2018 Review

Collage of 9 photos of Glen in 2018. The tall central photo shows Glen, Claire and James smiling and giving thumbs up below the tall Orbit Tower after their abseil. A column of 4 photos on the left shows Glen flying over Hogwarts castle on a broomstick, sitting in front of the London Eye, standing by the Freddie Mercury waxwork, and smiling while holding a plunger with a small model toilet on his head. The column of 4 photos on the right show Glen posing with members of East London Vision, student artist Nihan Karim, Aniridia Network members Fern and Jenny, and South East London Vision events organiser Jessica.

My second year in London has flown by, and what an incredible year it’s been, full of even bigger surprises and adventures than the first. Raising £920 from my charity abseil for nystagmus research and giving a speech to primary school children about growing up with sight loss were 2 of my biggest and most surprising achievements this year without a doubt, but there’s been so much more going on as well.

I really do feel like I’ve settled in properly now. I’ll always want to experiment with new things and meet new people, that’s one of the many great things that living in such a wonderful city enables you to do. But the foundations I laid by doing that in 2017 definitely enabled me to have more confidence in 2018, so I had a much better idea of the things I enjoyed doing most, I was less shy around people, and I made more friends on an individual level beyond just going to social groups.

My blogging has also gone well this year. It’s only ever been a hobby on the side – I’m not after fame or money or PR opportunities or anything like that – so I’ve never been worried about the numbers. But it is nice to check the figures at the end of the year, and I’m delighted that my subscriber counts have gone up so well:

  • Blog = 132 followers (more than doubled from 60 last year).
  • Youtube = 400 subscribers (doubled from 200).
  • Twitter = 570 followers (nearly doubled from 300).
  • Instagram = 300 followers (more than trebled from 90).
  • Facebook = 63 followers (my page was still very new back in 2017, so I didn’t note the figure back then).

They may not be huge numbers compared to some, but they’re great for me, and my efforts have already been far more rewarding than I ever could have anticipated. I’ve continued to get many amazing opportunities and lots of wonderful feedback, been invited to do various guests posts, and have made wonderful friends in person as well as online, all as a direct result of my posts and videos. So I’m getting far more success and satisfaction from this than I’d ever expected or could have hoped for, and if things continue to go so well then I’ll be very happy!

So thank you ever so much to everyone who has followed and supported my adventures, whether you’ve joined over the past year or have been with me since I started this blog nearly 3 years ago. It’s greatly appreciated that you find my posts interesting, entertaining and inspiring, and I hope you’ll continue to follow me in 2019.

But before we get into the new year, here’s a look back at what I’ve been up to in 2018. I’ve published Favourites posts and videos for every month, which you can get to by clicking the monthly headings below. And you can also see more in-depth posts, photos and videos about particular things linked throughout the text in bold (but there will be even more links in the Favourites posts themselves of course).

So I hope you enjoy this recap of the year, and thank you again for being a part of it and sharing it with me. And a very Happy New Year too! I hope that 2019 is a great one for you! 🙂

January

Overhead view of Glen in a brown robe with yellow inner lining, flying on a broomstick over Hogwarts Castle.

Glen smiling and sitting on Hagrid's motorbike, which has an empty white sidecar attached.

Glen and a lady wearing glasses posing for a selfie in front of the large Hogwarts castle model, which is dusted with snow. The entire scene is bathed in blue light.

One of my favourite outings of the year was to the Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making Of Harry Potter with Thinking Bob, where I bought a lot of merchandise. It was an amazing experience with so much to see, I’d love to go back there again at some point.

Also on the Harry Potter theme, I had a lovely time exploring Harry Potter – A History Of Magic at the British Library with Emily from Fashioneyesta. I also took up a few more of her recommendations early in the year and watched the films Finding Dory and Madagascar 1, 2 & 3. Late to the party on all of those, I know, but they’re nice films, and I had wanted to see Finding Dory after seeing Finding Nemo last year.

