Friday, 17 December 2010

Jeff Brazier Documentary

I watched a documentary today featuring TV presenter Jeff Brazier and his 25 year old brother Spencer who has Cerebral Palsy.

The documentary was following Jeff, 31, as he tried to regain an adult relationship with his brother and  help Spencer gain independence as he felt that his younger brother let their mother do too much for him as a disabled person.

Spencer has a different CP than I do; he has a normal I.Q, but cannot speak and has limited use of his hands. Jeff commented as he put it (Spencer) “Doesn’t have much of a lifestyle” which I first thought was quite a harsh observation. It later became apparent that both brothers were stubborn and the more Jeff pushed Spencer the more he would become angry and defensive at being forced to grow up and change his whole life effectively.

Spencer seems a lonely guy who wants more friends and to eventually marry and have children, his older brother couldn’t see why he wouldn’t take steps towards these goals and branded him lazy. Eventually, us as viewers and Jeff, could see that Spencer was scared of the change, scared of rejection I suspect.

I can talk (very well!) its mainly just my legs that limit my life but I still felt completely dejected when my first boyfriend dumped me, who else would take pity on me? It took a while to realise that my ex didn’t pity me he’d just moved on and other men wouldn’t look down on me, they would see me as equal just my family and friends do.

For Spencer it’s not as easy; meeting new people romantically or otherwise, he only communicates in Makaton sign language, he tried using communication software on an ipad but quite obviously hated using it and he actually came to say that he didn’t see himself as disabled.

It’s funny because I find that even though I use a wheelchair a lot, am on load of medication and have medical files thicker than a bible that I don’t always see myself as a “proper” disabled person. I can talk, I go clubbing, I have a boyfriend, I can’t possibly be properly incapacitated? But I am, and it’s hard to sometimes keep that in mind that no matter how many pep talks you give yourself or receive from others there are things I can’t do from a medical point of view, so I can completely see where Spencer came from; I can talk there for I’m fine he can walk and doesn’t need a wheelchair so he must be fine. Jeffs underlying message was that Spencer had to make the most of who he is and what he can do and not dwell and the negatives, that I completely agree with.

The documentary really was heartfelt and warming, I could see Jeff desperate to help his brother which would in turn assist his their mother to gain an independence that she had lost being Spencer’s carer, but in the end there was a fine line between being helpful and forceful and Jeff finally saw that he couldn't help Spencer unless Spencer wanted to change and it wasn’t going to happen within the few weeks of the documentaries making.

A genuinely brilliant documentary by Anna Keel and if you can catch it on BBC or on the iplayer please do its well worth the watch.

L x

Monday, 13 December 2010

Lady GoGo’s guide to Disability Awareness - Part 2

Further to my piece on disability awareness month (Name calling) I want to look at disability and the actions of others. This week the Scottish Comedian Frankie Boyle and Channel 4 have come under fire for Frankie’s comments regarding Katie Price’s son Harvey. The 8 Year old suffers with autism, amongst other conditions.

I do not agree with the Scot’s harsh and sickening comments, Harvey is only a child and cannot defend himself. For all of Katie Price’s bad press she is still a mother and wants to protect her offspring from ridicule and bullying. There is a line between funny and cruel but sometimes that line is blurred.

I have been at the butt of peoples jokes, I take 99% of them in jest. Once I was at a comedy club and a Canadian act made a funny yet very un- pc disability joke. People didn’t know whether to laugh or walk out, I laughed! But to my horror (especially since I was hiding at the back!!) the comedian pipes up “I know we have a lady here tonight in a wheelchair, where are you?” The entire room turns to look. I flush instantly red.

Him: “Where you offended by that joke?”

Me: “No” *nervous laugh.

Him: “Some people here think I’ve gone too far I need you to do me a favour, on three can you tell them all to fuck off?”

Me: “Erm....”

Him: “1.... 2... 3....”

