Friday, 30 July 2010

Three times thankful

Today is Thankful Friday.

This weekend, The Rents are coming back from a month-long trip to the USA.

It is for this I am thankful for!

I have missed them.

And they also promised to bring me back some Peanut Butter M&Ms and some Combos…

Oh, and some Bush’s Baked Beans – the most divine thing on the planet!

For this, I am also thankful.

And, for obvious reasons, as a result of the above, I am thankful for my gym membership!

Have a great weekend peeps.

DG
x

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Lipreading mishap!

Yesterday, I was walking along the street when a man stopped me, clearly in a hurry, and said, ‘Phshf ghjdihg dhhghfidh?’

Or at least that’s what my ears heard and lips read.

I said pardon and this time I heard, ‘Do you know where Holyraw Road is please?’

‘Eeerrr, what?’ I said, with him looking at me like I was some kind of moron.

‘The. Hole. In. The. Wall,’ he said again, slowly this time, before adding, ‘Cash. Machine!’

And finally, I had a clue what he was on about. But it did make me laugh how ‘Hole in the wall’ can be lipread so differently.

Except I didn’t know where a cash machine was, so had to send him on his way, after wasting five minutes trying to get me to understand him – all for no reason.

*blush

I don’t know what it is, but people always seem to stop me for directions – even when I am in foreign country. My Pa is exactly the same, and as I look a bit like him, maybe we just have the kind of face that says, ‘Ask me the way, I know everything!’

Which clearly, as yesterday demonstrates, I don’t!

So now, I am going to work on pulling a face that says, ‘Don’t ask me the way, I don’t know anything…’

I will let you know how I get on.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Not hearing with hearing aids

Yay! It's the middle of the week and the sun is shining! What more could
I ask for?!

I had a brilliant evening with Fab Friend last night - regular readers will know she actually wears her hearing aids, and yesterday, she'd been to the audiology clinic to see about the new hearing aids she's been trying out.

Apparently, they transpose the pitch of high sounds into frequencies that you can hear. But it turns out, they may not be a great as first thought, and I really felt for her when she expressed her disappointment about this. But luckily, she does have a pair that do help. In fact, I think with them on, she actually hears more than me.

For me, realising that hearing aids don't help me was quite a painful process. It's hard not to place expectations on the aids. I mean, I'm shortsighted, and yet I spend every day with perfect vision. I think I, and many people forget that hearing aids don't achieve this - you don't get perfect hearing with them.

I remember the high expectations I had the first time I got digital aids, I was so excited. I was warned it would be different but that I should persevere through that. But even with (OK... mediocre) perseverence, I just could not see how my life was better with them in it. Everything was so loud... and this, made me fall over.

And I still stand by that. It's not so bad not hearing birds sing, babies cry and cats meow. With my hearing aids, I only get these as a white noise crackle anyway, and a cat emitting white noise is not a pleasant thing.

And if not hearing white noise in the place of high sounds means I'm saved from the unpleasantness of falling over at loud lower frequencies when my aids are in, then I'll take that over babies crying anyday.

Wouldn't you?

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Guess who's coming to dinner?

Last night I had the wierdest dream, I dreamt that I was juicing lemons, all night long!

Odd, don't you think?

The strangest part of this is that I don't even own a lemon juicer. Although the one in my dream was pretty nice - red and melamine! Two of my favourite things!

Anyway, today I am most excited because Fab Friend is coming to dinner! Her first visit since she moved to the Wild West erm... Country and her first visit to my flat this year - so she hasn't seen my sofa yet, or the spare room looking unbombsite-like.

I can't wait to hear how she's getting on in the Wild West erm... Country, as it's a place I love very much. In fact, a part of me always thought I might end up back there. And who knows, one day i just might.

Which reminds me, I must remember to ask Fab Friend how her search for Country Boy 3 is coming along!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Forgetting my Crohn's

Wow, another weekend over. But this time around, I actually managed to have a quiet one.

On Saturday, I saw Friend Who Knows Big Words. We had lunch at her flat and after lunch I fell asleep for an hour – charming behaviour from a guest, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Then yesterday, I spent the afternoon in Heathrow Terminal 5 with First Ever Friend and Swiss Boy 2. They had a wait between flights from Switzerland and Canada so we had some lunch and caught up and wondered if I could contort myself enough to fit in First Ever Friend’s hand luggage.

