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!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Turning my hearing off

Today is Thankful Friday and I am thankful for the wonderful night out I had last night with Web Whizz and Gym Buddy. A few quiet drinks after Zamba turned into a party in Gym Buddy’s imminent wedding honour and before we knew it, it was kicking out time and we were turfed out into the torrential rain.

Seriously – what is with the weather? It’s FREEZING! I am in winter clothes – it’s August. Did Britain accidentally float into the Southern Hemisphere and no one notice or something?

I am also thankful that it’s a bank holiday, which means one extra day of fun, and a four-day week, next week!

Hurrah!

However, let’s get back to last night shall we. There wasn’t drinking of epic proportions, but there was wine – and this is the most brain-blearying of all the alcohols in my opinion – and this has given me a very slight hangover.

And, the problem with very slight hangovers – and monstrous ones from what I can remember from my less-restrained days – is that they obliterate my hearing.

Seriously, someone at work just stood beside me for a full five minutes apparently trying to get my attention – unaware of my deafness as she’s new – and then eventually tapped me on my shoulder causing me to jump and shout ‘What?’ at the top of my voice.

*blush

Then, there’s the attempting to lipread. Seriously, I can be gazing right at lips and nothing is registering. It’s quite bizarre. This morning in Pret, I said pardon 50 times to the poor guy at the till before giving up and answering yes or no alternately to see what would happen.

And that is how my day shall go.

I shall be channelling all my energies into my job and the hearing will have to take the back seat.

I’m turning my ears off as of now.

And, I shall be very thankful for the peace.

Have a great bank holiday weekend peeps.
DGx

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Two weddings, a baby and some cats!

Today’s blog has somehow gone missing in Cyberspace after I hit ‘send’ from my iPhone this morning. It’s marked as an unsent message but I can’t get to it.

So here I am starting afresh.

It’s almost the weekend, which is fabulous, and what’s even more fabulous is that this weekend Gym Buddy is getting married.

*sob

Just thinking about it gets me all emotional, as I’m sure it’ll be an amazing day.

And on the subject of weddings, Deafinitely Girly has some very exciting news.

I am going to be a Witness at First Ever Friend’s wedding next year.

*whoop!

First Ever Friend went on holiday to Canada recently and I was hoping that her boy would pop the question as they have been together forever. And he did.

I found out yesterday in a card she had sent me, where she also requested I be her witness – which I think is kinda like the Swiss version of a bridesmaid except you get to choose the dress and there’s no aisle to walk down…

So momentous was this, that I actually braved a phone call, cranked up the volume on my iPhone and plugged my headphones in so that I could say congratulations. And, as she is my first ever friend, she knows my deafness well, so she spoke very clearly, and I think I heard most of what was going on.

Phew!

It's brilliant when these life-altering things happen to my friends. The excitement of the journey they’re going on is infectious, and I love going along for the ride.

When I think about all the things First Ever Friend and I have been through, it seems amazing that we actually live hundreds of miles apart. I know if I ever needed her, she’d be there quicker than if she lived around the corner, and I hope she knows the same is true for me.

What an amazing 18 months it’s going to be – Gym Buddy’s getting married, NikNak is going to be a mum, First Ever Friend – a wife, and me?

Well, I think I might join SuperCathyFragileMystic and get a cat!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Despairing at subtitles STILL!

I've come to the sorry conclusion that anything Top Gear is cursed when it comes to subtitles. I mean, I know BBC breakfast isn't renowned for the most brilliant subtitles in the world, but today they were terrible at the precise moment The-man-formerly-known-as-The Stig was being interviewed!

Jeremy became Germany, James became GMs and mostly I had no idea what was going on.

To put it simply: Arghhhhhhhhh

And on the subject of the current Stig – he'd be dumb to publish anything, as I really don't think it would endear him to anyone. Top Gear fans love the whole show, not just him, and I think he'd destroy a little bit of the magic if he shafted the programme.

And do I know who The Stig is? Quite possibly after dating a lose-tongued motoring journalist a few years ago, followed by a Top Gear insider a few months after that.