My intention was also to listen to the Harry Potter books during the year (which I’ve heard before of course), alternating with things like the Lockwood & Co books (of which I’ve only heard 2 so far), but I never kept up the routine in the end. But this month I did buy and listen to The Audiobook Of The Year by No Such Thing As A Fish, and also got Jason Manford’s album A Different Stage, which is very good.

I also went to the Information Age gallery at the Science Museum (using their audio description app), the Tate Modern (using a couple of audio tours on their mobile app), and saw a bit more of the Europe exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum (which I never did complete in the end, I should go back there). And I saw the Beauty & The Beast pantomime with East London Vision, which was good fun. Mum and I were also going to go and see A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic but fell ill and couldn’t go – fingers crossed we’ll be seeing it in early 2019 instead!

I also made my first scam warning post of the year, looking at a Paypal email I’d received. In later months I also made posts about scams relating to TSBiTunes, adult site blackmail, and a business card I got from the “gifted” Mr. Latif. I like to try and keep people aware of these things as and when I get them. And I was kindly featured by the RNIB in their How I See compilation video, featuring extracts from my video that I’d posted the previous year.

February

Selfie of Glen in a pub, smiling and holding a pint of cider.

Selfie of Glen in front of the huge gateway to Hyde Park, consisting of 3 tall archways separated by many stone columns.

Glen smiling and giving a thumbs up, in front of the Rare Disease Day promotional image on his computer. The promo image shows 5 people wearing luminous face paint, and a banner in the corner says Rare Disease Day, 28 February 2018, Show Your Rare, RareDiseaseDay.org.

The cold and sometimes very snowy weather didn’t stop me getting out and about this month. For a start, I was very kindly given a ticket to see Winter at the Young Vic to experience their touch tour and audio description, which was a great experience. I also spent a weekend exploring the Museum of London, partly to help Rafie Cecilia with her accessibility study, but also because I wanted to explore the place anyway. I had a nice time at the Imperial War Museum with South East London Vision as well, who I also went to a social evening with at the Doggett’s Coat & Badge pub. And I went on a nice tour of Apsley House with Thinking Bob. I went on some nice walks as well, going to Waterlow Park and Hampstead Heath, doing the Scandal, Gossip & Outrage tour on the Cities Talking app, and finding more Talking Statues.

The Apsley House visit turned out to be my last meetup of the year with Thinking Bob, meaning I only went to 2 events with them in 2018. It was nothing intentional and I have nothing against them – indeed, I put my name down for a few other things during the year, only to have to keep cancelling when other stuff came up. So I’d like to meet up with them some more in 2019 if I can. They were after all the first social group I met up with in London very soon after I arrived, and they were instrumental in helping me settle in and get used to meeting complete strangers in the city. They’re a great bunch of people, and I’ve done a lot with them, just not this year. So I’ll try and change that in 2019 if I can, and likewise I’ll try to go to some more events on Meetup too perhaps. We’ll see how it goes.

In terms of home entertainment, as well as the usual things I enjoy watching, I also tried the Big Bang Theory spin-off Young Sheldon, which was better than I expected it to be, though it took a little while to get into. And I listened to the Radio Boy books by Christian O’Connell, who left Absolute Radio to present a new breakfast show in Australia during the year. I’ve been listening to the podcast for his new show for a while to see how he’s getting on. I don’t think it’s quite as good as his UK show was, as his banter with Jack doesn’t feel the same as it did with Richie, but it’s still fun. I finally bought the Def Leppard album from 2015 as well, which is great to listen to.

And I did well on social media this month too, with another couple of enjoyable guest posts. I answered 10 Questions About Aniridia for the RNIB’s NB Online magazine, and wrote an article entitled From Shyness To Success: Living With Aniridia & Nystagmus for Yoocan. And I was lucky enough to win the Rare Disease Day Photo Challenge, which was a great surprise!

March

Selfie of Glen smiling and wearing sunglasses, with the London Eye behind him on the opposite side of the River Thames.

