Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Comps, Interviews and Stomach Bugs!

Since the last time I blogged a 101 things have happened! I got the dreaded stomach bug for the second time in April and spent an awful week of my head down the toilet, starving myself, as my stomach refused food and lost half a stone. Not ideal for anyone, but especially when you have interviews and athletics competitions to attend!

I couldn’t go to the interview with the Education Psychology Department due to the illness, which I found very frustrating. I’m fairly certain they wouldn’t have given me the job, as one of the tests was to design a leaflet, which is near impossible when you can’t see! But I’ll never know!

I was well enough to attend 3 further interviews last week. The first was to work in a library with the City Council and I felt it went pretty well. The only stupid mistake I made was that I didn’t date the letter in the test, whoops! I haven’t heard back from them yet, so as they say no news is good news. Well, I hope!

The next 2 interviews were with the County Council. In the morning I went to the Specialist Teaching Service and Bridgid who used to help me at school actually helped me in the test. It was good to see her again, but the test wasn’t very blind friendly unfortunately. They commented that my formatting was out in a few places, but I did my best. So I didn’t get that job either.

The final interview was with the Youth Service. I should have just gone home when I tripped on the step in their entrance. As usual there was a test and I always take Hal on my USB so I can access the computer. The IT man spent ages trying to load it on to the PC, which in reality should take 5 minutes. Honestly, it’s not brain surgery! Anyway, over an hour later it looks like he’s only gone and corrupted my precious Hal! I was so angry, for one I couldn’t do the test, I need Hal daily to access the PC and it was given to me by Access to Work and obviously I’m currently unemployed so shouldn’t really have it. It’s not a cheap piece of software and costs £560. I had the main interview and when I got home was even more annoyed to find that it definitely didn’t work.

I got my mum to download the demo version from the net, which lasts for a month. That’s what I’m using now. In the meantime I’ve contacted Dolphin and basically I need a sighted person to follow some instructions and hopefully we can get it working again, but I’m not convinced yet. I had to withdraw from that interview since I couldn’t do the test and that’s the last time I take my own software to an interview!

On Friday I went to Dublin for the May Games and wasn’t expecting much since I’d been so ill. It was good to see Beth again and I also saw another friend Stephen who lives in Northern Ireland and is a swimmer. On Saturday morning the weather was appalling. It was extremely windy and heavy rain. The worst possible conditions for an athletics competition.

When we arrived at the venue and registered I was livid to find out that I was in my races alone! Yes, I was racing myself! That completely demotivated me and I felt like I had wasted my money and time. When I raced all by myself the rain had stopped, but the wind was head on and I managed 19.42secs for 100m and 43.51secs for 200m. Probably my worst times ever, but guess what I won! How stupid!

I also did shot and came second. Obviously, I’m not built for it, but I did it for a bit of fun. I threw 4m 43cm, which isn’t bad, but my PB is further. I was glad to get home on Saturday night.

There’s no rest for the wicked and on Sunday morning I was travelling down to London for another competition. What a change in weather compared to Dublin, the sun was shining spectacularly. We arrived in good time and I had a reasonable warm-up. I also got the chance to use starting blocks for the first time in a competition. I was the only one using them pretending to be all professional!

In my 100m I raced 5 other girls all with differing disabilities. I ran 16.9secs again, but again wasn’t totally out of breath! I really don’t know why I can’t run fast and tire myself out! I came 3rd in reality, but because we were all different disabilities they establish the winner by who was closest to their world record for their category. This dropped me down to 4th place and no medal.

It was a long sun bathe of a 3hour 45min wait until my 200m. I raced exactly the same girls, but this time came 4th, but once they did the times again was dropped to 5th. I felt it was a quick race and thought I might have got a PB. However, when I found out my time of 39.2secs I was confused. The girl, who just beat me Georgette, was also surprised by her time. When we compared PBs we found they were very similar and everyone said there was no way we were 5 seconds behind 2nd place. I sent an email to Marie Yates at Uk Athletics to appeal the result and asked for the standards I need to meet yet again, but have had no response. Why are people so useless!

Ok, I’m going to wrap it up now, as I’m most likely sending you to sleep with my unexciting life! Finally, just to finish off whilst I was writing this entry I got a call from Deaf Blind UK who I contacted a few months back regarding volunteering. They want me to be a telephone befriender and are sending me out the application form. So that’s something to look forward to! Before then though I have another athletics competition on Saturday in Bristol and off to Turkey for a week on Monday. Bring on the sun!