Friday 31 May 2013

Deaf Girly's thankful Friday

Today is Thankful Friday.

My word, that came around quickly.

And today I'm thankful that it's not raining. Because no rain means I can finally wear my curtain coat that Ma made for me last weekend. 

I am sat on the bus right now wearing curtains... as a coat. Eat your heart out Maria Von Trapp.

I am extremely thankful for my talented Ma.

I am also sat on the bus with a huge wedge of Brie in my handbag. A Mulberry with Brie in. Purposefully done so that no one will hopefully suspect the pungent smell of rot will be coming from my bag. 

It. Is. Bad!

So bad in fact, that the woman next to me on the bus is the third person to attempt to sit by me.

One by one they've sat down, got restless, shot me odd looks and then quietly moved away. 

This woman is doing well. She's lasted three whole bus stops so far.

So you might be wondering what a Brie is doing in my favorite handbag. Well, I'm having an impromptu cheese day with my colleague, who is just as cheese nuts as me.

Oop, as I type the third woman has just succumbed to the cheese smell and staggered to another seat.


Cheese days basically involve vast amounts of erm... Cheese. With bread, salad and salami.

It is the one day in my calendar (I'm lying) where I point blank refuse to accept I have a dairy intolerance and instead get lairy on the dairy. Free on the Brie. It turns out not much rhymes with cheese names.

Anyway, today will be about curtain coats and cheese. And the rents, who it turns out are coming down tonight as we have tickets for summat tomorrow. And guess what? Ma has made me a skirt! From the curtains! To match my curtain coat. I will have a curtain suit. Eat your heart out Coco Chanel!

Hope you're having a lovely thankful Friday.

And if you see me in my amazing curtain coat today, be sure to say hello!

Happy weekend peeps


Wednesday 29 May 2013

An extra-deaf day

I left my hearing aids at home again today.

By accident of course.

It's strange – I always realise that I've forgotten them at the exact same moment.

I am always halfway down my street, which has a bend on it, and as I get to the bend, there's usually a slight gust of wind, which blows my ears gently, without  causing the rustle of the microphone, the cool air reminding me that my ears are not filled with silicone moulds.

So today I am back to being extra deaf Deafinitely Girly.

But what does this mean?

Well it means I will be going, 'huh?' a lot. As I seem completely incapable of saying the word 'pardon', which is frightfully rude of me, I know. And it also means that I can stay in my own little bubble. 

You see, without my hearing aids in, I don't hear stuff. The stuff like conversations about the time when someone did something… You know the kind.

With my hearing aids in, I am usually able to at least work it out a bit and decide whether to join the conversation and lipread the rest of it. But without my hearing aids, I can't even work out if there is a conversation happening in the first place.

And today that is just fine.

I find it quite comforting. It's how life used to be.

Recently, I've been feeling more and more that I am stood at this giant crossroads. It's so massive it makes that scary crossing at Oxford Circus where tourists flail about and Londoners stomp over them to get where they're going, seem almost miniscule.

I don't know which way to turn. I don't know what to do. What I want or where to go.

Apparently it's my age. Various people have looked at me recently, sucked in some air and announced that 32 is a normal age to feel this way.

'Feel what way?' I want to ask them.

The scary thing about dawdling at a crossroads however, is that there's a danger that someone will stomp all over you to get past. There's a danger that you might stand there until there's a gigantic Thames Water leak that shuts the road for several months and blocks the path you had be thinking of taking. And there's also a danger that you might actually just set up camp, right there at the crossroads, like that guy with the megaphone at Oxford Circus.

So if you need me today, I'll be at my crossroads. You're welcome to tell me whether you think I should turn left, or right or indeed turn around and go straight home.

I might not hear you though, as my hearing aids are at home today.

I figure though, that it's OK to dawdle a while. Not forever. But for a little while. So I can have a think about what I really want.

Have a nice Wednesday peeps – we're almost halfway through the week.