One of my biggest achievements this year was talking to a group of primary school children about Growing Up With Sight Loss. I was really nervous before doing it, having never given a speech for kids before, but it turned out to be a lot of fun and extremely rewarding. The feedback I received from the children and teachers was just incredible, I really did feel like I’d made a positive impact and helped to raise a lot of awareness and understanding. So I’m really proud of myself for how well that went, and thank you again to everyone at the school for making it such a wonderful experience.

Some friends of mine also came to London this month for a few days, to celebrate a birthday. So I was able to meet up with them to enjoy some Cuisine, Cinema & Comedy. including The Comedy Store Players at The Comedy Store, and Black Panther at the cinema, among other things. We had a great time together. That was the first time I’d ever been to a comedy club, strange I know. But I also went to another in the same month with my friend James, as we saw An Evening Of Unnecessary Detail at the Backyard Bar & Kitchen, which was also very funny.

And with my friends from East London Vision I went to London’s first ever Vitality Big Half Marathon to support Joanna Lally and Jessica Beal. That was a really enjoyable day, from which you can see a half-hour highlights video of the runners, plus interviews with Jessica & Joanna, and a few clips from the Vitality Big Festival that took place at the same time.

My big theatre visit this month was to see Wicked, which was amazing. The touch tour was wonderful, and the mobile app they used for the audio description worked really well. I’m also very proud of the fact that my review has inspired a reader to go and see the show. Feedback like that makes writing about my exploits so worthwhile.

I also bought some new clothes this month, including jumpers, cargo trousers and trainers, and we got a new flatbed microwave that has no turntable and is very simple to use. So that’s all been very useful throughout the year. We got lots of nice treats for Easter too, of course. I also enjoyed a few stand-up comedy specials on Netflix this month, namely Humanity by Ricky Gervais, Repertoire by James Acaster and Katherine Ryan – In Trouble. The new series of Not Going Out was great as well, as was the live episode they did at Christmas. And I enjoyed the album Over And Out by Rick Parfitt from Status Quo, which was released after his sad passing.

April

Fern, Glen and Jenny posing and smiling together at the Aniridia Network Conference. Fern's golden coloured guide dog is on the floor next to her.

Glen, Galina & James 2

Glen pretending to use an old rotary dial phone.

This was a very busy month. I attended my first Aniridia Network Conference, for which I filmed and edited the presentation videos. I got to meet a lot of great people here, Sue Ricketts from the Nystagmus Network, the wonderful motivational speaker Fern Lulham who have a particularly great speech about Living With Aniridia, and I got to catch-up with an old school friend as well. I’ll be speaking at the 2019 conference, which will be my first public talk in well over a year, so I’m hoping that goes well.

I also attended Naidex, Europe’s largest disability and independent living event, at the Birmingham NEC, which was really interesting. I’d never heard of it before, even though it was their 44th year. But I was invited to be an ambassador by their marketing team, which basically meant that we gave each other shoutouts on social media, so they promoted my content if I gave them a bit of promotion. They didn’t pay for me to go to the event or have any input into my review of the show, but I did really enjoy it.

It was also the subject of my first ever radio interview in May, where I spoke to Fern Lulham about my experience for her slot on the Kelly & Company show on AMI Audio in Canada. So that was very exciting – it was strange to hear my voice on a podcast like that, but I really enjoyed my fleeting moment of fame as well! And in June I won a Nimble Cutter from Disability Horizons, as the result of a survey I’d filled out at the event. So I did rather well as a result of going to the show!

Naidex have invited me to be an ambassador again for their 2019 event, being held on 26 & 27 March, and I will certainly try and go along to that if I can. I genuinely recommend going if you have an interest in the latest developments for disabled people, there’s so much going on there.

