Archive for June 29, 2017

One beep; two beep; three beep; four

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It’s not the reading that’s the issue…..

In a way to improve myself I am undertaking many different forms of learning.  Some is personal development, some is an education and some of it is to support my family.

One such learning is a 10 week parenting puzzle.

It isn’t a course that holds a secret instruction manual to raising children, rather it looks at ways in which as adults we have to dispel our own learnings as a child, to move past it and to understand ourselves better to support our children.

As the weeks have added up, the inner-termole of the course content has began to take an effect.  This teamed with counselling I have been undertaking to support me and help me with my anxieties and depression…… Has been giving me plenty to think about.

It has been commented (not as a critisism, more an observation) that I have become quieter as the weeks have rolled on.  The group I am in are very understanding and supportive towards everyone.

This week we were given an extra book.  “The huge bag of Worries” by Virginia Ironside.  It is a beautifully illustrated children’s book, yet one that is also written for adults too.

As part of our group, those leading us asked if one of us would read the book to the group.

A quick flick through the pages and I heard my voice before my thought had caught up

I’ll read it.

The intakes of breath were audible and noticed by others.  You see, I am an educated woman, I have a passion for reading, it is just my sight that doesn’t always play along!

Being a book to be read to and read by children; the type was larger, clearer and only briefly obscured by the illustrations behind.

I took a deep breathe and began to read.

I enjoyed the book.  I felt myself giving the characters tone and passion as the punctuation implied.

I felt saddened momentarily when it ended.  I closed the book and placed it on my lap.

I felt touched by the story; I felt that the story was so much more than a ‘children’s book’ it meant something.

I had also done something that I hadn’t done for many, many, MANY years.

I had read aloud to people other than my children.

You see, this is not just a little thing.  This is a MASSIVE thing.  I feel anxious reading, not because I dislike it, (far from it) more because I fear that I will miss words, not see them; especially in a children’s book, where the words can wrap around and over the pictures.

For someone who loves to read, yet faces my own worries over the act of reading.  It felt like it was a truly enlightening moment.  One that will hopefully stay with me for many years to come.

I have since ordered my own copy of the book, shared it with friends on Facebook and am looking forward to reading it to my own children.

You see, it isn’t the reading that’s the issue.  It’s the seeing the words.


Blindly following Google

When your climbing partner in crime suggest meeting him from work for an evening of climbing, what is a gal to do?

Other than to find out where the closest coffee shop is, and how you can get to it. As it would be an evening of climbing, the ‘have dog will travel’ attitude was altered to ‘have cane will travel’.

Train journey, easy, no problem.

Bus journey, not so easy, but still no problem.

Hedge End (where the CPiC works) has a tiny train station, yet within a short distance there are mammoth superstores of every possible concept. While other coffee places are available, I set my sights on hitting Starbucks, mainly because it has a simple pull up and park location right next to the motorway junction in the direction of Calshot.

Which in fact meant that it had a ‘quirky’ navigation on Google Maps.

The bus stop is placed directly outside the station, the bus was scheduled to tie in with the train arriving. Pure brilliance!

The bus however did not have an audio-visual display. It did have an incredibly friendly and happy to help driver, who ensured me he would notify me of my stop.

So off we went……. And sure enough, the driver true to his word, told me when we had arrived at my stop, he even explained the direction I needed to walk to arrive at Marks and Spencer’s (the major store that afforded its own bus stop!). He also waited until he had ensured I was walking in the right direction before continuing with his journey.

Only; I didn’t want to go the Marks and Spencer’s. I wanted Starbucks. Which as the crow flies is directly opposite Marks and Spencer’s (near enough) Simple enough? the only issue was the great big MASSIVE road known as Charles Watts Way – A334.

And this is where I put my faith in my iPhone and Googled my way!

The directions weren’t straight forward, which made me believe that Google was aware of the size of the road and was walking me a safer way, after all how could it possible take 7 minutes to walk such a short distance (when equating walking time, it doesn’t allow for traffic, as it would if you were driving)

So, ironically. I blindly followed its route……

….. A route that saw me walk through Marks and Spencer’s and out the other side, around the outside of Sainsburys and behind it where a worker was having a sneaky cigarette.

Still my map told me to continue, so onward I went. (I must admit, had it not been a bright afternoon, I may have had other thoughts)

Across a short path and …….. BINGO……

I had found it. The reason why Google maps was telling me it was 7 minutes.

Because in front of me was a rusty cream rail, a thin metal grate on the floor and the key to crossing Charles Watts Way.

It was the ramp, that twisted around in a loose corkscrew before evolving into a long straight path with a slight gradient for several steps, before flattening out and then rising again. It was a bridge.

In the warm sun, the shadows create by the overhanging trees made it hard to make out just how simple and easy it was to navigate.

It was a time to put my trust into my cane, because with the light; the shadows cast and the uncertainty of where I was, I felt apprehensive. I needn’t have; it really was as smooth and easy as I explained it to be.

And before I knew it, I was walking across the top of the bridge, right above all the traffic queuing beneath me. And then I was back into the shadows and the long straight declining path. Turning just once, 180 degrees to walk a similar distance again before coming to a small offset railings, a quick weave and I was on the path beside that very same traffic that I had just walked over. (I didn’t hear it moving!)

