Tag Archives: disability

4 Ways to Improve your Mental Health Today

A woman with long Blonde Hair sitting on a beach looking out at sea

Image: here

Mental health is becoming less of a taboo subject, and in the past few years alone there has been a marked increase in those diagnosed with conditions such as anxiety and depression.
It could be partly blamed on the stressful, corporate world we live in, but also the fact that many of these people were scared to admit they had a problem, for fear of being judged.

However as the online world is exploding to the forefront of everyone’s eyes, more and more people are stepping out of that shell and seeking help.

Today is the day to look at yourself and see something positive, to fight through those feelings and truly live in the moment. Here are four ways to improve your mental health today. Also feel free to check out my other post on this subject: Improve Your Mental Health by Avoiding these 3 Things.

Break up your day

Monotony can be one of the worst triggers for anxious and depressive thoughts because the mind allows itself to wander to a different place and let bad experiences take over. If you are doing the same job every single day, you may start to feel down, unworthy and sad. If there are a few different task you must complete each day, break them up throughout the day to wake up the brain. If you have to write 100 emails and create a spreadsheet- write 50 emails, then complete the worksheet- and go back to the emails later. Keeping the brain awake and alert is an effective way to improve mental health.

A bath bomb sitting next to a candle
Image: here

Reset the mind

Learning to step back from stressful situations is a valuable skill in protecting the mind. If you’ve experienced a particularly stressful week, take a step back and switch off. Have a bath, pour some wine, relax. Learn to pamper yourself and have that all so valuable alone time once in awhile.

Ask for Help

Asking someone for help is one of the most difficult things to do when suffering from mental illness, but it is something that is so valuable and will lift a weight off your shoulders instantly. If you don’t feel like you can talk to a friend or family member, talk to a stranger. If the day is overwhelming, or you feel like you are going to hurt yourself for whatever reason. Talk to someone, visit an urgent care clinic, or simply write it down. It will lift a weight and help you to recover from whatever feelings are taking over.

A person striking a yoga pose as the sun is setting behind them
Image: here

Take Care of Your Body

It’s just as important when it comes to taking care of the mind, to also take care of your body. It has been proven in studies that eating healthy and exercising increases the presence of neurotransmitters such as serotonin- the happy hormone. If you feel too anxious to visit a gym, there’s no need to force yourself out of your comfort zone. There are plenty of videos online which will teach you easy at home workouts with no need to fancy equipment.

The mind is a fragile thing which you should take care of with care. Following these simple tips, you will be able to improve your mental health, today, tomorrow, and in the future.



Disability Q&A #19 Vicky

Welcome back Ladies and Gents to another instalment of my Disability Q&A.

Today we have Vicky, she and I follow each other on Twitter and she reached out and asked to be a part of the series. I’m really happy that she did because her truth shines a light on just how tough life can be living with a disability.

Over to you Vicky 🙂

Tell me about yourself:

Hi, i’m Vicky (AKA LooneyChick), I’m 34 and I live in Cornwall.
I am a Blogger and Vlogger and my hobbies include Blogging, Photography, Social Media, Swimming, mountain biking, Scooting, playing the guitar,
writing music and going to music gigs.

Now we know the basics, can we learn a bit more about you?
By day I work as a freelance social media, content and SEO manager, at night and weekends, I like
to Vlog and Blog.

What is the medical reason you have a disability?
I suffer from a suspected Bipolar type 2, and I also have a bulging disc in my lower back which affects
my mobility.

When were you first diagnosed?
I first saw a psychiatrist in May 2015 and then again in November 2015. They first thought I had a
personality disorder and then they said I had Adjustment disorder, but they couldn’t rule out
whether I had Bipolar because they didn’t have enough evidence to support this because they
needed to see me when I’m on a high.

Did you notice changes within yourself first, or did someone else?
I’ve always felt different. Many people have told me that I like depressive music and my idols are
mainly people who have killed themselves.

Some people have also said that they don’t know how to approach me because they don’t know
whether I will be happy or sad.

I’ve always failed to keep friends and hold down jobs. Some days I can’t focus other days I’m very
over productive, and some days I have been told I can be normal so to speak.

Do you refer to yourself as a person with a disability? If not, why not?
Yes because I haven’t got the same abilities as an average person; for example, I hate being in
crowded places, I can’t take lots of information in at the same time, and I have problems with
finances. When I’m on a high, I often overspend on things I don’t necessarily need. I’m extremely
impatient as well.

Do you tell others about your disability? Or do you prefer to keep that to yourself until you are
comfortable with the person knowing?
Only my family and close friends know about my disability.

Do you take any medication, or have you in the past?
I was put on Sertraline in September 2013, but it didn’t make a difference, so in February 2014, I
was given the option and prescription for Prozac, but my doctor said that I wouldn’t need pills, but I
would have a choice.
A year later, In February 2015 I was put on Venlafaxine by a Psychiatrist.

What were your initial thoughts about taking medication?
I was disappointed in myself for not being able to stay medication free. I felt like a failure because I
was letting something far more powerful than I could control take over my mind.

Did you suffer from any side affects? If so, please explain.
I once went away to my sister’s to look after her children while she was in hospital and I forgot my
medication. Within 48 hours I was really sick and I felt really low and couldn’t function. I remember
lying on the couch with tears streaming down my cheeks without reason.




If you could extinguish your disability, would you? – If not, please explain why.

Yes and no. I enjoy the feeling you get when you are on a high, as long as it doesn’t get me into
trouble. However, what goes up must go down and the further I go up, the further I will fall. The
lows are the worst feeling ever
For those who do not know much about your disability how does it affect your mobility?
*
When I’m depressed I always feel tired; I sleep more, although it’s never a deep sleep and anxiety
makes my legs feel wobbly.

How has your disability effected you?
*Socially
When I’m high, I’m a social butterfly, buzzing with laughter and jokes, and often over familiar with
people, and when I’m depressed, I don’t want to see or talk to anyone.
*physically
When I’m on a high, I have lots of energy, and with the lows, I have little energy.
*Mentally
I’m very alert on highs, and when depressed I’m unable to focus, and I’m physically and mentally
drained.
Do you think your disability has made you who you are today?
*Please give a positive example of how this has done so…
I probably wouldn’t have started a blog on mental health if I didn’t suffer from it and I wouldn’t have
researched the different types of illnesses.

What are the positives of having a disability?
Learning and understanding the disability. One of the reasons I started my blog to help raise mental
health awareness.
What are the negatives of having a disability?
Having and trying to have a normal life and deal with the stigma.
What would you say is difficult for you being disabled?
*
Relationships and working are both complicated for me because I can’t hold down friendships and
relationships. I’ve also struggled to gain and maintain working in an environment full of people
which is part of the reason why I became self-employed.

