Thursday, 29 October 2009


So this morning I had my matching visit with Calvin. They came early and I wasn't quite ready so my mum, dad and brother got to meet him first. When I came down my initial reaction was oh my god he's massive and quite lively too, as he tried jumping on to the sofa and putting his paws on my lap whilst licking me! It took a while for him to calm down and I had to wrestle to get his lead out of his mouth. Apparently he is cream coloured, which I guess you'd call yellow. My mum was pleased he matched the carpet and furniture!

The instructor, Mitch, which is short for Michelle didn't have much to say about him. This left me asking all of the questions. He has no spending or medical issues, which is a relief and isn't sensitive, which matches my personality I guess! He's 19 months old and he shouldn't grow anymore thank god!

We eventually got to go on a walk and I was pleasantly surprised how quick he was. Initially I was struggling to keep up, but I was apprehensive that he might walk me into something or I'd trip. He guided me well around parked cars and some road works, but found the village smells far more interesting at times. He also attempted to chase a squirrel and a cat, which nearly had me flat on my face. He is extremely strong that's for sure. Apparently, he'd never tried to chase anything before, but if he persists I may need a gentle leader to control him and avoid being pulled over. The instructor mentioned that I need a shorter handle because he's so tall and I'm a short arse and hopefully this will make it easier.

However, nothing is official yet and he's coming to stay the night on Tuesday. This will allow me to have another walk with him and see if he's still distracted by the various wildlife and enable me to have more of a feel what it's like to walk with him with the correct handle. Also, by staying the night we can check if my brother is allergic, but he seemed fine at the time.

It's looking quite positive for now and he sounds like a real looker. Sporty and a rare colour. He is excitable, but hopefully he'll calm down. He is still a puppy after all.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Guide Dog Matching Visit

I should be bouncing off the walls in sheer excitement, but the day I've been waiting for for 18 and a half months has ended up being an anti climax. Guide Dogs called with what they call good news. It was good news to me too until they started describing the dog. We've all seen on here how I was hoping for a cute little yellow bitch, but instead I get Calvin, boo hoo a boy, 36kg, boo hoo a giant, lab cross retriever, which I don't even know what colour he is. Probs black knowing my luck. Calvin! OMG! What a stupid name for a dog! Selina and Calvin…it just doesn't sound right. 36kg! I only weigh 43kg! There's the end of carrying him up and down escalators, we'll just have to be stranded.

According to the instructor it looks like a perfect match on paper. I have no idea what bit of paper she has, but my version is completely different. I was too upset to ask any questions other than the weight, so I'll find out more disappointing news no doubt on Thursday when I have my matching visit. I wonder what medical and spending issues he has. He best not be a slow coach and I won't be best pleased if they say he can't work in London.

All in all I'm an ungrateful cow and feel like Guide Dogs have it in for me! Roll on Thursday!

Friday, 9 October 2009

The Open University

On Saturday I officially changed my occupation from unemployed to student! As on the 3rd October I started my degree with The Open University (OU). After years of insisting I didn't want to go to university or study anymore, well I changed my mind!

In January I initially had the idea to study with the OU, as I thought even if I did get a job I'd be able to still work towards the degree and change my career path since I discovered at The Council administration really isn't my thing. I could have began the course in February, but felt I should do it properly with organising a Disability Students Allowance for all the equipment I need.

When choosing a course it didn't take me long to decide once I had read the list of under graduate degrees to select from. English Language and Literature immediately jumped out at me. I did English Language at A Level, but I have always been stronger in Literature. Creative Writing along with Eng Lang/Lit appealed too, but I'm not so sure I'm that skilful. I may do a short course of Creative Writing with the OU over the summer whilst I have a break from the main degree.

I've been officially registered on the course since April and my DSA was all approved in July. However, I didn't receive my equipment until late September and I'm still waiting on the training for it all. However, I'm already a week ahead of the study planner and feel I'm enjoying challenging my mind again. Referencing looks evil, but hopefully I can get my head around it.

I have my first face-to-face tutorial next Wednesday and there is someone in my village that happens to be in my tutor group and studying the same course who has kindly offered to give me a lift, which is useful. I've learnt the route with my cane, but would prefer not to travel on the trains late at night.

Thursday, 8 October 2009


I've been meaning to update my blog for over a week now. I went to Bognor about a week and a half ago with Beth, Jenny and Katie. We stayed at one of the Action for the Blind hotels and this was the first time for me.

The hotel was really nice, easy to navigate; in a good location opposite the beach and only a short walk from the shops. I shared a room with Jenny and her Guide Dog Jaynie. On the Friday night we just stayed in and were the last ones at the bar at the unearthly hour of 11pm! The average age of the other guests was about 80!

On the Saturday we took a trip to Portsmouth's Gun Wharf Quays for a touch of shopping. I picked myself up a nice Rip Curl skirt for the summer months whenever that is in England! That evening we took a walk down the promenade and I got the chance to walk with both Sandie and Jaynie the Guide Dogs. I first had a go with Sandie, but she was a bit slow and wasn't really interested in walking with anyone other than Beth. Spoil sport!

Then I had a go with Jaynie and we were off like a rocket. I found it so freeing and I possibly put a little too much trust in Jaynie, but never mind she didn't walk me into anything. She sat at curbs, took me up the dropped curbs, found the crossing box and without instruction took me back to the hotel. It's amazing how much faster you can walk when you're not using a cane. Of course we won't tell Guide Dogs I illegally drove a dog at night!

On the Sunday we stayed around Bognor and treated ourselves to dessert instead of lunch. I had a coke float; god that was nice hadn't had one in years! I also treated myself to a chocolate nut sundae or something like that! We went shopping around Bognor town and I bought a unique ring. It's silver and has a love heart charm dangling from it. After we went back to the hotel to relax before dinner. I don't think I've mentioned it was Jenny's birthday by the way. So that night we were top guests as everyone indulged in either Smartie cake or Tatty Teddy cake.

Monday was spent travelling home, but we did attempt to meet up with Terri in London. I say attempt as we didn't really have much time to chat whilst ramming down a McDonalds and waving Jenny off for her train. Never mind, better luck next time!