Friday, 29 May 2009

Dairy Milk for breakfast

Today as you know is Thankful Friday! And I think I am most extremely thankful for the weather! It's gorgeous! Proper warm it is! I only hope it lasts for the weekend as I'm off to Brighton to see Guru Tambo!

Guru Tambo is my old boss from my first ever London job and since I worked with her, she's upped sticks with her hubby, moved to Brighton, got a dog and had a lovely baby boy. I haven't seen her since she did all this so I’m very much looking forward to catching up on the beach! Hurrah!

I am going to take my new and lovely hat to wear so I don't fall over in the sun.

Anyway, I had the most interesting conversation with my friend Tigger the other day. He's the one who came to stay and did a cartwheel in the Tate Modern.

I asked him if I could have dairy milk for breakfast.

‘Yes,’ he replied. ‘It's not bad for you and contains calcium.’
I thought for a moment wondering if he was being sarcastic, but he really wasn't. He honestly was encouraging me to have dairy milk for breakfast.
‘What about the sugar content?’ I asked.

‘Sugar?’ he said, ‘what are you on about?’ And then he sent me a breakdown of the vitamin and mineral and everything content of dairy milk.

‘If you're really worried,’ he said, ‘you could have rice or soya milk.’

Tick, tick, tick, tick

And then I twigged…

He thought I meant the white stuff that comes from cows – dairy milk, whereas I meant the brown stuff that comes from Cadbury's – Dairy Milk.

Tigger was horrified at this – he runs marathons and does terribly healthy things like not eating Dairy Milk for breakfast.

But I checked and a bar of Dairy Milk contains the equivalent of three quarters of a pint of fresh liquid milk in every half pound of milk chocolate, which means technically I'm getting calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, along with a host of other things that are found in milk if I eat enough of it that is.

So maybe I can have it for breakfast after all!

And that's just one more thing to be thankful for today…

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Marmite dreams

Last night I ate half a block of the new Marmite cheese that's just come out. Snowboarding Boy will be glad he wasn't there to witness such an act – he’s quite a hater of the stuff. But it was truly delicious – a wonderfully gooey mixture of cheese and Marmite all in one mouthful. All it needed was a dollop of salad cream to make it a gourmet feast! Yum!

And then I closed my eyes and boy, did I have some weird dreams – Pete Burns was in them. But not like that! Ew!

Google tells me that cheese giving you nightmares is something of a myth, however a study in 2005 found that different types of cheese can give you different types of dreams! Apparently, Cheddar, which is what I had, makes you dream of celebrities… and I guess Pete Burns is kind of a celebrity.

I wonder if the added Marmite aspect made the trip any worse. Or it could have just been that Pete Burns just happened to be in a taxi next to my car as I was on my way to climbing last night and his face became indelibly ingrained on my memory. Google him and you'll understand!

Anyway, so where are we... well it's Thursday and it's nearly June! My, my, doesn't time fly eh?
Except on this morning's bus journey. My bus is being held at every stop briefly in order to help regulate the service!

*Argh!

I'm going to be late.

But it has given me the time to people-watch out the window, and once again, there goes Reading Girl.

I see her most mornings walking along the road, laden down with bags and reading. She navigates other pedestrians, dogs on leads, main and terrifyingly busy roads, and uneven pavements all while not looking up from her latest novel. It's quite incredible!

Of course, I do wonder if she's ever had a mishap doing this or if she is quite simply capable of walking without looking where she's going.

All I know is, I am not. One of the pitfalls of lipreading is that it does rather prevent you from looking in the direction that you're walking in if your talking to someone, which is why, yesterday, while going to get some lunch with Gym Buddy, I walked smack bang into a bollard.

*blush

Thankfully, I work in a busy part of London with lots of crazy people wandering around, so the site of a blonde girl maiming herself on a bollard wasn't too out of the ordinary, but for me, it was mortifying and hilarious all in one go. To be honest, I'm not sure whether it was injury or laughter that prevented me from standing upright afterwards.

So what I want to know is, it is possible to perfect the art of looking where you're going, without actually looking where you're going? Reading Girl seems to have managed it. Has anyone else?

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

What's in a name?

I am getting blonder every day I swear! Take yesterday, there I was sat on the bus home, getting a bit bored so I thought I'd drop Onion Soup Mate a line as I haven't been in touch for a while!

So I wrote her a nice text starting, ‘Hello Cupcake’ and sent it to completely the wrong person in my phone book. So then I sent an apologetic message to the person I'd called cupcake and then sent them the hello cupcake message all over again!