Are there any tips or tricks you use in daily life you’d like to pass on to another disabled person?
Make lists and make time for exercise or meditation even if it’s just 30 minutes a day.
still like to make old fashioned lists with pen and paper or on a whiteboard to help me remember
things. I also keep a diary on my desk.
I have been guilty of not taking enough time out from the computer to do my daily exercise and
meditation. I’m hoping to join a gym after Easter.
Do you use Assistive technology in your daily living?
No apps at the moment, Just diaries and lists.
What piece of advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed? Or going through a similar
position?
Try and find a local group to visit. If you don’t want to go on your own, ask a parent, carer or a
friend. You will learn more about your illness, and they will help give you advice on how to stay safe.
Also, check my blog www.looneychickblog.co.uk and other mental health blogs. You can educate
yourself and even talk to people on social media who are going through the same thing as you.
Any advice you’d like to give to a person with no mental health issues?
Please take some time out to learn about mental health. 1 in 4 people have it. It’s easy to ignore,
laugh at and just pretend it’s not happening to you or your loved one. The chances are that it’s real
and happening and at least one of your loved ones is suffering from a mental health issue
(undiagnosed) or has previously suffered. There’s no shame in ringing up one of the charity
helplines or going to a group if you are struggling to cope with a loved one’s mental health problems.
Whatever you do don’t abandon them, this has happened to me several times.

Did you seek out any specialist services/charities to help you and your family deal with your
situation?
*MIND – I read their website regularly for up to date news.

*Counselling – I have previously had CBT sessions with the NHS, and I was on the Community Mental
Health Team until the end of last year.
*Support groups
I attend group meetings at a Bipolar Group who are part of Bipolar UK once a month.
Where can people find you out in the world?
*Blog – www.looneychickblog.co.uk
*YouTube – Launching in April (Date to be decided)
*FaceBook – https://www.facebook.com/The-Looney- ChickBlog-663020583855452/?ref=bookmarks
*Twitter – @adminChick
*Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/110128946030393319190/110128946030393319190
*LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/vicki-williams- 94187611/
*Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/looneychick
*Pinterest – Also going Live in April
*Email – Vicky@looneychickblog.co.uk

❤❤ Thank you so much for taking the time to be interviewed! Vicky, I love your honesty in what you have gone through, and I love that you encourage others to seek help and learn about mental illness. ❤❤

If you, or anyone you know, would like to take part in my Campaign, do not hesitate to contact me on the following:
Email:SassysWorld6@gmail.com
Twitter
Facebook

http://www.thinkingoutloud-sassystyle.com/category/disability-qa-campaign/




How to Rock Your Disability

When you’re dealing with a disability, many people will say ‘don’t let your disability define you’. Well, that’s easier said than done, because your disability does somewhat define you. But, it doesn’t have to destroy you. There may be certain things that you’re unable to by yourself or unable to do period. However, that doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying life. In fact, many people have achieved amazing things because of their disability. Take Jim Abbott for instance – a major league baseball player with a deformed right arm. If you’re ready to take the world by storm, here’s how to do it.

Quote in the coulds I have within me all the dreams in the world
Flickr

Don’t Be Afraid to Dream
Your disability may hinder you in some ways, but dreaming of the future is still important. It’s also important to recognise that dreams can evolve. So, if you dreamt of doing something or being someone when you were younger but your disability means you can’t reach that goal, keep dreaming. For example, if you dreamed of becoming a ballerina but you haven’t got full use of your legs, you can still join wheelchair dance classes, and perhaps dream about opening a dance school for disabled children in the future. Try creating a dream board for inspiration. Your possibilities are never completely burnt out.

You Are Not Your Weakness
In fact, a disability isn’t a weakness at all. If you’re willing to look at it from a different perspective, your disability could be your biggest strength. Thankfully, there are many new and innovative disability aids that will allow you to have as much independence in life as possible. One of the biggest challenges for people with disabilities is dealing with the views of others. You may be as positive as you can be about your disability, only to run into someone who treats you like a child or see’s you as nothing more than a disability. In these circumstances, you have to be the most confident person in the room and assert your independence. Show people how smart and beautiful you are. Every time you do, you become an advocate for every other person suffering with a disability.

A lady looking at the camera Eating an Apple
Flickr

Live a Healthy Lifestyle
When you have to live with a disability, there will undoubtedly be times where you feel like giving up. You may suffer with bouts of depression and anxiety and you may not want to make the effort to look after yourself. You may even turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the way you feel about your body and your life. If you need help recovering from drug and alcohol abuse, visit www.orlandorecovery.com/ and get some support. It’s also important to have a healthy diet and get as much exercise and fresh air as possible. All three of those things contribute to good mental health and encourage a good mood. If you’re living with a disability, taking good care of yourself is vital.

Know Your Limits
Pushing yourself to reach your goals and striving for independence is wonderful. But, there will be times when you need help. No man is an island. It’s okay to ask for help when you know you need it. If you push yourself too hard, you could damage your health and risk the plans you have in store for your future. When it comes to stress, you’re just like everyone else. Make sure you take well-earned breaks on a regular basis. It’s also beneficial to develop a good support network of family, friends and medical professionals. That way, when you’re really in need of some help, you have plenty of people to rely upon.

Picture of a glass with the quote because the glass really is half full

Flickr

Think Positively

Stephen Hawking once said, ‘Don’t be disabled in spirit, as well as physically’. Sometimes, the first thing you need to do in order to live positively is to accept your disability. Unfortunately, you’re stuck with it and that’s that. But, that doesn’t mean the world has to be full of doom and gloom. It would be easy for you to become negative because of what you have to live with, but that’s not what you want, is it? Here are some tips on positive thinking – http://www.success.com/article/7-practical-tips-to-achieve-a-positive-mindset. Do your best to stay positive, even in the midst of hopelessness. Let your personality shine brighter than your disability and forgive anyone that offends you.

As a disabled person, you’re faced with something that can seem almost impossible. But, don’t let your disability turn into a mountain you can’t climb. You have what it takes to reach your goals, no matter what your disability is. Find ways to jump over your obstacles and always look for the positive in every situation.

Working On Your Wellbeing: Is It Time You Paid More Attention To Your Mental Health?

When somebody mentions the word health, what springs to mind? As a society, we tend to focus most of our time and energy on physical health, but what about mental health? When was the last time you thought about how you feel? Mental health should be a subject in which we all take an interest. You shouldn’t have to have a psychological disorder to pay attention to your mental health. The truth is that we should all be concerned about our wellbeing. If you don’t give your mental health much thought, this guide should come in handy.

