Tag Archive for Touch


Photograph of my gold Starbucks travel mug with the guide book to The Glasgow Science Centre with the SEC Armadillo building behind across the river Clyde.

Continued from … Welcome to Glasgow

After a relaxed evening in the hotel which included a Tai Chi class, a swim and a sauna before a gorgeous dinner, on Wednesday morninf I decided to visit The Glasgow Science Centre before embarking on another train journey deeper into Scotland (you’ll have to read on to find out where)

The Science Centre and adjoining iMax cinema were architecturally interesting buildings even before I walked through the doors.


Photograph shows a round ball like building on the left which is Glasgow IMAX with a large screen on the right of the photograph, with a small green area in front of it

Photograph is taken of the rear of the IMAX building where Starbucks sits amongst a glass wall sat beside part of an old dock areaPhotograph of the entrance to The Glasgow Science Museum, shoring what looks like the top half of a letter C shaped building, the glass front of the building sat to the right of the large screen

These building were custom built for purpose and opened to the public in June 2001, with a titanium clad exterior the Science Centre (science mall) with its crescent shaped glazing enables it along with the neighbouring imax to ‘blend in’ with the often grey overcast skies of Glasgow while offering a reflection from the river Clyde.

Set over three floors and including a planetarium and many interactive work station I could understand how it had gained its reputation and place on trip advisor as a ‘MUST SEE’ even though it was a pay for attraction (which many museums are not)

I fell in love with each and every floor.

Although I struggled with a few small issues (like no large print or alternative format maps or voice information on the lifts) I did find a very helpful member of staff who explained the floor levels to me and even explained where the stairs were as they were tucked away as the main traffic was directed towards the large lifts.

One perminant exhibit that I was interested in was ‘A Question of Perception’ that looked at optical illusions, the science behind it and how the human brain helps with this.  In addition to the illusions, I watched the cctv monitors for the centres own ‘wacky salon’ (you can find a video for this on YouTube, but as it is not accessible I have decided against sharing it here)

With interactive exhibitions across the whole centre, including a wonderful planetarium I enjoyed a good couple of hours here and took hundreds of photographs of the different exhibits, of which I will share just one with you.  This is of the ‘perfect triangle’ which from the angle of my photograph looks far from perfect.

Photograph of tabary - A mind blowing sculpture of a three part solid triangle, which is in fact an optical illusion and it is only when you get to within 2 foot of it that you see the sculpture is actulay 3 separate solid four sided rectangular, not actually a triangle at all.

However, too soon it was time for me to go, popping back to the hotel to collect my bags and head off for another train journey.

A train journey that saw me travelling from Exhibition Road to Glasgow Central, to hop on the shuttle bus to Glasgow Queen Street before boarding a train to Perth, where I would then change again (after a quick ‘wee stop’ for Fizz) to travel onto Pitlochry.

A place that could not be further from the hustle and bustle of Glasgow, with a population of just over 2,500 in comparison Glasgows 500,000….. It was a place I really couldn’t wait to escape to.

To be continued…….

Would you be my eyes?

Watching a film earlier today with an additional audio descript soundtrack; my son asked me

What does blue look like if you can’t see?

A question that made me think, I asked him what he thinks of when he thinks of the colour blue, to me it is the sky, the sea and swimming pools.

But mum, what if you had never seen before? What would blue look like?

And so I decided to write this post, I couldn’t answer my sons questions; but I have told him I will, I just need to do a little research first !!

For as long as the written word has existed there have been ways of evoking images from it.

Abjectives, Verbs, Nouns, connotation, yet these all rely on you knowing what such objects look like. In my research of this subject I have found something, something that was buried at the back of my brain with all of my other Secondary Educational learnings;  Pathetic fallacy – where the weather in the story or written word mirrors the emotion of the scene or the people in it. For example, when it is very hot the characters are agitated or when it is foggy, mystery is evoked. This is used to adds atmosphere to the writing and gives clues to the reader as to what is to come, especially if the weather is described before the event.  Just as many horror movies occur on dark stormy nights.

Do you need to know what weather looks like to understand it?

No, as someone who enjoys every type of weather and the changing seasons this is one element of life that I can use my other senses to understand.  Weather can be truly ‘FELT’ the hot sun on my skin, the drizzly rain, the north-easterly breeze.  Fog comes with the additional sounds of fog horns (living on this coast these can be heard miles in land) Mist gives a dampness to the air that isn’t present when it rains, morning dew has a smell to it, a storm too can have its very own smell and it’s not just thunder that makes a noise.

Weather can’t explain colour or shape though, although it works very well for emotion.

So, I am back at the beginning.

How would you describe the colour blue?  Without using the word, what does blue look like?

I have had sight and I have been fortunate to be able to see and remember colours, images, items.

Even though now my perception of colour is greatly altered, I can only really see the difference between orange and red when they are together and everything I see has a kind of haze or veil over it, so isn’t as vivid or true as it once were.

My hunt for answering my sons questions will continue, but for now; humour me?

Please reply to this blog post with your description of the colour blue.

No judgement will be passed, no humiliation with be sort.  Just an intriguing mind looking for help.

Thank You x

Clumsy blonde or should that be blindie?

Those of you who have followed me will know that I am A Mac!

This came about long before the iPhone, long before even the iPod.  This came from the days (way back when) a Mac was used for all things design and a PC was used for all things administrative.

Being that my Honours Degree is in Design Studies and a large part of that was graphic design, I got through university with a G4 (the most powerful Mac of its time)

The whole idea of an iPhone scared me, how could a visually impaired person use a phone without a keypad?   It was only once Nokia decided to remove Nuanse Talks from its new phones that I was forced towards the iPhone…… And I got on with it very easily, very easily indeed.

