Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas from Deafinitely Girly

Today is Thankful Friday. It is also Christmas Eve and this blog should be coming from the snowy mountains of France. But it is not because I am not in France for Christmas, I am at The Rents’ house.

After trying and failing to leave the country twice, and watching in amazement as the other London airports shipped happy Christmas travellers out with little delay, I have absolutely nothing but scathing criticism of Heathrow and British Airways.

Both companies, are in my opinion, utterly rubbish, and the way the snow fiasco was handled was atrocious. I was so vocal about this on Twitter that I nearly ended up on the BBC Breakfast sofa with Sian and Bill to talk about my failed Christmas plans, but honestly, not going skiing pales into insignificance compared with the people who have children stuck in America on choir tours, or those in limbo in the UK with no family at all and just a yellow plastic cot for company on the floor of the airport terminal. The main sad thing was that Big Bro and French Aunt were meant to be meeting us there and obviously that didn’t happen.

*sniff

So with no holiday, that we’d spent a year planning, it was time to think positive. London Aunt and Cousins had lots of parties and Christmas offers in their street, so it was decided that we’d have an early Christmas dinner together on Wednesday and then The Rents and I would return home and spend Christmas Day with Gma and Nottnum Uncle. Hurrah!

Being in my Rents’ tiny snowed-in village also means I get to go to the village Church talent contest, a yearly event held on Christmas Eve. It’s not really a talent contest, it’s actually meant to be a carol service, but it’s usually filled with local kids singing hopelessly out of tune who are secretly thinking they’re at an X Factor audition not a tiny church service. It’s the most unreligious thing I’ve ever been to, and every year I promise myself I won’t go back. But, just as I watch the X Factor auditions with a strange curiosity, so once again am I lured back to the village Christmas talent show.

What we also have planned is drinks with my Rents lovely neighbours, who, on hearing that we wouldn’t be going away for Christmas snuck into our house and put up a fully-decorated Christmas tree. Ma was quite sad that the house wasn’t going to be decorated so it was a lovely surprise for her to find a tree sat in the living room!

So this year Christmas isn’t quite what I was expecting, but it’s still going to be fab. Now all that’s left to do is wish you a very Merry Christmas from Deafinitely Girly; I’m just off to raid the Quality Street tin.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Today, I'm thankful for Muddle

Today is Thankful Friday. It is also my last working day before Christmas.

Today I am thankful that I had a woman named Muddle in my life. I knew her for 24 years this month. Today is her funeral – Ma and Pa are going, but as it’s my last day of work, I cannot be there to say goodbye.

I will miss her, but I’m very grateful she got to see my lovely flat earlier in October – ‘You’ve done well!’ she told me as I gave her the guided tour – and that we shared the fabulous adventure of Big Bro’s wedding, where I commandeered The Rent’s Renault Espace home from the airport after Pa demolished his face on the bar over breakfast and had to have his nose put back together in Clogland.

She was amazing then, and she was amazing right from when I was 6 years old. I remember I used to help her plant the new bulbs in her incredible garden, share endless chats over cups of tea, take walks on the common, and there’s no forgetting the foggy drive up the hill from the school disco with Jenny M. She was also amazing at offering me her kitchen table for exam revision, keeping me fed and watered as I worked in the quiet peace of her house. It became something of a tradition – yearly exams, GCSEs, A-levels, I often found myself at Muddle's house.

For two years or there abouts, she used to collect Big Bro and me from school, bombing up the hills in her little red Peugeot, yelling at drivers who she felt were in the wrong and zooming this way and that. Whenever I find myself refusing to give way on a narrow road, I always think of Muddle, and her gung-ho driving – it was incredible.

It’s strange when someone who had such a big part in your life leaves it. I mean, I didn’t see her as much after I moved to London as she was in the Wild West erm… Country, but she still rang me on my birthday every year and we kept in touch through The Rents, as I found her tricky to hear on the phone.

But then there are the moments when I think, I should have popped in to see her more often on the way back from Jenny M’s, or, if only I had sent out my birthday thank you cards sooner – she died the week I wrote and stamped, but forgot to post her letter. There are so many what ifs, that you could tie yourself in knots.

But then I just remind myself that Muddle was not one for what ifs. She was one for now. She did 20 years without the love of her life and died right beside the little urn she kept his ashes in while trying to break to ice on her pond to let the fish breathe. She died as eccentrically as she lived. And if she knew I was feeling sad today, she’d chide me, give me a stale Jammy Dodger and weak tea and a waist hug, as I outgrew her when I was about 10 years old.

What I wouldn’t give for one more hug from Muddle. One more batty road trip. One more reminisce with her.

Life is short when you meet someone who is already 60 years older than you. So grab those people you love and tell them today. Make that phone call, post that letter, take that road trip, be the person with no regrets.

Be like Muddle, for as far as I can tell, she had none.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Deafinitely Girly and the coatstand part 2

I have sad news. Last night my coat stand took matters into its own hands and threw it’s broken body on the floor, causing irreparable damage.

It was with a heavy heart that I found it lifeless on my hall carpet this morning, its shattered limbs lying beside it, veiled in a cloak of coats. ‘No more,’ it seemed to plead, ‘no more gaffer tape!’

So now I am stuck with what to do with this sentimentally-special coat stand that Pa bought for me from a strange little shop in Uxbridge nine years ago. To throw it out seems a tragedy, but perhaps it’s the coat stand that has decided its fate, not me.

This time, thankfully, I did not hear the bang as it fell, but I can assure you that the coat carnage that followed, means it definitely happened.

Perhaps I need fewer coats, less hats, and less scarves…

But with the weather like it is right now, I need all the layers I can get; even if at times I resemble a badly-wrapped pass the parcel.

Cold weather does other strange things to me – it makes me drink Lemsip instead of tea, chaps my bottom lip to what seems like beyond repair, and makes me anxious about travelling anywhere. One look The Daily Mail website today and I’d be sent flying over the edge into a chasm of insecurity about impending snow storms, terrorist attacks and doom with a capital D spreading throughout the country.

So today I will not be reading that website. Instead, I will be reading Damnyouautocorrect.com to cheer myself up, and chortling and chuckling away to myself at the wonderful text messages created by the naughty iPhone auto dictionary. Take a look yourself. From a dad telling his daughter he and her mother were going to divorce next month (the iPhone changed it from Disney) to a guy telling his mom he got arrested – instead of a rescue dog.

It’s the opposite of doom. It’s the perfect place for a spot of winter denial.

I’ll see you there, yeah? Otherwise, I’ll be on Habitat’s website looking for a new coat stand!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Not hearing song words

These days I tend to buy songs I like in dribs and drabs from iTunes, rather than purchasing whole albums.

It's the modern-day equivalent of rummaging in the singles bin in Woolworths hoping to find the one track you'd fallen in love with but was playing on the Top-40 countdown on the radio as you were recording it and your tape ran out.

I remember those days. I remember buying Fast Forward magazine and Smash Hits so I could learn the lyrics to Kylie songs, and my first ever favourite song: I Am The One Only by Chesney Hawkes. The latter lyrics were pinned up on my bedroom cupboard door for weeks as I learnt them off by heart.

Now I rarely go in search of lyrics. However, I do have a handy iPhone application that finds the lyrics of the song that is currently playing on my iPod. This is great because when I like a new song, I can discover whether I like the lyrics as well as the melody.

But recently, something very odd has been occurring. I keep liking songs for the melody and then discover that they actually have relevant lyrics, too.

Take last night for example, when I downloaded The Only Exception by Paramore and discovered that I liked the lyrics more than the tune. To put it fluffily: they spoke to me.

Is this how it has always been for hearing peeps?

Until modern technology made lyrics readily available to me, I had no idea that lyrics were relevant at all. I used to make up my own – especially to Kylie – or just hum along to the base line of the music.

Being moderately musical when I was at school, my music teacher gave me the job one term of choosing songs for assemblies. But like I said, at that age, I had no real concept of lyrics, it was all about the music. So I happily played the strangest songs infront of the whole school and teaching staff, with some including swear words (my brother’s INXS album) and goodness knows what else.

Needless to say, this job did not last the term and I was relegated to putting the hymn numbers up on the board. And after a very unsuccessful day where they all fell down one by one during the assembly leaving everyone desperately thumbing through their hymn books looking for One More Step Along The World I Go, I was further relegated to cataloguing the music departments CD collection – something that I actually, in all my geeky splendour, enjoyed.

People who write lyrics I like are still few and far between. Regina Spektor is one of my favourites – her dry take on the world, coupled with her fabulously throaty voice is quite something to behold. While Manu Chao, on translation, gives me lyrics that befuddle my brain!

And then, not long ago I found a recording of a song that I had written as part of a week-long drama project I took part in when I was about 16. It was about a blind optician. It was terrible. It was also slightly bizarre that as a deaf person I wrote a song about a blind optician – an optician who cannot see, that’s surely as strange as a deaf songwriter isn’t it?!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The best deaf table in the house

Last night Fab Friend came to stay with me and we had a pre-Christmas catch up over a Tunisian supper. It was brilliant to see her, and I miss her lots now she doesn't live in London anymore.

As I said, we decided to try a Tunisian place for dinner that has very good reviews online. We got there and it was already quite busy and we were asked if we had a reservation. We didn't but were seated at a table in the candle-lit section at the front of the restaurant.

Five minutes later the owner came over and said that two people with a reservation had specifically requested a table at the front of the restaurant, and would we mind moving to the back.

We duly did and found ourselves in a better lit, quieter area, right by a radiator! This was perfect for us, as it meant we could both hear a lot better as there was little or no background noise. We then got to feast on tagine with chicken and apricots (Fab Friend) and a lentil one for me while nattering away in peace and quiet.

Hurrah!

It’s funny how what most people love for a night out – dimly lit, intimate places – can be tricky for deaf peeps like Fab Friend and I who rely largely on lipreading. As a result, we both have an impeccable knowledge of well-lit bars and restaurants in London and are adding to it all the time.

