Thursday, 19 March 2015

Omid Djalili

Last night I was out once again, this time seeing the comedian Omid Djalili at Leicester’s DeMonfort Hall. To summarise, it was a thoroughly entertaining experience.

I appreciated a lot of the cultural gags and it was refreshing to witness a mainstream comic, joke about Paralympians and disability in general (take note BBC). To be fair, Omid managed to cover the entire Equality and Diversity policy within his show, yet managed to remain politically correct throughout. He highlighted many serious topics and beliefs in a jovial manner, meaning you were in hysterics, but actually learning along the way. I was slightly concerned for the lady sitting next to me who seemed to laugh at every syllable Omid uttered, I was honestly afraid she might pass out. It also amused me that Calvin (Guide Dog) decided the aisle wasn’t a safe place to lie and shuffled in between the seats, out of sight just before Omid came on stage.

In the final section of the show, Omid answered questions the audience had submitted. It soon became apparent that I was surrounded by mentally unstable people. The way some people think is truly unbelievable. I’m trying to remember an appropriate question, but other than the ‘can Omid wish me a happy birthday’? There really weren’t any. You had to be there to understand my shock. It was great to see Omid react to them in a humorous way, demonstrating that he can be funny on the spot too.

A ‘funny’ night in all senses of the word!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Adrian Mole

Last week I had the pleasure of going to see a preview of Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole the Musical at the Curve Theatre in Leicester. Admittedly, I got tickets for one of the preview shows, as it was a lot cheaper. If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t really understand what the significance of a preview was, but now I do, I’m even more pleased I got tickets. It was the first ever performance for the young actor playing Adrian. There are several Adrian Mole’s since they are child actors. The teenager playing Adrian Mole on Tuesday 10 March was simply brilliant, as were the rest of the cast.

Being an avid reader, I had loved The Secret Diary series growing up. Usually, adaptations of books into films or on to the stage are never as good as the written text. This was not the case for Adrian Mole. It was a giggle a minute. The acting was supreme and the songs had the fun factor. If money would allow, I would definitely go and see it again. It’s definitely going to be a West End hit. Go and see it!

The Script

On 3 March I saw The Script play at Nottingham Arena. I have been a massive fan of their music for years, have all of their albums and was excited to finally see them perform live. Labyrinth was listed as the support act, but for some unknown reason it ended up being Tiny Temper who I thought was great.

Overall, I found the gig to be good and I’m glad I experienced it, although it wasn’t as amazing as I had hoped. They sang all of their hits, which sounded of a high quality, but the show lacked something for me. Maybe, when you wait for something for so long you build up such high expectations in your head or maybe it was the unnecessary vulgarisms used throughout. For a band that has produced a collection of inspirational songs, such as Super Hero and Hall of Fame, it was disappointing to hear such uninspiring language when they interacted with the crowd. Just my opinion.


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Athletics Training

I often blog on here about my athletics competitions, but I never really talk about my day to day training. Set Your Sights asked me to blog about how I train as a visually impaired athlete. If you’re interested in how I do it, then you can view the article here.



Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Abnormally Funny People

There is a fairly new podcast on the scene called ‘Abnormally Funny People’. If comedy and disability is your thing, then this is for you. Each episode is presented by two comedians, one disabled and the other not. They interview two guests at a time who have a disability. Sometimes they are comedians, but at times they are just interesting people. There are a mixture of serious and light hearted topics all guaranteed to include a dollop of humour. The podcast embraces difference and is definitely worth a listen. Catch it here: Abnormally Funny People Podcast



Sunday, 11 January 2015

Year Review

2014
At the start of 2014, I declared it would be ‘the year of opportunity’. How right was I! It all started in January, when British Athletics invited me to compete in the Glasgow International Match, I then got asked to train with the GB Women’s Goalball Team and I also reserved my first house. The highlight of the year without a doubt has to be the Commonwealth Games. Finally, I was given the opportunity to represent my country, the years of chasing a dream became a reality. A massive thank you to England Athletics for giving me a chance. I had already decided I would quit athletics if I didn’t make a major championship in 2014. It was coming to the point where I couldn’t deal with the constant failure. It’s an enormous relief that I don’t have to hang my spikes up just yet.

The biggest disappointment of the year was not being selected for the European Championships that took place shortly after the Commonwealths. It was difficult to watch people run slower than me and for there to be no British T11 representation. However, I didn’t prove myself enough this year since I didn’t manage to run a PB.

Another major upset was failing to secure a place on Teacher Training. Despite obtaining a First in English Language and Literature in 2013, there was a severe shortage of English places meaning no teaching for me. Nevertheless, I absolutely loved the work experience I did in schools and had the chance to teach a Year 9 English lesson, which was nerve racking, but so rewarding.

After the Commonwealths I began job hunting once more, something I hadn’t done since before my degree and had a torrid time when I did. Apparently, the job market hasn’t improved. I have applied for countless jobs and only secured two interviews, which obviously led nowhere. It’s so frustrating to apply for positions you are completely over qualified for and not even be acknowledged.

On a more positive note, I have visited so many places independently this year with Calvin, my other half who is also totally blind and my trusty Trekker Breeze. We have enjoyed days out in Cambridge, Ely, Peterborough, Norwich and London. Activities included punting, Oliver Cromwell’s House, China Town, M & M’s World, Norwich Castle, several beautiful parks (Jubilee, Embankment and Ferry Meadows), as well as more traditional activities, such as the cinema and meals out. All outings were achieved with minimal taxi rides and a little bit of help from the general public. I wish I could put into words how liberating it has felt exploring. Yes we got lost here and there, but it just enhanced the experiences.

To finish the year I had my sixteenth eye operation that has made the world a slightly brighter place and I officially moved into my house! The operation was more for comfort, as I had calcium build up. It’s the second time I’ve had the surgery and I’m in no hurry to get it done again, as operations really are no fun.

2015
In a strange way, I’m not expecting too much from this year. The plan is to settle into my house, continue with the athletics and piano lessons and to be generally happy with life. I have spent so many years pressurising myself to achieve, achieve, achieve. I still have aspirations, but this year they are smaller.

I don’t say it enough, but a huge thank you to everyone who reads this blog, takes an interest in my life and supports my ambitions. Here’s hoping you have a healthy, happy and prosperous 2015.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Mauritius

Last month I went to Mauritius to visit my Grandma. It was my fifth time to the country and the last time I went was nearly five years ago. My mum is originally from there and every time I’ve been it has felt like home. We never stay in fancy hotels, mainly because we can’t afford it, but I think if I returned again, I’d rather stay in a little two or three star, as you get the chance to appreciate the culture.

We stayed at the Aanari in Flic en Flac. It was a great location, not only was it across the road from the beach, but it was just a half hour bus ride to visit my Grandma, which was the closest we’ve ever stayed before meaning we could visit more often. The weather was lush and I thoroughly enjoyed eating all of the local cuisine. The fresh beach food, refreshing coconut water and just picked lychee were all amazing.

The ten nights flew by and I was back in frosty England before I knew it. However, I think I needed the vitamin D, as I’m feeling revitalised.