*cringe!

I always seem to be giving people nicknames, from the aforementioned cupcake, to chica, bird, mate, lovely, dear, sugarplum, Mister Man…

The list is endless.

In fact, I do it to everyone in this very blog, where Snowboarding Boy and Gingerbread Man rub shoulders with Fab Friend and Friend Who Knows Big Words.

I think one of the reasons for this is that I don't use people's names much when I speak to them. It stems from often not having heard it in the first place so therefore I have an acute fear of getting it wrong.

In fact, whenever I am introduced to someone, I swear I go twice as deaf when their name is said, as I never seem to hear it.

Then, I find myself afraid to use the name I thought I'd heard in case that wasn't it. But did you know, it's good social practice to use people's names when you speak to them... so I've been told anyway. I have friends who say my name 10 times in a conversation, who never greet someone without using their name and who actually seem to constantly spout names – I wish I could be like this sometimes.

But instead, I come out with all manner of bizarre nicknames to avoid the issue!

I like nicknames though. Growing up, I was called Sticklebrick and Motormouth, the latter being because I never stopped talking, the former because...

Actually, I have no idea, I'll have to ask Ma... Ma, why did you name me after a prickly plastic toy?

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Stress-free travel

Wow, it really does feel like I've been on holiday, more so because of the pouring rain cascading down the windows of the bus right now.

I was in Devon this weekend with Miss K. She's a country lass you see, and her Ma and Pa still live there, in a town about 10 minutes from the sea.

We had a brilliant time and spent the whole of Saturday basking on the beach in the most amazing sunshine. It was unbelievably warm, and had it not been for the chilliness of the sea, it really wouldn’t have felt like England at all.

Then there was the veritable feast the her Ma and Pa cooked up, which included the most delicious BBQ and pavlova – I have no idea where I put it all… although I think my belt does as it seems to be on a looser notch today!

*blush

Anyway, enough about my double-figure figure.

Did you know that I feel less deaf when Miss K is around? She effortlessly becomes my ears – from car journeys to announcements on trains – she always tells me what’s going on, even when I don’t ask her to. It’s great!

Take yesterday for example: There we were in travelling back to London in First Class – Miss K’s Ma treated us to an upgrade – when all of a sudden she told me that the train was broken and certain carriages were going to be removed at the next station.

I had absolutely no idea there had been an announcement about this and had I been alone, I could still be sat in a broken carriage in Salisbury right now wondering what the heck was taking so long!

OK not reeeee-eally, but I would have had a moment of panic wondering what everyone was doing vacating the carriage, and had I been engrossed in a book, I might not have actually noticed them doing a runner.

It was only when I got back to London that I realised just how stress free she had made the journey by being my ears. It was a wonderful novelty.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Why being deaf is good

Woohoo! Today is Thankful Friday and I am most deafinitely thankful for the forthcoming weekend as it has a bank holiday Monday in it – meaning more time to do fun stuff!

This weekend I am off to Devon with Miss K – her rents live down there and the promise of chilling out, catching up and tasty BBQs had me booking my train tickets quicker than you could say, ‘Mine’s a burger please!’

Today, I am also thankful for the lovely comments I have got since my new column in the Hearing Times was published, including one from Demented Demon
who also writes for the paper.

It’s a very exciting thing to know that I have a monthly column in a real paper. At first I was a bit nervous in case Gemma – the lovely person at the Hearing Times thought it was rubbish. But phew – she didn’t! I haven’t seen it yet but can’t wait to have a look at it in print!

*blush

Anyway, about every six months, I get quite down about my deafness – it’s like my tolerance threshold starts to get low and I find myself getting frustrated about things that wouldn’t normally bother me – like missing out on chitchat at work, or mishearing something someone says.

When this happens though, I have string of ‘there-there dear sentences’ I say to myself to remind me that life's alreet really.

These include things like:

Your deafness makes you more headstrong and determined to get what you want in life

Or

It means you get free and discounted travel

And so on and so forth…

But just sometimes, I am reminded completely out of the blue of the good things related to my deafness.

And that's just what happened on my bus journey home last night.
There I was, surrounded by people nattering away on their mobiles or reading the paper but in the absence of the London Lite Text Column, I found myself looking out the window.