I’m not feeling brilliant at the moment though, as I think my Crohn’s might be back. All weekend I felt exhausted and not fabulous – hence the nap on Saturday afternoon – and all the usual symptoms are back. It’s so frustrating as I had almost recently forgot that I have this condition.

It was kind of like how I forget I am deaf. Except this one is a whole lot more inconvenient and worrying that being deaf.

And in a way, that’s good, as it puts my deafness in perspective.

I think frame of mind is important when dealing with Crohn’s so I’m going to continue to this positive thinking in the hope that I can chase these symptoms away…

Here’s hoping, eh?

Friday, 23 July 2010

Having a Thankful Friday

Today is Thankful Friday and I am mostly thankful for the amazing support and brilliant comments I got on yesterday's blog post.

For all those concerned that I am not going to fight the gym and try to change this stupid requirement that says I need a doctor's note for my deafness, don't worry. I am just picking the timing of my battle wisely.

It is hard sometimes to know which battle to fight though – especially when it comes to discrimination. I mean, you can't fight every little thing, but how do you know which ones to go to town on?

When I was at school, I had a chemistry teacher who had the deaf awareness of a tea cosy. He'd mumble through his beard, walk around the classroom with his back to me and then have the audacity to shake a box of plastic molecules by my ear to wake me up when I fell asleep. Should I school him? I thought. And in the end I decided to let him get on with it and teach myself instead, as it wasn't as though me hearing him was going to make me any better at chemistry. And I certainly had no plans to take chemistry beyond the compulsory GCSE.

Anyway, enough about that.

I am also thankful that this weekend is looking quiet – although after last weekend, that might be famous last words. However, for now, there are no early mornings in the pipeline or anything other than catching up with the fabulous Friend Who Knows Big Words and First Ever Friend. I am catching up with the latter at the airport as she's got a stopover between Switzerland and Canada and I can't wait!

Have a good one everyone!
DGx

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Fighting a losing battle?

Yesterday was a sad day for me, as it symbolised my surrender in a fight that quite simply was unwinnable at this moment in time.

Waiting for me on the doormat last night was a letter - and not just any old letter, but a letter from my audiologist informing my gym that despite being deaf, this does not make it any more likely that i will drop a dumbbell on my head any time soon.

And today, I will hand that letter in when I go for my induction.

However, this does not mean I have given up without a fight. It just means that I am not willing to risk being banned from the gym with just one month to go before Gym Buddy’s wedding. I will fight while exercising. And now I have the doctor’s note, I am actually quite tempted to drop a dumbbell on my head, just to prove that having a doctor’s note won’t actually prevent me from doing this.

Anyway, tonight I have a Legs Bums and Tums class, which is going to hurt, as my calf muscles still feel insanely sore from my Body Combat Class earlier in the week. But as the saying goes, there’s no gain without pain.

Harumph!

Let’s see what hurts the most tomorrow shall we…

My legs, bum, tum or head from dropping the dumbbell on it.

I shall let you know!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

I'm counting my blessings with weeds!

Last night I couldn't sleep.

Despite being exhausted by my Body Combat class, of which I heard absolutely nothing of – but apparrently according to Web Whizz that didn't matter as our intructor spent the whole time flirting with her colleague – no sleep came to me.

Rather disturbingly during my Body Combat class, I could see my instructor flirting with her colleague, and when the mock sex moves starting occurring, I swear I threw up a little in my mouth.

So anyway, where was I? Ah yes, not being able to sleep. I watched a little TV, read a little of my new Katie Fforde book and eventually played Scrabble on my iPhone, thrashing the computer rather satisfactorily.

I then read my phone messages, to remind me about the amazing people in my life. Two messages in particular stood out. One said, ‘Count your garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall.’ And the other said, 'Hold your head up high and watch your back' and it was on this note that I finally closed my eyes and slept a truely dreamless sleep.

And today? My head is held high, and I'm watching my back, and if Nutty Neighbour ever did any gardening, I would count the flowers – but for now, I’m counting weeds!!!!