In terms of museums, I took part in more accessibility studies, with some fascinating Ultrahaptics Testing at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and an audio description test at The Wallace Collection with Rafie Cecilia (where it was clear they need to do a lot of work on their accessibility, but it did at least introduce me to the very good Smartify app). And at the theatre I saw Motown The Musical with East London Vision, where we had a great touch tour looking at all the costumes and props, and the music was wonderful. Plus I went for a few walks around Mile End Park, Victoria Park, Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill. And in terms of entertainment, I enjoyed the new series Cunk On Britain and started exploring the delights that Amazon Music has to offer.

May

Glen smiling while standing in Lloyd Park in the sunshine, wearing a sunhat, sunglasses and a red t-shirt.

After a hectic April, this was a nice calm month where I could relax a bit. And after getting rid of the snow in the early months, we were very lucky with the weather for the rest of the year. So this month I walked around places like Gooseley Playing FieldsGreatfields ParkValentine’s ParkLloyd Park in Walthamstow and the River Roding. And in terms of guided tours, I went on the City Sculpture Trail that was part of the Walk London event, I did the Bloomsbury Tour from the Pocket Guide London App, and I joined the London Discovery Walks, Talks & Events Meetup group for a tour of Kensall Green Cemetery followed by a stroll along the Grand Union Canal from Kensington to Little Venice and Paddington. I never did do any more walks with that group despite wanting to – time really did run away with me this year!

I also went to support a friend’s abseil down Guildford Cathedral, with absolutely no idea that I’d be doing an abseil myself later in the year! Mum and I also did another Lush order and we’ve continued to buy things from them every so often.

For entertainment, this month saw the first of 2 great series of Taskmaster that aired on the Dave channel this year. Plus I enjoyed the stand-up show Greg Davies: You Magnificent Beast on Netflix, the new series of Humans on Channel 4, Star Wars – The Last Jedi on Blu-ray. the All The Stations documentary on Youtube that I was one of the crowd funders for, and the second Lockwood & Co book The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud. I really must put the time aside to get back into that series of books, they’re very good. I also bought a few A-Ha albums to top up my collection of their stuff, along with the soundtracks for the Wicked & Young Frankenstein musicals.

I also had my radio interview with Fern Lulham about Naidex that I mentioned above, and I posted my answers to the Disabled Blogger Tag, created by Elin from My Blurred World,

June

Glen and James smiling and wearing white Aniridia Network t-shirts, while sitting in front of a laptop computer on which there is a presentation slide from a live webinar they're watching.

Selfie in my sunny back garden, in which I'm smiling and wearing my green tinted sunglasses.

Glen outside on a busy London street, smiling and wearing his sunglasses, with a small model toilet on his head and a large plunger in his hand.

This was another packed month. The big event this time was Aniridia Day on June 21st, the second annual international awareness day for aniridia. Like many people, I shared an Aniridia Sight photo to discuss how I see with the condition. But I also a bigger role, as I worked with James from the Aniridia Network on social media and the webinars, one of which featured the two of us talking about living with aniridia in the UK. We also hosted a meetup the day before as well. So it was a busy event, but it went well. If anyone wants to help with the organisation of the 2019 event – and we really could do with more people on board to spread the workload better – then please do contact the Aniridia Day team.

The day before Aniridia Day was also Nystagmus Awareness Day, with its new date of June 20th (as it used to be held in November, where it was known as Wobbly Wednesday). I couldn’t do anything for that given all the Aniridia Day work. But I made up for that by doing the abseil for them later in the year of course. I had decided in June that I would be doing it, but I hadn’t kicked off that fundraising at that point.

I also took part in the RNIB’s Shades For Sight campaign, promoting the importance of sunglasses for protecting your eyes, by sharing a selfie with my sunglasses on. And Happy Birthday to the RNIB as well, on their 150th anniversary this year!

When it comes to museums, I made a new friend called Claire this year, when we met at the Ocean Liners exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, which was packed with lots of interesting history, models, fashions, etc. I also visited the Volcanoes & Earthquakes exhibition in the Natural History Museum, using the recorded audio description tour from their website, and I had a look at their Restless Surface gallery as well. I also used large print guides to explore the Mathematics exhibition at the Science Museum and the Teeth exhibition in the Wellcome Collection.