And the next time I go to this Tunisian restaurant? Well, I'm requesting a table at the back! It's the best deaf table in the house as far as I'm concerned!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Deafinitely Girly's (un)smashing time

Deafinitely Girly had an even scarier awakening this morning when I found that during the night, someone had thrown a potato though my window, smashing it to smithereens. Naturally, I heard nothing!

Bleery eyed, I walked into the lounge to find the offending spud sat on the carpet, in several pieces and glass everywhere.

*sniff

But the weirdest thing was, in my morning haze, I had no idea what to do. Was this a matter for the police? Who mends windows? Was there an intruder in my house? With a little help from texting people in the know, I answered these questions – the last one by looking at the size of the hole and realising that if there was a burglar that size then I could surely take him on, with or without my hot water bottle – and got to work sorting out the mess.

This unsurprisingly required a whole bunch of phone calls. The first one saw me hanging up in horror at a quote of £220, to simply board up my window. The second saw me hanging up when I couldn’t understand a word the person at the other end was saying, and the third, well that saw me speaking to a lovely man who came around 15 minutes later and fixed the whole thing in under an hour for £100.

OK, so that’s £100 I really could have done with spending on something else, but at least I sorted it out – I just hope they don’t come back tonight with the rest of the sack of spuds.

It’s amazing how one bout of thoughtlessness has led to me being out of pocket isn’t it? I wonder what the person was thinking as they sent the potato hurtling towards my house – was it intended to smash the window, or just wake me up?

All pointless questions in the grand scheme of things, but it’s something I can’t help wondering.

But onto bigger things – tomorrow I have another day off as Jenny M is coming to stay. Chic Chick is getting married and Jenny M asked me to go as her plus one! It should be a fabulously chic affair and I can’t wait.

The wedding is in central London, too, which I think is great. The last London wedding I went to was London Aunt and Uncle’s and we all went from the church to the reception on a double-decker bus! I’m very excited to see what Chic Chick has planned for her big day.

But for now, it’s time for lunch. And I quite fancy a jacket potato with tuna, rather than a side portion of shattered living room window this time!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Deafinitely Girly and the coatstand

Deafinitely Girly had a very scary awakening this morning. While lying in bed, hitting snooze on my alarm clock for the 30th time, I heard a thud, and my bedroom door flew open.

Naturally I jumped out of bed and grabbed the first weapon I could find to defend myself – a hot water bottle – and saw the assailant peering around the door: my beloved antique bentwood coat stand.

Ok so hot water bottle versus coat stand, who would win?!

Seriously though, I have got to get better at this DIY lark, because I fix and fix that coat stand and still it breaks, falling over, coats akimbo, like a drunken idiot.

This latest repair job, I admit is not one of my better ones. After it broke last week – on me, while I was vacuuming under it – I lost patience. Once I had scrambled out from under a snood or three, I kind of taped it together with some extra-strong grey tape Blanco had bought when we ripped up my floor, and added some metal brackets for what I now realise was pointless measure.

This repair job on my coatstand, as I discovered when it rudely burst into my bedroom this morning – possibly in protest to being taped together with wall brackets – was not going to work very well.

Anyway, today is part of a very short working week for me. I had Monday off and I have Friday off, too. My last long weekend was a wonderful mixture of lots of my favourite people including SuperCathyFragileMystic and The Photographer who came to tea with my favourite dog in the whole world, Blackberry, and then Gingerbread Man and the Singing Swede, who came for roast dinner on Sunday night.

This was coupled with celebrating London Cousin 1’s 11th birthday and buying a Christmas tree. It all got a bit Little Women as the five of us: London Aunt, London Cousins 1 and 2, Miss C and me marched down the street with our tree, before decorating it to the sound of Christmas carols.

And then on Monday, after a busy day of writing for Superdrug and doing not very much, I saw BIL (MPA boy) whose blog name is still work in progress. Suffering from the effects of a very energetic stag weekend, he was in a bit of pain, but we had a most fabulous catch up. And I’m very much looking forward to the next one.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

One giant leap for Deafinitely Girly

Yay! Snow has descended on west London with gusto, and I was greeted by a winter wonderland scene on peeping through my blinds this morning.

So far, everything seems to be working too. My bus worked this morning, the main roads are clear and even the underground is chug chug chugging along.

I do love snow – for me, it is the visual equivilent of silence. OK, maybe not London snow, but country snow seems to mute everything visually. There are no cars to see, no birds to watch, people are huddled indoors, and right now, very few planes are in the sky either. It’s visually silent.

That’s one of the reasons I love the mountains. They are quiet too – both visually and aurally. I am not missing out on anything. And when I need to hear things, I can, because they’re not drowned out by anything.

I also have a very exciting update – my day of stressful phone calls paid off yesterday and I have sorted out my travel insurance/endoscopy issue, all by myself. Well, nearly by myself anyway. When the hospital phoned back last night, I had to hand them over the Gym Buddy so she could take down a phone number I need to call – yes another phone call – but I nearly did something completely on the phone.

This is a massive achievement for me, and it’s proof that my ‘Be brave and use the phone when you absolutely have to’ resolution is actually working. While I know that the phone is not something I can use all the time, it is nice to know that I can get better at using it. And because I am panicking less, I am able to piece together the sounds I can hear more calmly and therefore take a better guess at may be occurring at the other end.

It’s like I used to be doing a jigsaw puzzle blindfolded, but now I am doing a jigsaw puzzle without my glasses on… does that make sense?

Hmmm probably not. But to me it does.

It also makes me happy. Making a successful phone call might be a tiny step for hearing peeps, but it’s a giant step for Deafinitely Girly, and I feel quite proud of myself.

*hums happily and heads out to lunch

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

My day of phone calls

Phew, what a compulsory phone call headache today has been.

You see, I need to buy some travel insurance for my Christmas holidays, and until last year, this was as easy as 1-2-3 on Boots.com and hello Advantage Cards points.

Throw Crohn’s into the mix as well as (gasp) surgery and suddenly I’m more expensive to insure than a prize racehorse travelling by land from England to Australia, unrestrained in the back of a pick-up truck, via every war-torn country possible.

I kid you not – it costs more to insure me for my holiday than it does to insure my house for the whole year. And my house is over 200 years old!

This does not seem fair.

So anyway, I tried doing it online, but in the end, I had to bite the bullet and lift the phone. This was alright, until the complicated questions, when the poor lady at the other end literally had to say each word in her sentence 20 times until I got the gist of what she was saying.

And then, I made the mistake of declaring that I had not had the results of my capsule endoscopy.

*Ping

That’ll be another £40 please.

So, to try and get rid of this, I had to lift the phone and ring my hospital. This involved lots of options and a recorded voice so high it left my frequency frequently. But honestly, I think only dogs could hear her at the point anyway.

Eventually I got through to the probably very busy endoscopy department and had to sheepishly ask them to find the results of my capsule endoscopy so I could go skiing. Honestly, I felt like such a princess, but they were absolutely lovely about it, had no clue what the results are, and are calling me back… I hope.

I honestly do not know how people make phone calls all the time – it is so stressful and half the time I come off the phone with little or no idea about what just happened, which when it comes to insurance, is never a good thing.

In an ideal world, one day, all these companies would have an instant messenger service for people like me, so that we could chat easily about what I wanted and it would all be there as instantly as a phone call would be for hearing peeps. But then you have fraud issues and what not, so I can understand why this doesn’t exist yet.

It seems however, that the obvious thing is to simply not get anything else wrong with me – especially not something that causes those online health questionnaires to crash the moment I type my condition into them. So, Body, if you’re listening, ‘Crohn’s and deafness are quite enough for the moment, thank you. That will be all.’

DG

Monday, 29 November 2010

Deafinitely Girly's rant

It's 7am and I've just got on a bus to go to work, because the tube strike means if I don't leave now, I risk being late on the busiest day of the year at work so far. It's deadline day, there's so much to do, and something like a tube strike could put a complete spanner in the works.

It makes me cross when the tube peeps strike. So cross that what sympathy I could have had for their plight has evaporated in a 5.50am alarm call and freezing cold morning. Do they think they're alone in facing hardships and unfair working conditions right now? Are the people being asked to pay back their bonuses striking? Are the people who've seen no payrise for three years striking? No! Are the people facing redundancies as a result of the natural evolution of technology striking? Yes it would seem so. Because that's what they're striking about isn't is? The oyster card rendering their services obsolete? Technology will always win, no matter how hard we try and fight it. I mean, I sure do miss bus conductors... but it would be a waste of money if we still had them now, wouldn't it?

This is not a good way to start what was always going to be a hellish Monday anyway. Even the promise of a party tonight isn't cheering me up, as I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to get home from it.

Its Christmas soon, everything is going to break because of the snow this week anyway. Couldn't they have just given us some respite for one day?

Perhaps I should have some sympathy, perhaps I am being selfish in wanting London to actually work for just one day. But really, life is a bitch. Bad things do happen. Not everything can be exactly the way we want it to be.

Of course, I have never had to walk in the shoes of the people who are striking, so perhaps I don’t know the full story. But what I do know, is that London cannot continue like this. From the top to the bottom, people need to get the acts together. Things are changing. People need to change, too. Economically, climately, and socially. Something needs to change, or we’re just going to become a pointless mass of people clinging to how things used to be, and forgetting that the way things used to be didn’t work either.

I don’t have the power to change things myself, but I do have the power to keep working, keep paying my taxes, keep being a decent human being, and if we all do that, us little people at the bottom, and then the people at the top do the decent thing too, maybe it could work…

And maybe there’ll be a flypast of pigs this afternoon, too.

Just maybe…

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Me and Deafinitely Girly

I’ve been so busy recently that I haven’t had time to write my daily updates – I miss it because it’s strangely therapeutic. I also love it when people leave comments on my blog, letting me know they’ve been in similar situations to the ones I’ve written about.