They both said it was the same person... And google says a whole lot of other people say that too.

And for me, finding out who it might be, did kind of ruin the magic of Top Gear a little for me.

So finding out for definite would probably ruin it completely!

Don't do it Stig!

And on a completely different note, I’ve been working hard over at Superdrugloves.com and the competition is nearing the end. To celebrate my year so far, I launched the Deafinitely Girly Beauty Awards 2010 and, if you like, you can read and rate it by clicking here. Thanks DG readers.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Life before Deafinitely Girly

Now this sunny weather is more like it!

I was expecting rain this morning when I opened my bedroom blinds, and it was so lovely to be faced with blue sky.

Anyway, the end of the Superdrug competition is nearing and that's partly why I've been a little bit quiet on here recently. Over at Superdrugloves.com, I've been trying to think up original posts and new ways to chat about products, and my latest post should up soon, so keep an eye open for it.

It's at time like this when there are so many Deafinitely Girly-related amazing things going on in my life that I wonder what I did before DG was born...

I mean, for starters what did I do on my bus journey to work every day if I wasn't writing my daily instalment?

And before I wrote for Superdrug, what did I do about beauty products? I mean, just going into my bathroom is like walking into a miniature beauty boutique. How did it become normal to choose my styling products to match my mood, my make-up to match any shade I am wearing and my...

…anyway, it's utterly brilliant and I love it!

I think another reason I've been quiet on here recently is because I'm doing Ok with my deafness. There's nothing I need to thrash out in words this week. No niggles or insecurities that I need advice or reassurance on.

It's odd. But I'm not complaining.

I remember as a teenager learning that these things come in cycles, so a high about my deafness is as normal as a low. I also know that the lows are particularly tough after a nice high period...

But when it comes, I'll be ready and waiting on Deafinitelygirly.com, safe in the knowledge that if anything can get me through it, writing can...

And some sparkly blue nail polish from Superdrug of course.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Learning to be a deaf grown up

Today is thankful Friday and I am extremely thankful about the fun weekend ahead I have planned.

Today, my littlest cousin, London Cousin 2, is 9 years old! I can't believe it – it seems no time ago since I was staying with London Aunt and Uncle, helping them out with her when she was a teeny tiny baby.

As I was buying her birthday present yesterday, a little fitted nautical-trend jacket from Next, I felt quite emotional that she has grown up so fast! And then I had to remind myself that she is only 9!

We are all going out to celebrate tonight – London family, The Blancos and The Rents, and it should be great fun...

Anyway, I am also thankful after watching the news this morning that I have already been to university!

I mean, I know the media has a tendency to make things sound worse than they are, but this lack of places thing sounds downright scary.

Looking back, I don't think I would have been one of the lucky ones...

Not without seriously playing the deaf card, and honestly, I never wanted that to be a factor in whether I should get in somewhere.

When I look back at my time at uni, I learnt a lot – it was an environment that suited me and allowed me to adjust to being a deaf adult.

Everyone is different but I think that many people benefit from this staggered form of growing up. I did my final bit during my postgraduate where I learnt how to be deaf in a work place...

It may sound bizarre but I didn't know how to act, how proactive to be and what to say to people – there is a professional way to vocalise your disability and it took time for me to get to grips with it.

If I had gone straight into work, I dread to think where I might be now. I would have had to have done all my learning and all my growing up in the harsh, unforgiving land of the work place.

It actually makes me feel a bit nauseous just thinking about it.

Big Bro on the other hand, did all his growing up in the work place and his amazingly successful career so far is a testament to his hard work but also evidence that uni was not the right path for him.

So here's what I think…

In an ideal world, Uni selection should not just be about grades, it should be about passion and drive. About the right people getting in because it's what they really want.

If times really are changing then people need to stop using uni as an excuse to get drunk for 4 years and start looking at it as a job in itself – regardless of the career plan they choose to follow afterwards.

If they don’t already, universities need to ask questions like, why do you want to come this uni? Why are you right for this course, what are your expectations? How can you contribute?

They need to weed out the time-wasters in the same way that companies do during job interviews.