So, when my partner at the time had a bit of a payout, he bought me an iPad.  I loved it, it was fantastic and for the past few years with a wireless keyboard I have used this more than my MacBook Pro.

So, it wouldn’t surprise you that I took it into the garden to do some work.  Only to drop it!

It hit the patio with a thump and the screen broke….. I cried….. I screamed at myself….. And then I began to panic, thankfully everything on my iPad was backed up to iCloud, but how would I be able to buy a new one? How would I manage without it?

Then, thankfully, I remembered that it was one of the items I had specified on my home insurance.  So, a relitively painless phone call later, the call handler informed me that it was indeed covered on my insurance and for the price of my excess, I would receive a new iPad Air within 7-10 working days!

That was the longest 2 weeks of my life, although the newer versions of iPad do not have the same weight to them of the older versions….. So am trying to get so used to how light it feels !!

Since it arrived though, I have turned on the voiceover and apart from when the kids are using it for ‘bug club’ or ‘mathletics’ EVERYTHING I do on is accessible and audio based.


What’s in a saying?

We all have little ways of saying things, little phrases that we all use every day, without thinking.

The most common of these are:-

” Have you seen this?”

“Look at this.”

“did you see that?”

my response to aloof these is no, but I have never, nor will I ever take offence to them.  I myself usually end a conversation with ” See you again soon,”

They are common sayings and I even do it, if I’ve been to a film having listened to the audio description, I still say ” I saw that…….film the other night, have you seen it?”

I also say that I’ve read a great book book lately, even though I listen to it.  “I’ve just listened to a great film/book” just doesn’t have the same ring to it!

The reason I am writing this blog about this is because yesterday when out with a good family friend and all our kids, he went to show me a photo on his phone and stopped dead and then apologised for saying the classic “look at this”

As the day went on he continued to say ” come look at this” again apologising after each time.

This unsettled me, not because he had said these things, because he was just saying the same things that we all say (me included) but that he felt anxious by the thought that he had upset me.

How perverted would it sound if I started saying “I’ll feel you later” ! Or my friends said to me, ” Come and touch this!” I know I would probably run in the opposite direction.

So, I will continue to tell my friends that I look forward to seeing them soon and do not want my friends to cringe or feel anxious when they say ” come look at this” or “have you seen this”

So, these are just typical English sayings and part of each and everyone of us.  I can’t talk for every VIP or people with other disabilities, but I doubt they would take offence either.

St George’s Day sewing marathon

So, tomorrow is St George’s Day and at 2.40 this afternoon my daughters school sent out a text message to say that any Beavers, Rainbows, Brownies etc are free to wear their uniforms instead of school uniform… With full badges!

This created 2 panics….

1) where were all of her badges that still needed sewing on? (all of them in fact!)

2) how the hell was I going to actually sew them on to her T-shirt?

As a child I learnt to sew in home economics, I even made a pencil case with my name stitched on it with flowers, but that was in my ‘days with sight’ era.  Not now.

Being an ever resourceful mum, I do have a full sewing box, with pins, every colour of thread imaginable and even spare buttons, hence to say its content was completely undisturbed.


First to thread the needle…

It took several attempts to even get the end with the eye in it, I’m glad to say my fingers are quite thick skinned as they sustained a few injuries this evening.  My kit actually came with a funning looking needle threader, but that just confused me.  So I doubled the length of thread, triple knotted the loose ends and proceeded to spend the next 14 minutes to get it on the needle, a good bit of spit and I was ready to go.

Placing the badges…

Anyone who knows me will confirm that when I do things, I pride myself that they are done right, so the next 24 minutes were spent arranging the badges, lining them up, putting them into a vague remembered date order and pinning them in

Let the sewing begin….

The first stitch was nerve wrecking, but thankfully the badges were very good quality and had a lovely thick raised edge, so once I started, I stopped having to look and was able to slowly and steadily sew the first badge in place, purely by feeling the edging of the badge itself.

I was off…… It was great to feel a real sense of achievement tiling this, with only a few hiccups, like sewing on a badge before Realising I had pinned it upside down!

My sewing effort is by no means perfect, but it is done.  My daughter can now wear her Rainbows uniform tomorrow with pride and be able to share each of her badge achievements with her class mates.

Ok, so she won’t understand the blood, tears and expletives that went into it.

But I will, and that matters.



Running my hands over a bronzed beauty

This post is not necessarily what you are expecting, I thought I would share a ‘perk of being a VIP’. When I found myself stood in Southampton art gallery, watching the curator unlock the glass case that surrounded Auguste Rodin’s crouching woman, a small bronzed sculpture.  So along with other members in our group I was stood with a pair of white cotton gloves ready to do something special that very few get to experience.

Black and white image of rodin-s bronze cast of crouching lady.

I grew up being constantly told by my parents that “you look with your eyes, not your hands” and here I was about to dispel this theory.


Black and white - newspaper print image of Rodin's bronze cast of crouching lady.


Bronzed sculptures have always been something of great interest to me, but by their nature, I often miss most of the detail other than the outline shape.  But here I was, about to run my gloved hands all over a cast of a sculpture that had been handled with such love and care when sculpted by the artist himself.

It felt amazing, that first touch, the coldness of the material.  The feel of the finger marks beneath mine.  The detail of the sculpture, you can feel the individual vertebrate in her back, the bones in her shoulders.

This was a wonderful experience that I can’t wait to repeat with other works of arts and artefacts and make the most of my new found ‘perk’.

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