdays in order to share some of my favourite recipes and treats. For my first Tasty Thursday, I'm going to share something I made last summer at uni with one of my volunteers.

Cake pops (from Bakerella)

As you can see from the website linked above, you can get really creative with your cake pops, depending on your skill and patience. For our first attempt though, we decided to keep it simple!

The finished product

You will need:
  • Sponge cake (we used ready-made plain sponge cake from the supermarket, but you could make your own in whatever flavour you fancy)
  • Buttercream icing (Again, we were lazy and used ready-made plain buttercream icing/frosting, but like before you can make your own in whatever flavour you like)
  •  Decorations: chocolate, icing pens etc
  • Kebab sticks/lollipop sticks
  • Something you can use to stand the sticks in (we found a chunk of polystyrene which worked quite well)

1. Chop up the sponge cake into chunks and combine it with the buttercream icing - you're aiming for a mouldable consistency which isn't too wet.

Me chopping the cake (with ridiculously frizzy hair, sorry!)
2. Mould into balls and spear on a stick, using a touch of melted chocolate (whatever type you're using to coat the entire pop). We used the non-pointy end of the kebab stick so we could use the pointy end to stand them in the polystyrene.
3. Chill. We were impatient so shoved them in the freezer for 20 minutes or so, and they seemed to be okay.
4. Decorate. We melted some white chocolate in a shallow bowl to coat them and then drizzled some milk chocolate on some for a marbled effect. We also used icing pens to decorate. The weight of the chocolate is sometimes an issue at this point, so keep your fingers crossed they stay on the sticks, as we had a few casualties!

Starting to decorate

Happy cake pop!

Cake pop casualty :(


Happy baking!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


Monday (25th April) would have been my mother's 61st birthday. She passed away almost seven years ago from cancer. I was only 13. I know it's hard to lose your mum at any age, but it really hit me hard. She was not just my mum; she was my only carer, my best friend, my advisor. I didn't know how I was going to cope without her.

Seven years on, I still think about her and miss her desperately, but not as much as in the early days. It does make me a bit sad to think that I don't think of her everyday, but I know she would want me to get on with my life and not dwell on her passing too much. When she passed away, I was worried that I would forget her; her smell, the feel of her skin, her laugh, her mannerisms. But I don't think I'll ever forget. I see her everywhere; a song on the radio, a certain smell, a snippet of conversation. They all bring back wonderful memories of her and our life together.

I think I've been thinking about her a lot more lately as my brother's wedding is getting closer. It will be a difficult day without Mum there, but I know she would have been so incredibly proud of Jammy and will be there in spirit.

Mum's favourite flower

Happy birthday Mum! I love you and miss you so very much.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you are enjoying the lovely weather on this long weekend, even if you do not celebrate for religious reasons. I had a really nice Sunday lunch with my family and am just going to relax at home for the rest of the day I think :)

Apologies for the lack of updates lately, I am still pretty snowed under with uni work and revision, so I don't really have the time to update as frequently as I'd like. I'm hoping to be able to post something at least once a week.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


Today has not been the best day for me. I'm such a procrastinator, but with 3 essays due in the first few weeks of May, the pressure is really starting to get to me. I'm currently struggling my way through essay number 1 (the one due in first, two weeks today) and at the end of play today, I've gone from around 400 to 1039/2000 words. This may sound like a lot to some people but I'm so used to writing around 1000-1500 words a day once I've done all the research needed. I think I've got writer's block!

The worrying thing is though, I don't feel THAT stressed...I don't know if I'm in denial about it all or if I just don't care. I'm so fed up of this degree, I'm so looking forward to next June when it's all over and I can get on with what I want to do in life (hopefully). I really need to knuckle down tomorrow though, I've got quite a lot on this weekend and next week; my brother and fiancee are home this weekend to sort out wedding stuff, some of which I need to go to, Tuesday I am taking my sister to get a dress for the wedding, then Friday I have a royal wedding BBQ at my friend's house and then Sunday I go back to Lancaster. So I have, from today, about 8 days to do around 5000 words, as well as packing to go back to uni....eep!

I had some good news yesterday though. My work experience at Trailblazers in London has been confirmed! I'll be there for the first week in July and I'm really excited for it!

Hope everyone is well and enjoying some sunny weather, it's been really sunny here for the time of year. I just hope it continues for my brother's wedding, as the ceremony is outside!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Ear pain

I realise this is not the most exciting topic to broach, so apologies if it's not your cup of tea! However, I guess I should detail all aspects of my life, from the interesting to the mundane!

