Christmas 2020 Favourites

Happy New Year! Well, as happy as it can be in the circumstances. Let’s face it, 2020 is the year that nobody wants to look back at. Referring to perfect vision as 20/20 will forever carry a certain irony with it now. And if you were to try and sum up the year with a word or phrase, there isn’t much that’s family-friendly that truly does it justice – other than dumpster fire perhaps, which I’ve seen a lot of people use very accurately.

But I did manage to find plenty to keep me occupied, as you can see from my many Favourites posts during the year. The major highlights for me were definitely being interviewed on the BBC’s In Touch programme, taking part in the CXcon Accessibility Panel Discussion, and being able to see at least a couple of my friends after such a long period apart. I also started publishing my old journal posts to fill the gap left by my lack of activity, which have had a surprising amount of interest, and my very in-depth reviews of Queen’s albums for their 50th anniversary. Both of those projects will continue to keep me busy on my blog throughout 2021.

Granted, 2021 hasn’t started off any better, but that’s because we’re still experiencing the fallout from the damage caused by its unruly predecessor. 2021 has its work cut out trying to repair that, and it will undoubtedly require the assistance of 2022 and beyond to achieve it. However, 2021 is giving us a lot of reason to be hopeful, so there is definitely light at the end of this long, dark tunnel we’ve all been stuck in.

But I need to wrap up 2020 nevertheless. It was a strange and difficult Christmas without a doubt, not the sort any of us wanted, and it’s going to be a hard winter for many, especially now we’re in lockdown again. There’s a big ray of hope with the rollout of the vaccines though, so the future’s looking good, and many thanks to all the health workers who are doing their utmost to dish them out as quickly as possible.

My thoughts also go to everyone in America after the recent terror attack amid the fallout from Trump’s defeat. Biden’s inauguration on January 20th can’t come soon enough. Best wishes from across the pond, stay safe!

Those challenges aside, however, I hope you were able to find some enjoyment and comfort during the festive period, insofar as the rules allowed in your part of the world.

Mum and I are doing fine, I’m pleased to say. We’ve enjoyed lots of nice treats, and have had plenty of fun things to watch and listen to, all of which has been a welcome distraction from the news. I continued to have a few long walks around my local area during December as well, as that was the only way I could get out and about, so it was important to make the most of it. Mum’s had a bit of fresh air too of course, but doesn’t go on the long hikes like I do, and we’ve made sure she stays well away from other people apart from her sister (and even then they keep their distance at the front door, she hasn’t been in the house).

So we did pretty well this Christmas despite the limitations, and here’s my festive post and video to round things up. I’m not going to mention absolutely everything we filled our stomachs with, or every little bit of entertainment we watched or listened to. I’m just going mention my favourite things, as is the purpose of these posts. Nothing here is sponsored as usual, and any gifts are just from friends, not the people behind the products. So I hope you enjoy!

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Lockdown Favourites – Week 8

Welcome to my latest lockdown roundup. If I wasn’t numbering the weeks in the titles of these posts, I would probably lose track of where we’re up to! But whatever week it feels like to you, I hope you’re all continuing to do well and getting any support you need.

It’s been another relatively normal week for me really, as I haven’t had to go out anywhere, we had our groceries successfully delivered again, and work has been fairly busy. I also worked to clear out a bit more junk in the back garden and the shed this weekend, which has given me some fresh air and exercise, as it’s one of those jobs that we’ve been very gradually doing bit by bit. Once that’s all done, then we’ll have a go at tidying up the garden itself during the summer, while the weather hopefully stays nice. Plus I’ve also been keeping myself occupied with blogging, and enjoying other entertainment that I’m about to mention. So I’m making productive use of my time.

So as there isn’t anything major of note to mention in my introduction, let’s just get straight on with this week’s post and video. The usual disclaimers apply, in that no sponsorship or gifting is involved and all opinions are my own, and I hope you enjoy!

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30 Day Song Challenge

Throughout April I’ve been taking part in the 30 Day Song Challenge on social media, where you post a song that matches a specified theme or topic each day, just for fun.

There are various lists out there that people are using for this, but I’ve followed the one by visual impairment charity VICTA on their page listing 20 ways to spend time at home and stay in touch. Apart from being a fun challenge, it’s also a nice way to return the favour given that my blog is among the many suggestions on that page, so thank you VICTA! Plus they deserve a shoutout for the wonderful work they do for visually impaired children and young adults. They’ve shared a great set of resources on their website, for young people with sight loss and parents, if you need help during the pandemic.

So here are the songs that I picked, I hope you enjoy looking through them. What would your choices be for the same questions? You can start the challenge whenever you like, so feel free to share your selections on social media, using the hashtag #30DaySongChallenge.

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AD | 10 Top Tips to Care for Disabled and Special Needs Children

This is a paid advertisement. I am very selective about featuring such content, but I feel this article fits very well with the disability and visual impairment themes of my blog, and features a lot of useful information for parents, who form a significant part of my audience. So I really hope you find it of interest.


