Journal – January-March 2002

July 2020 Introduction:

Technically, this isn’t the first online blog I’ve ever written. Many years ago, not long after I’d started university, having set myself up with a study room and internet connection at home, I ended up joining a social media site called Bolt. I’d received an advert for it after signing up to Hotmail and decided to check it out.

Bolt no longer exists today, and Hotmail has long since been replaced by Outlook, but many features on sites like Facebook are similar to those that Bolt had. It introduced many teenagers and young adults to social media for the very first time, and I did make a few friends there, though we’ve long since lost touch.

Not only was it the first time I’d written anything about my life online, it was also the first time I’d started keeping any sort of diary at all. I started in January 2002 and continued until August 2004, at which point my life was changing again, as I had left university and was looking for a career. So the time was right to move on from the site, as I felt I’d grown out of it, and focus on other more important things.

But before I left I archived all of my Bolt posts for posterity, and then kept a much more detailed personal diary on my own PC from that point onwards, which I’ve continued to do ever since. I write entries that cover a single day, or a weekend, or an entire week, or whatever, depending on my free time and how much there is to write about. Looking back at my old entries has sometimes proven to be useful to remind me of things, and has given me many pleasant memories.

So I thought I’d dig out my old journal entries and share them here. The posts have been edited where necessary to add relevant links, include photos and videos for illustration, remove references that make no sense out of context, and to protect the privacy of myself and my friends where appropriate.

My early Bolt posts you’re about to see here are also extremely brief and nothing like the rambling blogs I do now! But it’ll give you an insight into my university results and the entertainment I was enjoying at the time, including my growing love for Queen. So I hope you find them of some curious interest and a bit of fun.

Continue reading “Journal – January-March 2002”

Video Journal – Guernsey – July 2001

2020 Introduction:

This is a quick post to share a bit of footage I recorded during a trip to the beautiful island of Guernsey, a place I’ve visited quite a few times, because I have an old school friend who lives there. The videos are on my travel playlist as well. They’re not audio described, but if you are able to see them then I hope you enjoy them.

The first video shows some of the beautiful scenery in Guernsey and the nearby island of Sark, while the other shows us taking a walk around an interesting sculpture park. Both videos replace the original soundtrack with music, as I didn’t want to feature my friend or his family without their consent, and there isn’t much of interest to hear anyway to be honest, it’s the visuals that count.

Those are the last videos I shot using my old S-VHS camcorder, which I’d also used for holidays in America and London. Fortunately I was able to use an adaptor to watch the tapes in a regular VCR. Which in turn meant that when I got a dual VHS & DVD recorder some years later, I was able to copy those videos on to DVD, and from there I was able to create digital copies that I’ve kept on my computer ever since.

So I’m very glad I’ve been able to keep all of these videos, as they’re wonderful souvenirs. And I hope you like them too!

Video Journal – London & France – August 2000

2020 Introduction:

When I was young my family and I used to visit London a few times a year to spend time with our relatives, during Easter, summer and Christmas when I was on holiday from school, college and university.

So naturally we would often go out to see the sights. And once I’d bought a camcorder for my America trip in the spring of 2000, it was only natural to take it with me to London that year to get some footage of the city, along with a few other locations that we visited on day trips.

So in this post I’m going to share some of those clips, which are also in my travel playlist. They’re not audio described, but if you are able to see them then I hope you enjoy them!

Continue reading “Video Journal – London & France – August 2000”

Video Journal – America – May 2000

2020 Introduction:

In May 2000 I was lucky enough to be part of a school exchange trip to the USA. Students from the Kentucky School For The Blind had previously visited our school for the visually impaired in Exeter (today known as the WESC Foundation), and then later we had the opportunity to visit them in return. I bought an S-VHS camcorder especially for the occasion, and ended up recording a lot of footage. It’s not professionally shot or in high definition of course, but I’m pleased I captured so much.

So here I want to share some of that footage. It’s the first holiday video I ever made, and to date it’s still my favourite, as it’s the only time I’ve ever visited the United States so far. The videos are all in my travel playlist as well. They’re not audio described, but if you are able to see them then I hope you enjoy them!

Continue reading “Video Journal – America – May 2000”

School Journal – Snowdonia Trip – May 1998

2020 Introduction:

Welcome to the first of the historical posts on my site. I actually started writing this blog in February 2016, if you’re looking for the first posts I made here.

However, during the first Covid lockdown in 2020 I started publishing old journals from my past, most of which I’ve never shared online before. Hence they all have an introduction written several years later. All of the posts are listed on my Journals & Favourites page.

This first post goes all the way back to when I was 14 years old, and I went with my classmates (all of us visually impaired) on a field trip to Snowdonia in North Wales. We had a fabulous time, and it would be lovely to go back one day.

Fortunately, our teachers put together a diary of the trip that we were all given a copy of, and many years later I scanned it into my computer for posterity, using OCR software to help me convert it into text. So here is that diary, along with a few of the photos I took at the time. I hope you enjoy!

Continue reading “School Journal – Snowdonia Trip – May 1998”