Monday, 19 July 2010

When email beats phone calls... kinda

So, on Friday, I decided that I was going to have a quiet and relaxing weekend.

Ha!

However, while I didn’t have that. I did have an exceptionally fun weekend – that has left me in need of another to recover.

On Saturday, I successfully got my car MOT’d and serviced. I was nervous as I organised the whole thing by email and was convinced in the absence of a proper conversation something would go wrong.

And it kinda did in that the person I emailed neglected to tell me that the service centre had moved 2 miles up the road. But once the car was there and I realised I was in the middle of nowhere, on an industrial estate with no where to go, I settled down for the three-hour wait and thoroughly enjoyed the rare opportunity to plough through the latest book I am reading.

And it was all fine. Everything passed and for another year, I don’t have to worry. Even more importantly, next year I know that I can just do it all by email again! Hurray!

Saturday night saw me having a wonderful time at London Aunt’s with great wine, great food and great company and Sunday saw me having a great hangover!

Teehee!

But the show had to go on and it was Miss K’s birthday festivities – held early as she’s jetting off to New York this week on holiday.

It was brilliant to celebrate with her and when I think what she’s achieved in the last year, it makes me very proud to know her. She’s quite something!

And now I’m at Monday again – and guess what I’ve got to look forward to?

An fabulous evening of Body Combat with Gym Buddy and Web Whizz.

After finding out from Gym Buddy the other week that the whole class revolves around an imaginary fight – I had missed all this due to not being able to hear the instructor – I will allow my imagination to run riot and plan to throw myself into the class with gusto.

Just gotta find my muse now…

Friday, 16 July 2010

No longer relying on the phone…

Today is Thankful Friday and I am mostly thankful for feeling so I inspired by the Superdrug competiton again. I've had a lot of fun completing this week’s challenge, and you can see the results by clicking copying this link into your browser http://superdrugloves.com/summerlooks/! And if you like it, don't forget to click on 5 stars!

I am also thankful for the fabulously quiet weekend I've got ahead of me. After a week of madness, I need to do very little. The most I will be doing is freaking out about the bill for getting my car MOT’d and serviced...

Ouchy!

However, I was very impressed that I was able to book the whole thing by email – a first for me. In the past, NikNak always rang up my mechanic to book my car in and spoke to him during the day about any issues with the MOT etc. It was amazing of her to do this for me, but I am very happy that this time around, because I have moved areas and have a new garage, I can do it independently.

It's slow progress but I am beginning to notice things I can now do for myself without relying on people to make calls for me. From booking theatre tickets and tables in restaurants to selling shares and sorting out health problems, gradually the provisions are in place to allow me to text or email. I feel so much more in control of my life.

In that area anyway!

Have a great weekend everyone…

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Not watching The Silence

I despair of this weather! In spite of the fact I am wearing a fabulous new Bourjois bronzer sent to me by Superdrug as part of the Summer Blog competition I am once again taking part in, I DO NOT FEEL SUMMERY!

In fact, I have broken out the winter boots and tights, as I just could not face getting soggy feet on the way to work this morning. So, while I was skipping through the puddles with my toasty dry feet, people were sloshing behind me in flip flops…

Anyway, if you haven’t been aware of the media interest in the latest thriller on the BBC, The Silence, you obviously need to read more papers. This four-part drama surrounding the aftermath of a girl witnessing a murder, who also happens to have had a cochlear implant and is dealing with the issues surround that as well as being intimidated by crooked cops (did I miss anything out?) has been slated and rated by pretty much everyone since it began on Monday.

And, honestly, I am not about to join them, because yesterday I did a very weird thing. I deleted it, unwatched, from my digibox hard drive.

I KNOW!!!!!!

I have no idea why I did this…

It may have been to do with the fact that I caught about 15 minutes of it yesterday – where the dad is running up the lane and the main character, Amelia, has just run off to Bristol on a bus. I sat there watching and then it hit me why I wasn’t enjoying it – everything was so out of focus! I mean, the girl was in focus but the entire background was out of focus. Now there may be some clever visual link between this and the isolation that Amelia feels from the outside world, but it made me feel motion sick and a little bit blind.