Now, one of the things I’ve discovered as a deaf person is that my eyes do the job of my ears quite a lot. They look for sounds, such as sirens, people’s lips moving, and things flashing or vibrating. And what this also means is when I look at things, I don’t just glance, I really drink them in. Commit things to memory, look in every corner of the horizon, up, down, left and right.

And it was while I was doing this that I clocked the most magnificent sight. Two huge swans in flight together high over the London rooftops. It was amazing to see these white long-necked creatures cutting across and sunny sky and I watched them until I could see them no more.

And do you know what, I felt incredibly privileged to see that sight in my own little muffled existence.

It's like someone took away clarity of sound and in return gave me a secret vision of the world around me.

That's is of course until I take of my glasses...

Then, well, I have to resort to smelling things!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

No kids allowed

Is it me or are local councils, water companies, gas and electric companies and a whole host of other zealous work men constantly digging up roads that looked absolutely fine as they were?!

It certainly seems that way where I live right now. It doesn't seem to matter how early I leave for work this week, I still end up late, trapped in a traffic jam, on the bus, listlessly staring out the window surrounded by people coughing, sneezing, wheezing and doing their make-up.

Gah!

Oh dear, I feel bad for blaming it completely on the people mentioned above as I have just seen the cause of the jam. A man has parked his car on a bollard, and judging by the look of his puce face, I have a feeling it wasn't intentional.

The bonnet of his VW Passat has completely caved in and there's a mixture of oil and water spewing onto the road. Thankfully he seems OK, just a little irate and perhaps embarrassed as three packed buses and a host of Chelsea Tractors are gawping at him wondering how on earth he managed to not see the massive bollard in the first place.

What is it with my road and accidents at the moment?

Anyway, last night I had the most brilliant time being a kid again.

Snowboarding Boy and I went and investigated a late-night opening of the Science Museum and not really knowing what to expect I was pleasantly surprised.

I mean for a start, you could wander around sipping beer while looking at the all the exhibits and there were no annoying screaming kids running around the place.

But what we also discovered is that adults are even worse at sharing than children.

In the sciency experimenty section, you literally had to fight your way onto things, but once on them they were great fun. Snowboarding Boy and I almost made a record-breaking brick-balancing thing, cycled to generate electricity and laughed at the people who were on a spinning thing and making idiots of themselves.

I would highly recommend a visit to the next one, which is happening in June. In fact, I might just go myself!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

I didn't hear it through the grapevine

I never imagined Deafinitely Girly as being a platform for book reviews but girls, if you read one feel-good book this summer, please make sure it's Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend by Jenny Colgan.

This was the book that caused me travel woe on Monday due to the fact it distracted me from noticing I was on completely the wrong train, and last night, it meant I didn't sleep until the wee small hours as I simply had to finish it!

It was utterly brilliant, utterly captivating and utterly heart-warming.

Read it!

Anyway, now I am stuck for something as good to read, but it does mean I can get back to blogging on my bus journey to work.

This morning I am stuck between a pile of boys at the back of the bus. I say pile because they all seem completely unable to sit upright and are instead slouching at varying degrees of um... slouchiness.

One of them is dropping croissant crumbs all over me while the others are having a conversation I wish I could overhear as the rise and fall, the speed of the syllables makes me think it would probably be quite entertaining!

Dammit!

If I had hearing, I think I would be the nosiest person in the world! I would listen to absolutely everything going on around me and be one of those famous authors who say things like, ‘Yah, the opening chapter of my book was inspired by a conversation between to women in the toilet of Boujis darling.’ Or ‘I owe this amazing storyline to the school boys on my bus whose morning chatter was an inspiration.’ And then I waltz off the stage holding my award.

*Deafinitely Girly daydreams for a while

But what I get instead is the most incredible level of unclear background noise and an awful lot of croissant crumbs.

Hmmmmm

I mean the only thing I overheard recently was a sweaty man yelling, 'Put it between your legs' to his friend at the climbing wall, and short of moving into porn writing, I'm not really sure what to do with that and all the things I mishear, don’t hear and make a complete idiot of myself over…

Oh wait, yes I do...

And you're reading it!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

I heart my Freedom Pass

One of the great benefits of being deaf in London is the gift of free travel given to me by my local council in the form of a Freedom Pass. It’s quite simply the most wonderful perk in the world to tell you the truth.

It is tough getting around in London with a hearing loss sometimes – buses terminate for no reason and don’t think to put out a subtitled announcement so I’m left sitting on the top deck looking like a weirdo, and announcements come over the tannoy at tube stations causing people to tut and roll their eyes while looking at their watches, and I can only wonder what is going on.

