This could’ve ended badly!

Even though I use a walking frame or wheelchair, some of you probably know that I walk around my  house unaided, and hold onto walls and cupboards and various other household objects as I need to.

(Believe me, I will grab hold of just about anything close to me to avoid falling over if I need to. I cringe when I think back to how many times I latched on to poor, unsuspecting strangers when I used to walk around the supermarket without help as a kid.)

I  wouldn’t say I could find my way around my house with my eyes closed (I tried it once, panicked and fell over – shocker) but I feel safe wandering around it.

Continue reading “This could’ve ended badly!”

Fun Fact Friday [53]

Hello and welcome to Fun Fact Friday, the place where I share facts about myself that aren’t linked to my cerebral palsy.

You all probably know by now that I love to read, but I have been in a massive reading slump for months now. It feels like none of the books I pick up grab my attention and I give up on most of them half way through. I’ve tired going to the library, but I bring books home and the same things happen, or I don’t touch them at all. I’ve selected books to get rid of and bought new ones. Nothing seems to be working and I don’t like it. I think I’ve finished maybe three books in the last three months or so.

I maaay have overdone it a bit

Do you ever have one of those days where you’re enjoying a book so much that you just drop everything for the rest of the day to finish it?

That was me earlier this week when reading Addition by Toni Jordon; a novel about a woman with OCD, which some of you may know is a topic close to my heart. (I also reviewed it over on my YouTube channel if you’re interested.)

Anyway, while the long day’s reading may have been good for my mood because I think I’m finally out of the massive reading reading slump I’ve been in, it probably  wasn’t so good for me on a cerebral palsy level.

Continue reading “I maaay have overdone it a bit”

Fun Fact Friday [2]

For anyone who didn’t see it last week, Fun Fact Friday is a new feature in which I post a fun fact about myself that doesn’t involve my Cerebral Palsy.

Some of you may have gathered by now that I love to read, so this week I’m going to tell you all what my favourite book is.

I love this book
I love this book

It’s My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I fell in love with this book when I first read it while I was still in highschool. I cried for ages after I’d read it. I still haven’t watched the movie though.

That’s all for now folks, I’m off to make a cup of tea and dive into the book I’m currently reading. At the time of writing this post it’s Lisey’s Story by Stephen king.

 

 

How my eReader has helped me

My eReader
My eReader

For as long as I can remember I have been a bookworm.  As a kid my dad would spoil me on our weekly family shopping trip to town by buying me a new Mr. Men book from the market as long as I promised to read it. Needless to say, I devoured the whole thing within an hour of getting home without fail. Most of the time I’d make him read it to me the first time, just in case there were any words I didn’t know even though I knew that I was perfectly capable of reading it to myself. Every time he’s grumble about it but he’d eventually he’d give in, curl his legs round on the sofa so that there was a space the shape of a boat and tell me to get in it while he read the story. After Managing to collect all of the Mr Men Collection and half of the Little Miss Series (both written by Roger Hargreaves) I decided that I was too old for these and my parents and I started hunting down the Garden Gang books at car boot sales instead.

This love of devouring the written word has followed me throughout my life. My parents gave me £5 the day that I managed to read them a story from the newspaper aloud to them in keeping with family tradition. In many ways I think that scouring the weekend tabloids for stories  I understood (usually about soaps or famous people) could have been what sparked my interest in the news and journalism in the first place but I digress.

As a teenager I would take a huge stack of books with me on every family holiday until my bag was at the point of bursting at the seams and my school backpack was always far heavier than it needed to be under the weight of the ones that I borrowed from the library.

Eventually my mum suggested buying an eReader as my 21st birthday present to make it easier for me to carry my bags wherever I went. I first I was really against the idea, thought that it wouldn’t be like reading a proper book (which it still isn’t, in my view) but it has helped me an awful lot.

Due to my Cerebral Palsy there is hardly ever a day that goes by without something hurting or aching in some way. I find moving around had enough without trying to haul a heavy bag around with me. Now, when I’m going on a long journey, I’ll pop that in with the rest of my stuff instead of my paperback. It’s great because not only do I have to worry about running out of reading material, but I get a lot less back and shoulder pain that I would do if I was carrying books. This means I can walk further and easier than I could before. It made a huge difference too when I had to move away from home again for a few months for work, I took that with me instead so that I meant I had less packing and unpacking to worry about. I find this very difficult to do alone and it tires me out very quickly.

While it will never replace a physical book in my heart I am glad that I took my mum up on her offer to buy me one. She said she thought it might make life easier for me in the long run. What can I say? She was right again.

As always.

Why I prefer reading to sports

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I prefer reading to sports. I don’t know the offside rule, have no idea what the difference is between Rugby League and Rugby Union, and, even though my dad likes watching Wimbledon every year, I don’t know the first thing about tennis. This isn’t because I couldn’t play sport because of my Cerebral Palsy, it’s because I’ve yet to find something I enjoy so much that I’d choose doing that over spending my Sunday afternoons curled up with a Val McDermid novel and a cup of tea.

My parents always made sure that I knew the world of sport was open to me if I wanted it to be. My dad even sat me down and made me watch the athletics at the 1996 Paralympics on the TV when I was just five years old to show me what I could achieve if I wanted. “I’m not saying you have to do it” he said “I just want you to know that you could”.

Over the years I have tried to get on with many sports, and well, it just hasn’t happened. I decided that I hated football on the day I tried to join in with my friends and ended up tripping over the ball and falling flat on my face. Then, there was the time I tried to serve a ball in a game of tennis and fell over with the effort, and, as I’ve said before I can’t run.

Despite that, I do quite enjoy the odd game of cricket that my family used to play on holiday. I just sit in my wheelchair (it’s safer that way, trust me) and whack the ball as hard as I can to score as many runs as possible without moving until someone catches me out. It’s not the conventional way of playing but it’s my way nonetheless and I quite like that.

People often ask me if I’ve ever taken part in wheelchair basketball and the answer is no, I haven’t. The idea just doesn’t interest me (and I’m terrified of being hit in the face with the ball, truth be told) but I’d happily try any sport that caught my eye at least once. The hard part isn’t me trying something out, it’s selling the idea to me in a way that gets my attention in the first place that’s possibly the most difficult bit.

I do enjoy exercise; I just prefer the things that you don’t do in a team, so the only person I have to push and compete with is myself. I loved using the gym in high school and at university, I love going out for walks with Martha, and I can always be found on the dance floor at parties in my walking frame or wheelchair moving along to the music in any way I can. I even quite enjoy swimming even though I’m not very good. That, and I like being able to jump around in the water in a way that I can’t on land.

In the end though, I much prefer to leap into the world of a good book. I love being nosey at the other world’s that writers have created in their own head, I enjoy reading stories that I can relate to, be they fiction or none fiction, and I truly admire the way that a writer can make you feel so much emotion without ever having met you. For me, it’s hard for me to imagine loving any sport over the magic of a book, Cerebral Palsy or no Cerebral Palsy.