Wicked

Just because I said I enjoyed Winter at the Young Vic and looking at the snow recently, it doesn’t mean I want the winter season itself to continue! We’re halfway through March now, so you’d think the spring might make a bit of an effort. But no, we had a bit more snow today, with more due tomorrow! When I’d heard this on the weather during the week, I was worried that it might stop me from going out today. But thankfully it didn’t. What little snow fell in London failed to settle, much to my relief!

So that was great, because today I was able to tick off another big production from my theatre wishlist – Wicked. It’s had loads of awards and gets loads of great reviews, and I already knew a couple of songs from it, so I was really keen to see it. And when the opportunity to book tickets with a touch tour and audio description came up a little while back, I gladly went for it. So I went this afternoon, and in this post I’ll tell you what I thought!

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Tate Modern Audio Tours

Update (January 2019): The Tate app referred to below is no longer available, sadly. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy reading about my first visit to the attraction.

On Saturday I decided to visit the Tate Modern, as I had stumbled upon the fact that they now have a mobile app giving audio tours around the place, as well as other features that tell you more about the art on display, the activities on offer and where to eat and go shopping.

The last time I visited the Tate Modern was as a kid with my family, which I don’t remember clearly now of course (but I did record a bit of video footage at the time). So it’s been on my list of places to explore since I moved to the city, and this was a good opportunity.

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Science Museum – Information Age

I haven’t just been looking at Harry Potter things this month. I’ve also been to other museums as well. And in this post, I want to talk about the Information Age gallery at the Science Museum. I explored the exhibition over a couple of visits, as there’s so much to see in there. It was all very interesting, and I was also curious to try a special accessibility app that had been developed especially for it. So this post is a little review of my experience.

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Planning My Journeys In London

I’ve been posting a lot about what I’ve been doing in London, but I haven’t talked much about how I actually get around such a big city. I did discuss it in a post I did last year when I visited London with a friend, and briefly when I visited Sight Village in 2016, before I actually lived here. But now I’ve been a resident here for a while, and as new followers have asked about it recently, now’s a good opportunity to revisit the topic in more detail. So I’m going to split this over a couple of posts, starting with how I plan my journeys before I actually do them. Then in my next post I’ll talk about what it’s like travelling around.

I’ve also made a video to go with these posts, which you may like to check out as well.

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Audio Description – My First Experiences

In this post and video I’m going to discuss my first experiences with audio description in London, for museums, galleries, theatre shows, cinema screenings and walking tours.

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Hyde Park Walk

Following on from the Southwark Walk I posted about yesterday, the second walk I took over the weekend, on Saturday 15th April, was around Hyde Park. As before, photos from all the walks are on my Instagram, some of which are shared below as well, and there are video clips on my Youtube channel, which are also linked to during this post.

I knew London had lots of parks and garden spaces, but it’s only when looking into them online, to figure out where I might want to go on my wanderings, that I was reminded just how many royal parks, green spaces and lesser known outdoor areas there are (and those links still don’t cover all the possibilities). To have such a variety of beautiful, peaceful, natural areas in and around this big city, where you can relax, stroll and admire the scenery to your heart’s content, is one of the great things about living here.

So I knew I wanted to take in at least one or two of them over the weekend, with the nicer weather coming along. And Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens seemed a natural first choice.

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Southwark Walk

As mentioned in my Springing Into Action post, I didn’t go out and about much during March, due to illness and important things going on at home. But now I’m feeling better, I wanted to make the most of my free time over the Easter weekend, and make good use of my new Freedom Pass (which grants me free travel on the Tube, buses, etc, in London, and on local bus services elsewhere in the UK).

Consequently, of the 4 days from Good Friday to Easter Monday, I spent 3 of them going out for nice long walks (with a lazy Sunday at home in the middle). Photos from all the walks are on my Instagram, and there are video clips are on my Youtube channel.

So in the next few posts, I’m going to summarise the walks I took. And this first one is from Good Friday (14 April), which includes a review of a touring app I tried out.

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Passport Photo Apps

This is a video in which I demonstrate a couple of apps that I’ve used recently to take passport sized photos. I used these to take photos of Mum for a couple of things she needed to apply for – I couldn’t use them on myself, as I can’t see well enough to do a selfie, and there was nobody handy to take a shot of me. So I did use a photo booth for myself, struggling with a monocular to see the screen in there. But for Mum, who is blind, it was worth trying a couple of apps to see what worked.

So the first is Passport Photo, which lets you save an electronic copy of a correctly-sizd photo for sending to someone else or uploading to a website. And the other is Passport & ID Photo, where (for a small fee) the app’s developer will print and cut down the photos and send them back for you. He’ll also check your photo first and, if it’s not quite right, you can have another go at taking them at no extra charge. Both apps worked well and gave us the results we wanted, and in this video you’ll see how they work.

This is not sponsored or endorsed by the app makers, and the opinions expressed are entirely my own. Other passport photo apps are also available, these are just the two I happened to find first. I hope you enjoy it!

 

 

 

Sight Village 2016

Last week I had to go up to London for a couple of days, so I took the opportunity to spend a long afternoon exploring Sight Village, an exhibition showcasing products, services and organisations for visually impaired people. Their main show each year is in Birmingham, but they also have roadshows in Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow and, in this case, London. So I thought I’d do a write-up bout my visit. Which, fair warning, is quite long! But I’ve added headings throughout to split it up, in case you want to jump to any part in particular. So I hope you find it interesting. 🙂

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Underground, Overground, Rambling Free

This past week I spent a couple of days in London with a friend. Just a brief visit, but we had a lovely time. It was my first time in the city for a few years – I used to go up there two or three times a year when I was a kid, because we had relatives there, but over the past 5-10 years the visits have been much more sporadic. Hopefully I’ll actually be living there soon (crosses fingers), so this was also a preliminary visit to re-familiarise myself with the area and see what it was like getting around the place.

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