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!

Deaf Girly and subitled Mamma Mia: Here we go again

Regular readers and my followers on Twitter will know that recently I've been talking a lot about the lack of subtitled showings availab...