I am good at my job. I got a 2:1 at uni, and that was without attending more than 4 english literature lectures in the entire three years – I self taught from notes as I couldn’t hear in lectures at all.

But I got not great A-level results, which today would probably not even get me a look-in on any course I wanted to do.

But my uni gave me a chance. They called me in for an interview and asked me all the same questions I listed above. They saw beyond my crap A-levels, saw my passion, drive and determination and allowed me to excel.

And for that, I will be forever thankful.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

There was an old lady…

Today, I cannot stop yawning!

Sat here on the bus beside a little old lady, I'm worried I'm going to be snoring in minute.

Anyway, do you know this week I have apologised to a spider a total of five times?

Regular readers will know I have something of a wild front garden outside my house. Rainy weather sees me battling snails on the front gate and slugs on the pathway, and just when I'd got used to them, I was leaving my house on Monday morning and walked smack bang into the biggest spider’s web ever, stretched across my pathway. Seriously, this spider must be Tarzan in his spare time to bridge the gap over the crazy paving!

And what happened to the spider? Well I presume he was the blob on my face that I threw off while doing the manic dance that people only do when confronted with bugs.

The question now however is, is this spider so dumb that every day and every night he builds a new web across the pathway? Or is he so clever that this is him bearing a grudge for pillaging his palatial mansion the first time around?

Whatever it is, every morning and every night, without fail, he's there. And he's not little either! I believe the human term for legs like his are thunder thighs, and he has eight of them.

The question is, what am I going to do about him? At the moment I de-string one half of his web from the wisteria, which sends the other half flying into the bush with him left in the tangled web he's woven, and then I apologise to him politely and walk through.

I've tried commando crawling under the web, but that's not conducive to turning up at work looking like I actually give a damn. And short of exiting my flat via the window, there's really not much else I can do.

Anyone got any tips for spider relocation that doesn't include sending them to spider heaven? Should I get this old lady next to me to swallow a fly?

Suggestions on a postcard please!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

This 'not hearing' business is getting easier!

This morning I had a new patient appointment at my doctor’s surgery at 7.45am, so right now, I’m feeling a bit sleepy!

I’m rubbish at doctor’s appointments. I’ve got that syndrome where you get inside the room and when they ask you how you are, your reflex is to say fine, because it’s amazing how much better you feel when faced with the prospect of a diagnosis.

I remember when going for my surgery last year, checking with the anaesthetist numerous times whether this was really necessary and that I felt much better already. He then pointed out the vat of paracetamol I’d had through an IV drip and explained that most people would feel better after that, too.

Anyway, my nurse today had the most fabulous accent and a rich deep-sounding voice, which made understanding anything she said virtually impossible!
I explained I needed to lipread and she was brilliant. But honestly, I still had very little idea what she was saying. The vowel sounds were so prominent, I couldn’t make out a single consonant!

But all in all it went well, and hopefully the Crohn's will stay quiet enough that I won’t have to visit again for a while.

This week is the week before the week before Gym Buddy’s wedding so we’re squishing in as much gym as we possibly can to ensure she’s in tiptop shape for the occasion! Last night was Body Combat where I beat my imaginary person to a pulp, and today is Body Balance – and I have no idea what that is. But it’s held by Web Whizz’s favourite instructor, the Tasmanian Devil, so it should be fun!

It’s amazing how used to not hearing in classes I am getting, too. It’s frustrating, sure, but I don’t feel the need to give up as easily as I used to now, and instead just accept that I will eventually have a clue what is going on.

It’s very satisfying to have overcome this hurdle and I’m even tempted to try some other classes I’ve always wanted to do.

Would a French class be too ambitious? If I could find a ‘Learn to lipread French’ class to accompany it, then my life would be complete.

Au revoir!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Hi Honey, I'm back!

You know you’re having a busy time of it when there’s not even time for a Thankful Friday.

Phew, massive apologies to anyone who needs them for the appalling lack of blogs last week. With a deadline for Hearing Times and Superdrug looming, my day blog took the back seat a bit. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t off being Deafinitely Girly and gathering plenty of material for the cyber pages of my blog.