A lay looking into the sunset with her arms spread

Image from https://www.pexels.com/search/happiness/

 

The importance of mental health

Do you go to the gym or try and be as active as possible? Do you watch what you eat and try and ensure that you get enough sleep every night? Most of us make an effort to look after our bodies, but it’s much less common to go out of your way to take care of your mind. When you hear people talking about mental health, you may assume that this only applies to issues such as depression and anxiety, but this isn’t the case. Everybody should be aware of the importance of mental health. We all have a mind, we all have thoughts and feelings, and we can all do more to try and improve our mental wellbeing.

 

If you’ve never had days when you find it tough to get out of bed or you’ve never been in a situation where you’ve been crippled by anxiety when everyone else around you seems fine, you might not have given mental health much thought. Even if you are happy and content, you’re not immune to mental illness, and it’s always beneficial to try and take steps to reduce your risk of developing psychological disorders and to improve your mood. In the UK, it is estimated that 1 in 3 people will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives.

I am happy with a smiley face written on a lined sheet of paper

Image via https://pixabay.com/en/happy-i-am-happy-smile-happiness-725815/

 

What are the signs and symptoms of mental illness?

Part of the problem facing a society that doesn’t like to indulge in open discussion about mental illness is being able to spot potential warning signs and symptoms. If we don’t talk about depression, stress, and anxiety, how can we expect people to understand what’s going on in their head? Everyone is different, and some people experience very different symptoms to others. There’s often a lot of confusion surrounding illnesses like depression, as it’s very poorly understood and it’s hard to express how it feels unless you’ve suffered yourself. It’s very easy for other people to view depression as a condition that can be shrugged off, but the reality is that it’s often a very severe illness. You would never tell somebody to shake off a broken leg, but it can be much tougher to understand mental illness because it doesn’t cause bruising, limping, or any other visible signs. Depression is not just feeling down or having a bad day. It’s going through periods of time when you question your worth, you struggle to control your emotions, and you find it difficult to summon up the energy or the motivation to see friends, get out of bed or leave the house.

The back of a woman who has her head and sholders hunched over apearing sad

Image credit https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Figure_5._Anxiety_can_leave_a_person_feeling_extremely_sad.jpg

 

Help for mental illness

If you are worried about mental health, you’ve been feeling out of sorts, or you’re concerned for a loved one, there is mental illness help out there. You may find that something as simple as having a chat with a family member or a close friend is enough to make you feel better, you may thrive on exercise or meditation, or you might need more intensive help from doctors, counsellors, and therapists. The first step is acknowledging that everything isn’t quite as it should be. Once you understand that you don’t have to fight these battles alone, you can start to move forward. Techniques like counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy can help you to process things that have happened in the past and prepare for problems that may arise in the future. They can also help you to adjust your mindset and to gain confidence.

 

Many people also find it helpful to talk to others who have been through what they’re dealing with or people that are in the same boat. It’s hugely reassuring to know that you’re not on your own, and it is possible to get better. Charities can provide group support, and you can also link up with others through forums, events, and social media.

A female doctor talking to a female patient

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/59308652@N02/5431718990

 

Working on your wellbeing

Every single one of us should want to work on our wellbeing. You don’t have to suffer from anxiety or depression to give your mental health some TLC. You look after your body to prevent injuries and illnesses without giving it a second thought, so don’t hesitate to take care of your mental health too. Often, making very simple changes to your lifestyle and how you spend your time can pave the way for major improvements.

 

To boost your self-esteem, happiness, and confidence, spend time with people who make you feel good and form positive relationships. Make time for yourself, as well as being sociable, and set aside time for hobbies and interests. If being creative or playing sport makes you happy, find time in your schedule to do this. If you are struggling in any way, for example, if you’re stressed or you’re finding it impossible to sleep, think about the causes, try and find solutions, and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Triggers can range from a bad day at work to the loss of a loved one. Find activities that make you feel calm and relaxed and know when to take yourself off to a happy place. When things are getting on top of you or you feel low, give yourself a time out, take deep breaths, and calm down. Perhaps you find it comforting to call a friend, you need 5 minutes in the fresh air, or you find it helpful to meditate, stretch or write down what you’re feeling.

A book resting on a Ladies knee as she writes

Image courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/photos/writer/

 

There’s a lot of talk about mental health at the moment, but we still put a lot more effort into keeping our bodies healthy than we do our minds. If you haven’t given mental health much thought of late, hopefully, this guide has encouraged you to be more aware of mental illness and to take steps to boost your wellbeing.

Blind Girl Hacks: organising your Bedroom

Blind Girl Hacks: Bedroom Tips and Tricks.

I believe the bedroom should be a sanctuary, somewhere you can relax, wind down and move around with ease.
A messy bedroom = a messy mind.. If you can’t find where anything is within your room you are not setting yourself up for a smooth/positive day.

Gary and I share a double wardrobe and chest of drawers, so it is vital I can find my things amongst the chaos 😉 You will soon come to realise I have OCD, because everything has a place. Here are my tips and tricks about how I keep my bedroom organised.

 

Clothes

Everything is in seasonal order. I keep my jumpers and pyjamas together on a shelf in my wardrobe.

My clothing rail from left to right;
Gary’s shirts/suits, jumper dresses, cardigans, Summer shirts/ going out tops,, Summer dresses, going out dresses,
smart skirts and trousers.

I also try and keep these clothes in colour coordination from white to black, but living with a boy who doesn’t pay attention to such things, doesn’t always happen! 😉
Ideas.
There are things such as RNIB’s Talking Colour Detector that can help visually impaired people distinguish colours from one another.
It looks slightly like a torch and works by turning it on and holding the item against the end of the Colour Detector, it will then read out basic colours such as; light blue, dark red and white.

There are much cheaper and less bulky alternatives for example apps that you can get on your mobile phone. Again this works in the same way as the RNIB’s colour detector.

Chest of Drawers

We have a separate drawer for underwear, tops and trousers/ shorts. I keep my belongings on the lefthand side of the drawers, Gary’s belongings stay on the right .
Ideas.

You can get drawer dividers to make sure your things stay separate. You can buy these from places such as IKEA, or a cheaper alternative would be to use a cereal box(only one side) to partition your belongings, great if you are thrifty and enjoy DIY projects. 🙂

Labelling.

If you want something more concrete/ sturdy when determining your clothes a labelling system may be of good use to you.

You can buy things such as Tactile markers from the internet,. These are tactile shapes that you can glue to your clothes. for example use squares for any of your jumpers that have to be on a woollen/ 30 degree wash.

buttons can be sewn onto your white clothes for example. A good place to sew these buttons would be on the washing instruction label that you get on the inside of your clothes.

