2017 Review – Christmas Favourites

Happy New Year everybody! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and that 2018 is a joyful and prosperous year for you. 🙂

I’m very much looking forward to the year ahead after an eventful and successful 2017, which you can read about in my 2017 review post. I posted quite a bit over the holiday period in fact, including my entertainment favourites for the year, and a big Christmas Q&A about how I spend Christmas in general, with photos and video footage of me enjoying Christmas as a child. So do go back and check my recent posts if you were busy celebrating and missed them.

For this post I just wanted to quickly bring you up to date with how my Christmas went. I’ve also filmed a video to go with this, which has my general reflections on 2017 as well. If you’ve been following me on Instagram you’ll have seen some of the photos I posted over Christmas – and I’m going to try and make more use of Instagram this year if I can as well. So I hope you enjoy my little Christmas update, tying up the loose ends before I enjoy the year ahead!

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2017 Review – My First Year In London

As I mentioned in a recent blog post, this Christmas marked my first anniversary of moving to London, and 2017 has been an amazing year.

I said it in that post, but it’s worth saying again – thank you so much to everyone I’ve met and interacted with during the year, whether it be in person or online. By reading, liking and sharing my content, leaving comments, asking questions, sending me private messages and emails, giving me opportunities for guest posts and public talks, and even meeting up in person, you’ve helped to make this year a very special one for me. Especially Fashioneyesta, Aniridia Network UK, Nystagmus Network, East London Vision, South East London Vision, Thinking Bob, VocalEyesRNIB, Scope, Life Of A Blind Girl, My Blurred World, Luke Sam Sowden and All The Stations, but also everyone else that I’ve had any kind of contact with during the year.

Everyone has been very positive and supportive, and your involvement has enabled me to start this new chapter in my life with confidence and comfort, and fun and friendship. And for that I’ll always be very grateful. 2017 will forever be one of the most significant and happy of my life, nothing will take that away. I hope everyone else has had a good 2017 too, and I hope 2018 is a very prosperous and Happy New Year for you!

So I wanted to do an overview post, running through the things I’ve been up to in the busiest year of my life to date. It’ll give you a good sense of how things developed, and will allow you to check out any blog posts or videos you may have missed if you only found me relatively recently. You can also check out a comprehensive list of places I’ve visited on my Out & About Adventure page at any time. I also recommend you look back through my Youtube videos, especially my London videos and disability videos as there’s no way I can list everything here. And there are loads of Instagram photos you can enjoy as well. So I hope you enjoy my little journey down a very busy memory lane!

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Bank Of England & Wellcome Museums

Following on from yesterday’s post about the V&A Museum, I want to tell you about a couple of other museums I’ve visited recently, both of which involved audio described tours.

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Building My New Social Network With A Visual Impairment

I’ve shared overviews of this story as guest posts on Scope’s community forum and the Nystagmus Network’s newsletter. Many thanks to them both for featuring me! And if you’ve found me via one of those articles, hello and welcome! 🙂

On September 30th, I gave a talk at the Nystagmus Network’s Open Day about how I had been building a new social network for myself in London. It was my first time giving a public speech about myself, but it went really well. I spoke for about 15 minutes, then we had a group discussion for the next 15 minutes. It got a very positive response, and I got chatting to many people as a result of it, so I was very happy with it. I’ve written blog posts about how I prepared for it and my experience at the Open Day, as well as publishing a vlog of my trip on Youtube.

So this post is a written version of that speech, and I’ve posted a video version that I filmed on the same evening. Both are longer than the actual speech I gave at the Open Day, as without constraints on time or length I’ve been able to explain things in a bit more detail. So the actual speech was a slightly more concise version of this, although 15 minutes was still quite a bit of time to fill!

Obviously my situation is unique to me, and everyone’s circumstances will be different in their own way. I’m just giving examples of the things I’ve done. The overall aim is to show that it’s important and worthwhile to try things that interest you and grasp opportunities when they arise, as you never know what will result from them. You may have to push yourself out of your comfort zone a bit, and I know that can be easier said than done. It was a challenge for me, and it still can be sometimes. But the more you try things, the more confident you’ll get, and you’ll soon start to reap the rewards of your efforts. Otherwise, you’ll always be asking yourself ‘what if’, which is never helpful.

So I hope you enjoy reading this. Thank you to Sue Ricketts and the Nystagmus Network for asking me to share my story at the Open Day, and to all those who responded to it so well.

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Music & Drama Day

A couple of weeks ago I went to a music and drama day with East London Vision, at the Theatre Royal in Stratford. I haven’t done either of those things since school, so this was going to be something very different for me. But I felt sure it would be fun and interesting to try it out, especially as I was with a group of people I got on well with. And I was right, it was a really enjoyable day.

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Summer In The City

As well as the game nights and my trip to Alexandra Palace that I’ve written about recently, I’ve been doing a lot of other stuff as well. There doesn’t need to be full posts dedicated to every little thing, so I thought I’d group it all together into one long and varied post instead. I’ve broken it up with some photos and video links along the way, but you can see even more on my Youtube and Instagram pages too. Enjoy! 🙂

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Meeting Elvis at the Museum & Marathon

Being visually impaired, one of the things I’m naturally keen to do is get to know other people with sight loss in London now that I’ve moved here. And I’ve already met a few such people individually, and have plans to meet others, so I’ve made a good start. But in this past week I took another important step by meeting up with a local social group for people with sight loss for the first time.

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