Thursday, 22 December 2011
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Monday, 19 December 2011
Friday, 16 December 2011
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Monday, 12 December 2011
Monday, 5 December 2011
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Monday, 21 November 2011
Friday, 18 November 2011
I've been rather busy you see with my day job, with seeing Roxette in concert, with getting my Christmas copy into Hearing Times and reading books on my Kindle, and this means I've forgotten to blog.
However, I do have lots of things to be thankful for today, and one of the best is that SouperLouper is coming to stay this weekend. I'm so looking forward to seeing her – it's been 5 months – and we're going to explore the city on Boris bikes and take in an evening of opera.
I'm especially excited about the opera, which I have decided is definitely the most accessible form of entertainment out there for deaf people like me, as it's almost always subtitled! Recently, I went to see an opera about the holocaust, and while the music was not really my cup of tea, it was marvellous to know what was going on. The only time I got lost was when I fell asleep – much to Jenny M's embarrassment.
I sometimes to marvel at my ability to fall asleep in the most unlikely places. It seems whenever there is loud ongoing noise, I want to sleep. I once fell asleep in the nightclub Bungalow 8 while being chatted up by a Spaniard, and then there was the time I actually kipped right through a Tangerine Dream concert.
To be fair though, apart from Pa – who was loving the whole electronic spectacle complete with a projection of the silent movie Dante's Inferno – I think a lot of the people at that Tangerine Dream concert would have loved to have my ability to sleep in noisy places...
So tomorrow, I am going to do everything possible not to fall asleep. I am going to take sugary sweets to give me a boost, a drink of water to keep me hydrated and matchsticks for my eyelids.
I will be cultured...
I will be cultured...
I will be cultured...
Have a lovely weekend peeps.
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Monday, 7 November 2011
Thursday, 27 October 2011
Striding down my road – in the dark – it suddenly occurred to me that it was rather quiet… and dark, and sure enough the time was a good enough explanation for this.
To celebrate my stupidity, I treated myself to a cheese and Marmite panini in Starbucks and read my book. And now, I actually feel rested as I start my working day.
This week has been one of barely suppressed excitement, because next week I am going on holiday – and before any burglars get any ideas, I have a housesitter, a very marvellous one indeed.
In preparation for my holiday, which includes a long-haul flight, I emailed the airline – British Airways – to ask them about what provisions they made for deaf people with regards to in-flight entertainment.
I asked this because there is nothing worse than having a whole load of movies at your fingertips and not being able to watch them. And I know this because a few years ago, when flying to Istanbul, I watched a whole movie with the language channel on French and didn't notice.
So anyway, their customer services team got back to me incredibly quickly and informed me that the flight I was going on was a shared service with American Airlines. She also told me that American Airlines have plug sockets – even in economy – so, as long as I bring an adaptor, I can take a portable DVD player with me and watch subtitled movies to my heart's content!
How about that?
I was also told that there has been a note added to my booking so that the crew will know that I can't hear.
I know that offering a plug socket is not the same as offering accessible in-flight entertainment, but it's a start, isn't it?
But what I want to know, is why there isn't an accessible entertainment system available on planes. SouperLouper got in touch and told me that on a recent Malaysian Airline flight she took, all the films had English subtitles. And the few times I've flown with Turkish Airlines, there's always been some subtitled movies, too. But English-speaking airlines just don't seem to offer this.
Indeed, a guest blogger and Twitter mate, Caroline O'Neil also looked into this issue, and her experience can be found here.
Rather alarmingly, what she discovered was that air travel is exempt from the Equality Act 2010.
How the heck does that make sense?
A quick google reveals that Emirates is also now offering captioned films, so hopefully other airlines will soon follow. But in the meantime, I think the only solution is to travel on non-English speaking airlines. At least that way, SOMETHING will be subtitled other than the in-flight safety video, because as Caroline said in her post, watching that 109 times is not anyone's idea of fun!
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
However, if you get my blog via a feedthingy, could you please let me know that you've got this so that I can stop stressing out about why I hardly get any hits on my blog at the mo and start blogging again.
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
This week I have praise for O2!
I know, I was shocked to be writing that sentence, too, but after yet another hideous iPhone bill due to my ability to go over the 500 free text messages included in my plan, I decided enough was enough.
I had a look online at the upgrade/downgrade options and got completely confused before emailing O2 for advice. Somehow my email must have gone twice as one person contacted me and said pop into a store to discuss things, and the other person, despite my email explaining my deafness, suggested I call customer services.
So on Saturday I went to a central London O2 store and the god-of-reducing-your-phone-bill gave me Sam!
Now, I'm pretty sure my love for Sam is not mutual as I asked more questions in the 30 minutes I was there than he probably gets in a week, but he answered them all with charm and grace.
I explained to him my bill issue, and he saw it with his own shocked eyes when he called my details up. I then explained to him the 'dropping my phone down the loo' issue and that although I'm due an upgrade, my phone is not yet a year old so it would be a sheer indulgence to get another one – particularly having paid a £150 insurance excess on my first one.
Anyway, back to Sam. He was brilliant! He recommended I move to a rolling sim-only contract for just £10.50 with a data bolt on of £10 and the best thing? I get unlimited texts. I lamented about the lack of unlimited data but he showed me that this was something I actually didn't need and that if it was readily available to all O2 customers then everyone's network speed would be slower.
He also explained to me that as I am on a rolling contract, I can upgrade my phone any time to a shiny iPhone 4S but that this buys me some time to wear this phone out and for the newer model to go down in price.
I also cancelled my insurance (saving me another £15) because if I lose this phone, it will be cheaper to just upgrade than pay another £150 excess.
In all, the lovely Sam managed to shave £50 off my phone bill and while this isn't great news for O2 in terms of income in the short term, in the long term it has dramatically reduced the chances of me changing mobile providers.
What was even better was that Sam, noticing how slow my iPhone was showed me that if you double click the bottom button it brings up a base bar of all the apps that are open. I did not know about this. And that meant that my phone had all its apps open all the time – and had done for the last year.
I left that O2 shop very, very happy. Happy that the stress of the expense of my iPhone bill had been dramatically reduced. Happy that my faith in O2 had once again been restored, and happy that when I do decide to upgrade and get a calling plan to suit me, I know just the man to ask
Thanks O2. You did good!
Thursday, 20 October 2011
Today, as I travelled through the crisp and bright London streets on my bus, I closed my eyes and conjured up memories from my past.
Memories that were formed in places that I pass by every day, but rarely stop to think about.
On my bus journey to work, there are many. And today, all the memories I'm seeing a specific to my fabulous London family. The first burger I had during a summer work placement in London at 15; the time we went rollerblading in Hyde Park and I 'accidentally' crashed into a gorgeous man; the dinner party behind Selfridges where we sat on upturned bins, and the tree planting there, too.
Thanks to my photographic memory, my eyes can put the people who are missing from the memory back in. My aural memory conjures up their laugh, and in a flash I can see a moment between us all, captured in time.
Back then, I took all that for granted. Now I don't. The memories you make today should last forever. More than 2,566 days have past since my last memory was made of my complete London family. Treasure your memories and keep them safe, because one day that is all you will have. And for me, these memories are what will keep me going today.
It's Deaf Awareness Week this week - it officially started yesterday but it was a Bank Holiday and I was having a largely tech-free day ...
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...
Regular readers and my followers on Twitter will know that recently I've been talking a lot about the lack of subtitled showings availab...