Iron patches are another labelling system you can use. As it suggests you use the iron to transfer the label. They are usually robust and do not come off in the washing machine.

 




Jewellery

I have lots of jewellery, ranging from bulky necklaces to delicate earrings and bracelets.

My delicate jewellery that also came as part of a set stay in their specific boxes in a drawer in my bedroom the others are kept in several different sized jewellery boxes.

I have a necklace stand where all different types of necklaces hang from, I tend to use one side for bulky necklaces and the other side for thinner ones. for I also keep my thinner necklaces on the cardboard hook that it came on. That way it keeps the thinner necklaces from tangling and makes it easy for me to differentiate which one is which.

I have a box full of bulky bracelets and earrings, the earrings also stay on the cardboard sleeve they came with. Again it makes it easier for me to know which pair of earrings i’m looking for, but it also helps to keep the box tidy.

I have another box full of smaller earrings, and I also keep them paired, that way i will never have odd earrings.

Ideas:

Buy a jewellery box that has lots of compartments/ partitions, that way you can keep necklaces separate from rings etc.
Another idea could be to have a deep box, it could be a jewellery one or just a pretty box you’ve DIY made. Setting up a layering system in the form of cardboard/tissue paper to keep each individual item or each collection of items separate from one another.
depending on how you layer the box you could attach braille/ tactile labels to each section so you can make finding your things a much smoother experience.
If you have the space have a separate jewellery box for each of your collections. That way you shouldn’t mix up your jewellery. 🙂

Accessories.

I have a specific storage box that i keep belts, scarfs and hats in. I fold each item and pile them on top of one another, I keep one side for scarves and the other for belts. I then place the hats on top.
I keep all my handbags together in one big bag (a very old school bag, i’m not fancy!).It sits on the shelf of my wardrobe on the left hand side.
Having all my bags together in a big bag is not only convenient for storage space but it is something completely separate from the rest of my accessories so if i’m directing someone else, they can find the bag straight away rather than guessing which one of my many boxes it could potentially be in. 🙂
Because all of my accessories are different in style, texture and shape I can differentiate easily between all my clothes and accessories.

 




Ideas:

If you don’t have the storage space for boxes, but would like to keep your accessories organised? Using plastic shower curtain ring hangers are a good idea, and a way of containing space. This can also be used for keeping jewellery from tangling, if you so wish.
Hanging baskets, or, plastic baskets under your bed is another great way to keep your specific accessories in one place, but allowing them to stay segregated from the others.

As you can tell i’m an organised person, I always have been, even before I had any sight issues, but being that way definitely made my life smoother after going blind. I had a system in place that was fool proof for me, and because of that it makes finding things easy.
Everything I own has a home.
Personally I do have a labelling system, when I first went blind my Mum sewed buttons onto my whites (as I didn’t have that many white items apart from underwear) and she sewed tiny ribbons onto my coloured clothes/ underwear. For the most part I don’t tactilely use the system because I know what all my clothes are, but it is a great way of allowing myself piece of mind that I won’t mix colours when doing my washing.

I suggest that if you are visually impaired and do not have a system in place, it could be a good idea to start 🙂 Find a system that works for you; labelling, separating smart/casual clothes, use compartment segregators, or even just making sure everything has a home.

I hope this post was useful for you, if you have questions for me or suggestions for posts please leave a comment below, or contact me via social media! 🙂

Much love,
Sassy x

 

 




Celebrating National Parks Week With NRS Healthcare

Celebrating National Parks week with NRS Healthcare.

Summer is here and one of my favourite ways to spend it is putting on my walking boots and to go exploring around various nature trails with Gary.
This summer we are making a concerted effort to travel the UK to walk, picnic and even hike through some of the National Parks ,breathing in the fresh air and enjoying nature at it’s finest.

Having Arthritis as well as a visual impairment can make walking, and especially hiking pretty difficult and Gary and I have been looking at accessible trails online
Picture my happiness when I was contacted by the lovely folks at NRS Healthcare who informed me of their free and accessible guide to venturing the National Parks with a disability!

I got so excited reading through the guide, this was exactly what I had been looking for, a place where all the information is presented in one place.

The guide talks about empowering those with disabilities to go outdoors no matter what reservations you may have about restrictions to access.
Wheelchair user that fancies electric boating?on the Lake District?
Visually impaired and fancy hiking in Snowdonia?
It’s all possible if you know where to look, and now we do!

A visually impaired person being guided along a dirt path in the national park with a tree and moss covered boulder on the left.

It’s National Parks Week here in the UK, 24th-30thJuly and to celebrate the beauty and accessibility of our 15 National Parks, NRS Healthcare have written a free accessibility guide for people like you and me who love to be outdoors, but find it a chore researching where is and isn’t accessible!

An extra added bonus is the equipment and products listed in the guide you may consider taking when you are on your adventure, to make your experience more relaxing and enjoyable.

A wide richer with a stone arc bridge in the background. The river is flanked by green and browning trees

The best thing about the guide is that the activities listed are not just Summer activities, most of the excursions and trails are available year round, so if you fancy skiing in winter or surfing in Spring, it is all doable. 🙂

Are you an outdoorsy type?
Would you consider trekking the national parks with a disability?

*Information from a press release by NRS Healthcare, But all thoughts and opinions are my own




Disability In Fashion: Where Is It?

Disability in the fashion industry: where is it?

Back in 1998 Alexander McQueen was the first designer to introduce disability in the fashion industry, Amy Mullins a double amputee athlete wore a pair of hand carved prosthetic legs.
and strutted her stuff on the catwalk.
It was seen as a ground breaking moment, an industry renown for it’s lack of diversity and inclusivity were now changing the tide. Disabled people everywhere thought this could be the turning point for fashion and disability.

It’s been almost 20 years and yet here we are, a community of 13 million people with the spending power of £80 Billion still being left behind.

I’m happy to see that disabled people have been showcased as beautiful, bold and have a passion for fashion with more recent designers including disabled models in London, Italian and New York fashion week, adorning the catwalk, but we still have a long way to go.

Where are the models of diversity in our high streets?
Where are the designers creating comfortable yet stylish clothes for persons in a wheelchair?

Recently Nike released a new line of shoe designed to fit the feet of those with limited mobility in their joints, however this campaign only came about because a young boy with cerebral palsy wrote to them asking for a pair of shoes that he could wear and look good in.

Having a disability doesn’t automatically mean that style and sexiness goes out of the window.Every person has a right to look glamorous and feel physically comfortable doing so.