One of my recent favourites has been from Dee, on my Quackers post here. She let me know that she once vacuumed the driver footwell of her car with her head pressing against the car horn without realising and caused the whole neighbourhood to come dashing out and see what the ruckus was…

This made me chuckle lots, and I also realised that walking down the street with a clucking handbag is not the end of the world. Neither is being too busy to blog every now and again, but I just worry, that if I don’t, I will miss this wonderful interaction from people across the world.

It is amazing how through Deafinitely Girly, I’ve encountered so many new people. From Speak Up Librarian, who I actually met when she was in London on holiday to a guy who emailed me this week to ask if he could include my blog in his college essay. It always makes me realise, when I feel isolated or alone because I miss out on general group chitchat or long gossipy phone calls, that I’m really not. There is this whole world out there that I can communicate with daily through Deafinitely Girly, email and text.

I love being Deafinitely Girly because she’s helped me learn to love me – the real me. The me, who before I started to blog, would have a 6-monthly wobble about being deaf, accompanied by lots of feeling sorry for myself and sentences beginning with ‘If I wasn’t deaf…’

She was the girl that often used to say either out loud or in her mind, ‘I can’t do that because I’m deaf’ and quite often that was just an excuse really. And she was the girl that wasn’t quite sure of her worth as a person in relation to her disability.

When I look back at how I was pre-Deafinitely Girly, I barely recognise myself. I was a different person.

I have a lot to thank this pink-mad, girly, ditzy, and quite frankly a little bit bonkers alter ego for really, because she brought me back to life.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

My hearing's gone QUACKERS!

Last night, I went to Gym Buddy’s for dinner. In the car on the way there, she said to me, ‘I’m sure I can hear a buzzing noise coming from your bag…’

As I was holding my iPhone at the time, I was at a loss as to what it might be. ‘I don’t think I have any other vibrating things in my bag,’ I replied.

The taxi driver raised an eyebrow.

Over the course of the journey, the noise continued (inaudible to me) and Gym Buddy seemed more and more baffled.

On arrival at hers, it was so dark she couldn’t see the keyhole, so I pulled out my keys as on them is a little torch in the shape of a duck…

When you squeeze it, it lights up. But it also quacks – inaudibly to me!

‘That’s it!’ said Gym Buddy. ‘Thats the noise! I thought I was going crazy as I did think it sounded like a duck quacking!’

‘Did you think you were going quackers?’ I asked, finding the whole thing very amusing.

Until...

...I had the realisation that this duck torch has been in my handbag for at least two weeks!

That’s two whole weeks of wandering around with a quacking handbag I can’t hear.

What must people have thought as I quacked along the pavement, on bus journeys and eek, everywhere?!

*cringe!

So moving swiftly on, I also have some other extremely exciting news. I bought a digital radio. Now, radio is not much used to me in terms of hearing voices and wotnot, but I do love listening to Heart, Capital, Classic FM for the music side of things. I don’t know what I can’t hear, but deafinitely enjoy what I do.

So anyway, I have never really used a normal radio before as people always complain that I’ve not got it tuned in and they can hear loads of crackling, and while this doesn’t bother me, it’s just meant that in the past I have naturally gravitated towards the safety of CDs.

But the lure of an Orla Kiely Digital Radio was too much for me, and so I gathered together all my birthday money, shook out my piggy bank and got counting until I had enough.

And last night was my first night with a radio in my house for ooh, about 20 years… and I LOVE IT!

The digital tuning means I have a perfect reception without and fiddly knob twiddling(!) and I also have more cheese available to me than I could wish for… with a little bit of Arrow Rock thrown in for good measure.

OK, so there’s a lot of talking that means nothing to me, but then, in every day life there’s a lot of that, too. And seeing as my radio is incredibly pretty, I vote it can stay!!!!

Monday, 22 November 2010

A very busy weekend…

Well, well, what a lovely weekend I had with Onion Soup Mate!

On Saturday we got up early and headed to the Natural History Museum, where we spent two hours looking at things that were so old, it was almost incomprehensible. My favourite non-extinct thing was the Pink Fairy Armadillo – a very cute fluffy thing. Onion Soup Mate reckoned that if I was an animal, that’s what I’d be – tough on the outside, soft on the inside… not far off I guess!

Then, after a chilly lunch on a bench in Hyde Park, we decided to go to The Museum of London, which is over near St Paul’s Cathedral – but to make it a bit more interesting, we opted to walk it, with me giving Onion Soup Mate a guided tour on the way.

We wandered through Mayfair, stopping to watch an anti-war protest amble by, through Soho, which included the folly house in Soho Square, along Holborn, which was so quiet and past Chancery Lane, before finally arriving at the museum.

I have to say, this place is amazing. It documents London from before there was a London, and there was even the fossilised skeleton of a woolly rhinoceros, which apparently used to be a native!

But best of all? I found Gma’s lifts! You see, aged 14, Gma worked in Selfridges and I love hearing about her experiences in London then. The other day when we were chatting and she asked me if Selfridges still had the amazing gold lifts. After a lunchtime check, I confirmed they didn’t. And the reason why is because they’re in the Museum of London, and rather amazing they are too – kind of Egyptian style with beautiful illuminations.

Although I did feel a bit sheepish reporting back to Gma that I had indeed found her lifts, but in museum!

By Saturday night, Onion Soup Mate and I were exhausted, so Sunday was a more sedate affair of coffee and cake in an unwisely chosen cafe full of children. When I loudly exclaimed about the noise they were making, Onion Soup Mate cracked up, recognising that if I thought they were loud, then they must be.

Then last night I had a lovely time with BIL. We went to a little pub on the river and caught up, chatted and stuff…

…and now it is Monday. Yesterday seems a week ago and tomorrow seems a lifetime away.

Better just get on with it, eh?

Friday, 19 November 2010

Working on my phone manner

Sorry I've been a bit quiet this week peeps, it's been a mental one if I'm honest that's seen me so tired I actually forgot to set my alarm clock yesterday…

But, today is Thankful Friday and I am very thankful that Onion Soup Mate is coming to visit from the Wild West erm… Country. Although she came up for my birthday, I don't feel as though I really saw her much so it will be nice to have a good girly gossip together.

I am also thankful for people in my life who are honest with me. I mean, let's face it, there's a lot of times where people just aren't. This frustrates me, particularly as my grip on body language means I can often tell if someone is lying.

A random example is yesterday in my dance class. A new person was there who claimed never to have Zumba'd before. Bit while claiming this, her body language screamed out fake shyness, and she proceeded to nail routines left, right and centre.

At first, I gave her the benefit of the doubt, but when she was asked a second time if she was a complete beginner, her smugness gave her away.

Jealous much? Well, seeing as, after four months of Zumba, I still resemble a drugged-up newborn foal, perhaps. But honestly, would it have been so hard for her to tell the truth?

Anyway, the third thing I am thankful for this morning is my growing confidence on the phone – although that doesn't mean I'm hearing any better! But I have decided to be bold when my mobile rings and answer it.

And yesterday, I got that chance. But before answering, I googled the number to make sure it wasn't one of those terrible market research companies. It wasn't, but it was a Glasgow number, so I braced myself for a Scottish accent.

Naturally, there was one, and so I listened to the guy’s spiel for a few minutes, picking up one word, Halifax.

Now, I have a mortgage with Halifax so I therefore wanted to make sure all was OK.

Once he had finished jabbering away, I explained my deafness and asked him to repeat what he had just said slowly and more clearly. He took a deep breath and started again, at exactly the same pace as before.

‘Excuse me,’ I said, ‘can I just stop you there. Is this about my mortgage?’

‘No,’ he replied

‘Are you trying to sell me something?’ I then enquired.

‘Yes,’ he answered, almost sheepishly.

‘I'm terribly sorry,’ I responded. ‘Being deaf, I never buy anything over the phone. But thank you so much for calling.’

And just like that, he was gone. How easy was that? No stressing all day about who that unanswered call was from. No worrying that it was something to do with my mortgage. And no getting frustrated. I felt so good about the whole thing, that it was almost as though I wasn’t deaf.

After 30 years, I’ve finally realised that I too can work on my phone manner. Work out how best to decipher exactly what is going on at the other end of the phone so I can get rid of them as soon as possible.

However, seeing as my phone only rings about once a month, it would appear I have rather a long time until I can practise this again. Ah well…

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The alarm on my bus goes Wa-Wa-Wa

Wow, today the bus I am travelling on has an alarm on the doors to signal that they are closing.

Tell me, do all buses have this?

I have no idea if all buses have this because I have never heard one before.

Today, however, I am sat on the top deck directly above the back doors of the bus, and sure enough, I can hear a kind of low siren thing whenever we stop at a bus stop.

It's most odd to be able to hear it. In fact, I nearly got up to leave the first time I heard it as I thought it was some sort of emergency alarm.

It never ceases to amaze me how I hear things the randomest of things sometimes and yet when I pick up the phone, all I hear is gobbledygook... I guess this alarm must be just the right frequency for me or something.

I wonder what else I will hear today...

Fingers crossed it'll be something good.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Not hearing children

Today, it's absolutely freezing!!!!

I look like a Michelin Lady in all my layers, but I don't care, I'm warm!

Anyway, I had a brilliant weekend in the Wild West erm... Country with Penthouse Flatmate and First Uni Housemate. It was an early Christmas celebration, and, as Penthouse Flatmate now has three children, it was a very excitable one!

The eldest is my goddaughter and it was lovely to hear about how she's getting on at school and what her favourite things are... albeit with some translational help from the hearing peeps, as her lip patterns aren't quite there yet.

As I was struggling to understand her and her little brother, it made me wonder about how I will manage if I ever have any little people of my own...

I can't ask random strangers in the street, if I am out alone, to translate what my children are saying. But I guess, they'll only ever know me as being deaf, so they, and I, will accommodate that – most probably with signing.

On a plus side, I can't hear moaning and whining... so they will both be pointless tactics to try on me, and my clarity of understanding body language means I can tell a toddler who needs the loo a mile away!

