Tuesday 4 November 2014

Deaf Girly: I'm hearing when I read

After the excitement of discovering you can download programs with subtitles to iPlayer and watch them offline later, I've been spending my commute watching all sort of documentaries and dramas.

The downside of this however, is that I have missed reading. I've missed the pure escapism of immersing yourself in a world created by someone else.

So last week I dusted off my Kindle, charged it up and set off through the books waiting there patiently to be read.

When I first moved to London 10 years ago, I didn't know anyone – except London Aunt and Uncle. I was also struggling with my deafness in the profession I had chosen. The reality of being deaf made me cry most days. All the listening and attempting to use the phone was exhausting.

And so everyday, I read for one hour on my way to and from work. My chosen authors – Freya North and Katie Fforde. Freya North because many of her books were set in London and so I'd take myself off to find the places her characters went, which meant I spent quite a lot of time in the National Gallery talking to Mr and Mrs Andrews in Gainsborough's painting (Read her book Chloe if you want to meet them yourself).

And Katie Fforde because her books were set in the Wild West erm Country – my childhood home –and it was amazing to be back while seeing it through new eyes.

In those early days, I read their latest books and re-read their old books. And in that one hour as I hurtled under London in a tin tube (I didn't hate the Underground back then), I wasn't deaf and struggling to follow what was going on. I could follow everything. I could 'hear' conversations. I wasn't left exhausted. And I didn't feel lonely.

And this week, after ploughing through the books on my Kindle I've realised that even though 10 years have passed and I'm way more confident and sorted about my deafness, I still love the fact that when I step into a book, I 'hear' everything and miss nothing.

And so, while I love the iPad and downloadable BBC programmes very much, I'm giving it up – at least for my morning commute anyway. After all, why have subtitles when you can step into a book and 'hear'.

Have a fab Tuesday peeps


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