Now for an exciting picture of an ear to help me explain my tale of woe:

Basically, I've developed a sort of pressure sore on the helix and antihelix of my ear (see picture). It's been there a while, as due to my scoliosis, I can only lie on one side to sleep, as I have nightmares/sleep paralysis attacks if I sleep on my back (sounds weird, but apparently it's not mega uncommon). However, I think something must have exacerbated it as it's suddenly really painful - I had no idea how painful a tiny sore could be! I have had it before, but I can't remember how I treated I put cream on it? Do I keep it dry? Do I try and find a dressing for it? I've seen these ear pillows, like a donut with a hole in for the ear, but I don't know anyone crafty enough to make me one, and they don't seem to be sold anywhere.

If anyone has any suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated!

Friday, 8 April 2011


A couple of posts back, you might have seen me mention Trailblazers, the campaign group I am a member of. Since the theme of ChronicBabe's Blog Carnival this time is Causes I Stand Up For and Support, I thought I'd tell you a little bit about us, what we do and why I got involved.

Trailblazers is a part of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, the main charity in the UK fundraising for research into muscular dystrophy and related muscle disease, as well as supporting the individuals with the condition. We're a group of young people aged 16 to 30 who fight against the social injustices faced by people with muscle disease, and have published five reports on key areas we feel need change; public transport, access to university, access to work, tourism and leisure facilities.

I joined Trailblazers almost two years ago, and first got involved with the access to university report. Since then I have been fairly active within the group, helping with media awareness for the reports. When the leisure report was released, I spoke to journalists of local newspapers, and on two local radio stations about my local zoo charging ticket price for carers, meaning a disabled person needing a carer to accompany them effectively pays almost double an able-bodied person would. I've also attended regional group meetings in Manchester, and last month went to Parliament to help launch an All Party Parliamentary Group for Young Disabled People.

Since joining, I've realised how passionate I am about challenging people's perceptions of disability and how social barriers can be overcome. I never thought I could make a difference, but through Trailblazers, I've seen for myself what changes we have made and how much more progress we can achieve. After university, I think I want to pursue a career in campaigning in order to make further advances in the equality of disabled people.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Katy Perry!!

I got home yesterday afternoon from a great weekend away which really lifted my spirits. I went down to Birmingham on Saturday with my dad to spend a bit of time with my friend and carer from uni, and her mum and dad. We'd (me, my friend and her mum) booked to see Katy Perry about six months ago for the Monday night, but since I'm at home for Easter we decided to make a bit of a weekend of it. And it was lovely! Pretty chilled, but it was really nice to spend time away from the pressure of uni workload and carer issues and have a laugh with people I really care about.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Small things

I've been a little down lately (nothing in particular, just lots of little things building up), so I decided to make a list of all the things that make me smile.

Firstly, the important stuff, which go without saying:

1. My friends. I don't have the biggest group of friends, but the ones I have are amazing, always there to make me smile, listen to me vent and love me for who I am. I'm getting to the point now where I am being more choosy with who I spend time with; in my opinion, life's too short to spend time with negative people, or people who make you unhappy, so I'd rather have a few close mates who make me happy rather than a bunch of people who I don't really 'click' with.

2. My family. I know you can't pick your family, but I think I did pretty well with mine! Sarcastic and mental, but I know they have my back and will support me no matter what I do.

And now for the small things:
  1.  Sunshine. I always feel more upbeat when it's sunny, even if it's not very warm outside. We don't get many sunny days where I live, so we definitely make the most of them!
  2. Sleeping in a freshly laundered bed. I love the smell and feel of clean sheets on my bed and always feel I sleep better, don't know if that's psychological or not?
  3. Hearing an old favourite song on the radio - the cheesier the better! Yes, I'm talking Steps, Spice Girls, S Club 7, Bewitched, Aqua and so on (with dance moves as applicable)!
  4. People watching, making up stories about who people are and what their life is like.
  5. Planning something special (doesn't have to be big or expensive) not too far into the future (like 2 or 3 weeks away) so I have something positive to aim for when I'm finding things tough.
Sorry for the sentimental soppiness, but it has cheered me up! Promise I'll be back to my cynical self next time ;)

Monday, 28 March 2011

Defining tiredness

I've been finding it difficult lately explaining to people that I can't do things sometimes because I am too tired. It is frustrating sometimes, as I'm not sure if they think I am making excuses in order to get out of doing something.