But sometimes I do feel a little bit spoilt by having a Freedom Pass. Until yesterday…

Yesterday, I went to London Aunt’s for a catch up and dinner, and to deliver London Cousin 1’s replacement flip-flops – she left the first pair by the side of the road while doing handstands in Tobago… darlink!!

Anyway, on the way I thought I would stop off and do some shopping and so as a result, it was quicker to take the Tube.

*Yeurch

On arriving on the train platform, the screen announcing the train destinations wasn’t working and there was a man announcing them instead. When the train I needed pulled in, I double-checked the sign on the front, which said where it was going, and hopped on.

Then, I began reading Jenny Colgan’s new book, Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend – which I have nearly finished after just two days, it is that brilliant – and that’s where it all went wrong.

You see, I think somewhere along the journey, the train driver must have announced that the train was changing destination but I didn’t hear him. And the book was so captivating, I didn’t look up, until…

I had already travelled five stops in the wrong direction!!

*Argh!

Looking up and seeing a random tube station name instead of any of the ones I was expecting was quite a shock, such a shock in fact I nearly didn’t make it through the doors as they closed to depart. People were staring, probably wondering why I wasn’t taking any notice of the door closing alarm, which I can’t hear, and also probably wondering why I felt the need to make a mad dash for the doors when the train had been sitting at the platform for a few minutes already.

*blush

And so I retraced my steps and arrived at London Aunt’s, three tubes and two buses later, late, frazzled, and having not done one speck of shopping.

Freedom pass? Essential pass more like!

Monday, 18 May 2009

The way to a toddler's heart

My goodness, it’s Monday again!

Today, I am yawning as I had to get the 6.30am train back from The Rents’ house to London. There are people on that train who do that commute every single day…

I have absolutely no idea how they do it.

So, what a brilliant weekend I had, seeing quite a few of my favourite people.

Friday saw me chilling out with Snowboarding Boy – in an I’ll-show-you-mine-if-you-show-me-yours evening…

…favourite movies, that is!

It was kind of a ‘I can’t believe you haven’t seen this!’ movie night and so it began with Top Gun – am I the only person in the world who hasn’t seen this? – and ended with Sex And The City… I really couldn’t blame him for not having seen this…

So yah, Top Gun was good, although I am pretty sure that had I watched it when it first came out I would have been swooning over Tom Cruise rather than cringing at his cheesy one liners and oiled up chest. And crikey – there’s a LOT of sweat in that movie!

On Saturday, we went shopping and I got a hat – I love this hat

*blush

and it will save me in hot weather from talking gibberish. You see, being blonde and a bit English rose-y, I am not awfully good at sitting in the sun without factor 50 on and a bit of shade.

I first discovered this when I was younger and on a tour of a dilapidated unfinished house near where I used to live in the Wild West um… Country. We had taken Gma there for the day and the first bit of the tour was the grounds and took place under the blazing midday summer sun.

Suddenly I began to feel awfully cold, then the world started to spin, and then, whoops, I fell over. And, if I am not careful in hot weather, this still happens on regular occasions. It’s like all sense evaporates from my head the minute it goes in the sun and the only way to stay upright is by drinking lots of water and eating salty food.

But, to cut a long story short – a hat fixes all of this. It holds the sense into my head and means I can stay upright for longer, which is always a good thing I find, as I love the sun.

Which is why it was a shame there was none to be seen when I arrived at The Rents’ – but then it was midnight. But still, even on Sunday it just rained, and rained, and rained and rained. Even when Head-Girl-And-Best-Mate and her son, Northern Boy turned up the rain did not subside. This didn’t bother Northern Boy however, perhaps because he’s only 2, and so he dragged me out into the garden to look at snails and next door’s dog over the fence.

Now, Northern Boy is at that lovely age where he’s full of questions about what’s going on in the world around him. ‘What yer doin? Where yer goin? What’s that fur?’…

And, when he first arrived, I have to say I had no clue what he was on about. But after our third lap of the garden, I was becoming accustomed to his little Northern voice and, when he stared impatiently at me when I failed to follow him into the flower bed and said, ‘Curm ern,’ I even understood him first time around.

It was very exciting, as I had always assumed my hearing left me unable to decipher toddler speak.

And he seemed to quite like me. But then…

I fell from grace.