Turning to the theatre, I went to see Peter Pan at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, with a touch tour and audio description, and another play called Libby’s Eyes, written by a visually impaired playwright and starring a visually impaired actress, and with integrated audio description. Two very different shows, but both were very good.

And in the great outdoors, meanwhile, I enjoyed doing the Hidden Horrors of Haunted London tour by London Walking Tours, and the Original Loo Tour by London Loo Tours, which is a lot more fun and interesting than it might sound!

July

Glen smiling and holding up a piece of paper showing a handwritten quote that says - My impairment’s just a dropped stitch in life’s rich tapestry. I’m successful, independent, it’s no barrier to me.

Glen smiling and waving down from a high platform, before crossing a rope bridge that has alternate circular and X shaped platforms. Paul, an East London Vision volunteer, is also waving next to Glen on the platform. Behind them are green trees under the clear blue sky.

Glen and Nihan standing next to her artwork made up of pieces of coloured fabric on the wall, each a different colour and size, and either square or rectangular in shape, and each containing a message in braille.

I was very busy on the blogging front this month, publishing a couple of epic posts about My Visual Impairment Aids & Gadgets and My Assistive iPhone Features & Apps that proved to be very popular, especially when the RNIB shared them. And I got an even bigger response when Yoocan featured my story on their Instagram, including a self-written motivational quote that I’d come up with. It rapidly clocked up over 1,200 likes in a matter of hours, and it then got yet another boost when it was shared by Miracles & Messes on their page, getting over 2,800 likes very quickly! I’ve never had anywhere near that kind of reaction on Instagram before so it was quite a shock! And on top of all that, my story was shared elsewhere too, when I was kindly featured by Kelsey in a guest post on Consider Yourself Warned, as part of his series Celebrating Diversity Amongst Bloggers,

Out and about, meanwhile, I had a great time at Go Ape in Battersea Park with East London Vision, where you have to navigate a series of rope bridges high up in the trees. I’d never done anything like that before, but it was great fun. I also went to a lovely summer barbecue with South East London Vision at the Doggett’s Coat & Badge. And I also went ten-pin bowling with the London Sports Club For The Blind and Aquabats, which was very enjoyable having not played it for a while. I then attended more bowling nights with both of those groups during the rest of the year.

I also went to some more exhibitions during the month. Most notably, I was invited along to the Camberwell College Of Arts by Nihan Karim, who very kindly gave me a tour of their MA Visual Arts Summer Show, which was very interesting and enjoyable, including her own work. Meanwhile, with South East London Vision I went to the National Gallery to see their Monet & Architecture exhibition, using a recorded audio guide they had available. And on my own I went to the Mammals exhibition at the Natural History Museum, I also took part in a very interesting experiment in the use of haptic technology with Nicola Flüchter, which was unusual but fun, and it’ll be interesting to see how the technology develops as time goes on.

In terms of entertainment, I went to see Knightmare Live at the Underbelly Festival on the South Bank, which was a hilarious and delightful nostalgia fest, based on the classic children’s TV game show that I used to love. Closer to home, I also enjoyed watching the bright and colourful Newham Carnival.

Online, I finally got around to watching So What Now?, an old sitcom featuring Lee Evans that someone on Youtube had recommended to me, and it was very funny. And I downloaded the three Treasury box sets for the BBC’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue from Audible, which my mother and I gradually worked our way through during the year, and they’re really funny.

August

Glen sitting and smiling by his computer, which has a photo of the Arcelormittal Orbit Tower on the screen.

This was another busy blogging month. In particular, I started to heavily promote my charity abseil for nystagmus research, encouraging people to donate at JustGiving.com/WellEyeNever (which you can still do until 23 March 2019). I also responded to The Sunshine Blogger Award that 3 separate bloggers had kindly nominated me for, and I spent quite a bit of time editing and captioning the Aniridia Day webinar videos.