But that's quite enough of that.

I have a busy week ahead. I am seeing Knows My Secrets and Friend Who Knows Big Words, and then on Friday, Onion Soup Mate is coming for the whole weekend. I can’t wait and am already planning lots of fun things we can do together.

But for now, it is Monday, and I have my day job to be getting on with… so I had better do just that!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Deafness in an emergency

Oh boy, Deafinitely Girly is tired today.

You see, last night, after unsuccessfully attempting the pub quiz with GBman and The Singing Swede, I returned home and settled down with a cup of tea and the contents of my digibox for half an hour before bed.

There was a weird noise occurring somewhere that I could just about hear, but I couldn’t pinpoint it, so I just carried on watching TV. Then my living room floor began to shake and I heard more strange noises… there was deafinitely a commotion coming from somewhere, but not hearing very well, I couldn’t work out where from. In fact, I really only had the vibrations of the floor to go on, and that wasn’t very helpful.

Then, I heard a serious of massive bangs – no mistaking these for anything else – and so I got up and looked out the window. There were two police cars, lights flashing and coppers jumping from them. The banging continued. My windows started to shake.

I came to the conclusion, given the noise, that they were battering next door’s front door in, so kept looking out the window, wondering what was going on. Another police car screeched down the road, followed by another, then another and another, until nine police cars littered the road – men in uniform propelling themselves from them before they’d even had a chance to come to a standstill, and then dashed to the house next door to mine.

By this point I was more than a little worried. And once the fire engine joined the melee, I decided I should probably go down and find out what the hell was going on. Terraced houses mean that I shared at least one of my walls with the commotion that was going on, and if they were going to have to start battering down anything else, I wanted to know.

Once outside in the dark, I flagged down the most gorgeous policeman and asked him what the heck was going on. He sheepishly admitted that, on account of it being a quiet night, every bored copper in the place had responded to the call, which is why I had the entire Met police force in my road, and that no one was dead, but there had been a commotion.

You don’t say!

Two hours later, the final police car finally manoeuvred its way out of my street and it returned to its leafy quiet suburbia once again.

But it got me thinking about just how much I don’t hear and whether this is a help or a hindrance. I mean, if I had been able to hear the voices from next door, which almost certainly formed part of the commotion, would I have been more or less freaked out?

If I had been able to hear the nine police sirens descending upon my road this would have deafinitely freaked me out. But instead, I got to watch it all unfold in almost silent wonder, feeling only the vibrations of the door being kicked in and the low rev of engines.

It was like I was watching TV with the mute button on, with BBC-quality subtitles – meaning I had no clue what was going on.

And speaking of bad-quality subtitles – the other day, BBC Breakfast described Waterboarding as a form of totter and informed me that nine male passengers travel on the Eurostar every year!

Hmmmm, maybe I should give Daybreak a chance for a change…

Monday, 8 November 2010

Explaining my deafness to a toddler

Well, I had the most amazing weekend with the Family Clog and The Rents…

*signs wistfully

It was brilliant to see them all, and Mini and Micro Clog are both absolutely wonderful.

Mini Clog’s English is incredible and he had people on the bus aghast as he chatted to me in English before switching to Dutch for Maxi Clog and then back again.

Big Bro wanted to explain to Mini Clog about my deafness, too, so that he knew to look at me when he was talking – it’s frustrating being 3 years old and having a grown-up ignore you, after all.

And Big Bro came up with the most wonderful way of explaining it. He of course told Mini Clog I couldn’t hear, but then he also explained to him that I could tell what he was saying without him having to use his voice – he could just mouth things to me.

Mini Clog was very excited about this, and at the first opportunity he tried it out on me, and I passed with flying colours, with Mini Clog in fits of giggles about his Aunty DG knowing what he was saying. And of course, he wanted to try it for himself, so I mouthed something to him.

He replied a load of gibberish and there were lots more giggles all round – I was very impressed with Big Bro for his idea, and will deafinitely be using this explanation for other small children, as it really works – Mini Clog always made sure he faced me when he spoke from then on.

Now the Family Clog are back in Clogland, I miss them lots – I miss being called Aunty, I miss the toys decorating my carpet, and the amazing smiles that feel like they were just for me… I also miss Big Bro. We have so much to talk about – I need his Big Brotherly advice, and it works so much better in person. I hope to see him soon again soon…

*sniff

And in the meantime, I finally have a new iPhone (HURRAH), so once it’s synched with iTunes tonight and charged up, I will soon be reconnected on messenger with Big Bro and Tigger, back on regular email access, and tweeting about my bus journeys!

Bet you all can’t wait!

Friday, 5 November 2010

The Family Clog are coming to visit

Today is my first Thankful Friday as a 30 year old, and I am thankful that my first week of 30 has been OK!

Mostly, however, I am thankful that I have today off work to get my flat ready for some VIPs!!!! The whole Clog family are coming over from Clogland to see me: Big Bro, Maxi Clog, Mini Clog and Micro Clog – and I am very excited.

Mini Clog and Micro Clog have never been to London and apparently Mini Clog wants to go on a Double Decker – that of course can be arranged, and I have a whole lot of other transport ideas for him up my sleeve as they seem to be his favourite thing at the moment. Looks like I may have to conquer my fear of the tube if I’m going to show him that!

I am also excited to hear/lipread Mini Clog speak English – even though he’s only little, he’s fully bilingual in Clog and English, and Big Bro says he’s getting better all the time. It’s amazing to think that he’s growing up speaking two languages so efficiently.

When I think about Big Bro and his lovely family, I burst with pride. Although they live far away and I don’t see them that often, I find it so exciting that the person whose front teeth I once kicked out while doing a handstand on the stairs, the boy who crashed our joint car before I even learnt to drive, and the ultra cool kid in my school who all the girls in my year fancied, now has this incredible life and family.

And, while it’s incredibly different from my life, I can’t wait to show them all my flat, my London and what I get up to – minus the partying til dawn and dropping my iPhone down the loo. And even better? The Rents will be here, too!

Should be a good weekend...

Bring it on.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Life without my iPhone

So, anyone who has seen me in since my birthday, will know that I broke my beloved iPhone in a moment of clumsiness as it slipped out my back pocket and down the loo.

*sob

Seriously, I think I sucked all the air out of my flat when I realised what I had done and watched my main port of contact with EVERYONE disappear in a little fizzle of the screen.

And since then, everything’s been a pain.

Firstly, it turns out I had the wrong insurance in spite of the fact I used my big amplified phone at work to call and check and asked the lady on the other end of the phone to confirm twice it was OK to keep my existing insurance with my new phone.

Then, when Pa spoke to O2 to try and sort things on Sunday, they told him to call back on Monday. Monday wasn’t good enough in my book, so Jenny M rang back and the person she got was very accommodating. Although, he broke the news of the £150 insurance excess, in addition to my new, more expensive monthly insurance payments.

At this point, I looked at my generously given 30th-birthday cheques sat on the mantelpiece and realised quickly what I was going to be spending them on.

Then, Jenny M was told that iPhone 3GS phones were out of stock – evidentially I am not the only person throwing them in the toilet. But Jenny M was also told that I would be texted when the stock arrived and informed of a delivery date.

However, in the interim, I had a million questions for O2 – they really must love me there – and so emailed the Disability Customer Care email with all of them.

No reply.

So then, I got two texts through in two minutes offering me two different delivery dates.

By this time, I was totally confused; so I cranked up my work phone’s amplifier and took the plunge to call O2 again, with my colleague on stand-by to help if need be. The first guy I spoke to was lovely, he then put me through to an insurance guy who was also lovely and said that I could choose a delivery date. So I replied to the first text message, but being a Blackberry handset that I am using at the moment, the texts were all grouped together so then I had a panic about which date I had confirmed for…

So I rang O2 again and got the most wonderful man on the other end of the phone. After the 50th pardon, I apologised for my hearing loss and he replied, ‘You can say pardon as much as you need to.’ along with a whole host of other reassuring things to help put me at ease during the stressful process of making the phone call.

And while we were nattering, hey presto! another text came through from O2 Insure informing me that the first text had been an error and I could only have the later delivery date.

This was fine, I just wanted to know when to be around to collect my new beloved iPhone.

I have been documenting my daily life without my iPhone on Twitter, not least because I cannot get over how much I relied on it to get me through the day. From the Tube App, which would have been very useful in yesterday’s chaos to Run Keeper to track my run home from work.

I haven’t been able to write my blog on the bus to work in the morning and have no Twitter feed until I log in at work. I have only been able to communicate by text, so had a very long-winded chat with Snowboarding Boy the other day about our dinner arrangements that normally could have been sorted easily on MSN. The list is endless…

Then today, the lovely Twitter peeps at O2 noticed my plight and DM’d me to find out what was going on. And they’re going to check that my iPhone is going to arrive on Monday and that everything is OK. Wonderful service as always from the O2 Twitter peeps, so thanks guys.

I finally feel as though things will actually work out… but just make sure, does anyone know where I can buy a waterproof iPhone case that’s drop resistant, and generally Deafinitely Girly resistant?

If so, drop me a line, as this is not a week I want to repeat again any time soon!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Deafinitely Girly's 30th birthday

Phew, I got so distracted by the different breeds of old ladies yesterday, that I didn’t write about my party!

So, was it good?

Most deafinitely.

I’ve never thrown a birthday party before, so I was a bit nervous as to whether this one would work, especially as I was mixing such an eclectic selection of friends.

When it came to choosing a venue, the main thing for me was somewhere that I could communicate with by email, as I didn’t really want to be on the phone discussing numbers, money etc. And in the end I settled on the pub right beside my house.

I love this pub. It’s where GBman and the Singing Swede and I go to win the pub quiz and, everyone is so friendly there, it seemed ideal.

And it was just that. We had our own section of pub – complete with Country Boy 1’s amazing ET pumpkin – and soon all my friends and family were meeting each other.