I broke the free plastic camera that he’d got with his Bob The Builder comic. He didn’t even know how it worked, or that he had to look through the lens to see pictures of Bob, Wendy, Muck, Scoop, Spud (wow, I’m a fast learner) but he knew I had broken it. How do toddlers know things like this?

I felt very guilty but sorry wasn’t going to cut it… so I smothered him with kisses, tickled his feet and ran him a deep bath with lots of Thomas The Tank Engine bubbles.

This is apparently the way to a toddler’s heart when you have broken his latest toy!

*phew!

Friday, 15 May 2009

Overhearing delight

Hurrah, today is Thankful Friday! And I don't think words can express how thankful I am that we are finally here.

But I'm going to try and find them!

Firstly, I am thankful to the person who went shopping in Deafinitely Girly's shop at 5am this morning – I don't know who it was, but they bought a hoody and T-shirt, which is most deafinitely very exciting.

Boys, that reminds me, I made a T-shirt just for you, and Big Bro, there are some for the Family Clog in there, too!

Anyway, I am also thankful for Fab Friend, who I laughed with so much I cried on our climbing trip last night.

She flies to Thailand today, so we got in a last minute session to make sure she was on form for her beach-side cliff climbing...

Jealous? Moi?

*sniff

Anyway, there we were nattering away as I was tying into my harness. And then, I pulled on the last knot with a bit too much enthusiasm and my hands slipped, causing me to punch myself in the face.

As I was seeing stars, Fab Friend was having trouble staying upright such was the ferocity of her mirth... and I had to laugh, too.

And then, all of a sudden, through the whirr of the air con and general din at the wall, a voice cut through loud and clear booming,

‘Just put it between your legs’

‘I heard something,’ I thought to myself, and one look at Fab Friend's face told me that she’d heard it, too!

As severely deaf girlies, we rarely overhear anything and, the fact that it was a sentence as truly bizarre as that, set us off giggling like a pair of school girls high on fizzy strawberry lace!

The poor guy who yelled it must have felt a bit put out by the hysterical women beside him but then, that's what you get for yelling things like that in crowded situations.

Anyway, between this and the punching, we couldn't stop laughing. We laughed our way up the yellow route, up the blue route – except in the difficult parts where I mouthed swear words to Fab Friend instead – and in the car home.

I think that's the only thing I've overheard this year...

Hearing people, tell me, is overhearing always that amusing?

Thursday, 14 May 2009

accident waiting to happen?

Today is Thursday...

Can you tell I am counting down the days of the week here?

Right now I am running late, sat on the top deck of a bus, looking at a motorcycle accident.

It's not pretty. There's a big motorbike and lots of glass on the floor and two police people who don't seem to know how to direct traffic! One of them looks familiar, I think I may have served him coffee during the great freeze !

The motorcyclist is sitting in the road and talking to the ambulance people, so I am guessing he is not on the verge of death!

*phew

But it's the second thing to happen like this in the last 24 hours.

Last night, I was sitting on the bus chuckling to myself while reading the London Lite text column where Londoners can text in what they're feeling, ask questions and just generally word vomit while other Londoners respond, when all of a sudden my bus braked violently.

The horn sounded, people shouted and there, through the windscreen, I spied a rather stunned tourist, just centimetres from the front of the massive big, red and frankly hard-to-miss vehicle.

To be fair, I think she looked the wrong way.

Anyway, London buses, as many of you know, are packed more tightly during rush hour than a tin of sardines and so, not everyone has something to hold on to at short notice. Therefore, not everyone remained standing up.

We were turfed off the bus to allow people to help a woman who'd ended up on the floor and couldn't get back up. I can't really tell you much more as I didn't want to gawp at her. But I'm hoping she's doing OK today...

But it got me thinking how one person's stupidity can leave them unscathed but affects a whole load of other people.

Ok, so the tourist may have nearly had a heart attack and peed her pants, but she was essentially unharmed and totally unaware that, as a direct result of her mistake, there was another woman flat out on the floor of my bus.

I wonder what caused the crash today. Was it was the biker himself or some idiot not paying attention? If it was the latter, that means that someone is going about their business right now completely oblivious to the mess they've caused – the injured biker, the damaged bike, the closed road, and the hoards of people at each bus stop for the next 2 miles all wondering why they've waited half an hour for a bus.

It's weird when you think about it. And thinking about it has made me realise how much more likely I am to cause a road accident than say, a hearing person. I mean, you've only got to think back to the fire engine incident or when I ran out in front of a car and got hit after hearing Ma say go instead of no.

