Archive for October 23, 2014

Sticks & Stones may break my bones, but names will stay with me

People tell me to ignore the rude comments, the horrible comments, the meanness of others.  Most of the time I can do this, pass off their comments and words…. They are people who don’t know me, people I don’t care about and will most probably never see again.  THANKFULLY!

Every once in a while someone who I do care about, someone who I thought cared about me, says something.  A few words that have real hurt and pain behind them, words that make me question myself, question my ability to be a better person, question why I do try as hard as I do just to live the way I do.

These are people that I thought loved me, people who have seen the changes I have gone through, the struggles I have had…..

Yet they have short memories, they question me about MY DISABILITY, the genuineness of it.

People who don’t ‘Believe’ it can be that bad!  Because if it were as bad as I am telling them, then how do I manage to go to the gym? How do I manage to look after my children? How do I still read? Write? Swim? Cycle?

And how can I sit back while they struggle to earn a wage that barely covers the bills and just expect hard working tax payers to foot the bill for me ‘NOT WANTING TO DO ANYTHING’

….. ADDITION …..

I just want to stand on my chair in a crowded place and scream, ” I DO WANT TO DO THINGS, I want to be able to SEE”

I also have some ‘usable’ vision, which I use as much as I can, bu if I over do things then I pay, I struggle with bad headaches, exhaustion, yet an inability to close my eyes for sleep as they get very dry.  So I limit myself.  As I am sure I have said before, I take full advantage of technology, my phone, computer and free-view box for my tv talks to me.

I use my ‘sight’ to enjoy time with my childen, to help with homework, to cook nice meals, to shop for myself, to stay independant.  I use my time when the children are at school to volunteer, to help others, to give back for all the help and support that I have been given.

I oringinally published this post when I was in a dark place, things are still pretty grey at the moment, but re-reading it, I have realised that I do not need to justify how I spend my time, I do not need to justify why I recieve disability benefits.  I would much rather not ‘need’ this support.  Because as any person with a disability or illness that limits their capabilities will tell you, we/they would much rather be fit, healthy an have no disability…. Even if that meant working a 60 hour week.






An open letter to Richard Branson



Sir. Richard Branson,

Founder of The Virgin Group.

I am writing this open letter to make you and everyone else aware of the service that I have received.  A service that was far beyond my own expectations and as such has enabled me to feel confident and less anxious about a journey I will soon be taking.

My name is Theresa, I have a severe sight impairment and as such travel with my partner in crime, my guide dog Vicky.  It is her (Vicky) that has enabled me to become a strong-willed, independent and adventurous young woman in the five years that she has been walking by my side.  We travel everywhere together, she is my sight, my strength and my beautiful girl.

At the beginning of November, I will be travelling to Manchester, with Vicky by my side.  I am looking forward to this exciting adventure.  It is a real break for me, I have spent my time exploring online what to do and where to go.  The hotel is booked, as is the train.

And this is the reason for my letter.

I booked my ticket online on the virgin website, I was impressed that when reserving my seat I could choose the direction I sat in, whether I sat at a table or in an airline style seat and even, probably the most important thing for a four and half hour journey, I could request to be seated with a power socket!  (the little things that make for a more enjoyable journey)

All the relevant boxes were ticked, times chosen and seats reserved.  The confirmation email came through and I was very happy.

A friend then asked in a joke “Will Vicky be able to find the correct carriage and seat?”  Good point, no she can’t!  It was something that hadn’t even crossed my mind.  Although I often book my tickets in advance, I have never reserved my seat when travelling alone.  I knew that there is assistance for disabled passengers, so back online I went.  On the virgin website was the details for passenger assist.  Which considering it was a Sunday lunchtime, I was surprised to find that the telephone number to discuss my needs was open.

I gave it a ring, and spoke with a very nice man, who talked me through the help he could offer.  I explained that I would be travelling with my guide dog, so needed no assistance around the station, but just a bit of help to find my reserved seat on the train.

It was then that he asked for my booking details, so that he could cancel my reserved seats.  I will admit for about 10 seconds (which felt much longer) I panicked.  He explained he was doing this, so that he would reserve a more appropriate seat, along with reserving a seat for my guide dog.  I told him that I couldn’t afford a seat for her, as she wold sit at my feet under my seat.

Thankfully he quickly confirmed that the seat reservation would not cost me anything, it was ‘standard proceedure’ for anyone travelling with an assistance dog, so that it would allow her  space on the floor to stretch out and enjoy her journey too.

So, the call handler changed my seats, he even explained to me where on the train I would be, where I could download a seating plan for carriages.

He explained to me where to go at the station for my assistance, he even put me on hold briefly while he confirmed this with Southampton Central Station as my train was departing at 05.48 which is before the ticket office opens.

He confirmed all the details with me verbally before sending me an email.  He spent a considerable amount of time on the phone with me, which is why I am unable to tell you his name.

The service I received from the Passenger Assist booking line and the additional thought of allocating floor space for my guide dog has gone a very long way to easing my anxiety about making such a big trip by myself.

So for this, I want to say Thank You.

Yours Sincerely

Theresa Osborne-Bell

(20th October 2014)

Its been a long time

Hello All,

It has been a while, it has been a busy time, it has been a sad time, but it has also been a happy time. It has been a time of challanges, both personal through choice and personal through others makings. This is my blog for me to write down not only the good stuff, but also the different, the difficult and the emotional.

I had shyed away from putting it all down before, but its time to use this blog for the reason it was designed. To allow me to put myself out there…. Some posts (propably most actually) will be written with humour and quirks of my days as a VIP, but some may also be a personal and emotional view into my life, afterall, life can’t always be humour and giggles.

I will publicise my funny tales through my facebook and twitter accounts, the others will be published on my blog, but left for you to find.

So keep popping back and feel free to have a good look around.

As always your comments are very welcome, feel free to be honest, this blog is all me and honest, it is my opinions. as such the opinions are true to me, this does not mean that they may be true to you and that is all good. Feel free to challange my opinions.

Your thoughts and comments will be read, considered and as long as they contain no inapporpriateness or abuse, they will be published on for all to see and add to.

Thank you for reading.


The Struggle is easing, just a wee bit

So, having bad enough eyes that glasses no longer help other than when I am doing super close up work or reading is taking a lot of getting used to.

I can now leave the house without feeling that I am naked, after all I have been wearing glasses for the last 30 years, so they are kinda a big part of me.

This year though with the fabulous bright summer days I wasn’t actually leaving the house without glasses on, because for the first time I was wearing sunglasses, really nice wrap around sunglasses by Trespass, not fancy in anyway, but very comfortable.  In fact, I have been wearing my sunglasses this week as between the rain showers the sun has been blaring through the clouds.

It is interesting to ‘see’ (excuse the pun) how people treat me differently.  I haven’t been asked if I am a guide dog trainer once!  I have been offered more assistance than ever before and God knows I have needed it!

I have felt more vulnerable than ever, not even being able to see my friend that I know who is stood directly beside me.  I haven’t coped so well with dealing with the frustration that this has caused me.


My shopping habits have changed, I am no longer a bargain hunter in stores, nor have I bought any new clothes, it is so hard now. Much more harder than I imagined it would be.

More than I am happy to admit right now.



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