Monday, 15 December 2014


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.

Monday, 8 December 2014

A Big Fat Five

It has been an extremely long time since I wrote about my beloved Calvin. Last month marked five years since we started working together, I guess that makes us an experienced partnership. I can’t believe he’s nearly seven; he’s still my baby and still acts like a puppy. Having Calvin as my Guide Dog hasn’t stopped being a daily adventure and alongside his roguish behaviour, he has actually done some amazing work this year.

Calvin and I are moving out! I will blog more about that separately, but for Calvin this has meant learning lots of new routes, which are much more testing than my current village location. Thankfully, Calvin is bomb proof and has been relishing the challenge and well has been delighted with the treat rewards. Being a modest character, he has no qualms in nudging me insistently with his nose for a treat and praise every time he finds a crossing box, post box, bus stop or door! We are literally glued to the spot until he gets his payment. It is fair to say that Calvin has me wrapped around his paw. He knows he’s my ticket to independence, the smart so and so!

This year Calvin has also been guiding for two. No, I’m not pregnant, that would really mess up the athletics career! I feel a bit like a teenager writing this down, but I have a boyfriend who is a cane user. On the whole, Calvin has been coping remarkably well with me having another man in my life. He does barge in on cuddles from time to time, but I was fully expecting him to murder any potential lover. The most amusing thing he does is blank my other half when he’s in harness. He literally won’t wag his tail at the sight of him or even when he’s stroked. Apparently, guiding for two isn’t in his contract and he’s making it fully known that he’s not happy with the situation. However, Calvin has guided us around Leicester, Cambridge, Ely, Peterborough, Norwich and even London. It has been really liberating to visit so many places that I think if I just had a cane I wouldn’t dare attempt on my own.

Despite all of his hard work, Calvin is a fatty and I think always will be. Earlier this year he gave me a scare, as I found a couple of lumps. Thinking the worst, I took him to the vets and they sent off the cells to the lab. Turns out, they are fatty lumps, which was a massive relief. Calvin’s diet consists of diet dog food, tiny treats whilst he’s learning new routes and anything else he can Hoover up as he walks. I have never thought to feed him off of my plate, I dread to think how huge he would be if I ever did. Calvin is a bit on the chunky side, but generally he is a healthy pup and that’s the main thing.

Thanks Calvin for five fantastic years, here’s a virtual treat...