I can pretty much guarantee that getting run over was way more traumatic for the guy that hit me and my Ma who peeled me off the tarmac than it was for me. I mean I had cartoon birds flying around my head for goodness sake.

So from now on, I am going to pay even more attention so I don't end up unwittingly trashing someone else's day.

And if we all do that, maybe it won't happen so much anymore...

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Service interruption message

Deafinitely Girly is unavailable to blog today for reasons beyond her control.

Deafinitely Girly would like to stress that these reasons are not that she ate too many cupcakes and is on an enormous sugar high, nor that she wants to look at some shoes in her lunch hour that she has fallen in love with.

The lack of blog is simply due to unforeseen technical errors beyond her control and she urges you to check back tomorrow for news of how the erm... cupcakes went down in her office and whether her new shoes are erm... comfy.

Thank you for taking the time to read this automated service message from the Deafinitely Girly Computer Networking Service Ltd.

*sheepish blush

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

I just don't know how to hear myself

So, today is Tuesday…

Only three more days until the weekend! Hurrah!

This week, Friend Who Knows Big Words has got me working on my pronunciation and vocabulary.

With the former, I had an elocution lesson on the District Line with her, while discussing her recent French holiday to Marseille.

Hmmmmmm

See, after the Versailles incident, this word is scarier to me than a whole sentence full of schizophrenics and Cadogan Halls. So I asked her…

‘How was your weekend in Marseillezzzzzzzzzz?’

And she looked at me the same way as when I told her I was going to peruse the shops.

‘Mar-say,’ she corrected me, in a way that only my close friends and family can. It still makes me want to dig myself a shallow grave in which to lie down in, but if a stranger corrected me, I'd probably dig them a shallow grave to lie down in.

Anyway, after blushing a rather violent shade of red, I tried again...

‘Mar-say’

At which point, Friend Who Knows Big Words burst out laughing.

Apparently I sounded like Del Boy from Only Fools And Horses when I said it.

And so it went on, like a tennis volley:

‘Mar-say,’ said Friend Who Knows Big Words

‘Mar-say,’ I said, while she snorted with laughter and I struggled to tell the difference between what she was saying, what I said in the first place and what I was now struggling to say!

In the end we gave up and I went back to practising schizophrenic and Versailles with the people sitting opposite us giving us very strange looks.

But I really do have a lot to learn from Friend Who Knows Big Words. I mean, she knows a lot of big words, and I want to know more. So in addition to the elocution lessons, I've started doing the crossword in The Guardian and The Times. Right now, I am rubbish and think that I'd be better with a Take A Break ArrowWord book, but I am going to persevere...

8 across: (horse) mottled with two colours

7 letters

Answers on a postcard please!

Monday, 11 May 2009

Ich miss das Wochenende

When a weekend is as good as the one I just had, it’s inevitable that the Monday after it should seem more um… crap than usual?

Yah?

Well, if this is to believed, then the crapness of today is a true measure of how fabulous my weekend was. And, where to begin?

Well, there was the visit from First Ever Friend and Swiss Boy 2 – it was so lovely to see them both. We walked our socks off in Windsor Great Park, Hyde Park and all along the river and more than made up for any calories lost with delicious meals and snacks and ice creams and… good grief, was the entire weekend about food?

Then on Sunday, we all met up with Bebop and RockSteady – who live oop norf and were down visiting, and Friend Who Knows Big Words. It was utterly brilliant to see Bebop again. Do you know, in 6th form we used to regularly turn up in the same clothes? Well yesterday when we met up, we were wearing the same clothes – apart from the leggings (Bebop has exceedingly good legs unlike me) – right down to the bangles!

*spooky!

After a fab catch up we then put First Ever Friends and Swiss Boy 2 on the tube to Heathrow, and it broke, and they missed their flight…

*sniff

Not a good advert to two people who come from the most organised country in the world where a train to the airport would not even be 10 seconds late, let alone stop working altogether.

*cringe

But what was interesting was that all day on Sunday, First Ever Friend kept saying, ‘I wish I didn’t have to leave yet’

And her wish came true!

Amazing!

So I am going to get wishing that this day gets a whole lot better – it’s bound to really as I am meeting Miss K after work for a gossip – and I am going to wish that all my worries of today are gone by tomorrow.

What would you wish for?

Friday, 8 May 2009

Das Wochenende

Today is thankful Friday and I am thankful for my wonderful friends – all of them!