Tuesday 28 May 2013

Deaf Girly and the amazing new curtain coat

It's Tuesday. Tomorrow will be Wednesday and that means we'll be halfway through the week. How simply marvellous! Eh?

I'm still basking in the warm glow that was my bank holiday weekend – it was aces.

And what did I do?

Well, I reacquainted myself with my Kindle – for 6 hours in the garden – and my rents' amazing hanging chair that feels like it should really be in the 1960s.

I caught up with all the amazing things my rents are doing with their retirement – the music, the baking, the tea cosy making – it's quite incredible that Ma ever found the time to actually do her day job you know.

And on Monday, we made a coat.


You see on Saturday we went shopping and while in Oxfam we saw some amazing curtains. Covered in a bold floral print they were right up my street – beautiful and slightly mad – and they only cost £11.99 for the pair.

Mum spotted them first and decided they were definitely me, and so that was that. It was decided that we would turn them into something marvellous to wear.

With the day looking less sunny and bright than Sunday, we assigned Monday as coat making day. We dug out the pattern that I had coveted for years from my grandmother's pattern box – a 1973 swing coat design – and set to work.

Five minutes in, and  a scrap of paper fell to the floor – 'Shopping list' it declared in my grandmother's neat handwriting. 'Pop sox, shoes and coat' it stated underneath… a lady clearly after my own heart! I felt quite a pang for Ma as my marvellous pop sox wearing grandmother died more than 20 years ago.

So after a little reminisce about my grandmother and her elegant passion for fashion – this woman took handbag and shoe ownership to a whole other level – Ma set me, a novice in coat making, to work in pinning the pattern, zigzagging the edging to prevent fraying, and covering buttons. All while she started to construct what I can only describe as a masterpiece. 

She altered the sleeves for me so that they're slightly flared and three-quarter length, as this is my favourite style, and she coped with the baffling pattern instructions that had me seeing stars and running off to do useful things like pop the kettle on and lay the table.

This coat is truly the most beautiful coat I have ever seen. And she made it just for me.

It's amazing that for the price of just £11.99 and my amazing ma's time and, quite frankly priceless, creativity, I have something so utterly bespoke and utterly me.

On Friday, I spoke about how Thankful Friday forced you to recognise the good things in your life. For me, the whole weekend did.

And now I have one more good thing in my life – my coat. My amazing Ma-created, bespoke, vintage-pattern, Oxfam curtain fabric coat.

Now I just need some sunny weather to wear it for…

Happy Tuesday peeps!


Friday 24 May 2013

A drink with my (24-year-old deaf) self

Today is Thankful Friday.

I'm thankful there's a three-day weekend ahead of me. I'm thankful that I get to spend this with the rents. My amazing rents.

The sun had better shine because I want cups of tea on the terrace with Ma while whatever amazing new band my dad has discovered blares out of the living room.

I'm 33 this year you know.

And recently, I've found myself wondering what I am actually doing with my life.

Which is silly really because I have an amazing job, an amazing flat and amazing friends and family. 

But sometimes it can't hurt to take a good look at the patterns and cycles in your life. The things which keep happening that you wish you could change.

I'm not meaning to be horribly cryptic either. But while the good things in my life remain good. The not so good things remain not so good. And it's these I'd like to change.

But that's the thing about Thankful Friday. It forces you to look at what is good in your life. It forces you to pull yourself from whatever slump you're in. From whatever it is you think you'll never be able to do, and get the hell on with things.

I mean, I've done this before. I can do it again.

I remember when I was in my 20s, the despair I used to feel at times about my deafness. Sometimes, it used to knock all the air out of me when I tried to work out how I was going to succeed at my career, get my life organised when so much of it involved using the phone or talking to knew people.

It was horrific at times. One day, after a particularly bad day at work, I found myself walking home snivelling as I went. Willing things to be different. Wondering if they ever would be. Wondering if I would ever really be comfortable with the hearing that I had and the challenges that this threw at me.

