Monday 18 June 2012

Deafinitely Girly does DIY

This weekend was a very successful one in the world of DIY in my little flat. 

You see, really, I love DIY – although it doesn't always love me – and since buying a hammer drill on special offer in Robert Dyas earlier this year, I've been constantly on the look out for new holes to drill in my little flat.

So when French Boy gave me some rather fabulous wooden wine boxes from his work, I decided it was time for the drill to come out.

I've had the idea of using wine boxes of shelving for some time – perhaps it's my love of Anthropology's shop set up in Regent Street that inspired me, or just that I've got a lot of junk and junk needs storage.

And here it is, the finished product, up on the wall and looking great – although it's enough to give a spirit level a heart attack, but we shall not talk about that.

 Obviously, once I had done this project, I got brave and put up two mirrors and three pictures, all using my amazing drill. I then spent the whole of yesterday anticipating a massive crash from one of the rooms but nothing happened.

And this morning, it was all still there, hanging on the walls as I had created it on Saturday.

Deafinitely Girly does DIY very successfully it seems.

On to the next project, which I think will involve my bathroom and some rather bright paint.

I'll keep you posted peeps.


Friday 15 June 2012

Thankful Friday is here!

Today is Thankful Friday and unfortunately I may have to start with what I'm not thankful for… and that is that I'm writing this from the bus this morning with a rather soggy sleeve. 

You see, there I was walking down my road for the bus when I felt a thud on my right arm.

It was pigeon crap!

Naturally I wasn't overly thrilled at my All Saints (TK Maxx bargain) mac being covered in crap and for a moment I stood stock still, starting at the gooey gunk on my sleeve.

'What to do?' I thought, already 5 minutes from home and not wanting to add time by going back to change.

And then I remembered I had a bottle of water in my bag. So there, in the road, I tipped it over my arm, using a Robert Dyas receipt to scrape off the excess and trying not to retch at the thought of what I was actually doing.


Naturally this impromptu washing attempt of my sleeve drew some stares. A man had actually stopped to watch what I was doing.

'Pigeon crap' I explained, and he nodded in sympathy before wandering on.

Eventually after much water sloshing, some of which went down my jeans and boots, my jacket was clean, with a little bit of a blue tinge from the ink of the Robert Dyas receipt. But I can cope with that… I think. 

I just can't cope with pigeon crap.

I guess what I should be thankful for though is that it crapped on my sleeve, not in my hair, and that I actually had a bottle of water in my bag.

And that, coupled with a fabulous weekend in London planned,  makes for a very Thankful Friday indeed.

Have a good one peeps.


Thursday 14 June 2012

Not trying to hear

With the possibility of a gorgeous but bias-cut, no-room-for-flaws bridesmaid dress from Ghost being worn at a wedding in September, I decided to get back into some sort of gym routine this week starting yesterday.

I thought I'd break myself in gently with a class called Will Power & Grace. 

Instead, I've just broken myself.

I almost flick-flacked down the stairs of the bus this morning as bending my legs is almost an impossibility. Instead I grasped the handrails and slid down them with my feet out so I didn't have to walk at all – much to the amusement of the other passengers.

And walking, don't even get me started on my attempts at that. I look like a newborn foal, in heels. This morning, I had to jog for the bus and anyone who could lipread would have seen me going 'Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow.'

However, the class was excellent – kind of a stretchy, muscle-building yoga/Pilates fusion from what I could gather.

I've always avoided these kind of classes in the past as I cannot hear the instructor, and lip reading from the downward dog pose is not a possibility.

However, yesterday I decided that if I really wanted to succeed and look good at this September wedding then the answer would be not to try and hear and just go with the class using visual clues.

And guess what? It worked. I blocked out the faint, and unintelligible, sound of the instructor's voice and just focused on what I could see. OK, so I might not have been breathing correctly all the time, and in one insane pose, my arms were in the wrong place but the instructor came and corrected me on it – causing me to promptly fall over – and that very brief, but one-to-one instruction boosted my confidence enormously.

Going into things not trying to hear is a new thing for me. In the past, I've always strived and struggled to get as much as I can from situations aurally. But sometimes it's easier just to close down that sense and let the others take over.

When I didn't try to hear yesterday, I got more out of the class than I ever have done – it was amazing how much more I took in visually.

I can't wait for the next class.

Actually scrap that...

I can't wait until I can move enough to be able to do the next class!

Wednesday 13 June 2012

My house is a deaf-safe fortress

So yesterday I picked up my new Wi-Safe alarm from my local Tesco store thanks to the Click and Collect service offered on the website.