“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” Miuccia Prada

Fashion has a significant influence in today’s society, magazines, social media, television and online, it’s everywhere you look.


“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” Oscar Wilde

Celebrities campaign for, and in some cases against fashion, in the case of Elton John and D&G.
Influence has power, and power directed in a positive way can have a profound and long lasting effect.
So why aren’t celebrities and designers coming together and campaigning for an inclusive world? It’s not like they don’t have the means or motivation, money and influence; two things that make the world what it is today.

Designers should be creating the clothes, models of disability should be showcasing the collection, and celebrities should be shouting from the rooftops about diversity and inclusion.

Clothes are designed for the tall upright able bodied person who walks to and from work. But what happens when that same gentleman sits down at his desk? His trousers rise above the ankle, and his shirt feels taut on his arms when he is typing at his desk.

Now imagine that same gentleman as a person who uses a wheelchair? His strength and mobility may be strained meaning that he cannot roll up his shirt sleeves , so he has to deal with the irritation of stretched material over his arms,


“Fashion should be a form of escapism, and not a form of imprisonment.” Alexander McQueen

There are many talented individuals who have created their own clothing line,wearable shoes and customisable accessories for aids, just to name a few.
However it shouldn’t be left to an individual to have little to no access to fashion that they need to design their own.
I want to see a world where a wheelchair user can go to a high street store, be able to navigate adequately, see a mannequin that represents them, and pick clothes off the rack that will make them look and feel great.
I want to see a world where disability is embraced the way race, religion and culture are.

I want to see a world where models of disability are seen as equal partners, and not a story of inspiration or pity.

I want to see a world where fashion and disability collide and make magic, standing united, coming together and create a long-lasting partnership

“Real fashion change comes from real changes in real life. Everything else is just decoration.” Tom Ford.

“This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organized by CGTrader

Disability Q&A #18 George Rector

welcome back ladies and gents to another #DisabilityQ&A 🙂
I am happy to introduce you to a lovely gentleman called George, we met on Twitter and he is a beacon of positivity and warmth. not only is he a great advocate for people with disability, he is always there to lend a helping hand, or in the case of the Internet, lend a listening ear to anyone who may need it. I am lucky to call him my friend 🙂

Over to you George!

. Name: My name is George Rector. I am married to my best friend whose name is Sandy.

Where I live: I live near Orlando, Florida, USA (near Disney).

Occupation: I am a retired eye doctor. I had to quit practice due to my Multiple Sclerosis. I have been an MS Peer Counselor for about 13 years.

Hobbies: My passion is photography. My ability declined as my disability increased. I also like to read or listen to audiobooks.

Reason for disability: I have the rarest form of Multiple Sclerosis. I also have Spinal Cord Damage and am a T10 paraplegic.

Refer to myself as person with a disability? Yes, I refer to myself as a person with a disability. I don’t like the term handicapped, as I feel it is degrading. I despise the terms “wheelchair bound” and “confined to a wheelchair.”

Do I tell others? My paraplegia is quite obvious from my wheelchair, the elephant in the room. I am open about my MS. As for specifics, I share those with people as I get to know them.

Mobility aids: I use a wheelchair full time and have for many years. My chair is a small, titanium chair that is light weight and fits well most places. I don’t object to some stares, as I think that is normal. I do make eye contact and willingly answer questions from children.

If I could extinguish my disability, would I? For me, personally, no I wouldn’t. While I am quite independent, the disability shifts tasks to my wife. I would like to make her life easier. Otherwise, definitely No. I like who I am and the people I have met.

How does it affect my mobility? I have 2 things going on. The obvious thing is my wheelchair. As a T10 paraplegic I have paralysis below the waist. The MS adds to the mobility issue with fatigue. I think fatigue is the most disabling part.

How has disability affected me? First of all, disability ended my professional career. It affects the house we can live in and where we live. My last winter in the North I got snowed in for weeks, and my health suffered.

Has disability made me who I am today? Yes, indeed, it has. Aside from my ever present wheelchair, It changed my profession to volunteer. I have met many wonderful people. The 2 words I hear most often in Peer Counseling are “alone” and “overwhelmed.” At times I feel like that, as well. I try every day to brighten someone’s day, to make them feel less alone and not so overwhelmed.

Question I get asked about my disability? I get stares because of my wheelchair, especially from children. I get asked what happened? Children get an answer; adults who are strangers get a farfetched story. I like to explain to children and will demonstrate my titanium chair to anyone who asks.

Positives of a disability: 2 things come to mind. First, it makes me think, figure things out, think about who I am and how I can help someone. Second, I have met some wonderful people. I met wonderful people before disability, but this is different. There is a bond, a sense of helping one another get through a rough time.

Negatives of disability: Again, 2 things. It places an added share of the load on my wife, and it dictates the type of house we can live in. The huge negative is the added expense. The costs of a disability are staggering

A difficulty for me being disabled: The worse thing is being down here when the rest of the people are up there. In a group, people stand and look at each other when talking. The sound literally goes over my head. It is isolating

What frustrates me? I deal with my wheelchair and the things I need because of my MS. The frustrations come with attitudes, terms “wheelchair bound” and “confined.” There is no duct tape binding me, and my mommy isn’t making me sit in a corner.

Tips for others: For dealing with paraplegic, I’d like to pass along the 2 basic rules. Call ahead to make sure where you’re going is accessible, and use the bathroom before you leave home. For dealing with MS, remember that there are many things. Vision is one of them. Don’t settle. Learn about large print, magnifiers, reading glasses with prism, proper tint for your needs.

Assistive technology? I have reading glasses that are more than just magnifiers. Tinted lenses to manage light. E-readers to control the print size, and audiobooks. Of course, there is my wheelchair. A custom, ultra light weight wheelchair is a prosthetic body.

Advice to someone newly diagnosed: Much of my work with MS has been talking with those who are newly diagnosed. Ask questions; read; don’t trust feel good stories (crip porn) on TV but get information from sources like National MS Society, United Spinal, NFB, etc.

Advice to the person with no disability: Remember that the person you encounter who has a disability is a person. Not a wheelchair; not a white cane; a real person who loves and can be loved; a person with interests and passions; a father or mother; a doctor; or even a blogger!

Special services I use: I volunteer with the National MS Society, and I get more back from volunteering than what I put in. The MS Foundation is good, also. I’d also recommend the Low Vision Section of the American Optometric Association.