Me: *Silence.... hiding behind my hands laughing*

Him: “Don’t make me come over there I know you can’t run away”

Me: *Crackling loudly*

Upon seeing my amusement the room seemed to relax and laugh with me and not at me. Subsequently the joke was voted a year later The Most Offence by Paramount Comedy TV channel.

It’s hard for the general public to know how to react to anything “different” or “unusual” from ourselves. Just like any other person, I have my good and bad days, on the days I’m feeling sensitive any off comment or action can make me feel inadequate and other days when my hair looks fabulous, I’m wearing new out fit (and after a few ciders!) I sometimes like the attention, I just tell myself people are staring at my shiny brown bob in envy.

I enjoy going out as much as "Normal" People! lol!

For example; I have had people tell me “Well Done for coming out and being normal” – on a good day I cheekily reply “Ah thanks, you going to buy me a congratulatory drink” on a bad day I automatically feel awkward and as thought I’m being felt sorry for.

Another one is when I’m chatted up. Apart from being sickeningly smitten with my guy Mike, any of my close friends know I hate being chatted up, not as a disabled person but as a woman. I see myself as the ugly duckling and again that is just a woman’s inadequacy, nothing to do with my wheelchair.

There are two camps; the positive who when told “I’m sorry I have a boyfriend” after denying to giving them my number who say “Lucky Guy” or “Well if it all goes wrong *wink*” and then there’s the awful including one guy who said “You should be grateful for any attention you get” luckily I was feel fabulous and quipped back “Your lucky I’m even talking to you buddy!”

I’m generally laid back overall, I like being offered help, I don’t mind asking for it either, I don’t mind being asked what happened to me nor even “Can I have a go in your chair?” other behaviours I find slightly odd.

Being patted on the head is just weird, people getting hold of my chair whilst I’m browsing the shelves and moving me out of their way without even asking is just plain rude and others telling me I have put their lives into perspective or I’m like a second coming, is just worrying, those few need counselling!

But what I see as okay other might not, it’s a mind field for non disabled people to know what to do or how to act, my advice is act like you would to any other person, should you be asked for help don’t tut and roll your eyes and should you be told off for not offering help off your own back just smile sweetly and say nothing because those disabled people are the ones in the wrong not you.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Snow - it almost makes no difference!

Well the UK has ground to a halt once again. In the case of white stuff vs Britain – we lose! But I can’t help but be a tad smug about the whole situation. When it snow’s every non disabled person has a glimpse into a disabled person’s life.

Before I reason with you, let me point out that the thought of homeless people being out in this terrifies me, emergency services unable to reach those in need leaves me cold (I do not excuse my very truthful and yet ironic pun there!) and feel awful for those, including family and friends who are stranded in airports and at work conferences! But for the 38 people on my facebook within the last 24 hours proclaiming to have cabin fever and being driven mad having to stay at home, is for myself and many others a daily feeling.

Those who know me, will know that I get out and about quite happily with some careful planning and thought, especially since the arrival of the GoGo, but what about people who are worse off physically than myself?

Before my GoGo arrived I would regularly curse having to wait in for people or help with something (I know – I should just be grateful and don’t get me wrong, I was/am when I receive a bit of assistance). The GoGo has given me freedoms I’ve missed since I was a child, getting my own milk, when I have once again let it sour, feels like a treat, yet I still find myself desperate to go that little bit further than I now can. I suppose it’s almost like wanting the holiday we can’t afford, New York (my dream Holiday destination) will be there waiting when I save, but unlike my friends for me London is still just that bit out of reach.

Going back to those worse off than myself, I have a wonderful network of friends, family, neighbours even my postman offering me help with my shopping or some company. For those who don’t have that luxury, sitting in with just your TV, a book and/or your own company is lonely enough when it snows but what about the rest of the year? With all the impending cuts to care services and medical aid, I can’t help but wonder if more people’s lives will be just that bit more frustrating.