It was the cheapest I could find online especially as I didn't have to pay a delivery charge.

On getting it home I duly opened it and inserted the battery. The red light flashed. So far, so good.

I tested it. Nothing else flashed in my flat. So far, not good.

Rummaging in my filing cabinet, I hunted for the original instructions to the Wi-safe flasher and vibrating pad the fireman had given me two years ago and eventually I located them.

And it was then I discovered I had to get the two talking to each other.

'You will need two people to configure your alarm and flashing light,' the instructions said.

'Oh well,' I thought, it's a challenge and began.

And actually it is possible to do it with one person, but I can recommend a step ladder and umbrella to make it easier when you're running at speed to test the alarm while the flashing thing is blinking a special sequence of lights...

Eventually though, after much running, umbrella thwacking and alarm beeping, I got it up and running. The strobes flash, the pads vibrate, my home is like a disco. A very bad, and slightly odd, disco.

Last night I slept like a log.

Alarm clock and fire alarm fixed, I was safe in the knowledge that I've done everything in my power to keep me alerted to things.

Coupled with the rubber mallet I 'store' under my bed, my house is a fortress. A strobe-lit flashing, vibrating fortress.


Monday 11 June 2012

Not hearing my fire alarm

Yesterday, after getting back from an amazing weekend of bridesmaid dress shopping and hen weekend planning with SuperCathyFragileMystic and AC, I decided to try and sort my flat out a bit – after the madness of last week, general chores had fallen by the wayside.

I did things like window cleaning, hoovering the top of the door frames and testing my smoke alarm...

Now regular readers will know that the London Fire Brigade fitted my smoke alarm after I emailed them about my deafness. It's a snazzy wireless set-up that sees strobes and vibrating pads going nuts should they get the signal.

Thankfully in the 2 years since I've had it, they haven't needed to go nuts. But yesterday I dutifully hoovered it and tested it.


Well nothing visual anyway.

I took it down off the ceiling to see if it was the battery. It has a 10-year non-replaceable battery.

I got the instructions to see what it could be. All the warning signs that it's going wrong are apparently audible. So it could have been pipping its dying final notes with me completely unaware.

I coaxed it, I pressed its buttons, I put it up, I took it down, all while balancing precariously on a ladder that I don't have the greatest track record with.

I got neck ache from staring upwards willing the red light to flash. I gave it five minutes. Heck, I even considered holding a smoking match underneath it, but still nothing. Not a peep, not a flash, not a thunder of the vibrating pad. Nothing.

Worryingly, I'm not sure how long it's not been working for. And I'm not sure if it's still working as a regular beepy fire alarm while just not speaking to it's wi-fi counterparts.

For all I know, during yesterday's tests, it could have been beeping away loudly as my neighbour stuck pins in a Voodoo form of me downstairs.

What I do know is that when it comes to fire, is that I'm not taking any risks. So this morning I'm ordering another alarm –same model but with batteries so I have more things to check when it stops working instead of just looking at a sealed unit wondering what on earth to do.

Oddly, as if in sympathy, this morning my vibrating alarm clock failed to vibrate. Having only just changed the batteries in this one, I'm a bit confused as to what's caused its demise. But tonight, armed with a screwdriver (and a hammer for good measure), I'm going to investigate.

It's at times like these that I really notice my deafness. Really feel more vulnerable in my home and day-to-day life. The things I take for granted to help me wake up on time for work and save my life in a fire are crucial to my piece of mind. And when they stop working, I can't just pop to Argos and invest in a £5.99 value model. I need to order online, fork out money – I don't think it's fair to ask the fire brigade for a second free one – and wait for it to turn up.

I need to spend the next however many nights before the smoke alarm arrives hoping that my neighbour's excessive hallway hoarding doesn't cause a fire. And I need to keep my fingers crossed that my iPhone's vibrating alarm is enough to shake me from my exhausted slumber in time for my day job.

The other day I tweeted that if I had hearing for 24 hours I'd record a song safe in the knowledge that I knew how well or badly I was singing. But actually what I think I'd do is appreciate the little things in life. I'd go to bed, knowing that my £5.99 smoke alarm would beep me awake if need be, I'd lay peacefully in bed in the knowledge that whatever alarm clock I had would wake me and if anything broke it would be cheap to fix.

In the meantime, I'm off to do some internet shopping for some new vibrating, flashing things.

Man, that sounds far more exciting that it actually is, doesn't it peeps.

Have a lovely day.


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