On Friday, I was actually very thankful as I took the day off to go and visit Picture Mate. She recently had a baby, and I had a fabulous day catching up with her over lunch, meeting her gorgeous giggly little boy and generally chilling out.

Then, on Friday night I headed to down to Uni Housemate’s place where she lives with The Man. The Man used to have a terribly boring blog name, so it’s been upgraded as of today! Anyway, the reason for the gathering, which also involved Onion Soup Mate, G, Tigger and Mrs Tigger, was that Uni Housemate has turned 30, so we decided to celebrate at an open air classical concert on Saturday evening.

On Saturday, we woke up and prayed that it wouldn’t rain. It rained, so we set off for the concert armed with waterproofs, hats, umbrellas and me with a rather fetching camping chair that was bright pink, circular and featured the most fabulous Orla Kiely-esque print on it. We drove through the flooded motorway with some reservations about what we might be about to experience. But then, as we arrived, the rain stops, the cloud cleared and the sunset warmed us as we ate our picnic, waved our flags and sang along badly to Rule Britannia.

Twas fabulous!

Then today, we went for a walk in Pompey, along the sea front I know so well from my days spent studying there. What I had never stumbled upon though, was the unofficial nudist beach that I accidentally walked through today. A sight for sore eyes on so many levels, and let’s just say, I suddenly found the pebbles directly in front of me far more interesting that the surrounding vista.

Turns out Deafinitely Girly is a prude!

And there’s just one other piece of fantastically wonderful news to report from the weekend, and that is that Penthouse Flatmate and her husband, Future Prime Minister, had a baby – their third one and a little brother for my fabulous goddaughter.

Proving that good things really do come at weekends.

Roll on the next one I say!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

A deaf girl in Paris

Phew! Am now on the planet to write a blog, after being slightly exhausted yesterday from my weekend in Paris...

But what a weekend it was!

It nearly didn’t happen though, after my Crohn's put in an impromptu Friday appearance, just before a lunch date. Three sips of soup later, I was trying to conceal my shakes.

But, after a consultation with my oldest friend, Dr SuperCathyFragileMystic, I decided that a holiday was just what I needed and, after promising Ma I'd be careful – turns out getting travel insurance with Crohn's is not that straight forward – I set off…

…in Premium Leisure class!

This meant I got a three-course meal and seemingly bottomless amounts of alcohol. The latter of which I couldn't have as I was feeling rotten, the former was a welcome sight after eating nothing that day.

And what of Paris?

Well, if I could lipread French better and afford to live in a little flat on The Seine, I would move there in an instant.

It's fabulous.

The Saturday was spent wandering the Musée d'Orsay, which is literally littered with fabulous and famous artwork. My favourites being the Degas Little Dancer sculpture and Van Gogh's self-portrait. Both of them had a vulnerability about them that was captivating.

Another interesting thing about the d'Orsay is that it used to be a station, so it was fun sitting in there, surrounded by paintings by all the great impressionists while imagining it was once the Parisian exit to Orleans.

Next, saw a trip to the Rodin museum. A magnificent house, where the artist himself lived and grounds that are adorned with his famous works – The Thinker, The Kiss, The Gates Of Hell.

But to get there however, we didn't walk. We cycled on the Parisian equivalent of the London Barclaycard bikes.

Luckily, French Cousin 2 is an accomplished Parisian cyclist so I just followed her, while silently hoping my European Health Card would cover me should I park myself under the wheels of a passing Renault.

And it turns out that cycling really is the best way to see Paris, and indeed the best way to get home at 2.30am after a party in the rain by the Seine!

On the Sunday, we took a boat trip down the canal from Parc de la Villette into the centre of the city. This involved five locks and a 2km tunnel under Paris. Interspersed with circular grills giving views of the sky, we motored down this secret highway by the gentle lamplight, marvelling at how creative the architect of this has been. When faced with the industrial unsightliness of the canal, he simply hid it, and built beautiful buildings on top.