Of course it’s not all doom and gloom, snow is beautiful and only adds to the excitement of Christmas only days away now. So make the most of your days off, the peace and quiet of no annoying visitors and go build a snowman (or a ten foot male appendage as one of my facebookers threatened!) as us being a nation of complainers we’ll only moan when it’s all gone again.

Thursday, 18 November 2010


Any one who has a Disabled Blue Badge or Disabled Persons RailCard can get a free copy of "Accessible guide to Britain" by clicking here :)

Lady Gogos’ Guide to Disability Awareness Month Part 1!

Lesson 1 Name Calling!

As mentioned in the post below from November 22nd to December 22nd the UK is holding its first Disability Awareness Month.

I first and foremost do not claim to be a disability expert or am I voicing views and stories of anyone but myself. You may not believe some of what I will write below but I have witnesses (and anyway you should believe me, as much as I want to be a writer, I could not make these up!).

The dictionary definition of Disabled is as follows...


crippled; injured; incapacitated.


( used with a plural verb ) persons who are crippled, injured, or incapacitated (usually prec. by the ): Ramps have been installed at the entrances to accommodate the disabled.

When it comes to labelling disability, I generally (99%) couldn’t care less what you called me.

I call my CEA (Cinema Exhibitors Association) card my “Cripple discount” at the cinema but to the rest of the cinema ticket queues disgust, I don’t understand why they tut, I’m calling myself a cripple.

I’ve been called a Cripple, Spaz, Freak, Flid, Spastic, disabled bird/mate/girlfriend, Gimp, Retard, Handicapp but my least favourite is; Invalid. I hate it because it implies I’m In – valid, as in; not a valid person... I can assure you I am thank you!

Don't call me Invalid... I WILL run you over 
 What doesn’t offended me, may offend my fellow Crip so be careful. “Sticks and Stones may break my bones (especially if I had Brittle Bone disease) but names can never hurt me” sadly this childhood rhyme doesn’t ring true, as I said name calling these days don’t generally bother me, but there are days like any abled/disabled person when I am not feeling myself (See Whats Attractive?) and those names ring in my head. Not so much the name but the tone in which they were projected in.

L x

P.S A shout out to the lad at the Argos/Queensway bus stop who winked, raised a brow and said “You is some fit unable” andflattered by the comment I didn’t have the heart to correct his obvious grammar issues!

Don't call me an Invalid... I will run you over!

Disability History Month

For the first time the UK is having Disability History Month from the 22nd of November to the 22nd of December, including rights for suffers of Aids/HIV and tackling basic Human rights issues.

This all began when the United Nations had a whole decade dedicated to Disability rights (1983-1992) so that governments could understand the needs and rights of disabled people and improve their living conditions, their chances to work and become a valued member of society.

In 1992 the UN proclaimed that every year December 3rd would be the International Day of Disabled Persons, which later became International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

On the 3rd of December governments, schools and businesses are encouraged to look into bullying against disabled people, discrimination in the work place and to also take a look back into the harsh realities disabled people faced in the years gone by.

It is thought that up to 80% of disabled children in school are bullied or outcast by their peers. Hate crimes and poverty are rife amongst disabled people. Plus only 48% have jobs compared to 80% of non disabled people.

The day is already supported by trade unions, disability charities and voluntary organisations, and with 12 million registered disabled people in the UK I think a month of celebrating, our differences and learning about our difficulties, could only be a positive thing.

For more information and up to date news go to the Disabled History website at; UK Disability History Month

L x

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Carter Glass :)

Just a quick post and a shout out to Carter Glass, they came and put a new and secure back door in my flat today! They were quick, efficient and cleaned up after! A family run company, set up in the 1960's they are well establish, friendly and in no way pushy like some other firms that I should name and shame!

Funny enough, I texted one of my best friends this evening and Carter Glass are going to her house tomorrow to fix the windows in her new (gorgeous!) babies nursery on my recommendation, word of mouth does work! You can follow the links above or call them on 01702 546914.

