If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that one of my favourite Youtubers is Fashioneyesta, aka Emily Davison. And this Monday I actually got to meet her and spend the day with her, much to my delight. She’s now posted a wonderful vlog of the day on her FashioneyestaExtra channel, so I wanted to blog about it from my own perspective as well.
So let’s put this in context first, in case you’re wondering how I managed to meet her. I first stumbled upon Emily’s channel when searching Youtube for my eye conditions out of curiosity, not expecting to find anything too fascinating. But there were loads, one such account being Emily’s. And it turned out that she had Nystagmus just like me, though it is caused by a different underlying condition (Aniridia in my case, Septo Optic Dysplasia for her). And I was instantly drawn in by her style, beauty, confidence, intelligence, humour and positivity.
So I really got into her disability themed videos and blog posts, as they were so engaging and interesting, and have been a big fan ever since. Her experiences are very interesting and often amusing, and I can relate to a lot of it. She gives great advice for other visually impaired and disabled people, demonstrating how having a disability doesn’t need to be a barrier to living your life. And for non-disabled people, she clearly explains how to interact with the disabled community, in a way that isn’t patronising or condescending. And it was all a big inspiration to have a go at doing my own blog and videos. So you largely have Emily to blame for my ramblings!
Emily also makes excellent videos and posts on fashion and beauty – which, while not so relevant to me, I still find enjoyable because she always looks amazing. Plus, her love of products by Lush is starting to rub off on my mother and I – we placed our first order with them recently, after I showed my mother one of Emily’s videos about her favourite products, and we’ve been enjoying our purchases. Our bathroom has a lovely mix of aromas now with the soaps and lotions we have in there! At some point I need to visit a Lush store for a proper look around, perhaps even the one that Emily works in.
Then, last year, Emily opened up community contributions for captions, so that anybody could submit subtitles to help make her videos more accessible. As a fan, I was only too happy to chip in, so I did a few, getting lovely shoutouts for each of them. I didn’t want to hog the process, as I wanted others to have a chance to get shoutouts as well. So I just did a few and left it at that. But when it became apparent that nobody else was getting involved, I stepped back in again and started adding more captions on a fairly regular basis. They’re easy enough to do, and it’s very satisfying to be able to use my free time to help out a Youtuber I’m a big fan of.
And it’s soon added up. Over the past year I’ve captioned nearly 30 videos, including her entire Talking Disability playlist as of this week. Emily has continuously given me shoutouts throughout, even though she doesn’t need to. And she recently nicknamed me the Subtitle Superhero, but she’s now taken on my suggestion of Captain Caption instead! In all fairness, though, it isn’t just me – Emily has captioned quite a few videos herself as time allows, and another Youtuber called Living Able has also contributed, plus there may be others I’m not aware of. So I don’t want or deserve all the credit. I’m just happy to do what I can.
But as a result of my efforts, Emily got in touch privately to thank me, and we’ve been chatting on Twitter for a year since then. And as she knew I was moving to London, she very kindly offered to meet up and show me around one or two of her favourite places, to say thanks for my help. That was quite the surprise, and extremely generous of her. And I certainly wasn’t going to turn down such an opportunity! And so, this week, we were finally able to make it happen.
I will freely admit to being nervous to start with, of course. They do say you should never meet your heroes – but hopefully Captain Caption wouldn’t intimidate her too much, lol! 😉 But in all seriousness, I can be quite shy around new people sometimes, letting them do most of the talking and not saying much myself in return, or just not having a clue what to talk about. After all of the chatting we’ve done, and the posts and videos we’ve seen by each other, it could have been a complete anticlimax if I’d been too shy in the end. I didn’t think it would be an issue in this instance, but there was no way of being sure until we actually met.
Thankfully there were no problems at all. As I had expected, Emily is really kind and friendly and engaging, so she instantly made me feel at ease. It’s just impossible to be shy around her, and we happily chatted away to each other for the whole day, never running out of things to natter about.
We started off by meeting on the train. I chose the rearmost carriage, as that made it easy for Emily to find me when she got onfurther down the line, rather than picking somewhere in the middle of the train. We immediately started talking, and after a little while Emily got out her phone to do a bit vlogging, introducing me in the process. That was both strange and exciting, being filmed for someone else’s video for the first time! Watching the vlog back was also surreal to start with, but I really enjoyed it. Whereas I cringe at the videos of me in school plays as a kid, I don’t mind seeing or hearing myself on video or audio recordings these days.