Away from the computer, I went to the theatre yet again to see A Monster Calls, which was a very sweet and moving story. And I explored 2 exhibitions at the Science Museum, called Making The Modern World and The Secret Life Of The Home, which were interesting. I also went for a lovely long walk around Greenwich, which had been on my to-do list for a while. It’s a beautiful area, and the park has wonderful views across London, plus there were quite a few musicians around.

I also did a little bit of travelling as well. I spent a lovely day with friends in Portsmouth, exploring The D-Day Story Museum, enjoying the views from Southsea Castle, and walking along the seafront. And I caught up with some friends in Torquay too.

For my birthday I treated myself to Def Leppard – The CD Collection Volume 1, having never had all of their early albums (apart from their Hysteria 30th anniversary box set), so it was great way to get a bunch of them at once. I also got their live album Mirrorball: Live & More at the same time, and downloaded the Doctor Who Series 9 Soundtrack. And I also listened to the audiobook Best Foot Forward by comedian and Last Leg presenter Adam Hills, which was a fascinating and humorous insight into his life. And at home we had a lovely new bathroom installed, as well as doing some shopping at Lush and Waitrose to treat ourselves a little bit.

September

Tweet by Glen: Oh my god, thank you so, so, soooo much to Richard Osman for your extremely generous donation to my charity abseil for nystagmus research! Absolutely blown away, that is truly incredible of you sir! THANK YOU! Richard Osman then replies with the word pleasure.

This month didn’t entirely go to plan, as the abseil had to be postponed due to bad weather. However, I was still kept busy in other ways. Even if I couldn’t jump off a tower for them yet, I was still able to attend the Nystagmus Network’s Open Day, where we had lots of great presentations and I met many lovely people. I had been a speaker there the previous year, so it was nice to go as a normal delegate this time.

The abseil was still a big topic of conversation though, as I had already raised a lot of money by that point – especially thanks to a very generous £250 donation by TV presenter and producer Richard Osman, much to my surprise! Even now I still haven’t quite got over the shock of that!

While I’m not a celebrity like him, I did still have a little bit of fame on other people’s sites this month, as I was very kindly featured in a guest post by Amanda Gene (who I interviewed in return) and likewise by Chelsey at VI Blind Resources (who I also interviewed the next month). And in another surprise this month, I was one of the 12 disabled bloggers to add to your reading list according to Euan’s Guide.

I also continued my cultural activities by seeing Dishoom! at the Watford Palace Theatre, which was very bright and musical and fun, and explored the Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Meanwhile my mother and I had a wonderful time at Buckingham Palace, with an audio described sensory garden tour, followed by a recorded audio described tour of the impressive State Rooms. And I also had a bit of exercise on my own too, by having a lovely walk along some of the Thames Path over a weekend, taking in the beautiful views of the river, and finishing with a ride in the Emirates Airline Cable Car.

And for entertainment I enjoyed the 7th series of Taskmaster, the remastered download of Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains The Same, a live album called No Security by The Rolling Stones in their From The Vault series. I also started reorganising my CDs and DVDs to get rid of the cases and save a lot of shelve space, by getting some Amazon Basics 400-disc binders. I’ve done a bit here and there in the months since then, and they’re pretty much all sorted now. I just need to get one more binder to finish things off, and then I’ll try and do a fresh video about my DVD collection in 2019 to bring everything up to date.

My mother and I also did a bit more shopping at Lush as well. But our biggest purchase this month was a delivery from Bensons For Beds, meaning I now have a lovely, cosy double bed to sleep in. And we also got the surprise of a free Victor Reader Stream from Humanware, as we were chosen in a prize draw after filling out a customer satisfaction survey. So that was a great gift!

October

Matt, Claire and Glen ready to abseil in their harnesses and helmets. Matt and Glen also have GoPro cameras attached to their helmets. Glen and Claire are wearing their Moorfields Eye Charity t-shirts and normal trousers, but Matt is wearing an orange furry Tigger bodysuit, to look like the character from the Winnie The Pooh stories. It has black tiger stripes, a yellow chest, and a big round grey nose poking out from under his helmet.