And by the way, they in no way asked for this promotion or have any idea I'm posting, but I will mail them so they don't get confused when someone rings up "Hi Lady Gogo, recommend you" lol!
L x


If you haven’t heard about the UK budget and the 2010 Spending Review, you must have been under a rock somewhere. It seems that we’re all affected in one way or another. I look forward to the Spending Review as much as physiotherapy – i.e. sore head or sore limbs either way I end up taking more pain killers.

As a disabled member of our community I am feeling very venerable and in the firing line to these changes. With £7bn going to be clawed back into the government’s “pot of gold”, a lot of people will be forced into work, not to mention into massive life style changes, not all for the better. I’m completely aware that the UK pays £43bn in interest, but should the ill, infirm and frail suffer for that?

As of 2012, if you are in residential care you’ll not be entitled to Higher Rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance. So let me get this right? If you live in an assisted accommodation you’re not entitled to either the money or a motability scheme car?

It’s not even just the direct cuts to benefits that will affect disabled people, it seems that due to other cuts local councils have to enforce; home care will be affected too. The Local Government Association has said that the £3bn shortfall (28% of local government’s budgets) will damage resources for home care of patients with long term, serious illnesses and conditions

Unfortunately there were £1bn worth of benefit fraud in the UK during 2008 and yes that is a rather large amount and subsequent problem to society but on top of the Spending Review, there is talk of Incapacity benefit becoming means tested, which could leave 800,000 people without it, gaining yet another £2bn for the UK debt.

Here’s an idea stop overspending on the 2012 Olympics?

L x

Monday, 20 September 2010


I’m an Ouch! follower, no I’m not some sadistic pervert, Ouch! Is an online community/information portal for disabled people. Set up by the BBC it has some very un-politically correct features, my favourite being their columnist Disability Bitch. She is controversial but damn right honest to the point of being just that – a bitch, but I love her she’s the Simon Cowell of the crippled world.

Disability Bitch

Most recently she had an article titled “Disability Bitch hates Freaky Paralympians” about how the country is making a big deal about the Paralympics, my favourite line being “Cripples who totally fail to understand that the entire point of being disabled, is that you have a lifelong excuse to skive off PE lessons” – Brilliant!

I was once asked whether I was into sport. I’m not. The answer I received was “What, not even the Paralympics?” this made me laugh, it’s as though I wasn’t supporting my “kind”, my people, the fellow wheelers and white stick wielding nation.

I completely understand that you can’t place a wheelchair athlete in the same race as Usain St. Leo Bolt, there is a definite reason we have the separated events, but I hate sport full stop, whether you’re using prosthetic limbs or your own grown ones.

I’m all for sticking together and supporting my fellow less able people, we are living in an age where disability is only just becoming less of a taboo and dare I say a novelty.... there’s a reason Ouch! Has a message board titled “Quick I’ve seen a disabled person on TV” – we’re still quite intriguing I think!

L x

Fabulously Vintage

For weeks I had been looking forward to the Handmade Vintage Fair in Leigh on Sea. I had invited various friends along for a girlie afternoon mooching round the stalls, admiring clothes, jewels and retro cutlery our grandmothers would approve of – vintage is the latest thing you know?

A long story and many texts later, most of my friends had to go without me, I thought it to be ironic that I would invite them all and yet be the only one unable to go! After a morning of charity Rock Climbing (Well Done Jen!) my friend Jen came to my rescue.

Jen and I got there only to discover the downstairs hall had a platform lift that was out of use, so a lovely man helped us by carrying my wheelchair down into the hall whilst Jen lent me her arm to lean on. The stalls were gorgeous; I wish I’d have had more money. Mike would have come home to a house furnished with flowered tea cups, gingham patterned cushions and myself fashioned in 1920’s tea dresses!