We also clearly had the attention of a passenger on the other side of the carriage as we were doing the recording and chatting in general. He hadn’t said anything, he’d just been looking over at us. But then, as the train was about to leave a station, he heard the warning beeps for the closing doors, realised he was about to miss his stop, and made a mad dash down the carriage, just diving out of the doors in time! So that tickled the two of us!
When we got out at Sevenoaks station, Emily phoned for a taxi – which must have been just around the corner, as it turned up pretty much instantly – and our friendly, chatty driver took us to Knole House. And it’s a beautiful, huge building. So we walked into the first courtyard area and took a few photos while we were looking around and figuring out where to go next.
As we were doing this, we got chatting to a friendly couple who had been admiring Emily’s guide dog called Unity – who of course deserves a special mention of her own, because she’s adorable and very well-behaved. Emily had taken Unity out for a free run at her local park earlier that morning, as she couldn’t be let off the lead in Knole Park due to the wild deer roaming around. So Unity was calm and obedient all day. Sure, she was curious about the environment around her, regularly sniffing at things, sometimes trying to to chew on sticks, and exchanging looks with other dogs as they went past. But she never stopped doing her job of guiding Emily, she was very good, and had absolutely no problems waiting with me whenever Emily stepped away to take a few photos.
Anyway, we then walked through an archway to another courtyard, where we watched a very interesting demonstration of what it’s like for a Tudor lady to get changed into her outfit. It was a beautiful outfit too, but it was also amazing to see how many different layers were involved! I dread to think how uncomfortable it would have got on hot days, like the day we were there. It’s traditional for Bank Holidays to be wet and horrible in the UK, or that’s what it feels like sometimes – but on this occasion it was blissfully hot and sunny, a proper summer’s day. So the lady giving the demonstration didn’t keep the Tudor outfit on for too long! But it was very enlightening to watch, and the outfit did look great. Outfits like this were designed for effect, to show off, and they certainly did that.
After that we hunted for the cafe, where Emily very kindly bought me lunch, and we sat outside in the sunshine to eat it. We both had a large chicken and tarragon roll, and a carton of apple juice, and we couldn’t resist the lure of their rather delicious chocolate brownies! Our lunches differed beyond that a bit – I had a ham sandwich and another flapjack with mine, for instance. It filled us up very nicely for all the walking we knew we’d be doing afterwards.
We then spent the rest of the afternoon having a slow walk through the park, which looked gorgeous in the sunshine. We didn’t walk briskly, and had a couple of breaks to sit in the shade for a bit, so it was just a nice leisurely stroll.
Our main aim was to see how many of the deer we could find. Some were hiding away in the shade, very sensibly, but we still found quite a few that were out and about, and got many lovely photos of them. So we were very happy. The only slight frustration was the fact that we passed an entire herd of them as we were leaving in a taxi later on! But never mind!
The deer there are really beautiful, and so tame too. They’re really not bothered by all the people wandering around. Indeed, a few of the deer seemed to be very vain, only too happy to pose for photos! None of the dogs in the park, including Unity, caused any problems either. Occasionally a deer would trot a short distance away if it felt a little bit wary, but for the most part it was easy to get close to them and get some nice photos.
After all that exploring, we were ready for some food and a cold drink, so we called a taxi to take us back into Sevenoaks town centre. While we were waiting for that and chatting away, Emily discovered to her horror that I’d never seen Finding Nemo, and you can see her reaction to that in the vlog!
I promised to watch it though, and I’m happy to report that I bought it on iTunes that evening and watched it to see what all the fuss was about. And, credit where it’s due, it’s a great film! It’s very funny and very touching, and the animation is brilliant. It’s got quite a diverse set of characters too, some of whom have disabilities, including Nemo’s fin. Dory with her short-term memory loss is a wonderful character as well, she kept making me chuckle. And I probably won’t be able to hear seagulls again without hearing “Mine! Mine! Mine!” So I apologise for dismissing it as a mere kid’s film, which I’d assumed it was. I’m very glad I watched it now – guess I’ll have to watch the sequel next!