Where can you find me? If after all this anyone wants to find me, I’d be honored.
My blog is Popping Wheelies. It is everything you’ve ever wondered about someone who lives life on wheels, and more. www.poppingwheelies.wordpress.com
Twitter: @grector71
Instagram:Grector71
Facebook: George Rector
LinkedIN: George Rector
Email: grector71@gmail.com or george.rector@nmss.org

Anything that I’d like to add: I’d like to thank Sassy for all she does for so many people. And I’d like to get in another plug for my blog, Popping Wheelies!

Thank you!!!!!

❤❤ Thank you so much George, I love that you see your disability as a positive, and the way it has impacted your life and meeting new people. I think like you, for the most part, we would love to change our disability for our loved ones, for all the times they have had to go the extra mile, or change plans because something wasn’t accessible when it should have been. Also, I really love your blog and I think everyone should check it out!❤️❤️ ❤❤

If you, or anyone you know, would like to take part in my Campaign, do not hesitate to contact me on the following:
Email:SassysWorld6@gmail.com
Twitter
Facebook

http://www.thinkingoutloud-sassystyle.com/category/disability-qa-campaign/




Adventures At Butlin’s Bognor Regis Part 3

Butlin’s Bognor Regis Part 3

Day 4.

Gary and I clearly needed a night of chilling, we didn’t get down to
breakfast until after 09:30.And we weren’t the only ones who had a lay in either, I guess we all needed it.
Breakfast.

Breakfast consisted of cereal and boiled eggs on toast, I wanted something that was going to fill me up for the day but not be too heavy as we planned on going for a swim in splash world; all free as part of your Butlin’s booking. The only thing we needed was a £1coin for our lockers which would be returned to us afterwards.

Although the sun was lovely and hot, the wind had picked up giving you a good breeze.
This would have been absolutely fine if my dress wasn’t thin and floaty…

A family were just behind us with their child saying “doggy” when I shouted over my shoulder, yes it is a doggy!
At the same time a big gust of wind came and blew my dress unto my waist, revealing my underwear and bum!
I squealed and tried to push my dress down, but the damage had been done, I had scarred their retina’s for life!
I sort of regained my composure and jokingly said; “Well, that was certainly a Marilyn Monroe moment!”
To which everyone giggled!




Splashworld.

Splash world was great fun, , there was nowhere you could properly swim around, but let’s be honest I was there for the flumes and water rapids!
After wondering around for a minute or two and Gary pointing out what was where, we decided to head for the water rapids first.
You have to be a minimum height of 1.4m and be able to swim, because the jets of water are that strong that they push you around.
You can choose to use a rubber ring or let the current take you. I Opted for the rubber ring, it was great just lazing and having the water push you around the pool.
I had just gotten off the rubber ring and was about to swim around when a life guard came over and asked me to get out of the pool, both Gary and I said to the life guard about my blindness, but he didn’t want me out because of my sight, but because he wanted to measure my height against the measure thing.
I explained that I had already measured myself, Gary likes to embarrass me with these sorts of things. But the lifeguard insisted I get out so he could see for himself.

I became very petulant and declared that as I was a 26 year old woman,I was not getting out of the pool.
Gary persuaded me; “Sassy it’s his job at the end of the day, he needs to check.”
Meanwhile the lifeguard agreed I may be 26 and measured myself but he had to check.
I very reluctantly got out and stood infant of the measuring thingy, what a lovely humiliating moment that was!

all was good; and I was sent on my merry way. After a few more circuits of the water rapids we decided to head over to the wave pool.
Gary seemed very enthusiastic about the waves until he realised the wave machine wasn’t going to get any stronger and then he started to pout.

I kept jumping onto his back so I could have a little ride and enjoy being lazy some more!

We then headed off to the water slides; the highest slide is called the space bowl, this is where you go down a normal shoot and right at the end it spins you around and around and spits you out into a big plunge pool at the end.
When we reached the top Gary asked the lifeguard if he could assist me getting onto the slide.
The guy was very friendly but said he would have to radio his boss to see if I was allowed to go on the space bowl, Because of the way it throws you out, you need to know which way to swim when you reach the surface.
Gary and I joked that I’d wasted 10 years walking up the stairs (big, sturdy and very accessible for VI people), that I may have to turn around and go all the way back down.
Thankfully the guys’ boss agreed that as long as Gary went first and shouted at me to guide me to the steps then he was happy to let me go down.

So off I went, down the slide, at my usual slow pace and suddenly i’ve turned a corner and sped up, I did squeal a little as I was not expecting that sort of speed!
I got to the bowl bit and slowed down, when it finally spat me out, I landed flat on my back, not only was that rather uncomfortable to say the least but the pressure of the plunge threw my bikini bottoms off right down to my knees.
So I was frantically pulling them up with one hand as I held my nose with the other, even after I exited the pool Gary and I were still rearranging my bikini bottoms, and my dignity… It could only happen to me!!

We then continued onto the slides we had passed on our way up the Devil’s drop.
There was an orange one and a green one side by side, after helping me get to my slide Gary was going to shout over for me to go and we could race.
The water was gushing down the flumes so loudly i couldn’t hear when he said go.
They were much quicker than I anticipated, but not as fast as the space bowl shoot.
The one thing I’m not a fan of with water slides is the way it scratches your back on the way down.

The last and final water slide we went on was a proper race against one another slide. A great chance for all the family to race each other if you are the competitive type!
With this slide you had to sit up but have your arms folded across your chest but touching each shoulder.
Unfortunately this didn’t make me go faster, and when I shouted across to Gary that I had stopped halfway down he just told me to stand up… I was at the end.
There was me expecting another plunge pool kind of thing…

After a few more circuits around the rapids, without a rubber ring this time, it definitely feels like you are going much faster, especially if you are going backwards.
We decided it was time to head back to the chalet and go see how our little pup had survived without us.

Ida lying on the floor with Dylan a brown Alsatian lying his head on top of her head

Funfair.

Being the big kid I am, and with it being our last full day I said to Gary that i wanted to check out the funfair.
The first ride we went on was the giant swings.
It wasn’t until we were on the ride and Gary was swinging out that he exclaimed he didn’t much like this ride.
He became more adamant that he didn’t like the ride when he apparently was at a 90 degree angle.
I just sat there cackling my head off. For good measure I said, oh maybe your swing is broken?
The horror on his face was priceless, it just sent me off into more hysterics!
The man operating the ride was helpful by looking after Ida, and saying how good she was the whole time we were on the ride.

The next ride we went on was a cart where a metal bar is placed over two of you and lock in place, this stops you from falling out but is also there as a handle if you need it.
Gary demanded that he was not going on this ride, I was a horrible person and basically forced him to go on.
I’m so glad i did, his reaction was beyond priceless on this ride!!
He was fine with it being up in the air and going around, but the second the cart tilted at 45 degrees his way and then started bobbing up and down his reaction was pure gold!
I was laughing so hard I was almost crying, he kept telling me off and saying not to laugh, especially when the girl in the cart behind us started screaming, I just laughed even harder!!
Gary was almost squealing with delight when it stopped!
The lady operating the ride was also fantastic, even bringing Ida to us, and then gave her an ice cube to cool her down.