What was hilarious though was that they were meeting each other and then saying, ‘And what’s your blog name?’ Then, on finding this out, they instantly knew more about each other as they’ve read about their antics right here.

So SuperCathyFragileMystic and The Photographer met Gym Buddy, Tigger and Jenny M met Gingerbread Man and NikNak, and Miss K met The Food Expert. It was like a Deafinitelygirly.com reunion only with birthday cakes.

I was so touched that so many people had turned up to help me party my way to my 30th birthday, and I didn’t want the evening to end. And amazingly, not once did I feel deaf, or like I didn’t know what was going on – but then I guess, that is the bonus of having a party that’s for you.

We left, merry, with Ma giving Jenny M strict instructions to get me home safely. I promptly walked out in front of a car. Once home, I received a lovely text message from the Cheeky Barman. I’ll reply to that in just a moment, I thought and headed off to the bathroom.

And that’s when it happened. In my ‘’Rum makes me fun’ stupor, I dropped my lovely shiny, beloved, glued-to-my-hand-usually iPhone down the toilet.

*Squeak

I remember looking at it in stunned silence, knowing that all the lovely texts I’d received, photos I’d taken and wotnot since the last time I’d backed it up, had just disappeared in a puff of erm… toilet water.

I miss my iPhone… it’s currently sat in a bowl of rice under a radiator at home while I wait for a new one from o2 – but that really is a whole other story… and one I shall tell tomorrow.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

I really am deaf you know!

Deafinitely Girly is upset.

And why?

Well, an old woman was mean to me on the tube the other day.

It frustrates me how old people think they can get away with being rude just because they’re old – in my opinion their age means they should know better!

So what happened? Well, there I was, struggling to get through a busy ticket barrier when the said elderly woman took me out with a big case on wheels – it hit me on the back of the legs and I went flying. I looked at her aghast and she sneered and me before saying, ‘I did say excuse me!’

Honestly, I thought that the words ‘excuse me’ were to give people a chance to move out of the way, not a legitimate reason to run them over with a big bag.

‘I’m deaf,’ I replied, and showed her my Freedom Pass as evidence – weird I know, but I was worried she wouldn’t believe me.

And I was right, she didn’t believe me as she then replied, ‘Yeah, right,’ before stomping over the people in front, too.

The guy behind me witnessed all this and jumped to my defence and soon there was a tidal wave of outrage following her as she struggled down the stairs with her big bag.

The irony of it is, that I would have gladly helped her with her bag had she not have been so judgmental. And, if I’m honest, I doubt she would have accepted anyone’s help anyway. She would probably just have had a go at them about assuming she needed help. As it was, we all made the waiting train and she didn’t.

And, while a tiny bit of me felt guilty about this, the other bit of me thought it served her right.

Then last night, in complete contrast, I was travelling home after a lovely birthday dinner with my friend Snowboarding Boy and this girl in her early 20s set upon an old lady in the seat in front of me. She stole her paper and ripped it up and was being very intimidating. The old lady was amazing though – she held her own and told the girl to shove off. And then everyone else on the top deck started sticking up for her, too.

Not being able to hear what was actually being said, I didn’t say anything but watched closely in case I was needed and then, when the girl gave up and went away, I tapped the little old lady on the shoulder and told her I hoped I would one day be as brave as she was just then if I ever needed to be.

Despite her bravado at the time, she was clearly shaken as it took a while for her to register that I was offering her support not attacking her. But she smiled gratefully and I went on my way.

To see two such different old ladies in as many days was quite eye opening. I hope I grow up to be like the one I met yesterday – she was quite amazing!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Deafinitely Girly is back

Hallooooo!

Deafinitely Girly has had a week off. And why?

Well, I had a VERY big birthday to celebrate, and that’s just what I’ve been doing.

Although you lot are going to get all the news in instalments, as there’s rather a lot to tell.

Last week I went home to The Rents for my 30-year MOT – this involved a physically painful visit to the dentist, and a financially painful visit to the optician.

My dentist is a wonderful Swedish bloke who doesn’t believe in doing anything to teeth unless they really need it. I share this philosophy on dentistry, which was why I hadn’t been to see him for 4 years until last Monday.

He was surprised to see me! He thought I’d been going elsewhere for my yearly check-ups – I had to sheepishly tell him, I hadn’t.

Now, what’s wonderful about him is that he’s completely deaf aware. He knows that his Swedish accent stops me from understanding him unless he speaks v.e.r.y s.l.o.w.l.y and he also always takes his health-and-safety mask off when he’s talking to me.

Anyway, as it turned out, I needed one filling – in a wisdom tooth, and as he explained this to me, I felt myself panicking. He suggested we try it without any pain relief as it would be quicker and, trusting him as I do, I said yes. But I made him promise that he would show my all the machinery before it entered my mouth and also tell me what he was doing at each step of the way as this would help me relax.

And this worked brilliantly – although the words, ‘Big drill’ were not exactly very soothing!

Then, I moved onto the Opticians. Here, they took away my bent glasses to fix them up, then took out my contact lenses. This left me so blind that I walked into a doorframe on my way into the examination room.

The Optician was also brilliant – she made sure she sat in front of me and up close so I could lipread and soon I was choosing shiny specs and marvelling at how much more pleasurable this was than the previous appointment, even if the bill was twice as much!

Then on Tuesday, I celebrated my impending big birthday with the Nottnum family! Nottnum Uncle decorated his dining room with everything pink for the occasion and the whole family were in on the preparations – it was so lovely of them and I had the best time!

The rest of the week then flew by – there was a performance of The Nutcracker in Nottnum that I went to see, catching up with French Aunt and all of a sudden it was time to return to London for my party…

But I shall tell you all about that tomorrow!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Remembering the past and the future

Wow it's cold today. It's also sunny and bright. I am wearing three million layers and my toes are cold.

Today is about remembering the past, but also remembering there's a future. Remembering the amazing things that have happened, but also remembering to actively go out and seek more amazing things.

Right now, there are lots of amazing things in my life. I have my house, I have my health, and there's this guy who makes me smile without even trying. I have this amazing sense of calm about who I am and what I am doing here.

There’s one person who I know would be happy about this – London Uncle. Especially if he thought back to the scared 16 year old here on work experience, who didn't even want to buy a tube ticket on her own.

He came with me that day, kept me company, showed me what to do, and in the years that followed, when I showed no sign of ever leaving, drank beer with me while watching Grand Designs, was always very polite about my badly-cooked potatoes, embraced my love of 80s movies – Flashdance – and gave me a quirky perspective on life that I will always treasure.

He and London Aunt showed me London through their eyes, and even though I've been here 8 years on my own, it's still their view I share.

Today when I see London, I must remember to thank London Uncle for helping me love this amazing city. He'll always be a part of it... and so will I.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Making the deafness interview

It's Monday!

*fake crowd cheering!

But what a lovely weekend I had!

Friday night was the leaving party of CK – London Cousins' au pair, who quite frankly is also a member of our family. We will miss her!

Then Saturday, I drove up to The Wild West Erm... Country for Jenny M's birthday party. As with all my friends, she's perpetually 21.

That night, we went to another birthday party where danced the night away, and on a rare breather moment when I was sat down, a guy approached me.

He said something – I didn't hear him. He said something again and slowly, I realised he was chatting me up!

As those words were: 'Would you like to dance?'

Haha!

He was already visibly shaken by my lack of comprehension surrounding the situation, so I said yes, but knew that Jenny M and co would also be there, too. So off we went.

And so we danced, and he talked in my ear, and I smiled politely, and we danced some more. And then, when he had obviously had enough of this non-responsive girl, he started bust some moves. And oh boy, what moves they were.

One of them, I swear, involved grabbing his ankle and kind of hopping around the dance floor – it was the most bizarre thing I have EVER seen in my life.

I had to leave the dance floor for fear of being hopped on, or dying laughing.

But what was wonderful was that I felt absolutely no reason to tell him about my deafness. I just wasn't that worried about whether he knew or not. And this is a fantastic gauge as to whether I like someone.

If I do like someone, they'll know about my hearing loss as soon as possible, to ensure that it doesn't stuff anything up. Of course that doesn't stop other things, such as alcoholic amnesia, shyness, and the ability to say all the wrong sentences – usually consecutively, for maximum effect – jeopardising the situation, but at least I know I can't blame my ears!

My deafness is like a first interview for both parties, and if we both get past that stage unscathed, well a second date may be just the thing!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Thank you for my friends

Today is thankful Friday and I am thankful for my amazing inner circle.

As written about last year, these are the people you could count on for anything, anytime, anywhere, and as I'm discovering this week, I'm blessed with a pretty good one.

This week, NikNak, for example, cooked me a fabulous dinner and dispensed equally amazing advice. Gym Buddy drowned her sorrows in tea and cake last night on the discovery that our highlight of the week, Zumba class, was full up!

*sob

And Tigger, well he just keeps me smiling daily with his boundless energy. And that's just to name a few.

Whenever I feel disheartened about October, I just look at my friends and think, it really can't be that bad if I'm surrounded by so many wonderful people.

And that is what I am thankful for...

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Are the hearing people panicking?

I have news:

Last night we won the quiz...

Hurrah!

Although, actually, seeing as I barely heard any of it and gave two wrong answers, I think it's safe to say that I didn't personally win the quiz. But, from being last in the first half, we made an amazing recovery and somehow hit first place!

See, I told you those hard, hard of hearing things you do get easier over time!

And other good news? Well, the Chilean miners are on their way out, and they look amazing considering what they've been through these last few months. The subtitles are not great on the news reports, which is quite understandable, so I've been watching the pictures and it's almost overwhelming to see them and all their families reunited.

Anyway, the oddest thing happened on my way to work this morning. My bus broke down, in the middle of a massively busy street in Central London. First of all it came to a shuddering halt with me on the top deck. I sat awhile, engrossed in a MSN messenger conversation I was having, when I realised that we were not moving. And so I did what I usually do when things like this happen, I look around at other peoples’ faces to gauge their reactions – non-plussed means don’t panic, while wide-eyed means something terrible has happened.