Did anyone else find this?

I lasted 15 minutes and then, in a fit of impulsiveness, deleted the whole lot. So now I can’t even make an informed decision on whether or not I like it!

Whoops!

Never mind, I thought, I can always watch it on iPlayer…

…except I can’t as for some reason, it’s not subtitled!

The irony of this makes me feel almost as sick as the out of focus camera work.

And that is all!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Dear Top Gear, your subtitles are RUBBISH!

Dear Top Gear,

Thank you, no really, THANK YOU for your consistency in cocking up the subtitles that accompany your show, series after series.

OK, so I know they’re not actually typed by Top Gear peeps – much as I’d love Jeremy Clarkson to subtitle his own show, but I think it's about time the Beeb had a word with the people who do, because they are rubbish.

I know this because last night, while watching a recording of Sunday's show, right in the middle of Baracello's interview, the subtitles jumped so far ahead that I found out his lap time practically before he'd crossed the finish line.

Arghhhh!

I turned the subtitles off, I turned them on, I restarted the programme, and I swore, but nothing worked, which was frustrating as it rendered the rest of the programme useless. I was just about to delete it, when I instead decided to let it run, and read a magazine while keeping one eye on the subtitles to see if they would eventually even out. And they did – but not until a whole section on a Muscle Car had passed, and an interview with Rupert Grint.

What gets me is how consistently terrible Top Gear’s subtitles are – there are enough blog posts here as evidence to this – and half the time I don’t even bother to comment as I know I won’t be able to type anything polite.

In fact, I can barely remember an episode where the subtitles didn't get stuffed up.

It's not good enough. It's not why I pay my TV licence.

Sort it out guys... preferably by next week, yeah?!

Yours stroppily
DG

Monday, 12 July 2010

my mishearing mishap

Hurrah! What a good weekend I had! I certainly didn't want it to end.

On Friday, I had an amazing picnic with NikNak in my local park – we gorged ourselves on every kind of picnic food imaginable and had a fabulous catch up.

Then, on Saturday, it was Gym Buddy's hen do!

We started out with a tasty tea at the Soho Hotel, went back to hers for Pimms and pizza and then headed back out to a bar called Circus.

There were about 10 people I had never met before, which was erm... all of them, and by the time we were in Circus Bar, the chance still hadn't arisen to tell any of them I couldn't hear...

While I seemed to be doing OK, I thought, during a quiet moment, I should check with Gym Buddy and let her know that if anyone commented on me being rude or doing something odd, she should let them know about my deafness.

She then started to laugh and said it had already happened!! Apparently, when we were all getting ready, one of her bridesmaids came to me and asked her to zip her up, which I did, before going back to my make-up. Except, she didn't ask me to zip her up, she asked me to unzip her...

*blush

This meant she had to go all the way downstairs to find someone else to do this for her, while wondering what the heck I had been playing at! Gym Buddy did tell her I couldn’t hear after that, but ironically, she didn’t hear her say this!

The poor girl must have thought I was mental – or just obtuse!

Once in Guanabara – a Brazilian club in Covent Garden, I also chickened out of talking to anyone full stop as the music was so loud, I could barely hear myself talk, let alone anyone else. But it was fabulous – especially the live drumming, as this was right in my frequency and I almost fell off the bench I was dancing on several times such was my enthusiasm!

And today? Well, I am one of those people the RNID tweet about regularly, who has damaged their hearing through loud music. Everything is muter than ever – the radio is a tinny hum and I’ve said pardon more times today than I’ve breathed!

Lesson learned – ear plugs will be at the ready next time.

Those, and some flat shoes – not sure what suffered more at the weekend, my feet or my ears!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Roll on the weekend!

Today is Thankful Friday, except I am not very thankful because last night I came into my kitchen to find it was raining, through the light fitting.

Eek!

To top it all off, it wasn't content with just leaking through a live electrical fitting, it also decided to come through in four other places - two of those in my bedroom.

Argh!

Not overjoyed by this but aware my neighbour was lending his flat to some friends, I went upstairs and told them about the leak. I really did try not to raise my voice and sound cross, but I was cross, so I may have failed slightly at that task.