Emily seems to have a knack of getting me into things that she enjoys, it must be said! Not only with Lush products and Finding Nemo, but also the TV series Outlander, which I’m working my way through on Amazon Prime right now. I’m trying to get through seasons 1 and 2 in time to watch the new season 3 that premieres in September. It is a great show, and the scenery is beautiful, making us both want to visit Scotland one day to see friends we have there.
We also have a shared love of shows like Only Fools And Horses (the current documentaries on Gold about that sitcom and David Jason himself have been brilliant by the way), and Goodnight Sweetheart, shows from our youth like Dangermouse, and quite a few other things. Emily has great taste in everything as far as I can tell, whether it be fashion, beauty, TV, film, theatre, music, books, etc.
I also really need to try watching Game Of Thrones too – I know, I know, I know, I’m waaaaaaay behind the curve on that one! But I often am, to be fair. I was quite late to shows like 24, Prison Break, The Flash and Black Mirror (which is coming back very soon, yay!), and even the Harry Potter books and films passed me by at first. But I do get round to these things in the end! I just don’t tend to get dragged in by the hype of things to begin with, as media hype doesn’t mean that something is good. I tend to wait and see what people think of something properly before I get dragged into it.
Anyway, to finish our day out, we decided to go to Pizza Express for our dinner, with Emily going for a Classic Margherita pizza, while I had a Classic American one. We did struggle to get in at first though, trying two sliding doors that weren’t working before someone opened up the other push door for us. And I managed to knock over and smash a glass that I didn’t see on the table as we sat down! It took Emily a moment to latch on to my joke that we were having a smashing time, though the sincerity of the other meaning she initially thought I was going for was also still true, in fairness. Then we used Google Maps to take us on the 10 minute walk back to Sevenoaks station, from where we got the train to our respective homes.
So I have a lot of great memories of a wonderful day, and Emily’s vlog is a perfect souvenir of our time together. Indeed, it was fascinating for me to get a behind the scenes insight of her vlogging on her iPhone and taking photos on her professional camera. She really knows her stuff and all the terminology, and she makes it look effortless, even though there’s clearly a lot of thought put into it.
She also let me have a go during the day as well. While we were in the Knole House courtyard, she let me use her camera to take a couple of photos of her, which hopefully came out well. And then she took a couple of great photos of me, which I’m now using as my profile pictures across social media. The blurred background effect – which I’ve learned is called Bokeh – works really nicely. It would be interesting to get into proper photography, rather than just randomly snapping away at things with my phone, so it is something I might look into soon.
Then, later on, I got to try vlogging, as you can see from the ‘Glen Cam’ segment in her video! If it’s not already obvious, that’s my first time doing any proper vlogging while out and about. So I felt a little bit shy about doing it initially, knowing I’m not a professional like her. But, as usual, Emily’s encouragement quickly won me over. And it was fun, I must admit. I’m pleasantly surprised with how well it came out.
So when we next meet – and we have a few ideas in mind, but one is particularly high on the list – I am seriously considering trying out a vlog of my own of the day. It would be nice to get into that kind of thing, as it would probably be more interesting than just posting random clips of London like I’ve been doing to date. I’ve felt too self-conscious to start talking into a phone while out and about – but as Emily pointed out, you could easily be on Facetime or Skype. And ultimately nobody really cares, they’re too busy going about their own business. Plus, even if people do give you odd looks, you’re unlikely to notice if you’re visually impaired anyway. There’s certainly no harm in trying it out to see how it goes.
All in all, it was a great joy and pleasure to meet Emily, and I’m very flattered that she put the time aside to do so. She’s just as wonderful as she comes across in her videos and blog posts and podcasts – well, even more so really. And I’m very much looking forward to meeting her again. Greenwich is our main aim, but we’ve had various other ideas as well. So it’s going to be fun whatever we do!
So thank you very much again to Emily for an amazing day! It was really special and enjoyable, and I’m very grateful indeed. Please go and watch her vlog and subscribe to her main channel as well while you’re at it, if you haven’t already. And if you’ve found me because of her vlog, then welcome, and indeed well done on reading this far! You can also check out my Instagram for more photos that I took during the day. Thanks for watching and reading! 🙂