However, then I realised that maybe it's because their definition of tiredness is different than mine. I guess I live with a level of tiredness everyday (some might call it fatigue I suppose) without really noticing it - I know my limits relatively well and that I can only do so many things in one day, unless I want to write off a chunk of the following day. This is my 'normal', but it probably isn't to other people! When I'm too tired to do something, it literally means I'm too physically exhausted to even sit up, whereas I guess for other people it just means that they need to drink a coffee or go to bed an hour early.

It's still hard to try and get that across to some people; I try so hard to be 'normal' and just like everyone else, I suppose sometimes they forget that my body doesn't really play by the same rules as theirs does!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Bad blogger!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I guess life ran away from me a bit! I caught a stomach bug the day after Pancake Day, which left me out of sorts for about a week, which means I am now mad busy trying to get as much work done before I finish for Easter - I have an essay due in the day I go home, then another three after the holidays so I'm hoping to get as much done as I can in the next week and a half so I can actually have some fun and see friends over the holidays rather than being chained to my laptop!

I don't really have much else to report today, I haven't been up to much apart from work, sleep, eat and TV! Roll on Easter is all I can say! :)

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Justifying my existence...

Through the Trailblazers' Facebook page (the disability campaign group I volunteer with), I came across this (skip to 26:35 for the relevant part). For people reading this after the link expires, it's an interview with a mother of a severely disabled child, who was so desperate for extra respite that she phoned social services to take her into care, as she just couldn't cope any more (google 'Riven Vincent' for a huge number of news stories about it).

The part of the interview which got me riled up was a listener, who I assumed at the time had phoned in to put forward her viewpoint. She began making comments about how unproductive the daughter's life would be and that it was an unnecessary burden on the taxpayer to pay for her care. She even got to the point of eugenics, implying that in 'olden days' the midwive would have smothered the child if it was born severely disabled. The mother then had to basically defend her daughter's existence on live radio, saying that she was intelligent and able to lead a fulfilled life, drawing similarities abilities-wise between her and Stephen Hawkings. The listener then had the audacity to say, "Well he's not really done anything of worth, has he?"!!!

I think what really tipped me over the edge and led me to make a complaint to the BBC was that this woman was making these comments before the show on its Facebook feed, and the presenter begged her, even baited her to come onto the show, knowing full well what she was going to say. I'm all for free speech, but giving her a platform and basically encouraging these extremist views is completely insensitive, and in my opinion was just done for its shock factor. I really feel for the mother, who should not have been put in the position she was, she put her case forward articulately and was able to make the woman look the fool she was.

I think this really hits home for me because I am what some people would class as 'severely disabled', yet I feel I have an excellent quality of life and can give back to society as much as any able bodied person. Who is she to dictate what 'quality of life' is?

Anyway, rant over. In other news I was rudely awoken this morning by the District Nurse at 8.45am to check my pressure areas. I had booked my appointment for 10am, but there must have been some breakdown in communication between the Sister and the nurse who came, as she thought it was at 9am. I'm thankful in that it gave me a reason to get me up and out of bed relatively early, though I've not been massively productive.

Enjoy Pancake Day and International Women's Day! I will try to post some pancake related pictures later. I'm also taking up blogging for Lent, even though I've started a little early, I will try and keep it up through Lent and beyond!

UPDATE: Sorry it's so late, but here is my pancake - nutella, strawberries, banana and squirty cream. Blooming lovely, but did make me feel a bit sick afterwards!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

My first post

Hi blog world! This is my first post on my blog (kinda redundant as you can obviously see that!). Anyway welcome to my blog, a random look into the world of a disabled student with a bizarre sense of humour. If you want to know a bit more about me, take a look at the tabs around the top, which have a bit about my blog and my disability. If you have any more questions though or want any pictures of my equipment, post a comment and I'll reply or update the relevant page.

I guess I should tell you what I did today. Me and my volunteer decided we were bored and wanted to make some sort of cake. This was a good idea to me, as it seemed a good procrastination from my essay (not in until 1st April - deadline not near enough to put on enough pressure for me to knuckle down yet!). We did a bit of googling and found this - a fourteen layer sponge cake with chocolate filling. Thinking fourteen layers was a bit ambitious, we aimed for around six.

Four hours and seven thin layers of sponge later, this is the final result:

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