January 2021 Favourites

Well, that month was a long year, wasn’t it? I thought January might be relatively quiet compared to December, but it was clearly very difficult for 2021 to get steady on its feet amongst the fallout from 2020, for reasons that we’re all too familiar with from the news.

January also marked a significant milestone for me, as it’s now 10 years since my father passed away. It’s amazing how quickly that time’s gone, when it inevitably dragged so much at first. And after all these years, not a day goes by when he doesn’t come to mind for one reason or another, he’s always present. I get my sense of humour from him, and he was always supportive and encouraging and fun to be around. That’s him you can see behind little me in the header image for this post. As I haven’t had any reason to take interesting photos myself lately, it seemed appropriate to use one of him on this occasion, and I dedicate this post to his memory.

And in the present, Captain Sir Tom Moore has very sadly passed away at the age of 100. He was one of the brightest lights of the pandemic, raising nearly £40 million for NHS charities, and his positive attitude to life filled us all with hope and motivation at a time when we really needed it the most. So he will be very dearly missed, and his charity foundation will undoubtedly continue to do lots of great work in his honour in the years to come. Condolences to all of his family and friends and everyone who came into contact with him. And thank you Captain Tom for everything you’ve done. We will walk on through the storm, with our heads up high and hope in our hearts, thanks to you. RIP.

Still, despite all of that, there is also much to be happy about. Green shoots of hope and positivity are breaking through, and I have some good news of my own to share in this post, along with the usual rundown of entertaining things that I’ve been enjoying. And none of it is sponsored or gifted as usual. So let’s crack on with it, and I hope you enjoy this month’s post and video!

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Lockdown Favourites – Weeks 15-16

Hello again, I hope you’re all keeping well. Or if you’re not doing great at the moment, as is the case for a couple of my friends (who by strange coincidence have the same name), then I hope things improve very soon. And if you’re enjoying the greater freedoms that have been granted to us recently, then please continue to be careful and safe. As proven by Leicester here in the UK, which has had to revert to a strict lockdown again, we can’t afford to be complacent.

It’s also strange to think that we passed 100 days of lockdown in week 15. That seems to have gone by quicker than I’d expected – although I know for many that time will have dragged terribly, and certainly early on I found it difficult like everyone else. But I’m glad I’ve been able to settle into a new routine and adapt during that time. I did look into things like gaming, quizzing and exercising but, as I’d rather expected, they soon fell by the wayside! Connecting with friends, homeworking, blogging, music, TV and film have all got me through it, and are continuing to do so. And now it’s reasonably safe to go out and about again to some extent, which is good as well.

So here’s my latest post and video update for the past couple of weeks, with news on disability events and my first outings in months, along with films, comedy and music that I’ve been enjoying. None of it is sponsored to appear here, but I was paid to attend one event as you’ll see. I hope you enjoy looking through it all!

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Lockdown Favourites – Week 7

Hello again! I hope you’re continuing to keep safe and well – and also staying alert, as is the new watchword here in England.

As I see it, the current small changes to our lockdown, as part of the government’s long term recovery plan, are basically urging people to use their common sense, as the virus is still circulating. We must continue to stay at home and work from home if at all possible, avoid other people’s homes, wash our hands and disinfect surfaces often, and stay 2 metres away from everyone. But provided those rules are adhered to, we have a bit more freedom – people in selected industries can go back to work, we can use outdoor spaces like parks more freely, we can walk or cycle or drive further to exercise, and face coverings are advised if social distancing isn’t possible (to protect others in case you’re asymptomatic).

So I hope people will continue to be careful and sensible, as we’re nowhere near out of the woods yet. And obviously for disabled people things are more complicated – it’s impossible to socially distance if you can’t see, for example, so you have to rely on others around you to stay away. Lucy Edwards has chatted with a couple of her fellow blind activists in a recent video about the new rules, if you want to hear their reactions to the new rules.

As for me though, my mother and I are still doing fine, touch wood. Last week I went out for the first time in over 5 weeks, as a couple of essential items were missing from our online shopping delivery. So I was very pleased to find that there were hardly any people and very few cars about, and that I was able to use the priority hour for disabled people at the supermarket, which was fully stocked and had social distancing measures very well enforced. So my risk of exposure was hopefully minimal.

But otherwise I’m still staying at home for the safety of my mother as well as myself, and I’ve continued to keep myself entertained in various ways. So let’s crack on with this week’s post and video to update you on my latest discoveries. As usual nothing is sponsored and all opinions are my own. So I hope you enjoy!

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Raised by Visionally Impaired Parents: An Interview with Glen from Well Eye Never!

Here’s my most recent guest post to share with you all. This time I was interviewed by Chelsey from VI Blind Resources about what it’s like for me to have visually impaired parents. I hope you enjoy reading it! This brings me up to date at the moment, but I have another interview with another blogger coming soon, so keep an eye out for that.

