Thursday, 29 January 2009

Young, Free and Single

I guess it’s about time I write about it and get it all off of my chest. It being that Jack and I split up on January 11th and it’s taken me this long to finally admit it on paper.

It wasn’t a dramatic or messy break up, which is always a good thing. Not that I’ve had many before, but more of a mutual agreement that it’s not working out. I can honestly say it’s not me who’s changed, though I don’t blame Jack in some respects.

There’s not one significant reason why we’ve finished, but a few issues that can’t exactly be resolved easily. The main one being Jack struggles to guide me when his vision is so poor too. Then there are little things like the distance.

It’s not all bad though, as we’re still friends and have spoken everyday since the break up. I can tell he still cares about me and it’s nice that we’ve recognised that we’re better off as friends.

Obviously, I’m gutted that it’s over after nearly 2 years and all the fighting I had to do to get him, but at the same time I’m happy I’ve got a new trust worthy friend. Jack and I have some great memories including 2 holidays, several theatre trips, romantic meals, play fighting, lovely presents and generally having a good laugh.

Selina and Jack
March 12th 2007 – January 11th 2009

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Guide Dog Update

Ok 9 and a half months since I’ve been on the waiting list for my first Guide Dog. I called them today for an update and found out that they are getting 4 dogs in next week. They don’t know what types they are getting in yet, but I have all of my fingers crossed that they will get a tiny speedy dog that will be a perfect match for me! I’ve been told to call back the second week of February to find out!

It’s getting more and more exciting now, as the time draws ever closer. Obviously I’ll be disappointed if there isn’t a match for me, but surely one dog out of 4 is a pretty good chance.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Another Interview

I had an interview today at a company called P R Cooper and Footline Ltd who sell orthopaedic shoes! It’s in the middle of the countryside about 35mins from home. The job is to be a clerical assistant for 16 hours per week, 9am – 1pm for 4days. It would fit in nicely with my athletics training.

On arrival 2 women greeted me. They seemed very nice and I explained I needed guiding. They knew I was VI, as it’s on my CV and when they called me for interview they checked that I could get there and I mentioned Access to Work would provide taxis.

They took me to a computer and asked nicely if I could see the screen. I said I could see the light coming out of it and started talking about my speech software and other specialist equipment. They appeared very unaware, but not in a negative way. We discussed the duties and how I would access the work. At the end I gave them Access to Work’s number and suggested they contacted Action for the Blind. Apparently one of their friend’s works for Action so that’s positive.

I got a tour of the factory and the various shoe making levels. I’d say about 10 to 15 people work there and they all seemed very relaxed and friendly. I will hear next week if I’m successful. They did say I had an impressive CV and I think that’s why they didn’t feel the need to ask me your usual interview questions. Fingers crossed again!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

No Sense of Direction

OMG! I am so angry and embarrassed. All I wanted to do was buy a book of stamps and a chip cob, but for some reason I have to make hard work of everything.

I haven’t done the route to the post office and chippy for about 3 months now, but only because the weather has been awful and obviously I was at work. I’ve lived in my village all of my life and knew exactly where I was going in my head.

My first mistake was coming out of my road, as I must have gone round a car the wrong way and then somehow ended up on the opposite side of the road and I was baffled why the cars were now on my left. I crossed back over and knew where I was, but maybe I should have gone home at that point!

When walking up the main road the pavement dipped for someone’s drive and I got confused and thought it was the dip to indicate I should cross. The road was pretty dead and I waited for a car to drive by and figured that I needed to carry on walking up.

After that I was fairly ok, found the two crossings and walked straight up, crossed again, went past the Newsagents and slowly followed the houses round. I was going to the post office first, but had to pass the chippy on the way. I couldn’t’ smell the chips, but assumed they had the door shut as it’s cold. I walked passed the post office by one step and then went in and bought my stamps. I walked back to the chippy and it was only closed! God I was cursing!

I then started my route home and thought I was doing ok. Crossed over after the Newsagents and was just waiting to hit the grass verge to find the crossing. However, I hit a grass verge and then tried to go around it, but it was like a dead end! I paced up and down, but just couldn’t figure out where I was.

It’s a bit pants when you live in a quiet village and you need help, but thankfully an old man came to ask me if I was ok. I asked where about I was and where the crossing was, but didn’t realise I was miles from it! He offered to drive me up to the library, which was the direction I was aiming for, and I had no choice, but to say yes, as I was so lost. I don’t generally get in cars with strangers and have never done it before! Somehow I had managed to get on a road completely opposite to where I wanted to go and was a long way from where I needed to be.

He dropped me off at the library and I thought I would be fine from there. I had done that route a million times! I went over the crossing fine and crossed the next road ok and found the turning to my street.

Again the cars must have caught me out as I ended up on the opposite side of the road and a lady said I was going into the primary school! She walked me around the corner and I knew where I was again. By this point my hand and wrist were aching and I was so tired.

I finally reached my house after wrecking part of my neighbour’s garden and was so glad to be home! I have never been that bad at mobility! How I managed to cross over to the other side of the road twice I don’t know. I’ve never done that in my life! There are just so many cars down there; one must have caught me out both times.

My inability to walk in a straight line cannot have helped the situation, but if I had a Guide Dog I would have been fine. I know exactly where to cross, which corners to turn and all that jazz, but obstacles just put me off. There’s no point in having mobility training, as I know the route, I know I do.

9 months since I’ve been on the waiting list for a Guide Dog now and I just can’t wait until I get one in order to make life soooooo much easier!