Ho-hum...

So now I just have to hope my pleas of 'do not use the shower and please fix this leak' are adhered to on the hottest sweatiest day of the year, so I don't come home to find my ceiling down round about my ankles tonight!!

But on happier notes, I am muchly excited about the fun weekend I have ahead. NikNak is coming over for a picnc and gossip tonight and tomorrow is Gym Buddy's hen do! Whoop!

We went to the gym last night for a Legs Bums and Tums class with Web Whizz, and it was ace. Painful but excellent!

Naturally I didn't hear a word the instructor said, but I coped by copying others, which only worked if they were getting it right, which honestly was not very often!

Hopefully next week, it will all seem more familiar as I am trying not to cry with the pain as she puts us through the torturous routine – and I do this for fun don’t you know.

Lastly, I am thankful that I will also get to see Whiskey Cousin and her ma, Ha-ha-Aunt. They are coming up to watch a concert in town so I will meet them for a catch up beforehand and then go and join GBman and the Singing Swede for the football match that is the World Cup Final.

Family loyalties mean I am supporting Holland. This apparently is of no relevance to Paul the psychic Octopus who has selected Spain as the winner.

Bother!

But then, I heard that Mani the psychic parakeet has selected Holland…

So maybe there is some hope after all!

Have a great weekend everyone…

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Watching the Jonas Miserables

On Tuesday night, I took Friend Who Knows Big Words to see Les Miserables for her 30th birthday and one the whole, it was brilliant.

Friend Who Knows Big Words is also a friend who reads big books and naturally she has read Les Miserables – unlike the entire rest of the audience – so was intrigued to see how true it was to the storyline. And it turns out, she was impressed – although at the interval she said that at this point, the book only had about 300 pages of the 1,500+ left to go and thought it was the end!

Regular readers will know that due to the fact that there wasn’t a subtitled performance until later on in the year, the lovely theatre peeps gave me a discount on the premium tickets so we could sit near enough that I could lipread a little, so there we were, three rows from the front, bang in the middle. And actually, while this was excellent for lipreading, I did get a bit of a crick in my neck after a while, as we were so close I was looking up a lot of the time.

What FWKBW and I hadn’t bargained on was there being a teenage heartthrob in the cast though – none other than erm… someone called Nick Jonas, who is apparently very famous and very popular with the ladies. I only know about him as one of my Superdrug mates, Holly, loves this Jonas and his brothers and wrote about them quite a lot last summer.

Anyway, this meant that over 50% of the audience was made up of teenage girls, all eager to get a glimpse of their idol – there was one at the front who spent the entire show gripping the orchestra pit barrier in anticipation, and when Mr Jonas made his first appearance on stage, the girl to our left, leapt out of seat and was on the cusp of screaming until she caught the daggered looks from FWKBW and me, and thought better of it.

So what of the performance? Well, having seen Les Mis quite a few times – people always seem to want to go with me, wonder if it’s the cheap tickets?! – it was good…

But it wasn’t excellent.

It’s not that I can fault Mr Jonas specifically, but I just didn’t find him very believable as the character of Marius – perhaps because I was aware that everyone around me was giving off lust hormones for Nick Jonas and not Marius so therefore it was hard to get into the swing of things.

But the important thing was, especially as it was her birthday present, was that FWKBW didn’t even know who Nick Jonas was, so she was blissfully engrossed in the story, filling me in on things in the book that weren’t mentioned or were just touched on briefly, and humouring my little cry when good old Valjean pegs it at the end.

But actually, it was the end that also had me crawling under my seat with embarrassment because by then the girl to our left could hardly contain herself and when Mr Jonas took to the stage to bow, she left her seat in one swift move and screamed at a frequency that thankfully I couldn’t hear. But what I could hear, through the wild applause was FWKBW declare loudly, ‘Oh my god, shoot her now!’ in reference to the mad screaming Jonas fan.

At this point I also kinda felt sorry for the other cast members, who let’s face it, do exactly the same job as Mr Jonas, only better, and none of them have girls hyperventilating over them on a nightly basis.