Friends come in all shapes and sizes I find, and this weekend the ones I am seeing are coming from Switzerland, so they are Swiss shaped – whatever that may be!

The Swiss-shaped person coming to visit me is First Ever Friend – called that because she really was my first ever friend. We met in kindergarten and stuck together when a nasty girl
tried to bully us. I found that nasty girl on Facebook recently and it would seem she fell out of the ugly tree later on in her life and thwacked a few branches on the way down.

*teehee

First Ever Friend is one of my few friends that knew me as a not-deaf-but-deaf-really person – along with her and SuperCathyFragileMystic they thought what I thought - that I wasn't um... deaf.

It's not that it really makes any difference – but sometimes I do wonder whether you can define my life in two sections – Before Knowing About Deafness (BkAD) and After Knowing About Deafness (AkAD).
BkAD, I was full of these unrealistic hopes and dreams: I was going to be a concert violist, have a flat in the Wild West um... Country, write best-selling children’s' books (I didn't know that plagiarism of Topsy & Tim was illegal at that age) and live
on a nutritious diet of Smash and apple crumble.

AkAD, I was full of these unrealistic um...

*Oh crap

Except now, I don't want to be a concert violinist or a plagarising children's author...

I'd like to be the star in the reasonably-priced car, write lots of original stuff and live on a nutritious diet of London restaurants...

*sits and ponders the effects this may have on her double-figures figure

I think the main difference between BkAD and AkAD is that BkAD, I led my life and dictated where, however unrealistic, I wanted to go with stubborn abandon. But for a long time AkAD, I think I let my deafness do the talking about what I could and couldn't wish for.

Recently however, I've noticed chinks of my BkAD armour showing through, and I'm finding it quite refreshing

Maybe I should have some Smash and apple crumble for lunch...

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Sorry I'm late

Today’s post is late…

Last night I went to bed late…

This morning I woke up late…

But what this did teach me is that I can shower, dress and leave the house in just 10 minutes. Previously I thought that only Shakira Shakira was capable of such an amazing feat, but I did it!

*phew

It’s weird being late as I never normally am. In fact, I am normally early – for everything – all the time. Just ask Miss K about my airport obsession in Barcelona and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

A fear of being late is apparently – according to Google – called allegrophobia.

I have this.

I think in order to cure it, I am going to try being late more often… just like this morning.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

I am not alone

Did you know that there are an estimated one million adults in the UK who are unable to hear an ordinary smoke alarm!?

Yikes!

And, according to the Salisbury Journal, Wilshire Fire & Rescue service is urging people to get the right smoke alarm fitted in their home.

Burning buildings are one of my worst fears – I live on the top floor of a block of flats and my neighbours are prone to mad, drunken parties…

Irrational or not, whether I would wake when my fire alarm went off is a real worry to me. At Christmas I was reassured that I can actually hear the block’s fire alarm a little bit, when the girl downstairs set fire to her kitchen.

All of a sudden I was aware of an alien sound in my head and I ran around the flat frantically looking for the source of my discomfort and hoping I wouldn’t find flames licking at the front door. I didn’t – but I did find more smoke than an 80’s disco.

But then, when I was in Barcelona with Miss K the other week, some over-amorous Italians began banging on our door one night, presumably to invite us for a nightcap. I slept through the first series of knocks until Miss K woke me up for some advice on what to do about them.

We sat in bed, listening to the knocks, looking around for something heavy to smack them on the head with, but eventually they gave up – leaving flowers outside our door.

But what worried me most was, I didn’t hear the initial banging…

When I was at university, living in halls, I made the caretakers promise they would come and rescue me if the building was burning down – but in my flat, I don’t have anyone to ask – except New Housemate and he’s not always there.

I don’t really understand all the jargon surrounding deaf equipment – it seems to me it’s a bit more complicated that sticking something to the ceiling and pressing a red button to check it every month.

What’s more, this flat isn’t mine – I can’t afford to install a system that won’t come out again. Can I get one that’s compatible with the one installed by my agency? And can you get deaf fire alarms that only cost £10 like you can for hearing people or must I save up?

I mean, I know there’s no price on life – but I object to having for fork out more for a fire alarm just because my ears are broken…

And other thing – if this vibrates too, how long will it take me, in the event of a fire to try answering my phone, turning off my alarm clock and going through all my other vibrating things before I realise that…

*crap

The building is on fire!!!!!