It’s no secret that disabled and special needs children require different methods of parenting, but how can you support your child in the best way possible? Find out more, here…

Looking after a child with a disability or special needs is not always the easiest job. You have all the usual difficulties parents go through and, on top of that, you have to find ways to do your best for your disabled child.

Disabled and special needs children require constant support and supervision from their parents in their early life. The child may also require additional support from compensation, if their disability was caused by some sort of medical negligence. Here, the help provided by lawyers, for example erb’s palsy and cerebral palsy solicitors, will really come into play.

In this post we are going to cover the definition of a special needs child under the law, so you know whether you child is covered. We’ll also be sharing our top tips on how you can care for your disabled or special needs children.

CaringForDisabledChildren1

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My Favourite Childhood TV – Part 3 – Other Shows

Welcome to the third and final part of my posts looking back at my favourite childhood TV shows. In previous parts I looked at animations and game shows, and thank you again for the kind feedback on them already.

For example, a friend has reminded me of the game show Small Talk, hosted by Ronnie Corbett, where contestants had to guess the answers given by children to different questions. I’d completely forgotten about that, but I used to love watching it. So I thought that deserved a quick mention here.

Anyway, for this post, I’m going to share a random mixture of 30 other shows that I also enjoyed during my youth up to the age of 18. This doesn’t include things like sitcoms that I already own in my DVD & Blu-ray collection, but I do mention one or two other shows that I have DVDs for as you’ll see. There are also DVDs available of some of the other programmes in this list, although I haven’t mentioned them here in most cases.

As before, you can find out more about the programmes by going to the Wikipedia articles and websites I’ve linked to, and searching for other details online. It’s amazing how much information is out there about all of these old shows, the internet’s great for ensuring we don’t forget these pleasures of our past. I’ve been getting sucked into a lot of the Youtube videos I’ve found while compiling this list, and have had to avoid the temptation of watching too many, otherwise I’d never get these posts finished!

So let’s crack on with it. I hope you enjoy looking through this list and it generates further memories for you.
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My Favourite Childhood TV – Part 2 – Game Shows

Welcome to the second part of my nostalgic look back at TV shows I enjoyed during my childhood. In the previous post I looked at my favourite programmes involving animation and puppetry, and thank you to those who have already enjoyed reading it. There have been great suggestions for other shows I could have mentioned, including Pingu, Noggin The Nog, The Shoe People, Bodger & Badger, Dappledown Farm and Babar. So do go and check that post out to see what you remember.

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 on DVD or Blu-ray 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.

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My Favourite Childhood TV – Part 1 – Animation

Merry Christmas! I hope you’ve been having a lovely relaxing time, whatever you’ve been doing.

Christmas is a time for review lists and nostalgia, it’s one of those traditions. So this festive season, to help bridge the gap between Christmas and New Year, I thought I’d post a list that I’ve fancied doing for a while and has been partially written in my drafts for some time, as it’s a bit different to what I normally post about.

I do occasionally find myself reminiscing with friends about shows we enjoyed watching as children, in the days before smartphones and the internet. And the more I’ve thought about it, the more programmes I can remember. So I’ve put together a long list of many of my favourite shows that I enjoyed during my youth. It covers things I saw up to the age of 18, so there’s quite a mixture overall. I’ve split it into 3 posts to spread it out a bit as well.

And for this first part, the longest of the set, I’m going to list my top 50 shows involving animation and puppetry that I enjoyed.

A lot of these shows are now available on DVD, but in most cases I’m not interested in buying them. It’s just nice to look back at them on Youtube for a bit of nostalgia now and again. However, there are one or two shows that I have bought DVDs for, which I’ll mention as I go along. Many of the programmes have also had spin-off series and films made as well, a few of which I’ve mentioned here if they’re of interest or relevance, but I haven’t written about them in every case. You can check the Wikipedia articles and other places I’ve linked to, and search online as well, for the full history and details of each show.

So I hope you find the list interesting, and perhaps it will resonate a bit with you too if you remember any of these programmes. I’ve embedded some videos to help jog your memory, and there are links to other clips and information scattered throughout the text too. And feel free to let me know what TV shows you enjoyed during your childhood as well, it might remind me of things I’ve forgotten about!

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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.

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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!

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Growing Up With Sight Loss

When I started my blog and Youtube channel, I assumed that the only talking I’d be doing for people about my disability was purely from the comfort of my own home, reaching people through their computers and smart devices. But then, last year, I ended up giving my first ever public talk to adults at the Nystagmus Network Open Day, about building my new social network. It was a complete surprise and a completely new experience for me, and one that I assumed was going to be a one-off.

However, earlier this month I had the opportunity to give another talk, this time for a very different audience – primary school children, around 9 to 11 years old, at St Joseph’s RC Primary School, who were awesome. And what I want to do here is give you an overview of what I said. I wanted to take the time to write it down for posterity anyway, as I went over it in my head beforehand rather than writing a script.

So I figured you might find it interesting to read as well (or watch my video if you prefer), as it gives another perspective on my journey through life to date.

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