All-in-all, I think I’ve reached the conclusion, that should I go and see it again – and you can guarantee I will as one of my friends will want to go on the cheap – I will make sure there are absolutely NO celebrities in it.

Just hard-working West End stars…

Maybe that way, I will actually get to focus on the performance rather than try and block out the barrage of teenage hormones that will inevitable invade the auditorium.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Not hearing my gym class

So, I’m in a slightly happier mood today – although quite unable to move after going to a Body Combat class with Gym Buddy!

It was great fun though as well as being incredibly hard work.

At the end of the class Gym Buddy was talking about how weird it was imagining she was beating someone up.

‘Why were you doing that?’ I asked.

Anyway, it turns out the instructor spent the entire class yelling things like , 'Bring their head to your knee!' and 'Smash them with your fist!' and each section of the class was an imaginary fight with someone!

I honestly had no clue that all that was going on. It took all the visual ability I have to follow the moves, and I just thought how each move was tackling problem areas. So during a knee lift and back kick, I was thinking, 'Tight butt, shapely thighs', while poor Gym Buddy was thinking, 'Kill, kill, kill!'

For once, I was actually quite happy not to hear it!

Our next class is Legs Bums and Tums so hopefully I won't need my hearing too much for that because and as far as I know it's not Legs Bums and Tums Combat so we won't be beating up imaginary people in the process!

Oh, and this doesn't mean the gym has given up on the whole doctor's note debacle either! At the moment I am getting around it by just going to classes and not having an induction! MADNESS!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Who has more fun? Deaf, or hearing people?!

Today I woke up at grumpy o'clock!

Honestly, I'm not enjoying being deaf at the moment, which is silly because it's not like I have any other option is it?

As part of my work for Superdrug, I've been set the challenge of writing a blog about who has more fun, blondes or brunettes.

If I'm honest, much as I love writing for Superdrug, this challenge has not left me feeling inspired. I mean, aren't we each responsible for making our own fun? And what about ginger people?!

Such a shame I can't apply this attitude to how I am feeling right now.

For example, pondering the blonde/brunette question led me to ask one of my own: who has more fun? Deaf or hearing people?

No wait, let's get even more specific. Who has more fun? Deaf me, or the hearing people I know?

The sensible part of me, the same part that's willing me to enter into the spirit of the Superdrug challenge and just get on with it, is currently chiding the self-pitying part of me for being so ridiculous.

But let's look at the evidence…

I’m in a bar with a group of girly mates and a selection of guys come and chat to us. Soon my friends are all deep in conversation with their men while I am left frantically trying to stop the guy focussing on me from screaming down my broken ear.

When I've finally achieved this, he's lost interest because to my right there's a girl whose ear he can scream down.

So it's 15/Love to the hearing people.

Recently, I went out to dinner with a group of all couples – who were all absolutely lovely. The weather was amazing, so we sat in the garden. I tried to follow group conversation but in the darkness it was hard to lipread, so I inevitably started chatting to the guy on left of me, as hearing him was no problem. He was also very interesting and had some helpful advice for me regarding several ideas I have in the pipeline.

It was only when someone passed comment on the fact we'd been chatting for a long time that I realised that chatting to someone all night because they're the only person you can hear is not what other people see – this worried me. What had they seen? Had I upset anyone?

So it's 30/15 to the hearing people.

Then there's the minefield that is telephone calls. Regardless of what people say, this is still the way to build relationships, catch up and erm… have fun.

40/15

Add to this an advantage point of being more attractive to potential employers and not needing a doctor's note to join a gym (the DDA holds no fear to some) and there's only one more move to win the game...

So what's the winning serve?

I think that’s the fact that I'm sat here feeling sorry for myself.

You see, while I'm doing that, hearing people are having more fun, and quite a few deaf people probably are, too.

What I’ve got to do is utilise what I've learnt, rather than beat myself up during the painful learning process.

I've got to accept I will never meet guys in bars – but then I don't know many meaningful relationships that have begun in one. I now know not to monopolise the company of one person just because I can hear them, as other people judge, and I've got to accept that life isn't always fun.

Life is a challenge. Guess I'd better get on with current Superdrug one then.

Wish me luck!