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Why I Man

I’ve been speaking to Beth on various VI forums and MSN for about 5 years now, but we had never met in person. So, she invited me to her birthday celebrations and I couldn’t say no. Beth is registered blind and has Aniridia, which means she doesn’t have an iris.

I caught the train up to Newcastle, but wasn’t best pleased with the delays, assistance failing at Birmingham who are normally excellent and the general freezing weather! We had a nice meal at Frankie and Benny’s when I arrived and then went to the Start Fitness running shop, which is like heaven to an athlete. I could have bought loads, but had already ordered a ton from their website and just got the rave pink jacket I was after to complete an outfit. That evening we had a trip to Asda where we bought a couple of bottles for snobby me who hated the northern tap water and some party food.

Wednesday was a busy day and left me absolutely exhausted. We went up to Middlesborough where we met Rachel and Carrie who are 2 VI friends of Beth’s. I know Carrie from a message board, so it was good to meet her. Apparently Rachel was at RNC the same time as me, but I never came across her for some reason. After a visit to Costa Coffee we hit the shops. They all longed for my H & M jumper I was wearing, but didn’t have their sizes. We spent ages in there. I didn’t buy anything, but the others did. Afterwards we went to Lasenza where I found a nice pair of half price long sleeved pjs and Beth copied me and bought them too. It’s not likely we’ll be caught wearing them together though!

Wednesday night was time for Beth’s birthday celebrations and we went to karaoke. I sang Shania twain That Don’t Impress Me Much and although I don’t think I can sing they all thought I was great and a couple of women got up and danced! Didn’t get to sleep until 3am, which is really late for someone who’s normally in bed for 9pm!

On Thursday I eventually dragged myself out of bed and went to Beth’ singing lesson. It did make me want to sing, but I managed to restrain myself from the embarrassment! That evening we played on Wii Fit and generally chilled out.

Yesterday I came home and was pleased that the assistance turned up at York and I made my mum collect me from Derby so I could get home sooner. I enjoyed myself and going back in June to see Boyzone with Beth and her friend who also has Aniridia Jenny. Hopefully I’ll have my Guide dog by then. Speaking of guide dogs Beth has a gorge Guide Dog called Sandie. She’s a crazy lab, but as soon as her harness is on is as good as gold. I beat Sandie at tug of war and it was useful to observe Guide Dog ownership closely.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Catching Up

Argh it’s 2009 already and I’ve been neglecting my blog. So before I talk about the coming year think I best catch up!

*Sighs with relief!* The torture is finally over! No more sitting at my desk with nothing to do, thinking about what I can look at on the internet or checking my watch to see if it’s nearly home time. Ok it wasn’t all bad, but the majority of it was. I did achieve an NVQ Level 2 in business Administration to add to my collection of qualifications and it’s a year’s work experience to put on my CV.

I was quite impressed on my last day, which was December 23rd, as I got £45 worth of river Ireland vouchers and a box of Miniature Hero’s. If that wasn’t enough they let me go at lunchtime. As of today I am now officially unemployed, which hurts. All I can do is keep applying for jobs though and hope someone gives me a chance. In the meantime I’m going to sort out some volunteering.

To be honest I’m a bit of a misery guts at Christmas these days. We didn’t have a tree yet again, but put up my little one from when I was a kid. I didn’t really want anything apart from the limited edition purple GHD gift set that Jack bought for me. I also got a vanilla scented monkey coat hanger, a lavender scented monkey that can go in the microwave, socks, new bedding and then a couple of other random things. On the day I treated myself to 4 pairs of pjs from Lasenza, 2 pairs of pjs from Littlewoodds and 4 cds from Amazon including Alexandra Burke, The Script, Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera. The joys of Internet shopping!

The day went pretty fast. We had brunch, lunch around 4pm and played a few games.

On Saturday 27th I went down to London to spend a couple of days with Jack. We didn’t get up too much. Went to Hammersmith on the Sunday and Jack bought a gold bracelet, but I couldn’t find any clothes in river Ireland. We played cards, watched TV and generally relaxed which is right up my street.

Amy and Cara:
I met up with Amy and Cara for lunch on Tuesday, which was nice, as I hadn’t seen them for a couple of months. We exchanged Christmas presents and I got a nice bag from Cara and a few nice things from Amy including smellies. We went back to Cara’s after lunch and watched Mama mia. They’d both seen it, but I hadn’t. Glad I didn’t go to the cinema to watch it, as it wasn’t all that in my books.

Maybe it was my own fault for not knowing the story previously, but I found it really difficult to follow. I couldn’t work out if Evita was good or bad. She came across as a bitch to me, but the public seemed to love her. The singing and whole performance was outstanding as per usual, but I can’t say it’s one of my favourite musicals. When I got home I researched the story on the net, as it’s a true one and it made more sense. Eva Perone died at 33 from cancer, which is awful.

Whilst we were there we booked to see Flash Dance in March and Chicago in May. I’ve seen Chicago in the West End and loved it, but there’s no harm in seeing it again! I need to persuade Jack to take me to see Oliver in the west End. What a nice Valentine’s present that would make!

The future:
I didn’t do much for New Year’s Eve, was just at home with my family and it was a struggle to stay awake. God 2009 it’s going to be a big year for me. I will be 21 in July; I should get a Guide Dog, hopefully a new amazing job and who knows what else will happen!

Looking back at 2008 it wasn’t a terrible year really. Work was a drag, but I went to Lanzarote with my family and then to Spain with Jack and saw Paula after 3 years. The Paralympic opportunity ended up being a disappointment, but it has made me more determined to achieve.