Ida sitting on a pebble beach with the sea behind her

The final ride we went on was the dodgems.
Did you know that Billy Butlin’s introduced Britain to the dogems? He was over in America and saw it as part of their funfair and decided he wanted them on his fairground in Britain.
We took Ida over and asked the controller man if he would mind looking after Ida when we got on.
He radioed and got another member of staff to come stand with Ida while we went on the dodgems. We thanked the lady and walked to the back of the queue.
Before we even reached the back the man gestured for us to go to the front and get on first!
We got on with me sitting in the drivers seat and Gary as passenger.
Ida had clocked us and was watching us intently so we gave her a little wave!
Gary gave me great direction and we only had a few collisions!
One being the wall… Gary said turn right, so I did: he meant left… See this is why blind people don’t drive!!

As we got off the man was very friendly, checking I was OK and wishing us a good day.
The lady looking after Ida said that she was watching us intently all the way around!

There are plenty of other activities at the fun fair including a Helter Skelter, a kids pirate ship and another seat in the air ride.
There are also paid rides/ activities you could do including; 2 go kart tracks, a rock climbing wall and an obstacle course with a zippier at the end.
These activities cost £5 a head, and if we hadn’t of run out of time (all the clubs and activities shuts at 5PM), then I would have definitely done the obstacle course and rock climbing!

There was a quiz on at 19:00 that evening so we headed off to dinner very early, straight from the funfair.

Dinner.

For our last evening meal I had an assortment of random food: fish fingers, beef, veg and spaghetti bolognese. Gary had brought me over some chocolate gateau, but when I discovered treacle sponge was on the menu I had to have it…Gary at this point had finished his dinner, and although he was going to grab treacle sponge for Lenny too, as Lenny was waiting for the custard to come out. I insisted he go up and get mine.
The wait was barely 2 minutes so Gary headed off to get our desserts, when he came back, and put them on the table I said to Lenny, oh is this one yours I can smell custard.
No love i’ve got mine right here.
Custardgate ensued…
I was more annoyed because neither Gary or I like custard!!
Poor Gary had to go back up again, and Lenny was left eating 2 portions of treacle sponge and custard!

On our way back to the chalet Ida and I came across a family who asked to say hello to Ida. I got her to sit whilst doing my usual spiel of her being on harness, when the man agreed and said he completely understood, because he and his wife were puppy walkers for Guide dogs!
I was totally excited at this point and asked them a bunch of questions, alongside giving them all my love and thanks, because without puppy walkers giving their own timing patience, blind people like me wouldn’t be in the position we are! 🙂
The man and his wife are not currently puppy walking as they have 2 young boys, with the eldest being 4.
It was so great to meet puppy walkers and hear that they keep in touch with the pup through the Guide dog owner! 🙂

Entertainment.

As our group was so large we split off into 3 separate teams, not that that really mattered, we were sharing a table so were confirming the answers with one another.
We got 10 out of 10 on the music round with thanks to me: I was the only one on our table that got Rude and Magic! I even did a very loud woo when it was announced!
Mostly because Gary played it on repeat for about 6 months, was on the other team to me and frustratingly didn’t know the answer, so I told Mark that my only guess for the artist was Magic, and BOOM I was right!!
Can you tell I like quizzes? 😉
I am also very proud to say that our table of 2 teams, came 2nd and 3rd in the quiz, missing out on a prize of £71.
It would have been nice to win, but I am actually glad we didn’t, the politics that would have come along with it because of certain members of the team would have caused a giant headache!

With it being our last night in the chalet a large group of us congregated in Lenny’s chalet, where lots of alcohol, laughter and jokes were had!

What happens in Butlin’s stays in Butlin’s! 😉

A group of white plastic chairs at night with a light underneath shining up and making them light up

Bye Bye Butlin’s.

All the carbs, alcohol and late nights caught up on just about everyone, lots of us woke up with hangovers, in the case of Gary and I, we had very poorly tummies, Breakfast was a very slow and uncomfortable affair.

I was genuinely worried how we would cope on our journey home.

Gary and I thankfully seemed to bypass the worst of it before we left, thank god!

Gary and I had a fabulous time at Butlin’s, the staff were incredibly polite and friendly, nothing was too much bother.
The neighbours that we had were lovely, and every interaction I had with the public with Ida was also a very pleasant one!
Amazing times were had, lovely people met and lots of wonderful memories were made!
My highlight had to be introducing Ida to the seaside, watching her investigate, learn and explore! 🙂

I will definitely be returning to Butlin’s in the near future, this time I will complete the rock climbing wall and obstacle course, it would also be great to stay in the hotel and compare.
From what i’ve hear the butlers are attentive and the cleaning staff are thorough and make origami with your towels!

Butlin’s is certainly a family fun getaway for any age, and the support received as a disabled person was second to none!

Thank you Butlin’s!

Accessibility 4/5
There is a large set of stairs either side of the stage, it does have a lift. However, on the rat Pack night the lift had broken. Meaning that people had to use the stairs to exit. If I were a full-time wheelchair user I would not be able to exit the building.
However I cannot blame the staff as they went above and beyond to assist people leaving. As a Guide dog owner, it was more than accessible,

Hospitality: 5/5
The staff were all very friendly, welcoming and informative

Quality of service:4/5
I was very pleased with my stay and the service I received when out and about, with special thanks to the fair ground staff.
I would like to have seen for towels in our chalet, instead of two. Most importantly a bath mat to be provided.
Or the website it said that you could order pancakes/omelettes for breakfast, however during our stay this was not offered. Both Gary and I would definitely have liked this option.

Venue Details.

Upper Bognor Rd,
Bognor Regis
PO21 1JJ

Click here to visit Butlins Bognor Regis website.




Adventures At Butlin’s Bognor Regis Part 2

Butlin’s Bognor Regis Part 2

Day 2.

Breakfast is served between 08:30 and 10:00, we met everyone down at the food court at 08:45, apparently our group had been there from the second it had opened and was already on a second/ third helping!
There is a large selection for breakfast including: typical English breakfast, Yoghurt, porridge, cereal, fruit and toast with a selection of jams and marmalades.
I opted for cereal and a cooked breakfast, with lots of tea and fruit juice… Well why not? I was on my holibobs!