But get this, I was the only person on the bus. So I had no clue what was going on!

I legged it downstairs to find the poor bus driver frantically turning the engine over with little success, and hung around hoping he’d noticed his lone passenger. And thankfully, he did and when there was a gap in the traffic, he opened the doors and I made a break for it.

He was talking to me the whole time, but I have no clue what he was saying – although I am really hoping it wasn’t, ‘Get help, please!’ because, thinking there must be bus emergency people for these things, I didn’t. Whoops!

It’s the first time ever that I haven’t had hearing people’s faces to rely on when I’m not sure of a situation and I didn’t stress out. And this, I was mightily happy about, because jumping off a bus, stressed, into a busy rush-hour street is a recipe of erm… almost certain death.

And so it seems I am on a learning curve this week – how fabulous!

Better check back tomorrow and see if I’ve finally learned how to Zumba, eh?

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Not too deaf to dream

Today’s blog is coming to you from a teenage boy's bedroom...

Erm, actually, I am on a bus that smells like a teenage boy's bedroom...

There are also enough boys surrounding me that I feel like I am in a teenage boys' boarding school dormitory – something that would be wrong on so many levels!!

From my seat at the back of the bus, I am barely visible above the sea of sports bags, creatively gelled hair and haze of Lynx. It's a truly bizarre experience, and probably a small mercy that I cannot eavesdrop their conversation...

What a difference 10 minutes makes – this is deafinitely the last time I get the 8am bus to work!

Anyway, today I have two things happening that as a deaf person I find difficult. One is a haircut and the other is the pub quiz.

The former is a minefield of mishaps. From not hearing the 'Is the water ok?' question, to trying to move my head to lipread and causing wonky layers – over the years I've had my fair share of haircutting drama. But for the last 4 years, I've solved that by going to the same fab hairdresser. She really is amazing and now she knows I am deaf, the only thing I feel tense about is whether I'll like the finished style.

And the pub quiz? Well, as any hard of hearing person will tell you, these are always tricky to follow, and by the time someone has relayed the question to you, some other smart person had answered it, so you become something of an echo.

GB Man and The Singing Swede are very good at helping me with this though, and so now, very occasionally I actually get to bask in the glory of answering a question, rather than just answering 3 minutes after someone else has answered it.

It’s all about being proactive about your deafness though when it comes to situations like these. And it's also about not giving a toss about what other people think.

I mean, now my Zumba instructor knows I can't hear, I have a space at the front of the class reserved just for me. This is great, I love it!

But as the class is very full, I can feel the icy stares of the other people vying for my vantage point, and wonder if they’re thinking I am some sort of Zumba wannabe. I may well be a Zumba wannabe, but this not the reason I’m hogging the front row.

Another thing that’s important, is remembering that by doing these challenging things over and over again, they do get easier. And not only do they get easier, but they become enjoyable. And it is with this thought, that I am going to resume a couple of dreams that have fallen by the wayside over the years, after being labelled too hard because of my deafness.

So look out over the next few months and you’ll see how I get on!

Monday, 11 October 2010

You don't need to hear ballet

Today I am sleepy for a Monday morning – and when I am sleepy, I am more deaf.

I am also scatty, and this has seen me sign off an important email with a highly inappropriate ‘Lots of love’ this morning…

*cringe

So, I had a brilliant weekend – The Rents came down and I went to see the ballet Onegin at Covent Garden. The standard of the dancing was amazing, I couldn’t fault it, but the storyline is bleak. Basically in a nutshell it goes like this:

Man is cad…
Man makes woman fall in love with her…
Man breaks woman’s heart by flirting with her sister…
Man shoots her sister’s fiancĂ©…
Woman moves on, gets married and just when she’s happy, Man pops up again and throws everything into turmoil…
Luckily, Woman comes to senses and tells him where to go…

It was 2½ hours of tension!

But I love going to the ballet, because I really don’t need to hear for it. I can just watch the dancing and enjoy the story and I am on equal footing with everyone else in the audience – better footing often as I get to go so much I know what’s going on more. I actually forget I am deaf when I am there, which can only be a good thing, can’t it?

And then yesterday evening, well I had a great time… and that is all you need to know for now.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Nobody puts Deafinitely Girly in a deaf box

Sometimes I get so frustrated when people put me in a box labelled deaf without really checking what that means.

It’s the same as when you meet an old friend of your parents’ who you haven’t seen since your teenage years and she asks you if your bedroom is still messy and comments on how your thunder thighs have miraculously disappeared…

Some people cannot get away from putting you in a box and keeping you there.

You see, for some time now, I have strived to prove that I can work outside this box. I have fought to ensure that no finger could ever be pointed at my deafness when it came to judging me.

I mean, sure, my deafness makes me less chatty on the phone, but to my knowledge, some hearing people aren’t chatty on the phone, either.

Sometimes I wonder what I should do about this living in a box thing – should I work with it? Get it some comfy cushions, make myself right at home, play up to the illusion that I’m going nowhere fast. Or should I throw the damn box out of the window and continue the daily fight to prove that putting people in boxes – no matter who they are or what they do – is a very outmoded way of thinking?

I’ve fought for lots of changes over the years – not just when it comes to changing people's perceptions about the state of my bedroom – and I know that in order to do this, you need commitment, you need thick skin and you need to have a love of banging your head against a brick wall.

You also need a blog – because it is through writing things down that you come to realise that of course things are worth fighting for, and of course I shouldn’t make myself at home in this crappy box labelled ‘deaf and going nowhere fast’.

Nobody puts DG in a box. So look out world, here I come!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

I'm really not that deaf aware

Well, what a fabulous week I am having!

Every evening makes me smile at the moment.

Last night, Fab Friend came to stay and we went to the best Thai restaurant in the whole of London, which happens to be two minutes from my flat.

Fab Friend, as regular readers will know, is also deaf and when we get together we automatically look to the other one to do the job of our ears, even though we're both incapable of fulfilling this role.

So last night, when the softly-spoken waitress came over and started speaking, I looked at her and she looked at me awaiting a translation before we both burst out laughing at our complete lack of deaf awareness.

Then, once back at my flat, I started talking to her from another room... again a completely bizarre thing to do, as I get mad when people do this to me!

But it got me thinking about why we both forget the other one can't hear too. It might be because in our world, we are minority. Except when we go out with each other, there is always someone to translate the waiter, tell us what's going on, or hear us yelling from another room.

And if I can't be deaf aware, then it occurred to me how unfair it was to expect other people to be immediately deaf aware. So here's my suggestion: give hearing peeps a break for getting it wrong sometimes, and if you see Fab Friend and I out for dinner, please can you tell us what the waitress just said!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Deafinitely Girly's got writers' block

Deafinitely Girly has been awfully quiet recently, I know.

It’s odd… I have just got complete writers’ block – the kind that I expect to last a day, but in fact has lasted a week and is showing no signs of going away.

October, as many of you will know, is a funny month for me. It’s had its fair share of dramas over the years, namely 30 years ago when I turned up, and like I said the other day, this year I have new plans for October.

But I do wonder if it’s October that’s causing my writers’ block – and if it is, what do I do about it?

At university, my writing tutor advised those of us suffering from writers’ block to write naked with an unlit cigarette in your mouth. She swore by this method, but seeing as I do most of my writing on the bus, I’m not sure it’s going to work for me – although it could make the journey a little more interesting for other people.

Methods I have used over the years include writing in pink ink – always works, writing 10 words in exchange for 1 square of chocolate – I know, I can actually bribe myself, and just writing nonsense until it starts to take form. And that is the method I am trying today.

Here is my nonsense. Let’s hope it works and I’m back on form tomorrow, eh?

Friday, 1 October 2010

Thankful Friday

Even though it's rainy I'm still feeling thankful on this Friday.

Why?

Because every cloud has a silver lining, and as rain clouds are grey – perhaps they're silver inside!

I'm mostly thankful that I have a fun evening ahead with Gym Buddy and Web Whizz – we're having a night in of DVDs, junk food and wine to undo all the good work we've been doing at the gym recently.

I am also thankful that it's October – for this year I am rewriting my fortunes in October. I am making it a month of good times, good luck and good health. I refuse to have another crappy October. Or as someone said to me the other weekend... Don't think of elephants.

So, here's to a positive October, and the end of a very long week.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The lipreading reflex

It’s raining!

Harumph!

But on a positive note, this morning, after a week of head scratching, I finally remembered that I had not lost all my winter jumpers, I had merely packed them away during the summer.

This meant, that when I remembered where, I discovered a whole load of fabulous clothes I hasn’t seen since May! It’s like I’ve just been shopping, but without the credit card hit!

Anyway, today I want to talk about my dancing. You see, I’ve been going to Zumba class for two months now and, while I’ve got the moves – sort of – I’m lacking finesse...

This is mainly because no matter what move I do, my eyes are always on the instructor.

So my body is going one way, but my head is always going another, and this makes me look very strange – kinda like a jiving plank of wood.

The problem is, staring at people in order to hear what they are saying is a reflex that I just can’t shake off. It’s as strong as the old knee and hammer one at the doctors. It is literally physically impossible for me not to look at the person I am trying to hear.

I haven’t actually told my Zumba instructor I can’t hear, mainly because I never got around to it, and now, two months on, it seems a bit random to suddenly let her know. But I do wonder if I freak her out by staring at her from start to finish instead of looking at my hands or the ceiling, which is the head movement most of the dances seem to require.

I’ve actually tried practising at home – such is my desire to actually be good at this – and, when there’s no one to try and hear, my head definitely goes in the right direction.

So I’ve just got to work on breaking the reflex in class now. Perhaps over time as I learn the steps more, it’ll get easier. And in the meantime, I’ll just get my hip shaking and grapevines good, so that when my head eventually decides to join in, I’ll have it all...