Friday, 2 July 2010

My Ross-from-Friends moment

Today is Thankful Friday.

I am thankful that my experimental peanut butter and honey chicken stir-fry didn’t poison Gym Buddy last night when she came for dinner, and that we are both alive and well at work today in spite of me entering a bus lane facing the wrong way when I was driving her home last night. At least she no longer fears death after that particular car journey!

I am also thankful that I have a relatively quiet weekend ahead – it’s London Aunt’s wedding anniversary on Sunday, so we’re going for lunch for that, and I am meeting Friend Who Knows Big Words for a lunchtime gossip on Saturday. But apart from that I will just be doing as much exercise as I can.

The reason for this is I have become a little rounded at the edges of late.

After the slimming effects of a nasty bout of Crohn’s last year, I have managed to regain all the weight I lost and add a little bit more for good measure, and it’s had a disastrous effect on the fitting of my clothes!

The other night, while walking home from work, I stopped off to use a public loo. I was hot from the walking and as I tried to pull my jeans up, I had a Ross from Friends moment. You know the scene where he wears leather pants on a date and can’t get them back up in the bathroom?

Well that was me. Stuck in a central London toilet wondering how the heck to get my jeans up in the confines of a small cubical.

In the end I did a kind of Hips Don’t Lie move and the jeans were up – but it was a moment I do not want to repeat…

*blush

So, yes, a weekend of exercise for me it is then.

And, if you see me running around the park with my egg timer this weekend, be sure to stop and say hellooooooo!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Re-evaluating deaf awareness

Yay! Almost the weekend!

So, the private view was great fun last night, and only one person asked about my love life! Perhaps they've come to realize there's no longer anything to tell!!

Anyway, last night, as I was dozing in bed, I caught the late-night repeat of the BBC2 programme Are You Having A Laugh: TV and Disability.

All about how disabled people had been displayed on TV over the years, it included input from both disabled and non-disabled people and, although a little clich├ęd at times, it really did make me realise that, even though things are far from perfect now, they're a hell of a lot better than they were.

But perhaps what I gleaned from the programme was the importance of tolerance, from both sides. As the award-winning producer of The Office, Ash Atalla said, ‘When people ask me to step over here or take a walk with them, I don't make a big deal of it as that would make me the idiot.’*

And then someone who was perhaps Dom Joly or at least looked like Dom Joly (the subtitles covered his name so I don't know exactly who he was) said something along the lines of, ‘If only disabled people are allowed to make jokes about disabilities, then they shouldn't be allowed to make jokes about us "normals".’

Teehee!

But anyway, as I was saying, what I am learning this week, especially as it's Deaf Awareness Week – and not all the writing on the internet about it is good, I should point out – is the importance of tolerance on both sides of the fence.

No one is ever going to get it completely right. The dos and don'ts of interacting with anyone, whether they're deaf, blind, in a wheelchair, have any kind of disability or are just a ‘normal’ should never be assumed as the only way to do something.

In addition to their disability, that person might be painfully shy and dislike eye contact, or one-to-one interaction, or having allowances made for them.

And no matter how many guidelines are drawn up, we're never going to get it just right for everyone.

So perhaps what's more important is to raise awareness of this. So people are less afraid of causing offence when they chat to a deaf person or of helping a blind person struggling to cross the road. After all, at least they could be bothered to make the effort.

I’m certainly going to give this tolerance a go next time someone actually makes an effort with my deafness, no matter how annoying it is. Because if I react negatively to their help of tapping me on the shoulder, turning the TV up even though this is actually painful for me, or speaking so slowly I’ve forgotten what they were talking about by the time they finish their sentence, they may be afraid to do that for the next deaf person they meet, and that might be just the help that deaf person needs.

Don't get me wrong though, that doesn't mean I'm not going to make my needs known, and I've always done that within my social group. But is there really any point in schooling a complete stranger who you might never meet again when all we're really talking about is personal preference?

It’s all amazing food for thought, really. And no matter what bad – or good – press there is on Deaf Awareness Week right now, if it’s got me thinking I should be more tolerant and less gung-ho when people get it wrong, then that can only be a good thing!


*I think this is what he said but the subtitles were gone before I could grab a pen!