2018 Review

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! 🙂

Continue reading “2018 Review”

Christmas 2018 Favourites – Food & Fashion

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! 🙂

I hope everybody’s having a wonderful time, whoever you’re with and whatever you’re doing. Or if you need support and comfort because things aren’t going so well, then I hope you’re able to find some solace and company to make things easier. And if you’re working today and over the holidays, especially if you’re in the emergency services and other essential jobs, you have my utmost admiration and respect.

Also a very big thank you to everyone who has supported my blog and my adventures over what has been an incredible second year in London for me. It’s been full of even more amazing surprises and adventures than the first year, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing what 2019 brings. And I hope you’ll stick with me for it.

But we need to wrap up 2018 first. And I’m going to do that over a few posts, as there’s a lot to tell you about. In this post I’m going to tell you about the Christmas food I’ve been over-indulging on, and a few items of festive clothing that I’ve got this year. Then in the next post, I’m going to tell you about all of the entertainment I’m enjoying right now, and then I’ll tell what I’ve been doing to while out & about (apart from the Christmas meals mentioned below).

I’ve also produced a video to accompany this series of posts.

So I hope you enjoy reading about my favourites over the festive period. And feel free to check out my other Christmas posts & lists if you want even more to occupy your time with. 🙂

Continue reading “Christmas 2018 Favourites – Food & Fashion”

#WhatMakesMe

When people first meet me or look at my blog or social media, it’s easy to focus on the fact that I have a disability, because of the different ways that I have to do things as a result.

However, my visual impairment is just one part of me. It does have an impact on me, sure, and is an important aspect of my life. But it doesn’t stop me from being happy and successful and exploring the world around me. So there is far more to me and my identity than just a couple of wonky eyes, as regular readers of my blog will know already.

So in this post I want to list some of the other key things that make me who I am, all of which seem to begin with the letter C now I think about it. I was tagged to do this by Holly at Life Of A Blind Girl, and the #WhatMakesMe tag was originally created by Gem Turner. So thank you to Gem for initiating it and Holly for nominating me, and I hope you all enjoy reading about what makes me who I am.

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August 2018 Favourites

It’s now time to do my August Favourites post and video, to bring myself up to date, before I get into an eventful September. August was again busy on the social media front, and there was important stuff going on at home too. But I also had time to go out and do a nice variety of things as well. So it was another productive and enjoyable month, and I hope you enjoy reading about it.

Continue reading “August 2018 Favourites”

July 2018 Favourites

Time for another monthly favourites post and video, looking back at July. Things were very busy and successful on the blog and social media this month, I enjoyed some fun social events, museum visits and other entertainment, and I even got a bit sporty for once, all while enjoying the sweltering heatwave. So it was a pretty good month, and I hope you enjoy my review of it.

And if you do enjoy reading about the things I get up to, I would love it if you would consider sponsoring my charity abseil in September. That would mean a lot to me. A massive thank you to my amazing sponsors so far! I’ll keep updating that shoutouts page as donations come in, including links for fellow bloggers, so do chip in if you want a mention. You’ll also get mentions in my videos as well, as a couple of people have done in this case. Quite a few people have donated since I filmed the video last week!

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Libby’s Eyes

For the visually impaired and other disabled people, the processes involved in claiming and retaining benefits and support can cause a lot of stress. Some are left feeling that their conditions and needs are not understood by those making the decisions. and by wider society in general for that matter. And there is some truth in that unfortunately. Although awareness is improving, there is still a lot of work to be done.

A new play called Libby’s Eyes is hoping to increase that awareness. It’s written by visually impaired playwright Amy Bethan Evans, and stars visually impaired actress Georgie Morrell as Libby. It’s not often at all that you see a disabled character played by a person with that disability, so that delighted and intrigued me when I heard about the production, as well as the overview of the story itself. So I went to see it on Thursday night with my friend Claire, and I wanted to give you my thoughts on it. Continue reading “Libby’s Eyes”

March 2018 Favourites

Well, that’s an early Easter out of the way for this year, and I hope everyone had a great time. We had the typical bank holiday weather here in the UK – i.e. wet – but on the plus side we also had lots of treats to indulge on as well, so it’s been like another Christmas in that sense. Indeed, with the wintery weather still hanging around, you’d be forgiven for not realising it was spring yet. Still, just like February, once again the weather hasn’t stopped me from having another very successful month.

But before I get on to the details, I just want to very quickly mention a free event I’m attending in April that you might also be interested in. I’m not being paid to mention it, but I am one of their voluntary social media ambassadors. And regardless of that, I’m genuinely intrigued by the whole thing anyway, having never heard of it before, so it deserves a mention in any case. And I don’t want to bury it at the bottom of the post where nobody will see it.

So to quote them directly:

Naidex is Europe’s most exciting event dedicated to the disability, independent living and healthcare professional sectors. Taking place at the NEC Birmingham on the 25th and 26th April, this esteemed event provides cutting-edge exhibitors, world-class CPD accredited seminars, live demos, 1-2-1 advice and unparalleled networking opportunities, over two unforgettable days. And it’s absolutely free to attend! Register for your FREE ticket on naidex.co.uk!

There are bold claims there, I know, but in all fairness I’ve looked through the show guide listing the exhibitors, speakers and events, and it really is very exciting. PLus it is their 44th year, so they know what they’re doing. I’ll be there both days and will have no problem filling the time, and I will of course tell you all about it. But I recommend going too if you can – it’s free, so you just have to be able to get to Birmingham on at least one of those days, and you need to register for tickets on their website in advance. If you’re a fellow blogger who’s also going, and you want to say hello there or collaborate in some way in relation to it, you’re welcome to get in touch. And if you know others who might want to go, pass it on!

Ok, that’s all I have to say about it, I just felt it deserved a plug. Now let’s crack on with my latest favourites post and video, so you can see what I’ve been up to. I hope you enjoy it!

Continue reading “March 2018 Favourites”

An Evening Of Unnecessary Detail

Following my trip to The Comedy Store last week, this Tuesday I went to another comedy club – this time the Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green, for a show called An Evening Of Unnecessary Detail, produced by the team at Festival Of The Spoken Nerd. I’d heard a little bit about them before, so had been curious about going to one of their shows. So when my friend James invited me to go along with him, I happily took up the opportunity.

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Companions, Cuisine, Cinema & Comedy

This has been a fun week, because I got to spend time with some good friends who were visiting London for a few days, one of whom was celebrating their 30th birthday. They packed plenty in to their short break, having planned things out very well beforehand, and they really enjoyed themselves. I didn’t get to spend quite as much time with them as I was hoping to, but I did meet up with them on each of the 3 days they were here. So I thought I’d tell you about it, as we did a variety of fun things!

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February 2018 Favourites

Well, what a way to start a new month, with snow all over the place! Winter has seemed very reluctant to let Spring take over, but hopefully things will warm up in the coming weeks now.

And the cold weather didn’t stopped February from being an eventful month. Following on from my January 2018 Favourites, it’s now time to look through what I’ve been enjoying in February. And even though it’s the shortest month, I seem to have packed quite a bit in! So I hope you enjoy this post and video for February.

Continue reading “February 2018 Favourites”