Another week, another selection of posts from my old Bolt journal. Being at home on my summer holiday from university, there wasn’t very much to write about, so I’ve combined 2 months in one post here as they were relatively short. There are still a few points of interest though, including a house invader, a fun charity event, a surprise from my university, my birthday, a bit more sport that caught my attention, and some more music and DVDs that I bought. So I hope you enjoy!
Here we go again, with another month’s worth of entries from my journal on the old social media site Bolt. People seem to be enjoying these, and you’ll notice that my entries have got much longer here. so I hope they continue to interest you. It’s fun for me looking back at them.
I’m not a football fan in general, but I do like to support our country in the World Cup, so it does get mentioned a lot this month. But there’s also the special Golden Jubilee concert for the Queen, socialising with friends, my final exams from my first year at university, and more purchases of music, videos and DVDs. So there’s quite a bit to get through here.
On the university front, it’s worth clarifying that I didn’t stay in student accommodation on site. I lived close enough to commute by train. So if you’re wondering why I didn’t just wander across campus to get some results immediately, that was why – I wasn’t there. So I wasn’t going to catch a train just to look at one result. It was more worthwhile to wait until all of my results were ready, or if I was meeting a friend in the vicinity.
It’s also interesting to see that I’m still buying a mixture of VHS videos and DVD discs at this point, as not everything I wanted was available on DVD back then. So this was a bit of a transition period, gradually moving from one format to the other where possible.
Anyway, with apologies for all the football mentions – or soccer for those of you across the pond – here’s how things went for me in June 2002. I hope you enjoy!
2019 was a bit of a rollercoaster year for me, but it worked out well overall. I was very busy and active for the first half, then there was a dip during the summer with various things that came up all at once, before the final few months that gave me a chance to recharge and get back to normal, while also throwing in one or two surprises.
So as is traditional, I thought I’d quickly go back over the year, to recap on the many things that happened. Click on the headings for each month to see the Favourites post in each case, while there are links to more detailed review posts throughout the text as well. I hope you enjoy looking back at it all with me.
Welcome to the second part of my Favourites trilogy for December 2019, following on from my Out & About post. This time I’m going to quickly show you some of the food my mother and I treated ourselves to over the festive period, as I don’t post about that kind of thing very often. Again I’ve not been sponsored or gifted by anybody mentioned here, and all opinions are my own. And don’t forget there’s a video to go with all of these posts too. So I hope you enjoy!
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and have a wonderful and prosperous 2020 ahead. 🙂
December was good for me all in all, and I was happily occupied over Christmas as usual. So I’m splitting this month’s recap over 3 posts as there’s a lot to mention. I’ve also posted a video to go with them all.
So in this first post, I’m going to talk about my adventures out and about, including museum visits and Christmas displays. I didn’t go out a lot over Christmas and New Year itself, as I had a bad cold for much of it, so it was best to just relax and recharge. But in the lead up to Christmas I still went out quite a bit. And as always, I’ve not been sponsored or gifted by anybody in order to mention them here. So I hope you enjoy!
The internet is an amazing resource, enabling people to instantly access products, services, information, communication, entertainment, etc, anywhere and at any time. And it’s especially useful and important for disabled people, for whom such a direct connection with the world around them plays a vital role.
However, there are still many websites, social media feeds and apps, and other technologies such as self-service checkouts and kiosks, that are partly or wholly unusable by disabled people, due to poor accessibility. This means they cannot access information and purchase products from many retailers and service providers, as they are unjustly hindered or prevented from doing so. As a result, they either don’t buy anything at all, or find accessible competitors instead. Which means many businesses are missing out on the benefits of a huge market worth £274 billion a year!
The same logic also applies when disabled people are prevented from gaining physical access to buildings, facilities, transport, etc, which is a vitally important and huge issue in itself. But for this post I’m focusing on the digital side.
Disability charity Scope have therefore released the findings of their survey on inclusive design, which illustrates the impact of poor digital access. This is to help them publicise The Big Hack, a comprehensive online resource advising businesses on best practice for digital accessibility and inclusion. And to help with the promotion, Scope invited me to take part in some media coverage, which included my first ever TV appearance! Check out my little bits of stardom here:
- Radio – Tech Tent, BBC World Service, 29 November – Jump to 13:08. You’ll need a free account on the BBC site, or search for Tech Tent in your podcast app.
- TV – Channel 5 News, 2 December – A captioned version is available on Twitter & Facebook.
- Newspaper – The Independent, 2 December – I was given a mention in this article. Registration is required, but doing so allows you to read 1 free article per month, or you can pay a small subscription to read more.
So in this long post, which I’ve divided into sections to break it up a bit, I want to:
- Explain a bit about the awareness campaign;
- Address a few myths and misconceptions;
- Highlight some of my own accessibility issues; and
- Tell you about my media appearances.
For clarity, I have not been paid or gifted for my interviews or this post. This is just a topic I feel strongly about, so I was happy to take part in the media coverage, and all opinions here are my own. I also encourage you to research the subject of accessibility further, including the resources on The Big Hack, as there is no way I can cover everything, and no single person is a complete authority on the subject. I’m just talking about things from my own personal perspective, so I hope my thoughts and experiences are useful.
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! 🙂
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. 🙂
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!
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.