Naturally, after seeing it from below, I wanted to see it from pavement level so we rented bikes and headed to the Place de la Bastille, a road junction that saw me wishing I had really had managed to take out travel insurance and letting out random yelps as I bounced over cobblestones, dodged buses and cars and kept a watchful eye on my excellent tour guide, French Cousin 2.

And all too soon it was time to return to London - on yesterday's 7am Eurostar... hence the lack of blog yesterday.

So now all that’s left to do, is plan the next trip…

Hurrah!

Friday, 6 August 2010

Covered in cobwebs

Today is Thankful Friday, and I am thankful that I have a long weekend ahead in Paris with French Cousins 2, 3 and 1, and Mustard Boy!

I haven't been to visit them all for far too long so am most excited. And the bonus is, I love Paris, too.

I am not thankful however, about the fact that, after making an effort to look nice today, I have now ended up looking like I've been dragged through a dusty broom cupboard backwards.

In a sense, I kind of have, in the form of the cellar in the old conversion I live in. This cellar actually belongs to my neighbour, but the electricity meters are down there, so today I had to brave it for the first time ever.

The first problem I met is that the staircase was designed for miniature people – think The Borrowers – and so, after navigation my way around two ladders, a lawn mower cable that was threatening to garrotte me, and a mysterious carrier bag, I began my descent... smack bang into a thick wall of cobwebs!

Sticky cobwebs.

I could even shake myself free as I was still stuck in the stairwell of minute proportions at that point.

Eventually, I reached the cellar and was confronted by the spaghetti junction of the electricity world. To find my meter was like following the lines reaching from Tony the Tiger to his bowl of cereal on a box of Frosties.

I then made the mistake of looking up, and found a housing estate of spiders above my head.

All in all, it was a traumatic experience!

This morning, sat on the bus, (probably still not cobweb free, probably with spiders in my hair... the thought of which was making me scratch my head quite a lot – proabaly the reason why the seat next door to me was vacant) I realised with sadness that my pristine look had gone out of the window.

So, I decided to work the shabby chic look instead...

Pssssst... One more thing – if you have a mo, check out my latest post for Superdrug, HERE!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Learning with my eyes

Today, I am having trouble writing this blog, because yesterday, while drying up a Starbucks mug in the kitchen at work, the handle came off and the jagged bit sliced open my hand right in the webbed bit between my thumb and index finger.

There was blood, and a few panicky tears, and lovely colleagues sorting out first aid and wondering aloud if it needed a stitch!

*Eek

But what amazed me was how doubly deaf I became when I was in pain. People were talking but it just wasn't registering with me. I mean, I kept saying no to my colleague, who it turned out was offering me chocolate, and since when have I turned chocolate down?!

Anyway, today, like yesterday, I am heading into town early. I have a lot on at the moment, and a Superdrug deadline that's tomorrow. I have a vague idea of what I am doing for it, but I have to juggle that with dance class tonight and various other fun things before I head to Paris tomorrow evening.

And speaking of dance class, I am a little bit apprehensive about it. I mean, the last time I went to a dance class, I left, 10 minutes in, gutted that I couldn't hear anything.

The time before that? Well, I was 13 and doing ballet...

...which was not a pretty sight!

But I am going to give tonight's class a go, and see if I can rely just on my eyes to learn the moves and not on my ears. I only hope we don't have the same instructors as we did for Body Combat (they were dry-humping each other), otherwise the person next to me may get quite a shock!!!!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Getting back to work

Today is Wednesday…

It feels like Monday, because it is my first day of work this week.

On Friday, I am going to Paris – the place where I mispronounce things like Versailles (think lots of LLLLLs) and eat lots of bad things.

Therefore it feels strange to be at work, when really I feel as though I will soon be on holiday.

That is why I got to work one hour early today, so that I can catch up on stuff and make sure I am on the ball when 9.30 rolls around.

And that is why today’s blog post is rather short, as I really had better get back to it.

*sniff

Subtitled Cinema: Daydreaming of a better deaf world

Sometimes, just sometimes, I allow myself the chance to daydream about all the things on my deaf wishlist coming true... It's a bit li...