Blogging 101:Falling Off The Waggon

It’s the last day of the Blogging 101 chalenge i started at the start of January here on WordPress. I’m afraid i have rather fallen off the waggon on this one. To be fair though, a lot of the things have been behind the seens stuff and building up your blog. The course is primarely aimed at people who have never blogged before. Have tried to keep up with the whole thing, and the assignments looked good, but i just found that when it came to writing, that was a struggle.

That’s not to say that i haven’t been busy though-in fact the very opposite. What with doing my art class on a Thursday morning and preparing for the upcoming exhibition that we will be having, to guide dogs meetings, to campaigning meetings, to going up to Stormont with guide dogs to deliver guide dogs manifesto to the politicians, to co delivering disability equality training with ourhealth trust. Plus Parkrun every Saturday morning. So January has been a busy old month, but i haven’t felt like blogging it at the end of the day. It looks like February might be the same way, with the AGM tomorrow for Angel Eyes NI followed by a campaigning meeting on Monday. Ballymena is going through apublic relm scheme at the minute, so the whole town is a bit of a mess with roadworks usually in a different place every day. I’ve noticed though that since they have started up again after their christmas break, they seem more organised with where the roadworks are. Perhaps that is because i’m not as effected on my main routes through the town as i was before christmas. It will be interesting to see how long is left of the work for a start, and just to hear a general update i suppose.

I must thank the other bloggers in the challenge who have followed and commented on my posts. I did try to do the same, so any random comments are probably from me lol. I think i’ll just stick to blogging as and when the notion takes me though.

I’d like to thank everyone for putting up with the slight change of title of the blog. I guess “The average blog by an average blogger” was kind of boring me a little. I’m more happy with the name of the blog now i think.

Apologies for the spelling mistakes-the wordpress app keeps crashing when i go to try and eddit on my ipad which is driving me mad. It has crashed 3 times already since i started the post. I hate mistakes in my posts though.

Normal service can now resume, and although the challenge was good, i think i’ll just stick to blogging without putting pressure on myself :).

Blogging 101:Thank You Translink

Today our local public transport provider Translink, took part in a fantastic event to understand the difficulties faced by visually impaired people.

This morning, i headed up to Belfast to meet the chief executive of Translink along with some people from guide dogs. The chief executive was going to be doing a blind fold walk with a training guide dog to understand some of the issues faced by blind and partially sighted people in relation to public transport. While we waited for everyone to arrive, we had time to stop for a quick cup of tea.

When the people from guide dogs arrived, i was asked if i would do a phone interview with the radio station
As they were running a feature on the event. The station also wanted to talk to the campaignes manager from Guide dogs about what was happening.

After that, we headed back to meet the others. Altogether, there were 3 guide dog owners including me and 2 white cane users. We also met with a couple of Translink people including the chief executive himself. A lady from the BBC was there too, and again, they wanted me to do an interview about how i found Translinks services.

Next, it was time for the chief executive to put on the blind fold and walk with a dog. He was with a guide dog mobility instructor totalk him through the experience. The journey started at Translinks office across the road from the train station. He had to walk in to the station, before going to get a train and experiencing the level of assistance offered to help him out to the train. We all climbed aboard to join him and discuss how we found the service. I must add personally here that the level of assistance on the trains is second to none. All the train staff are trained in how to sighted guide a visually impaired person, as well as how to deal with getting wheelchair users on board too. It’s as if it is second nature to them and nothing is too much of a problem for them.

After that, we headed back in again where it was on to a goldliner bus. These busses are the busses that run outside of Belfast. I stayed behind though with someone from Translink as it was all getting a bit too much for the training dog, what with there being 3 other guide dogs to distract him. Plus, there isn’t really a lot of room on the Gold liner busses. Ushi goes right up to the back of them because that’s where she can find the most room. So i think it was a bit of a tight squeeze to get the other dogs on and comfortable.

For the metro bus which was next, it was just one other guide dog owner who went on out of all of us. We stayed behind to look at a new app that is in testing at the minute to help people locate busses around them. It’s not going too well, so i think there are more tweeks to be done to it. The train and the gold liner weren’t moving, but the Metro bus was so that the chief could see the audio announcements in action. The blind fold was taken off between each thing i think, but am not too sure.

We hung about for a while before heading back over to the Translink office to watch a dvd that Guide dogs had made a few years ago discussing best practices for busses pulling up to the kerb and such. We discussed that before wrapping things up.

I would like to thank Translink for letting us chat to the chief and for him taking on the blind fold challenge. Fair play to him!

If anyone would like to hear my radio interviews, you can
Listen to my interview with Frank Mitchel
And you can
Listen to tonights Edition of Evening Extra
Where the report is about 12 minutes in.

It was a really fabulous day. It couldn’t have gone any better. Fair play again to the chief executive and to Translink in general for letting the chief experience this somewhat challenging day for him.

As a side note, i must work on my “ums” and “ya knows” on radio :).

Blogging 101:Titles And Taglines

Todays blogging 101 challenge is to think of a title and tagline for your blog. I’ve been a bit bored of my title for a while now, but don’t know what to change it to.

When i first started blogging, my title was something like “A good dose of nerdiness with a pinch of salt”. At that time, i liked a lot of medical programs and such so i think that was where that came from. As i matured and moved blogs, it became “The average blog by an average blogger”. I believe that my blog is no better thananyone elses so that’s why i’m “the average blog”. I’ve thought about changing it, but to be honest, i can never think of something that is catchy and any name i choose never really fits my blog. WordPress didn’t even want me to write that as it kept kicking me out of the app.

My tagline is “this is my little corner of the bloggasphere where anything can happen”. I changed it slightly from what it used to be and i think i’m happy with that, but my blog title is another story :(.

So not much of a post today, but just a ramble about why my blog is called what it is. So what made you choose your blog title and are you happy with it now? Would you change it? If so why?

Blogging 101:Introduce Yourself To The World

I feel my blog has been a bit lifeless lately, so i’m taking part in wordpresses Blogging 101 course for the next 30 days. A lot of you will already know a lot about me, so i hope you won’t all get bored. Anyway, here is my post for today.

Introducing myself

Hmm where to start… I took part in one of these courses a couple of years ago but just flitted in and out of it. Here goes.

My name is Torie. I’ve been blogging for about 8 years now. I started when i was about 16 because i was bored one day. I had no idea what a blog was or how to use it. Believe me, my writing was so immature back then. I’d litterally start each post with the word “Hi” or something similar lol. Thank goodness i have hopefully moved on from that. Anyway my blog has existed on 3 different platforms but i’m happy here at WordPress.

I am a guide dog owner working my first dog Ushi. I must say, she is a brilliant edition to my life.

I’m always at something, whither it be doing talks to different groups about guide dogs, to campaigning about issues that are important to visually impaired people, to fundraisin. I am currently the branch organiser of our local guide dogs fundraising branch. I also sit on the board of a charity which helps parents of visually impaired children. I also sit on the disability pannel for our local health trust. So as you can see, i’m a busy woman.

I hope to discover more blogs along the way, and hopefully meet some interesting bloggers through this challenge.

I look forward to participating and hopefully i’ll not run out of things to say or write. Thanks for taking the time to drop by and do say hi if you do :).