…or something!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Hearing Mt. Desolation

What do you get it you cross two members of Keane with the Killers, Mumford & Sons, and Noah & the Whale, and a whole host of additionally talented musicians?

A band called Mt Desolation it seems!

And, while today, I am very, very deaf, it was completely and utterly worth it to see them in concert last night.

Being a not-very-hearing person, I'm not going to tell you how the lyrics moved me, as I didn't hear them. But I did hear the harmonies, the amazing bass and lower octaves of the treble and was able to musically-read the harmonica and violin.

We arrived early – yes, I know, we’re so cool – and took our places in the venue. It was at this moment that The Singing Swede and I realised we had positioned ourselves under the ONLY air conditioning unit in the entire building and it was blowing cold air right on our heads – I’m not joking, I looked like I was in a Celine Dion music video.

So the night began with me trying to look cool with a scarf draped over my head to keep the polar chill off my neck and my hair from flapping around wildly, and a group called The Staves. Three sisters, three amazing voices, two of them ex-Grange Hill – all wonderfully talented. As they shyly took to the stage, I had no idea what to expect, but as they performed each song, I felt my mood being raised an octave at a time. You can’t help but join in their sweet enthusiasm for what they do.

I also felt this bizarre jealousy that they could sing like that, before remembering that even before I went deaf, I could never sing like that!

And then, all of a sudden, Mt Desolation took to the stage, with me recognising only the main man, Jesse Quin – the bass guitarist from Keane, and the guitarist from The Staves – I know, I know, I should know more of them than this!

And what did I think? Well, they were amazing. There was incredible ‘audience body language lust’ going on for the bloke on the left, who I discovered was also in Keane and the girls at the front were in danger of giving themselves brain haemorrhages from dancing around so much. But it was brilliant.

From upbeat folky jigs to lilting melodies, I loved it all. It was captivating, entertaining and left me wondering why I don’t go to gigs more often. And the best bit? Nothing got too loud. And this was not because it wasn’t too loud, it’s because my hearing has recently got worse, and the recruitment I used to suffer, seems to be diminishing with it.

While this is a pain in many ways – it meant last night really was the best gig I’ve even been to. Lets hope my hearing hangs around until they’re next on tour again!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Deafinitely Girly does DIY

Another great weekend always signals the start of another week. But I'm not going think about that, because for now, I am basking in the glory of my slightly cowboy DIY success.

You see, being exceptionally blind as well as deaf, means that in the morning I get up, switch on my shower and hop in, all without my glasses on. I then leave the bathroom and go and get dressed.

But on Saturday morning, I had my glasses on when I turned the shower on and quickly noticed a torrent of water pouring out the corner of my shower door, down the wall, behind the skirting, before disappearing.

Argh!

Really just wanting a shower and not having to do DIY, I begrudgingly got my screwdriver out of the cutlery drawer and took off the skirting board and side panel of the bath to assess the problem. And there I found a very soggy wooden floor...

Argh

Amazingly though, this has clearly been going on for ages, as nothing new has happened to my shower door, so I was somewhat relieved my neighbour hasn't had a ceiling flood courtesy of me!

In the process of trying to fix the problem, I drowned my entire bathroom when the shower head took on a life of its own and flew around the bath spraying water as far as my hall carpet.

Argh

And after this? Well, I declared war...

I got out my gun, my er, silicone gun and I sealed the hell out of my shower door...

The result?! No leak. Hurrah! Well, from that bit of my bath anyway. The other leak? A takeaway carton seems to be for catching that for now – until I can get someone in who's answer for everything isn't just silicone sealant!

*blush!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Deafinitely Girly's on a mission

It’s official: I’m a deaf girl on a mission!

Recently, as I’m sure you’ll be aware, my posts have been a little thin on the ground here at deafinitelygirly.com and this has been frustrating me.

While I can, to some extent blame my busy day job, manic social life and sometimes crohn’s episodes, deep down I know that really, if I want to get something down on here, nothing will stop me.

But recently, I’ve been without a project. I’ve become complacent in a world of bad services for deaf and hard of hearing people. I’ve stopped complaining.

But not anymore. After a very successful brainstorm yesterday, I’ve rediscovered two battles that are worth fighting… or at least pitching politely to the people in question. And that’s exactly what I am going to do.

And while it’s all a little bit undercover right now, I can tell you that I am starting with Richard Branson. Anyone got his email address?!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Close encounters of the male kind

So, it turns out I am not so deaf that I cannot hear the roadworks that started up VERY loudly outside my bedroom window this morning. One peep through the blind confirmed that they were digging up a road that looks perfectly OK to me, but clearly needs thousands of pounds of my council tax spent to make it better – I tell you what, it had better be paved with gold by the time I get home tonight.

Harumph!

Anyway, on a more positive note, after something of a dry spell on the man front, I finally got one to notice me! Hurrah! Although, maybe not in the way I had hoped…

You see, there I was, striding purposefully to work, when on rounding the corner I almost bumped into a guy coming the other way. My reaction was to simply stop and let him negotiate his way around me, so that we weren’t to-ing and fro-ing in the same directions like often embarrassingly happens.

His reaction however, was to jump in the air, drop his rucksack and yelp!

*blush

Never in all my life has a man reacted to an encounter with me like this and I was so startled I burst out laughing, which then caused the strange man to pick up his rucksack and make a bolt for it.

I hastily checked my reflection, wondering if his fear had been caused by a lack of make-up, my concealer still being blobbed not blended or my mascara heading southwards, but everything was as it should be.

So heaven only knows what made him scream and run for the hills, but I’m hoping my next close encounter with the male kind will be slight more successful…

I’ll keep you posted!

Monday, 20 September 2010

A hearing headache

Do you know, I think last week's headache signalled a drop in my hearing.

I'd forgotten that this used to happen in my teens. I'd get a crashing headache, which was a clue that either my eyesight or hearing was on the move.

And since the floating triangles incident, my eyesight has been fine. And my hearing?

Well, let's look at the evidence...

Recently I've been watching my TV practically on mute. It's as thought the sound is irrelevant – all I want is subtitles

I've also forgotten we have a radio at work, when this time last year I was able to hum along to the bass tune.

And perhaps the most indicative of a hearing shift – loud noises are not making me fall over anymore… mainly because nothing seems very loud.

On Saturday for example, while out with Gingerbread Man and The Singing Swede, an ambulance went past full pelt. I braced myself for the noise, but none came. ‘Ah well,’ I thought to myself. ‘Perhaps the siren wasn't on.’ But then I noticed the Singjng Swede had her fingers in her ears.

Yup, there was deafinitely siren. And I heard nothing – not even up close! I mean, I'm used to not hearing sirens from afar, hence all the mishaps with emergency vehicles. But this? Well maybe that explains my close encounter with the police car earlier this month.

So this week, I'm going to have a ‘What can’t I hear anymore’ week, and report back. And if the evidence continues?

I think it's time for a trip to the audiologist! Don't you?

Friday, 17 September 2010

Today is Thankful Friday…

…and I am thankful that I no longer have crazy vision! I am not however thankful that I haven't had time to blog this week – it's not good enough and personally I blame the great books I've been reading on the bus instead of writing my blog.
Will do better next week – I promise!
DGx

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The day I couldn't see or hear!

So, I know I've been a little quiet this week...

I had been looking forward to telling you all about my wonderful weekend of seeing Penthouse Flatmate, SuperKathyFragileMystic, The Photographer, and Blackberry the poodle...

But then on Monday, while sat at work, I was suddenly aware that I couldn't see properly – it was as though someone was letting too much light into my eyes. Within 10 minutes, this had progressed to flashing triangles across my vision, and at that point I was starting to panic. You see, if I can't see anything, I can't lipread, and if I can't do that, I can’t hear. And if I can’t hear or see, I am, in my opinion, utterly screwed.

Luckily a savvy work colleague was on hand to tell me she thought I was experiencing aura symptoms – what you get just before a migraine...

And boom! Just like that, a headache appeared.

And, 36 hours later, it's still here. Better than it was before however, which is relief, but still not gone, which is annoying.

Having never had migraine before, I wasn't really sure what to expect in terms of it going away. But it can apparently take a while, so I'm not too worried at the moment.

The most relieving thing is that I can see again. I have never been so thankful for anything in my entire life.

When I couldn’t see, I felt almost claustrophobic in my own head – a mass of panic spreading through me, wondering what on earth was going on. I never, ever want to feel that way again.

But anyway, back to the weekend – it was perfect in every single way. So nice to catch up with good friends, eat great food, meet new little people, hear about Goddaughter’s first week at school and congrats Penthouse Flatmate on becoming a Yummy Mummy of three.

And then, there was Blackberry! Well, regular readers will know I am definitely a cat person – but on meeting Blackberry the poodle, all that changed! She is without a doubt the most fabulous canine on the planet. While sitting in the sunshine of SKFM’s cottage courtyard on Sunday, Blackberry decided it was cuddle time, and before I knew it, I had a full-size poodle on my lap, trying her hardest to shrink to fit! It was brilliant – and the most amazing experience to spend time with such a loveable, intelligent dog.

So scrap the cat plan, I’m getting a Blackberry of my very own – and unlike the phone variety, this one won’t be pink!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Deafinitely Girly and the deaf mouse!

Today is Thankful Friday, and I am thankful that my parents are some of the few people I can still hear on the telephone.

And here’s why…

Regular readers may already know that I have an unwelcome housemate living with me at the moment – a mouse!

Now, not wanting to kill it, I wondered if I could drive it out with a special humane mouse repellent kit, which included a powder that the mouse didn’t like the smell of and an Ultrasound Mouse Repellent thing that plugs in and emits a high-pitched noise that mice apparently hate.

Well, get this – it appears I have a deaf mousemate! This is no joke because this mouse shows no sign of disappearing. And last night, it was almost as if it was trying to prove a point about this, because while I was in bed reading my new Katie Fforde book, which is splendid by the way, the mouse brazenly scurried into my bedroom!