Photo by a spectator on the ground almost directly below the tower, looking up towards the underside of the circular platform at the top. The photo is zoomed out so that most of the tower is visible. Claire and Glen can be seen abseiling on the right side of the tower.

Glen, Claire and James smiling and giving a thumbs up, posing in their Moorfields Eye Charity abseil t-shirts, as the Orbit Tower stands high over them in the background.

My charity abseil for nystagmus research finally happened in October. It was the most amazing and exciting experience, and one of the biggest achievements in my entire life. I did it in partnership with the Nystagmus Network and Moorfields Eye Charity, to raise money for pioneering research into the eye condition nystagmus at Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. And I’ve raised a huge £920 from it so far, which is fantastic (as noted above, you can still donate until 23 March 2019). Thank you so much to everybody who supported me and donated, it will make a huge difference to many thousands of people!

Apart from that, I still got out and about and did other things as well. I enjoyed my first experience of a Shakespeare play when I saw Much Ado About Nothing at Watford Palace Theatre, I spent a lovely afternoon looking around the London Transport Museum, I took part in a great audio description research study run by Rachel Hutchinson, I had good fun at East London Vision’s 5th Birthday Party, I took part in a bit more ten-pin bowling again with London Sports Club For The Blind and Aquabats, and I loved exploring the Queen shop in Carnaby as a big fan of the band.

And in terms of entertainment, I really enjoyed Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the first female Doctor Who, I thought she was brilliant. The 12th and final season of The Big Bang Theory also began this month, as did the 5th season of The Flash. I also bought a fun live show called You Can’t Polish A Nerd by the comedy group Festival Of The Spoken Nerd.

November

Glen smiling and wearing a white t-shirt featuring the colourful crest for the band Queen, as he stands next to a waxwork of Freddie Mercury. Freddie has a red jacket and white trousers on, and is punching the air with his left hand as he sings loudly into the microphone held in his right hand.

Glen smiling as he sits with a waxwork of Emma Watson, who is wearing a sparking black dress.

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After all the excitement of the abseil, it was nice to be able to relax again. Well, I say relax, but I was still very busy. I went to the theatre 3 times for a start. I first tried my first ever ballet, by going to see The Wayward Daughter at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. And it was a wonderful experience, with the most in-depth touch tour I’ve ever had, very useful audio description, and the chance to meet a cute real-life pony! I also saw The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, which again had a touch tour and audio description, and was very funny throughout. And lastly I saw A Pupil at Park Theatre, which was a dark drama but still had humour in it as well, and there was an interesting Q&A at the end of it. And on top of all that, I also went to a couple of stand-up comedy gigs, namely the Angel Comedy Club at The Bill Murray bar with the Aquabats group, and History Showoff at Southwark Cathedral, both of which were good fun.

The big museum visit this month was to Madame Tussaud’s with East London Vision, where we assessed their accessibility and gave them feedback which they can hopefully use to improve things. It was fascinating to get close to the impressive waxworks and get lots of photos taken with them. I also visited The Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, when I stayed in some friends in the town for a long weekend, and it was really interesting. And as for entertainment this month, I saw the Bohemian Rhapsody movie at the cinema, which was amazing, and enjoyed listening to The Audiobook Of The Year 2018 by No Such Thing As A Fish,

And online, I was very kindly featured in a Guest Blogger Interview by the Invisible Vision Project, in response to which I published an interview with Carol here on my blog. And I also responded to the What Makes Me tag, which was created by Gem Turner. and I was nominated to do it by Holly from Life Of A Blind Girl.

Christmas Food & Fashion, Entertainment & Outings

Glen smiling and wearing a red and white Santa hat.