While I’m here, thank you so much to everyone who has donated to my charity abseil and/or shared my tweets about it. It’s all very much appreciated. I’m now up to £765, thanks in particular to an astonishing £250 (plus £62.50 Gift Aid) donation from TV’s own Richard Osman this morning, which I’m still in shock about! That is extremely generous, so massive thanks to you sir! Everyone who has donated is credited on my Thank You page, including quite a few fellow bloggers now.

There are still 3 days to go before the abseil takes place, so if you want to give me your support before then, you can donate at JustGiving.com/WellEyeNever, or in the UK you can also text WENA80 plus a space and your amount to 70070 (e.g. WENA80 £5). You can donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 by text message. Thanks for your support! 🙂

VIBlindResources

by Chelsey Zumpano

Glin is a fellow Blogger and YouTuber, he’s also visionally impaired, but unlike me he has been raised by parents who also happend to be visionally impaired. So I asked him some questions about what it was like growing up.

1 Do you have the same visual impairment as your parents and either way what is the name/names of it?

I have the same conditions as my mother – aniridia and nystagmus. Aniridia means I don’t have an iris (the coloured circle) in my eye, so my eyes don’t adjust to changes in light properly. As a result, I’m very sensitive to glare and I find it hard to adjust in the dark. Nystagmus means my eyes shake and wobble all the time. This makes it harder for me to focus on things, unless they’re close up or enlarged.

My mother’s sight got a lot worse over…

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Rare Disease Day Photo Challenge

Update (March 1st) I won the challenge, much to my surprise! Thank you so much to Rare Disease UK! It was great fun being involved, because I loved the theme of the campaign, and I really enjoyed seeing other people’s photos. So very well done to all involved. We can all be proud of our efforts to raise awareness during the month! 🙂

Happy Rare Disease Day! 🙂

Today is a wonderful international opportunity to raise awareness of rare diseases, conditions, disabilities, etc, to educate people and highlight the need for greater funding and research. Here in the UK, it’s led by Rare Disease UK. But there are events taking place worldwide, so there will be related organisations in many countries.

1 in 17 people have a rare disease, meaning it’s a lot more common than you might think. So even if you don’t have one yourself, chances are you know somebody who does. And if you do have a rare condition, you’re certainly not alone.

There are over 6,000 rare diseases, affecting over 300 million people worldwide (including 30 million in Europe). That’s a huge number! So this is a day for all of us unusual rarities to get together, along with anyone and everyone who supports us and the cause in any way.

This year, the theme is “Show your rare, show you care”, and everyone can get involved, regardless of whether or they you have a rare disease. So that includes patients, families, carers, medical professionals, policy makers and members of the public.

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Journal – October-November 2007

August 2021 Introduction:

Welcome to another set of old journal entries. October was fairly quiet, but I did meet a friend in Exeter, which was nice. Then I had a couple of nice trips away during November, visiting my Nan in London for her 100th birthday, and then a friend at Bournemouth University for his much younger birthday!

I took lots of photos while I was in London, a selection of which you’ll see below, along with an unusual photo of me from Bournemouth too. They were taken on my new Nokia 6300 phone, so the quality is rather inferior compared to modern phone cameras. But I hope you like them, and that you enjoy this latest selection of entries overall!

Continue reading “Journal – October-November 2007”

Journal – December 2006

June 2021 Introduction:

Time to finish another year from my old journal. Naturally this post contains mentions of Christmas, including a meal with my work colleagues and a few of my TV highlights, plus a brief recap of the year as a whole. And there are other bits and pieces too, including DVDs, music, news stories, etc as usual. So I hope you enjoy!

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Journal – November 2006

June 2021 Introduction:

This is one of my longest journal updates for a while. This month was particularly busy, because I had a holiday in Bournemouth with some friends, my Dad had an eye operation, I ordered a new TV, and we had a complicated job to do at work that I decided to write about. Plus there are mentions of DVDs, news stories and other bits and pieces as usual. So I hope you enjoy!

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Journal – January-February 2005

January 2021 Introduction:

Welcome to another set of edited highlights from my old journals. I’m combining 2 months together here, as I didn’t write a huge amount for each.

At this time I was in the early stages of a new temporary job with my local council, working in their Printing department. There wasn’t always a lot to say about it, and there are some details I’ve left out for confidentiality, but you’ll still get a good sense of how I was getting on. And as always there’s plenty of entertainment I was enjoying, plus there’s another top 100 list from the TV, about music videos this time. So I hope you enjoy this little look back as always!

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Journal – November-December 2003

October 2020 Introduction:

We’ve made it to the end of my second year of Bolt journal entries. I figured I may as well combine the last 2 months of the year, as I didn’t write a lot for November. As usual I talk about university, the latest DVDs I’ve been buying and the TV I’ve been enjoying. Plus there’s another top 100 list and a few of the stranger news stories that caught my attention, and of course there’s  Christmas and a brief review of the year. So I hope you enjoy!

Continue reading “Journal – November-December 2003”