A short distance ahead and I could feel the path changing, this time it was much smoother, yet paved, not tarmac as it had previously been. I couldn’t home in on much, because although the trees were cut back, their shadows were replaced by bright glaring sun.

Faithful cane soon told me I was reaching a curb edge, the tactile paving soon enabled me to place myself in the right direction, a small road across the car park and low and behold…….



Fearful times

Last year I was very lucky to be able to attend several gigs, and pretty gigs at that; with Adele, Muse, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and even Placebo.  All of these took place in London, a capital known for its security and safety record.

Several weeks ago, a terrorist targeted a Manchester gig.  Men, women and even children were caught up in this horrid act that resulted in 22 deaths and many many more suffering.

I am not here to talk about the attack, nor the group behind it, this is not a political post…… I am going to talk about the fear that this has left me with.

I am in fear of this happening at a gig I go to.

I am in fear of putting my friends in danger, because of the additional support they afford me.

I am in fear or letting this fear stop me.

Followng on from the Manchester attack, London saw a savage attack just last weekend.  Where a van, usually placed on any street in the country was used to mount the curb and drive into Londoners who had been out enjoying a Saturday evening.

My next gig is in London in just a few weeks.  It’s on a Saturday.  It’s also at venue I have never been before.  By the nature of a gig, one especially that is SOLD OUT.  There will be an increase security presents to enable ease of movement for gig goers arriving and leaving, especially with additional support in the nearby tube and railway stations.  I am also aware that many concrete barriers have been erected around London at key locations, such as The Bridges that cross The Thames to make it more difficult for a vehicle to be used as a terror weapon.

In wake of the terror attacks, plenty of advice has been given on RUN. HIDE. TELL.  This is the bit I fear.  What saved many people in both of these attacks was the ability for them to see the danger, see an escape route and to see those who needed help.

So, how do I cope in such a situation without the ability to see?

I can run, and especially if it were needed I would do this, but which way do I run?  The fear in all of this isn’t for me.  The fear in all of this is for my guiding girl Fizz and my friends.

I know that they would never leave me, but what if by helping me they are put into the way of danger?

What if me being with a guide dog appears as an easy target?

All these questions and fears are building up.

I don’t think I would ever have the answers, but in writing my blog I hope to ease my own fears and ease the fears of those around me.

Not even a trained firearms officer can say how they will cope or how they would deal with being involved in such an attack.  As no amount of training can say how you would deal with human nature and the flight or flee reaction.

My friends will walk with me and support me in the same way that they have in the past.  My vulnerability will also stand out to our police men and women and other security forces.

Some of my fellow friends with both hearing and visual impairments have said that they have felt additional support has been afforded to them especially in London since the weekend.

I am not going to make this blog about the terrorist that committed these crimes.  Because after all the whole reasoning for many acts of terrorism is to divide and terrorise people.  And iconically both Manchester and London have actually ‘come together’ supported each other and shown just how great they are as a whole at supporting those who need the support.

So, I have told you my fears, I have explained them, I am not able to completely dismiss them, but I am able to understand them.  I am able to know that they will not stop me from going to London, or any other city for that matter.

I may just make sure more so than usual that my phone is charged and my additional battery pack is also charged.


A Sprinkle of Magical Pixie Dust

As a parent myself, I thought hard about the names I gave my children, their father had his opinions.  We went through baby books, baby names and even google to help us choose.

My parents, named me Theresa-Claire, as the second born I was afforded a middle name where my sister Samantha wasn’t.  I was also afforded the same initials as my father; Trevor Clive.  Was it hoped that I would be TC Jr?

I am not in a position to ask these questions.  I am however able to tell you how, for as long as I can remember I was called many alternatives to my actual name.

These included ‘Top Cat’ – ‘TC’ – ‘Tessa’ – ‘Tuppence’ and for the majority of my adult life ‘Tee’

When I married I took my husbands surname, when we separated and then divorced to revert to my maiden name would have cost me the fee of a deed poll.  So, with my new partner I chose to double barrel his surname on the end of mine.

Becoming Osborne-Bell.

I had never liked my married name, I never made any secret of this.  Despite my daughter having my ex-husbands name, I couldn’t and didn’t want to keep it and as we were married when she was born, Osborne never formed part of her name as it has my sons.

Families have their differences, arguments and even irreversible consequences.  But I am not prepared to denounce any of my ‘chosen’ name.

But I have found a new ‘nickname’ off the back of it.

Dropping Osborne-Bell to O-Bell.  And altering Tee to Tink.  And now I am my very own magical, mythical pixie Tink-O-Bell.

Known often just as Tink !

In this past year I have been improving myself, admittedly half-heartedly with the support of my coach and cousin Charlie.  I have been working on creating the best version of me.  Loosing weight, improving my nutrition and sports performance through the use of Herbalife Shakes, supplements and products.

And this is where my name is key; for my favourite example of Tinkerbell isn’t in PeterPan, it is in Moulin Rouge (played by the singer Kylie) where she is the little green absinthe fairy.  Full of fun.

I am now looking to take my involvement with Herbalife further, I am now looking to use my own product result and increased energy with Herbalife to the next step.

….. That’s a whole other chapter that is only just beginning !!

But either way, it is with this involvement of the colour green that I am going to truly become my own version of Tink-O-Bell !!

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