October 2018 Favourites

We’re deep into autumn now, with Christmas edging ever closer. And now that we’re well into the penultimate month of the year, it’s time for a look back at October to see what I got up to.

The major event, of course, was my charity abseil for nystagmus research, and you can find out all about it in my epic blog post and video. There are lots of photos and video highlights from the day, especially from the headcam I was wearing during my descent. So do go and check all of that out. Huge thanks to everyone who sponsored me, and you can still donate until 23 March 2019.

But there were still other bits and pieces going on during October as well. So I’m going to tell you about them here, and there’s also a video to go with this post as usual. I hope you enjoy my latest recap!

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Queen At The Cinema & Carnaby

Queen are my favourite band of all time. While the words ‘genius’ and ‘legend’ can be overused, they undoubtedly apply to Freddie Mercury, who was taken from us far too soon. And all of the members of the group are legends in their own right. I never get tired of hearing their amazing music.

And right now the band are experiencing yet another wave of well-deserved popularity and publicity thanks to the new Bohemian Rhapsody movie that came our recently. There were some hurdles in its development, it’s fair to say, but they got there in the end. And to help celebrate it, the shopping district of Carnaby in London have got lights up with lyrics from Bohemian Rhapsody and a special pop-up Queen shop that’s also a mini-museum.

So back in October I visited the Queen shop soon after it opened and got myself a few things. And then yesterday I went to see the film, and took another walk to Carnaby to see the lights. So in this post I’m going to tell you what I thought of the movie, share some photos of the Carnaby lights and the Queen shop, and show you what I bought. I hope you enjoy it!

Note: This post is not sponsored, and I’ve had no contact with anybody connected with Carnaby, Queen or the movie. I explored all of this purely as a fan, so all opinions are my own.

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Ballet & The Bard

Over the past fortnight I’ve been to a couple of theatre shows that in the past I wouldn’t have considered going to – a Shakespeare play and a ballet. Both types of production can potentially be quite hard to follow if you’re new to them, even more so if you’re visually impaired. So I was curious about them, but I didn’t know if I would like them. And I didn’t fancy going to anything that was a heavy drama or a tragedy.

However, my friend Claire spotted a couple of light comedies that had touch tours and audio description available – Much Ado About Nothing and La Fille Mal Gardée (The Wayward Daughter). So they were very intriguing. And having the extra accessibility really appealed to me, as I always find it very useful. Being able to closely examine and feel the costumes, props and scenery on a touch tour, combined with the audio description during the performance, ensures that I can fully understand and enjoy what’s happening just like everyone else, as I can feel confident I’m not missing anything important. It’s always greatly appreciated when people put aside their time for us in this way.

So I went to both shows, as they looked quite fun, and here I’m going to review and compare my experiences. I hope you enjoy reading about them.

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Out Of Orbit – My Charity Nystagmus Abseil!

Updated April 2019, to mark the closure of my donation page.

We did it! 🙂 On Sunday 21 October, after a month’s delay due to the typical British weather, I finally got to do my charity abseil down the ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower in aid of nystagmus research. That’s a drop of 80 metres (262 feet) from the UK’s tallest sculpture!

It was my first ever fundraising challenge and my first ever abseil, and therefore a big deal for a beginner like me. And it was an amazing experience, which I’m excited to tell you about in this post. I’ve also made a video that includes headcam footage from my descent, so do check that out as well.

Donations closed on 23 March 2019, and I raised £920! Thank you all SO much! Everyone who donated prior to the initial publication of this post is listed at the end, and are also in the credits of my video (unless you were anonymous of course). But if you’d like to donate even though the deadline has passed, please feel free to donate to Nystagmus Network and/or Moorfields Eye Charity directly. Thanks!

So I hope you enjoy reading about my abseil adventure, including my fundraising achievements and what happened on the day itself! Thanks again for your support!

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September 2018 Favourites

Time for another monthly update, and it’s fair to say that September was very busy and productive, as well as throwing up one or two surprises, which in turn are paving the way for a very interesting October. There is of course a video to go with this post, and I hope you enjoy this little catch-up as usual!

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Scam – Mr Latif, Born Gifted

So far my scam awareness posts have been focused on emails that I’ve received, simply because that’s how I get most of them. However, scammers still target people in other ways of course, such as by telephone and post.

And so the other day I received an unusual business card. I’ve no idea who put it through my letterbox, but it’s clearly the only thing they’re capable of delivering, unlike the promises made on the card. And it appears this blatant fraudster has been around for quite some time.

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Raised by Visionally Impaired Parents: An Interview with Glen from Well Eye Never!

Here’s my most recent guest post to share with you all. This time I was interviewed by Chelsey from VI Blind Resources about what it’s like for me to have visually impaired parents. I hope you enjoy reading it! This brings me up to date at the moment, but I have another interview with another blogger coming soon, so keep an eye out for that.

While I’m here, thank you so much to everyone who has donated to my charity abseil and/or shared my tweets about it. It’s all very much appreciated. I’m now up to £765, thanks in particular to an astonishing £250 (plus £62.50 Gift Aid) donation from TV’s own Richard Osman this morning, which I’m still in shock about! That is extremely generous, so massive thanks to you sir! Everyone who has donated is credited on my Thank You page, including quite a few fellow bloggers now.

There are still 3 days to go before the abseil takes place, so if you want to give me your support before then, you can donate at JustGiving.com/WellEyeNever, or in the UK you can also text WENA80 plus a space and your amount to 70070 (e.g. WENA80 £5). You can donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 by text message. Thanks for your support! 🙂

VIBlindResources

by Chelsey Zumpano

Glin is a fellow Blogger and YouTuber, he’s also visionally impaired, but unlike me he has been raised by parents who also happend to be visionally impaired. So I asked him some questions about what it was like growing up.

1 Do you have the same visual impairment as your parents and either way what is the name/names of it?

I have the same conditions as my mother – aniridia and nystagmus. Aniridia means I don’t have an iris (the coloured circle) in my eye, so my eyes don’t adjust to changes in light properly. As a result, I’m very sensitive to glare and I find it hard to adjust in the dark. Nystagmus means my eyes shake and wobble all the time. This makes it harder for me to focus on things, unless they’re close up or enlarged.

My mother’s sight got a lot worse over…

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