If my 32 year old self could have taken my 24 year old self for a drink at that moment, then that would have been an amazing thing. She'd have sat me down and told me to get a grip. To power through and trust that feelings like this don't last forever.

And she would have been right.

These days, I rarely have days like that anymore. I'm so comfortable with my deafness that half the time I forget that I am deaf. I'm just me.

So the stuff that's challenging me right now. That's causing the air to be knocked out of me? I think I need to go for a drink with my 42 year old self.

I have a feeling if I did, she's tell me to get a grip. She'd remind me that this is right now.

That patterns can be broken. Cycles can switch paths and life is too short to think about stuff you cannot change.

Have a marvellous weekend peeps.

I'm going to spend it being very thankful.


Monday 20 May 2013

Deafinitely Girly and the mega noise panic

Yesterday did not start well.

I woke up at 4am in the middle of a massive nightmare. A sweating, almost weeping, horrifically real-feeling nightmare.

After calming my heart rate and returning to sleep, my vibrating alarm clock decided to go rogue again, at 5.43am.

And then again at 5.53am.

All of this on a Sunday flipping morning.

I was not impressed.

All this lack of sleep, hideous dream palava left me feeling somewhat on edge yesterday.

I met the Singing Swede for tea and cake which helped and watched mindless rubbish on the TV.

But alone in my flat it felt as though all my senses were heightened.

I made dinner and to me, the oven sounded like a jumbo jet at take off. The people in the upstairs flat returned home and to me it sounded as if they were performing River Dance in the room above my head.

But perhaps the best one came when I heard a siren. I'm quite new to sirens, only really hearing them properly for the first time since I got my hearing aids. Before hearing aids, I could hear bits of sirens. And I could really only hear them when they were right beside me.

And when they were right beside me, the shock and vibration usually made me lose my balance and fall over. Yup, I actually used to do that in public.

But last night, I heard a siren. What I think was a fire engine. It started quietly. Then gradually it seemed to get louder and louder and louder and louder. So loud in fact that in my sleep deprived, slightly-paranoid-from-nightmare state, I decided that a siren that loud must be right outside. So to pre-empt the flames that by now I was convinced were licking at my front door I grabbed a jug of water.

And then I peeked out the window.


The siren was getting quieter. It's vehicle speeding off into the distance towards something that actually was on fire.

My heart was hammering.

I felt a fool.

I was stood in my living room holding a jug of water.

'Get a grip!' I chided myself. Then chided myself again for talking to myself.

I calmly (hands shaking water dangerously close to my TV) watered the yukka plant as if that was what I had intended to do all along with the full jug of water I'd sloshed around my flat in the panic of hearing a siren so loud and clear.

It's the first time I'd watered it in months so it was probably a good thing.

But what it got me thinking about as I climbed into bed later - sans hearing aids, sans the sounds of the planes, which last night sounded like roaring dinosaurs and sans the sound of the pissed people staggering back from the pub, pink and burnt from the five seconds of sun we'd had yesterday - was how if I'm honest, I'm not always a mad fan of this sound lark.

I mean I thought I was a complete convert to it, and don't get me wrong, I do love being able to hear more. But last night, everything was horribly loud. Horribly intrusive. And horribly scary at times.

So for the minute I think I'm going to try something new. When I get in each night, I'm going to take my hearing aids out at the door.

I'm going to make my flat, and my evenings, quiet zones. I'm going to back to watching my TV on low with subtitles. And I'm going to stay reassured in the knowledge that if my flat does set itself on fire, I will be alerted by the visual disco of lights and thumping vibrations all courtesy of the London Fire Brigade long before they arrived in their siren-blaring fire engine.

That's my world. And right now I miss it. At home, any way. Aren't I lucky I can get it back?

Have a lovely week peeps.

DG x

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