Feel Happy

I have been asked to do a blog for
Living Paintings
I’m not sure where to start, so I’ll just blog about what living paintings is, and how i heard about it.

I think my parents first heard of living paintings through my social worker. Living paintings is a charity who provide blind and partially sighted children with books. They have braille and print and the pictures are raised. They are on Thermothorm plastic. I think it’s not just a case of heating plastic, i think there is far more too it. The pictures are then described in detail.

I was a very impatient child. The thermothorm would tell you to feel all over the picture. So I did. My hands were away down the picture until I came across something interesting, before the tape had told me what the first thing was that I needed to look at.

I remember the first book i read. I think it was called Rosies walk, about a wee chicken who went for a walk. I remember having the book sprawled out over a wooden chair and the tape beside me. Mum and i would go through the book together.

When i was about 9, i became an edditor for the charity. This involved me getting a book before it was due to come out. I had to comment on the descriptions of the pictures and i had to say if there were any mistakes. I remember finding it quite boring, but mum said that i used to get very annoyed if my sister wanted to help me with it.

As well as doing childrens books, the charity also did packs for schools. I think i brought in a book about the normans if i remember correctly.

I remember being particualarly fond of a particular picture in a book once. I think it was just ros of books all raised up, but i could be wrong. Mum had written to Living paintings explaining how much i loved this picture. They sent me a spare copy of the picture which i put up on my bedroom door for years.

Living Paintings also do a range of adult books, ranging on art to fashion for teenagers. They have also moved from 4 cassette tapes, to cds.

Living paintings is a great charity, and it brings pictures alive for blind and partially sighted people. The “Feel happy” library for children still goes on today. I am so glad i found out about this. Thank you Living paintings :).


To The Drunk On The Bus

I know this happened about a week ago now but something about the persons behavior still shocks me. I am not for one minute saying that i knew what she was going through, but she really disgraced herself. I don’t often get on my soap box but i just thought i’d put in my two pennies worth. Please don’t be offended. Here goes.

Last week I was happily heading off to my yoga class, which i have mentioned here before. Another passenger started chatting to me. It was the usual things, starting with how cute Ushi was. That was all grand. As the journey continued, we started talking more about what our plans were for the night ahead etc. The woman mentioned that it was her daughters 16th birthday and that she was wearing quite a lot of make up for it. She then mentioned about how i have lovely skin and it’s good i don’t feel i need make up. Nothing wrong with that right? You’d think not.

A few ros behind us, a woman sat. After the woman who was talking to me said about my skin, the woman behind started shouting about how weird it was commenting on somebodys skin. As we tried to carry on our conversation, the woman behind started to interupt. She then started going right up in to peoples faces. It was very clear that she was drunk. Very drunk, in fact. It ended up that the police were called to the bus. The woman said it was the other passengers who were the problem, not her. What was worse was that there was a 6 year old child right beside drunk woman who heard every single word. The driver was even going to transfer us all on to a different bus which drunk woman tried to board. The other driver wouldn’t let her so she eventually started walking off down the road. I don’t know if the police ever caught up with her or not, but we got back on our orriginal bus.

So i would like to say this. I know you will probably never read this, but you made a disgrace of yourself. I am not judging you, nor do i know what you were going through. I know you had a bad day, bit there was no need to act like that. I don’t have a problem with people being drunk, but most people aren’t that far gone that they become abusive. You not only ruened your day by having the police called on you, but you ruened everyone elses on that busses day too. That woman who was chatting to me probably feels horrible now and maybe wasn’t able to enjoy her evening. I certainly was quite shaken up even though it wasn’t me who was directly effected. I didn’t know where you were going or who you were going to target next. Lastly, how do you think that mother and her child felt?

I hope that if you’re ever on the same bus as me again, or anyone else from that bus that it will be a much more pleasant journey.

I am just glad the driver took action as soon as the abuse started happening. I’ve never experienced anything like it before.

I’m sorry if this offends anyone, but i am not getting at anyone who reads the blog. I just think there is no need to carry on the way that woman did.

Thank you for reading, and hopefully next time i write i won’t be so serious or ranty.


Melleneum Volunteers Awards Again

On Thursday night, I was envited to receive my Mellenium Volunteer award for completing 200 hours with guide dogs. I had received this certifficate for completing my 200 hours with
The Cedar foundation
When i was 18 so was quite surprised that you can get it twice. Apparently it’s for people aged between 14 and 25 so you could get it loads potentially if you really wanted to.

