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 final part of my Christmas Favourites trilogy for 2019, following on from my Out & About and Food posts, this time looking at the TV, movies and audio entertainment that caught my attention during December. I’ve now published a video to go with all three posts too. As before, I’ve not been paid or gifted by anybody, so these are all my own opinions. Hope you enjoy!
Time for one more quick scam email warning for this year, as I’ve just had one claiming that a transaction was made by someone other than myself on my Apple account. Again, the signs of fakery are easy enough to spot, but when people are spending lots of money this time of year, it’s a timely warning to be vigilant.
For this post, meanwhile, I want to explore my top 40 game shows, again covering the period of my life up to the age of 18. I enjoyed keeping my brain busy as a child, often with my nose buried in puzzle books, especially when travelling, so I enjoyed word games and quizzes. But I also adored the many game shows for children where they got to play silly and messy games, and I often wished I could be on them. As I was rather a shy, quiet, well-behaved child (yes, I was a good boy most of the time, honest!), it was a great form of escapism and excitement.
Of course, this is just a summary look at the programmes I enjoyed, so I haven’t gone into detail about the history of each show, how the formats were sold between countries, all of the revivals that have taken place, any DVD releases that a few of the shows have had, and so on. And I haven’t listed any programmes that I already have in my DVD & Blu-ray Collection either. The occasional mention of such details will come up here and there, but ultimately you can find out more about the shows at the Wikipedia articles, websites and videos I’ve linked to below, and you can do further searching online if you wish.
So I hope you find this second part interesting, and it brings back more fond memories for you like it has for me.
I seem to have gone from one extreme to another lately. After a relatively relaxed October, November has been really busy, and in a good way. I appeared on TV and radio to raise awareness of digital accessibility, promoted audio description at a trade exhibition, learnt a great deal about Ancient Greece, explored London’s illuminated bridges, highlighted more scam emails, bought some new Blu-rays and music, and enjoyed various things on TV.
So there’s plenty to cover this month, and I hope you enjoy this post and video summary of it all. As always, I haven’t received any gifts or payments by anyone mentioned in this post, and all opinions are my own.
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:
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:
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.
Millions of people own Apple devices, so it’s inevitable that scammers will try to take advantage of that. I mentioned an iTunes scam last year, but even more common and dangerous are scams that try to access your iCloud account, and I’ve received one such email this week. It’s not the first and it won’t be the last.
Of course, Apple will never send out emails claiming your account information is incorrect. They also won’t use pop-up ads, phone calls or text messages of this nature either, which some scammers are also trying to do. So never give your details to anyone who contacts you out of the blue claiming there are issues with your iCloud account, and don’t click on any links they provide either.
If you are ever worried about your iCloud account’s security, change your Apple ID password immediately and contact Apple Support via their official website if you need further help. If you’ve given out any banking details, tell your bank as well. You should also report these emails to Apple by following the instructions on their Suspicious Emails page. I’ve included advice from Apple at the end of this post too, in case you think your Apple ID has been compromised.
So let’s get on to the email. As usual, it has clear giveaways as to how fake it is. If you’ve followed my scam posts before (and I notice they do get viewed very regularly), none of this will be new to you. But a reminder’s always good.