October 2018 Favourites

We’re deep into autumn now, with Christmas edging ever closer. And now that we’re well into the penultimate month of the year, it’s time for a look back at October to see what I got up to.

The major event, of course, was my charity abseil for nystagmus research, and you can find out all about it in my epic blog post and video. There are lots of photos and video highlights from the day, especially from the headcam I was wearing during my descent. So do go and check all of that out. Huge thanks to everyone who sponsored me, and you can still donate until 23 March 2019.

But there were still other bits and pieces going on during October as well. So I’m going to tell you about them here, and there’s also a video to go with this post as usual. I hope you enjoy my latest recap!

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My Assistive iPhone Features & Apps

Thank you to everybody for the lovely reactions to my previous post about My Visual Impairment Aids & Gadgets, especially after the RNIB kindly shared it on Facebook and Twitter, where it got a particularly big response. I’m very glad it’s proven so useful, and it’s been great to see other people sharing what they use as a result.

So this post and video is a follow-up to that, looking at the accessibility features and favourite apps I use on my iPhone. I’m not sponsored by anyone to do this or affiliated with any companies mentioned here, I just wanted to share the things that I use and enjoy. So I hope you find this post interesting, and feel free to share the features and apps that you use too.

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My Visual Impairment Aids & Gadgets

I use various things to assist me in my day-to-day life as a visually impaired person, just to make things easier or more accessible. It means I can be independent and do many things that normal people do. So in other words, I’m still leading a normal life, it’s just that I do some things a bit differently to people with regular sight.

Naturally my iPhone is a huge help these days, but I’ll talk about the features and apps I use there in a separate post. In the meantime, you can see a list of my apps here, with an older video about them that I’ll update when I do a new post.

So in this post and video I’m going to tell you about various other aids and gadgets that I use, and a few used by my mother as well, as she’s blind. I’m not affiliated with or sponsored by any companies mentioned here, and these are all my own opinions.

So I hope you find this post interesting. And let me know if there are any particular aids or gadgets that you use a lot, or if there’s anything you recommend I should check out.

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Travelling Around London

In my previous post I wrote about how I plan unfamiliar journeys to make it easier for me – using apps like Citymapper and Google Maps to plan routes, and Street View to virtually walk the routes them. So now I want to take about my actual experience of travelling around in London.

I know that some people find it much harder to travel around London due to more severe visual impairments, other mobility issues, anxiety and confidence issues, and so on. And that’s all perfectly understandable. So this won’t be reflective of everyone’s experiences. It’s just my own account of how I’ve personally settled into it and how I got about things. Your experiences may differ significantly depending on your situation.

It’s also worth noting Transport For London’s Accessibility page as well, as that has lots of info on it that people might find useful if they’re travelling in the city.

So with that out of the way, let’s get on to how I find travelling around London. I’ve also made a video to go with both this and my previous post, so you might like to watch that as well.

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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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Train Of Thought #AllTheStations

When I was looking ahead to my move to London, I was naturally looking online for various things to do with the city. And on Youtube I quickly fell in love with the videos made by Geoff Marshall and Vicki Pipe, which are a joy to watch (it’s important to stress at I’m not affiliated with them, this is all personal opinion only).

You can see their clips on Londonist and Geoff’s own channel, Geofftech. They’ve made videos about secrets of the Underground, the least used stations in the country, facts about London, vlogs and more. So it’s not just about the railways. But it is a big passion of theirs, so a lot of their videos are related to it in some form.

That may sound boring at first, but Geoff and Vicki aren’t trainspotters, and the videos aren’t specifically aimed at trainspotters. You don’t need to be into trains and railways in a big way to enjoy them. These are accessible, fun and informative videos that aren’t nerdy or patronising. They’re looking more closely at a rail network that millions of us take for granted on a daily basis, and considering the history and features that are unique and unusual to each location. They clearly love what they do, and it shows.

And right now, they’re embarking on their most ambitious project yet, called All The Stations, and it’s the reason behind my latest outing this weekend.

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Springing Into Action

It’s been a couple of months since I last made a post here. So now that Spring is upon us and the weather is improving, I thought I’d do a bit of a catch-up to let you know how things are going, as I have been busy lately. So this is going to be a long mixture of all sorts of things.

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