Glen with his arm around Jessica as they sit together and smile at the camera. Both are wearing Christmas hats from their Christmas crackers. Glen is wearing an Only Fools And Horses Christmas jumper, with large yellow letters saying Cushty Christmas above the yellow 3 wheeled van owned by the Trotters in the TV show, surrounded by snowflakes. Jess is wearing a white top covered in little Christmas trees, holly leaves, etc, with red sleeves.

Glen smiling and looking through a small blue kaleidoscope that he got out of his Christmas cracker at the restaurant. He is wearing a Christmas jumper featuring the band Queen. The central image has headshots of the 4 members of the band, arranged as in their Bohemian Rhapsody video, but each is wearing a red and white Santa hat. This image sits between the words Snowhemian Rhapsody in large white text.

Christmas has basically taken up the entire month of December, which I’m very happy about! After such an eventful year with new friends, fun adventures and huge achievements, it’s been wonderful to celebrate and relax. So I’ve had many Christmas meals spread throughout the month, with groups including RNIB Connect EastEast London VisionSouth East London VisionLondon Sports Club For The Blind and my colleagues at work in Torquay. Mum and I have also enjoyed various goodies from Marks & Spencer, Fortnum & Mason, Waitrose & Sainsbury’s over the festive period.

And in terms of fashion, I doubled my Christmas jumper collection by getting a Doctor Who jumper and a Queen jumper, And I got a really useful pair of gloves as a present, that allow you to work with touchscreen devices without having to take them off, so I really like those.

I’ve also been doing lots of Christmassy things out and about. I enjoyed watching It’s A Wonderful Life for the first time ever at the Prince Charles Cinema, I had great fun at the Dick Whittington pantomime at the Lyric Hammersmith theatre, I loved hearing Carols From Around The World by the Colla Voce Singers at St. Saviour’s in Pimlico, it was interesting to see how people in different eras have celebrated the occasion in A Time Traveller’s Christmas at the National Trust’s Fenton House, and I had a lovely time exploring the Christmas At London Zoo lights trail, as well as having nice walks in Regent’s Park, Oxford Street & Regent Street,

And at home we bought ourselves a new Smart TV, Sound Bar & Blu-ray Player, enabling us to watch more than ever before. And I’ve been enjoying loads of things on TV, DVD and online, including Doctor Who, Outlander, an interactive episode of Black Mirror, a live episode of Not Going Out, a one-off special called Click & Collect, classic sitcom Christmas specials from the past, The Last Leg, QI XL, Would I Lie To You?, new stand-up comedy DVDs by John Bishop (Winging It) & Jon Richardson (Old Man), the TV series Hitchhiker’s Gide To The Galaxy on Blu-ray, the Rolling Stones live show Voodoo Lounge Uncut on Blu-ray, and a DVD set of The Kenny Everett Video Show that we’ve started watching, among a great many other things.

Conclusion

Writing it out like that shows just how eventful this year has been! I’m very proud that I’ve been able to pack so much in to the last 12 months, having lots of fun, achieving so much and getting to know so many people along the way.

My first two years in London have without doubt been two of the very best years of my life, and I know there’s still so much to learn and explore, as there always will be. So I’m really looking forward to seeing what the coming year has in store. With the exception of speaking at the Aniridia Network conference, I have no idea what lays ahead. So by all means let me know if there’s anything I should look out for and consider trying. But if 2019 is as much fun as these past couple of years have been, it’s going to be great!

So thank you once again for supporting and following me in 2018, and I hope you’ll continue to stick with me in 2019. A Very Happy New Year and all the best for 2019! 🙂

Author: Glen

Love London, love a laugh, love life. Visually impaired blogger & Youtuber with aniridia & nystagmus, posting about my experiences & adventures.

3 thoughts on “2018 Review”

  1. I loved your post, Glen. Thank you again for being a guest on my blog and for allowing me to be interviewed by you. I hope you and I can work together again in the future. I hope you have a great New Year’s Eve and Day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Amanda! I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I look forward to collaborating with you again as well. Happy New Year, I hope it’s a great one for you! 🙂

      Like

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