So, I’m off shopping – and I may pick the brains of Chris – one of my readers who’s been kind enough to offer me technology advice in the past…

Chris?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

I heard Kew Gardens

Today feels like Monday on account of yesterday being a bank holiday! Yesterday was also something else very important...

It was Snowboarding Boy's birthday – but he doesn't like fuss so, shhhhh...

I had an utterly brilliant long weekend. Tigger came to visit and I made him walk the whole of London, and I really do not over exaggerate! We went around Hyde Park, walked through Green Park to Soho, down to Covent Garden, over the river, up to the Tate Modern, back again, along past the aquarium, over Westminster Bridge and back home.

Phew!

We then fell asleep on the sofa and it was too late to go anywhere for dinner and drinks, so we went for drinks and then had Marmite on toast!

At the Tate Modern, there was an utterly brilliant exhibit in the Turbine Hall called – I have no idea actually as so far searches on Google have proved futile.

Anyway, when you walk in, you see yourself on a screen but everything is slowed down. Step to the left and your body moves like a bendy tree in the wind.

Walk quickly and your head is there but your body follows like a streamer behind, kind of making everyone look like Willow The Wisp!

It was fascinating, and Tigger and I spent ages working out what different movements looked like. Cartwheels made people stare and Tigger disappear, walking around the other person made a perfect person spiral and crouching down made you appear from the top again, like you'd been beamed up – and down – by the Starship Enterprise!

I loved it!

Then, yesterday Mrs Tigger came to visit too and we went to Kew Gardens. It was fab, in spite of the drizzle, and Mrs T and Tigger himself made it quite a unique experience for me. They told me the whole way round what they could hear. There were peacocks, robins, ducks of all shapes and sizes and each one was beautifully imitated by the two of them. There was knowing that rain makes a sound when it hits foliage and that a water fountain does, too. It was amazing really and as well as enjoying the gardens visually, I felt I got a chance to hear them, too.

Thankfully, Tigger did this for me right up until we were walking through the car park to go home. Being me, I was walking along in a world of my own, when he gently steered me out of the path of a car I hadn't heard.

*blush

Thanks Tiggs!

Friday, 1 May 2009

I heart Top Gear

This morning on BBC Breakfast News the newsreaders asked the stoopidest question ever

Do shows like Top Gear glamorise speeding?

Um firstly, since when is this headline news? And secondly, who cares!?!?

Now, having been in a nasty car crash several years ago myself, I am all for people driving responsibly – but for heaven's sake, if they are that easily influenced by a TV programme, then their IQs are probably so low they shouldn't be allowed to drive in the first place!

TV shows glamorise things. It's what they do! Cookery programmes glamorise cooking, soap operas glamorise affairs, ultimatums and scandal, and Match Of The Day um... still proves that football is the most boring sport ever!

Now, Top Gear is one of my favourite programmes. When it's on, I will cancel all my plans, put my mobile in another room and rid myself of all other distractions so I can sit there and read along... when the subtitles actually work

I harbour a secret desire to be famous enough, as Deafinitely Girly, to be the Star In The Reasonably Priced Car! I really, really want to have a driving suit and matching helmet like The Stig's, but in pink of course, and to get the fastest time on the board.

And then they'll invite me to be their guest reporter on deaf driving and...

*ahem

*blush

Seems I've got a bit carried away by the glamour of Top Gear doesn't it?

But this doesn't mean I'm going to take my car out tomorrow and drive like a nutter. And I think most people are like me!

Sure, there are the crazy ones who shout at actors in the street believing the characters they play are real, and there are boy racers high on drugs who plough into defenceless girls in limited-edition minis, but I'm figuring these people would have been crazy anyway, and I am also guessing they’re too busy being crazy to watch Top Gear in the first place.

The argument against Top Gear has simply been formulated by Boring People who want to take it off air because, well they're as dumb as the people who ‘allegedly’ think Top Gear harbours a secrets message telling them to drive recklessly.

If we were to deglamorise TV it would be a disaster. It would be like French TV was in the 1980s, and still quite possibly is. It would suck all the fun out of it!

Boring People, is that what you want?

If it is, may I politely suggest that you simply stop watching ‘glamorous’ TV programmes then you won't be able to ruin it for the rest of us.

And do you know what else? This stoopid news story got me so riled up that I forgot my usual Thankful Friday post for the first time ever.

But it is Friday, and I am thankful...

…for lots of things really.

Deaf Girly: Finding the good in my deafness

Most regular readers of this blog will know that I'm pretty comfortable with my deafness in the workplace these days. I've got a...