So on Thursday i headed up to the titanic centre in Belfast which was where it was being held. First of all everyone had a buffet. I must say the titanic centre do a gorgious buffet. The cocktail sticks i noticed seemed to have wee flags on them lol. I thought that was cool.

When we went to where the main awards were being held, there was a dj playing music until everyone came in. Well playing wasn’t really the word. More having it so loud the floor vibrated and of course i was put in the front ro. I was helped through out all this by one of volunteer nows staff who were the ones organising the whole evening. I must email and thank her as she was going to take me up for my award but there was a member of staff from guide dogs who i didn’t know was there so i must thank her as i felt a bit awkward. Anyway someone had to go up and tell the dj to turn the music down as it was so so super loud. Thank god he did. I wanted to leave with my hearing intact not be so deafened you couldn’t hear a thing.

The evening started soon afterwards. The chair of olunteer now said a few words, before an mp called Mervin Story said a few words. He was the person who was presenting our awards. I must say there was no faffing around once the awards got going. What happened was people were called up by organisation, which i don’t remember happening the last time. You were then handed a dummy scrole before getting your certifficate later on. It worked brilliantly and we were finished by 9 o’clock. Considdering there were over 300 volunteers receiving their awards it went very smoothly. I think there were 600 people altogether as most people had brought guests with them too. Volunteer now were actually saying they had to turn some peoples selections away until another date because the titanic centre isn’t big enough for everyone.

After the awards, Conor Scott from last years The voice sung a few songs. I’d heard him before at the NCS talk i did in January.

It was a great night and i’d like to thank Volunteer Now and guide dogs for nominating me for my 200 hours certifficate. Well done to all the young people who got theirs too.


Parkrun

Wow i’ve been quiet on here lately. I’ve just had nothing to really write about. I’m not even sure i’ve got any readers left 😦 oh well i shall write anyway.

I’ve recently decided to join Parkrun. Parkrun is a 5 kilometre route or 3.1 miles i think, which takes place every Saturday morning at half 9. Each person can go at their own speed and you can either walk or run. I decided to walk.

I’m not long back from my third parkrun. I must say it’s great craic. You have to register before you can attend a parkrun. You are then given a barcode which means you can record your time. If you don’t have a barcode your time doesn’t get recorded. You can then take part in any run across the uk or even the world as i think it’s all over the world.

I emailed our local parkrun because i wanted to make sure that i would have someone to accompany me around the course. They said they would have someone there no problem but i was still a little nervous in case there was nobody there but they were true to their word. I decided to do the walk with Ushi. Normally she goes for a run there but i wanted to get her used to working in that kind of environment because when we do the Belfast city marathon 9 mile walk she obviously won’t be off her lead so i want her to get used to walking a route like that with me. The guide just walked around and told me when to turn left and right etc.

The last couple of weeks we’ve started with the others and we are always the last ones in, not that that matters. I would have always put a bit of pressure on myself though since i was the last one in, so my guide suggested that we start at 9 instead of the half 9 start. That meant that we finished along with everyone else which was nice. So i think we’ll do that from now on.

I was amazed at how many kids are out running and it’s lovely to see. I’m going to sound like an old foggie now but most kids nowadays sit in front of computers and wouldn’t even dream of walking or running. That’s certainly the case with my two younger brothers anyway lol. It was just so nice to see loads of kids doing it. They seemed to enjoy it too.

The parkrun is run by volunteers who love running. I love how it’s enclusive and there is no compitition. It’s just an all round great way to spend a saturday morning. I would highly recommend it, especially for visually impaired people as they are so helpful, or they seem to be anyway. As long as you let them know you’re coming they can usually provide someone to do the course with you. Even if i knew the route as it’s the same route each week, i’d rather have someone do it with me because it’s company for a start and also it can get so so so quiet once everyone has passed you.

If anyone would like to register for the parkrun, you can go to
Parkruns Uk website
And pick your nearist event. Once you fill in your details then you can go to a parkrun and you can even pay for your barcode to be put on a hard plastic card so you don’t have to worry about the paper barcodes getting wet.

In conclusion, i’d really recommend going. Plus you usually get a free cup of tea afterwards so that’s a bonus :).