Gary and I both feeling rather tired decided to have a chilled morning and go back to the chalet, we may or may not have had a little snooze… Nope nothing at all to do with the late night and alcohol we had consumed the night before!

The Beach.

As the sun was so utterly beautiful we decided to head down to the beach, not even a 5 minute walk from our door to the beach front!
It was so much fun watching Ida attempting to run on pebbles, and not understanding why she kept skidding everywhere!
She was intrigued and nervous in her new environment: growling at the seaweed and jumping back in surprise…

In typical Ida fashion, 5 minutes later she was trying to eat it, and the many pebbles under her feet!!

A stony beach with the sea in the background

Gary managed to coax her down to the sand and shore; after running away the first few times as the waves came in, she then found her footing and bobbed her little paws in and out of the surf.

After a good few hours on the beach we were a little toasty so treated ourselves to a slushy before meandering back to the chalet.

Ida a Black labrador standing on a stony beach with the sea in the background

Dinner.

With dinner being so early at Butlin’s 16:30 to 18:00, our friends were already heading down for their evening meal.

So we decided to join them.
For every evening meal there is a choice of fish, carvery and whatever is on the menu for that particular evening.
I had sausage casserole, new potatoes, mash, veg and chicken pie. Oh and yummy chocolate cake!

According to our brochures the entertainment for the night was The Rat Pack, starting at 21:45, however after speaking with our friends who had been to see the Whitney Houston act, she started at 21:15.
So Gary and I decided to head back to the chalet to chill and get ready for the evening.

Entertainment.

We left our chalet at 21:00 and went in search for our friends.
The Rat Pack were already playing when we arrived, and we searched in earnest for our friends for a good 15 minutes before getting a hold of them and asking where they were.
Turns out they were back by the entrance … we had managed to walk right past them!

We were sat far enough away from the stage and speakers that if we talked loud enough we could hear each other, , perfect for a bunch of blindy’s like us!

The Rat Pack were truly fantastic. singing as a group as well as doing brilliant solo performances, even staying in character and speaking in a New York accent when addressing the audience.
I loved that they performed as if they were the real Rat Pack, Sammy Davis Jr tap dancing and singing the famous Bo Jangles.
The act finished with a audience participation of New York New York, a firm favorite on our table!

Although there was further entertainment for the last hour of the evening for adults only, none of our group fancied sticking around so we headed back to our chalets to continue our own little party!
Needless to say that it was another night full of laughter and alcohol!




Day 3.

Each day got hotter and hotter, we definitely struck it lucky with the weather.
We had been at Butlin’s over 24 hours and Ida was getting the swing of where she was going.
We got lots of comments from the public, including a lot of parents educating their children on not touching working dogs, and what Guide Dogs were for.
It made my heart melt every time we passed a young child or toddler exclaiming; doggy!

Breakfast.

For breakfast I decided to have a cooked breakfast, and even managed to fit in some boiled egg on toast!

On the way back Gary, Lenny and I discussed how disability friendly the staff and site were for people with disabilities.
The paths although not tarmac smooth were flat as much as they could be allowing those in wheelchairs, or those with impaired walking to get around with as much ease as a person with a disability can manage.
It was also great to see that there were so many families and carers enjoying themselves too.
Butlin’s really does cater for all ages, and fantastically supportive for people with disabilities! 🙂

Beach Fun.

After chilling in the chalet for a few hours we decided to head down to the beach once again, mostly because we wanted doughnuts, did I mention we were on holiday? 😉

A stony beach with the sea in the background

Along the beach front there is a selection of kiosks selling everything from many flavoured ice-creams to slushies to doughnuts.
There was also a dog drink station and a few pieces of gym beach workouts in the form of pull up bars, and tricep dips.
Gary and I both gave the tricep dips a go and failed miserably at life!
There is also a pub at the end of the beach front but we didn’t visit.

Deciding that it was doughnut time we headed back down walking past the shuttle train on the way, Gary and a little boy gave a thumbs up to one another as they passed us.

A long Blue beach train with a quite scary red lipped one tooth smile

The back end of a long blue beach train

Ida and I were sitting down in the seated area when a lady and her son came over to us and asked if they could say hello to Ida.
I made Ida sit and explained that when on harness a Guide Dog is working and I don’t usually let people say hello to her when she is working.
At the same time the lady echoed my little speech and said that she sponsors Guide Dogs.
She said that she and her son wanted to come say hello as they have never met a working guide Dog in all the time she has been sponsoring them.
She asked me how long we have been a partnership and has it made a difference? I started gushing about how much Ida has changed my life for the better and given me my confidence back, at this point the lady turned to her son and kindly said; that’s great to hear, and exactly why we donate.
She was a genuinely lovely lady and I thanked her for sponsoring Guide Dogs. 🙂

After consuming our delicious doughnuts and refreshing slushy we finally headed onto the beach itself, all the while Ida pulling like a mad thing and being very disobedient!
I had to give her a very stern telling off, and she settled down.
Clearly she loves the beach as much as I do!

Gary and I were keen to dip our feet in the sea, and encouraged Ida to join us… Gary threw a stone into the water and Ida chased it! She’s such a daft dog!

Ida running towards the sea on a stony beach

It was so relaxing standing in the surf and having the surf crash at our feet, what made the moment even more special was Ida running in and out of the water, splashing and kicking up sand as she ran along the waters edge.

Evening.

On our way to dinner there were a lot more “doggy” comments, and this time it was followed up by “yes, that’s a very special doggy. It’s a blind dog!”
Gary and I couldn’t help but laugh, I don’t think Ida would be much use to me if she was blind also!

Dinner.

You can tell it’s buffet style because when Gary brought my plate to me I had a selection of different foods: hunters chicken, chicken wrapped in cheese, meatballs with pasta, veg and new potatoes… Seriously what is up with this boy and getting me new potatoes everyday? I don’t even really like them that much!

Entertainment.

The evening entertainment on the centre stage was soul night; this was the night I was most looking forward to.
I am a huge fan of soul and mouton, that if they weren’t mostly about break ups and heartbreak I would have to have them play at my wedding!

The guy’s’ voice was brilliant, and no wonder; he was the voice coach for the X Factor, and now The Voice.After a bit of name dropping he carried on with the set.
One of the women vocalists did a beautiful rendition of a Jackson 5 song.It was truly amazing.
Apart from sitting in silence and absorbing that particular song, our entire table were dancing in our seats and singing away merrily to every song they performed.
For entertainment purposes I just wished their set was longer than 45 minutes!

You could definitely tell that the partying and late nights were catching up on us because we all headed back to our respective chalets and crashed out for the evening.
It was nice to have a night in cuddled up on the sofa watching TV with Gary.

You can find part 3 here.