And what did I do? Well, I screamed of course. And that was when I realised that this mouse cannot be profoundly deaf, just hard of hearing, as it turned on its heels and legged it under my wardrobe!

Oh joy!

And then, I did what any considerate human being does at 12.30am on a school night – I rang my parents!

Actually, I don’t know why I did this – they live 100 miles away from me, so are hardly handy for mouse catching. Call it reflex, call it needing to share my fear, call it these are the only people in the world who are likely to not kill me for calling them at this time, call it what you like, but call them, I did!

And, of course, they were asleep but thankfully, (phew!) saw the funny side to the fact that I felt the need to share with them my evening of mousecapades…

So then, what of the mouse? Well, he clearly doesn’t have an aversion to high-pitched noises, which I guess makes two of us, but seriously, there is no room for him in my house. He’s very badly behaved and keeps pulling tufts of carpet up for his bedding.

If he really is a hard of hearing mouse, maybe I should get a low-frequency repeller and see if that works…

Otherwise, there’s only one thing for it…

I’m getting a cat!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Be thankful for what you have... and say a little prayer

This morning I watched the most moving film, which has prompted me to actually post it here, a first for Deafinitely Girly. I never normally post films as they are never normally subtitled, but this one is – beautifully so.

It was a heartfelt birthday message from an Australian guy to his wife on her birthday, done in the Love Actually style where Andrew Lincoln tells Kiera Knightly he loves her.

The heartbreaking thing is that Kristian is fighting liver cancer and has two little boys, who also feature in the film.

Watching it, made me resolve to be thankful for every day I have and live my life to the full, whatever is thrown at me.

And now, I'm keeping everything crossed that Kristian gets to do that for a long time to come, too.

Rachel's Birthday Video from Kristian Anderson on Vimeo.



See the full film on Kristian's blog HERE

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Deafinitely Girly and the siren she didn't hear!

Today I walked to work as all the tube people in my area were on my bus because of the strike.

GAH!

But honestly, I think I probably still beat them all to the centre of town as there were crowds of people clamouring to get on at each stop and the bus is always full from my stop even when there’s not a tube strike.

While tiring, especially as I have a lunchtime Body Combat class too, the walk was quite relaxing. There were lots of things to see, including people doing the same thing as me but in heels!

Anyway, yesterday’s lack of blog means I haven’t yet written about my brilliant weekend oop north with Best Friend And Head Girl and her family. It was my godson Petit Pois’ first birthday so I was keen to visit and give him birthday wishes personally.

He’s gorgeous, as is his older brother, Northern Boy, and we had a crazy weekend of midnight baking – the decoration of which was somewhat interesting – and mid-afternoon naps on the sofa when I could keep going no more!

I have ultimate respect for BFAHG – she keeps going on minimal sleep and has a very lovely happy family. I don’t know how she does it honestly.

Then, on Sunday, Jenny M came to stay – but I almost didn’t get to see her. In fact, I almost got to see the windscreen of an unmarked police car close up.

You see, on arrival at Kings Cross, I realised that due to tube closures, I would have to get a bus to Paddington to meet Jenny M. So I crossed the road, looking at the green man and was suddenly aware of something in my peripheral vision that didn’t seem to be showing any signs of stopping.

A quick look right, revealed it to be an unmarked police car with a blue light on the top, and I’m guessing, judging by the fact everyone else had remained on the pavement, a siren!

And of course, I did the logical thing when you have a police car flying towards you at speed. I stopped in shock.

‘MOVE!’ I willed my feet, but it took a few seconds for them to get the hint, by which time the police car had stopped and I was the focal point of quite a few people on the Euston Road, all wondering what the hell I was doing.

*Blush

It was most embarrassing, and the adrenalin led me to walk most of the way to Paddington, rather than bus it.

But this was good as it gave me the thinking time to remind myself that it was better to be embarrassed than embedded in the windscreen of a police car, better to be thought of as a moron by the policemen than be embedded in the windscreen of a police car, and erm… better to be alive and well than embedded in the windscreen of a police car.

As a deaf person who cannot hear sirens anymore, these things do happen and thankfully, on Sunday, I had a lucky escape.

Fingers crossed I continue to be as lucky. And in the meantime, could unmarked police cars please get fog horns, and in return I will try and not trust the green man and look around a bit first, before crossing the road.

That is all!

Friday, 3 September 2010

A Thankful (for my writing) Friday

Today is Thankful Friday and firstly I’m very thankful for all the wonderful people who have voted for me so far in the Superdrug competition. I really do appreciate it.

I am also thankful that this weekend I get to see Best Friend And Head Girl and her family. It’s her son, Petit Pois’s first birthday and, as he’s my godson, I am going up to see him... with a very unsuitcase-friendly, impractical present! Well, that’s what godmothers are for isn’t it!

I don’t, however, trust northern weather, so inspite of the relatively tame forecast, I’m believing none of it, so am currently melting on the bus in knee-high boots and jeans. If it is warm oop north, I will be pleasantly surprised and continue to swelter there!

Anyway, one last thing I am thankful for is Superdrug. Seriously, since I became part of the blogging team, writing an reviewing things, I’ve felt incredibly inspired. I love the thrill of coming up with new ideas, and I also love looking back and seeing the ideas I had.

Sometimes I wonder what I would be doing creatively if Deafinitely Girly didn’t exist, and honestly, I don’t have a clue... I think all my ideas would just be sat there festering while I did the normal London thing: commute, gym, drinks, commute. Deafinitely Girly enhances that, and I can honestly say that writing for Superdrug does, too.

Now go and vote for me please – so it can continue to…

DG x

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Things my ears do instead of hear!

Today, my right ear is burning. The edge and lobe are simmering gently.

Someone once told me that left ears burning are for love and right are for spite.

So, if that is to believed, then someone’s being mean about me – a lot.

I also have tinnitus – and another someone else also told me that this was a warning signal humans have had since they were cavemen and some people kept it, while others didn’t. If that is to be believed, then every time I get tinnitus, should I hide?

Isn’t it amazing how my ears are so utterly useless at their originally intended purpose, and instead able to tell me when someone loves or hates me, and when danger is nearby?

Did they miss the memo about actually having to hear, too?

It would appear so!

I know these are silly things to believe, and I do take them with a pinch of salt – but it is quite interesting how over the years people have come up with explanations for random occurrences such as ears ringing or burning…

And, with so many scientific discoveries occurring these days, it’s something that probably won’t continue for much longer…

Soon there’ll be a complete explanation for absolutely everything…

And in the meantime, would the person who is saying nasty things about me please stop – my ear’s threatening to overheat!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

VOTE FOR ME!

OK, so I don't normally do this, but my final competition post has just gone live on the Superdrugloves.com website and I'd love it if you'd have a look at it and gimme a rating! I had a Beauty Sale in aid of UNICEF's Pakistan flood appeal and raised £75, as well as having a fabulous time taking pictures and larking around with the Blancos and London Family. Click HERE to check it out!

Thanks wonderful peeps!
DG
x

Mispronouncing words… again!!

Oh dear! Pronunciation mishaps have been few and far between lately so I guess I was due one sooner or later...

And what a good one it was.

There I was sat watching a TV programme about some famous artist with my Pa when I asked, ‘Was he more famous posthumously?’ except I pronounced it post-hume-oos-leee

*blush

After pausing for a good old chuckle, Pa told me the correct pronunciation and I realised just how wrong mine had been.

Making those kind of mistakes in front of Pa is fine though. His chuckles are good-natured and as he’s a really word expert I think he finds my quirky take on my own language entertaining. He was also the one to point out that envelope has two pronunciations and that the paper posting way wasn’t quite appropriate when related to hugs, for example.

But it does worry me about who else hears my unique and quite frankly bonkers pronunciation…

And who hears it who doesn’t know I am deaf, and instead thinks I am like Joey from Friends taking inspiration from word-of-the-day loo roll?

I worked hard to build the vocabulary that most people build aurally during their teens and uni years where the big words come out in force. I grew tired of reading ‘limited use of vocabulary’ at the bottom of my essays and so I read as many books as I could to help this – even dictionaries, which were insanely dull – but the problem is, this doesn’t help the pronunciation… and pronunciation is another word that sounds totally difference to how it reads… just ask Friend Who Knows Big Words.

In fact, I think I’ll do just that, when I meet her for dinner tonight.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Hearing cheesy music

First of all, massive congratulations to Mr and Mrs Gym Buddy on their fabulous wedding at the weekend.

Invited to the evening do, I arrived to the sight of Gym Buddy looking radiant, amazing and utterly gorgeous from head to toe.

The day had, I was informed, gone without a hitch and everyone looked amazing, not just the bride and groom!

The party was a fabulous cheese fest of music, scrumptious buffet and not one, but two, chocolate fountains, and a song dedicated to me! Ha!

*blush

Gym Buddy had warned me this was happening after she’d heard it on my iPod on a car journey to hers one day, but I could not for the life of me work out which song it could be – in truth I was slightly afraid.

And then the opening bars came on...

The unmistakable notes of the Baywatch theme tune filled the venue!

And just two people took to the dance floor! Me, and Gym Buddy! But, thankfully, due to years of practice and my exceptionally bad taste in music, I was used to this and happily danced away!

But it got me thinking about my love of cheesy music. I mean, just why do I love it so? Perhaps it’s because cheese often has a very melodic bass line, which is mostly what I can hear, simple lyrics – so I can learn them easily, and a basic beat.

I think, from a deaf point of view, it’s the easiest kind of music to listen to.

I mean, when I listen a band like Napalm Death for example, there’s just so much going on, and so much bass distortion through my ears, that none of it sounds good anymore. The same for more trendy bands, where more emphasis is on the treble notes rather than the bass.

Yes, yes, yes, that is my excuse for my insanely bad taste in music, knowing all the dance moves to every Steps song ever made and thinking that the Baywatch theme tune is fabulous.

And I’m sticking to it!