The stalls were very close together each vendor’s displays spilling onto the next. The cramped room had me watching my back and what I was running over and (as I’m well known for) apologising for being “in the way” which of course I wasn’t but felt guilty with people climbing around and occasionally over me. I had as much right to be there as everyone else but I have issues about being an inconvenience – must get over that one day!

I took some business cards from my favourite stalls. Bar Era (click link) was just my dream kitchen personified this company source gorgeous unusual bar items like baby sham glasses, ice buckets, cocktail glasses and (although I’m not a smoker) exquisitely different ash trays.

Cherry Bomb Shell (click link) sold kitsch jewellery taking influences from all passed eras; I could have bought one of everything and managed to find a gift for every one of my girl friends.

The Pink Lady (click link) stall was hard to get near with a gaggle of effortlessly cool teenagers surrounding it. The Pink Lady makes limited edition contemporary jewellery again a bag full of items coming home with me wouldn’t have gone a miss.

When Jen and I decided we’d going and browse the stalls upstairs we were informed by a vendor that the lift upstairs to the 1st floor wasn’t in use either! So with a heavy heart and a longing for the beautifully smelling tea cakes from the kitchen - Jen and I left.

Back to eBay me thinks

L x

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Frustrated driver!

Spontaneous travelling doesn't really happen to me. I now have the Gogo, I can travel 5 miles (or 2.5 each way!), a wonderful 5 miles more than ever before! But I'm also learning to drive.

I love my driving lessons; I have a brilliant instructor Diane, who deals very well with my panics and lack of road knowledge which are becoming less often and more fulfilled with each week. After 10 months of lessons (many had to be cancelled because of health or money) I'm getting to the point of frustration now.

This was never more evident than Saturday. Mike and I set off to travel to Hastings, to see his family, help with some D.I.Y and a surprise hair cut for yours truly! We got from Southend to Westcliff (a matter of seconds difference between the two) to hear a marquee had cut out the power to Fenchurch Street.

M was f*ing and blinding, but we walked back into town and got the Southend Victoria line. After some train hopping we finally made it into Hastings 5 hours later; a journey that should take 3hours on a train or an hour and a half in a car!

I don’t tend to travel outside of Southend unless Mike’s home. Several times I’ve booked ramps with train services so that I can get on and off them easily and have got to my destination only to find that there’s no ramp and I’ve had to hobble off the train with the help of several kind strangers, it’s just lucky that I am able to take a few steps when needed or to put it better; I have no choice.

January 1st 2020 I will be 36, this is the date that all trains/stations according to the Disability Discrimination Act of 2005 have to be accessible... only another 10 years. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad it’s happening with a goal in mind but two things... how do disabled people live and work in cities like London? And secondly it doesn’t help me today.

Today I was meant to be travelling to my Great Uncles Funeral in Devon. We were meant to be driving but my Dads car has becoming very unreliable, so it was decided that trains were the way forward (and back again)... and guess what the lines we need to take aren’t accessible and as I’m mid relapse a few steps aren’t advised. So I’m not going... I really need to drive!

L x

Sunday, 5 September 2010

End of History Weekend

After 5-6 hours at the Duxford Air show we said our goodbyes to Tony and we asked Mikes Mum Andrea is she fancied dinner at Lakeside – she did.

After some faffing around on the boardwalk we decided to eat at Spurs, walking towards the restaurant we noticed two very familiar people carrying a baby car seat – Mikes Sister, Emma and Brother in Law Andrew had been conspiring all afternoon with Andrea about meeting us as a surprise, bringing their gorgeous 6 week old Daughter Bethany (Bean), making me miss my Nieces and Nephew greatly.

I could have cried! I’ve not seen her is 5 weeks and she’s almost 3lb bigger, 10x stronger and a million times more beautiful than before.


I (Heart) History Part 2

Saturday – Mike and I set off early to Duxford where we met Mike’s lovely parents, as his Dad, Tony, works the air shows with Vector fine arts, selling Aviation art work.

This was my second visit to the famous airfield and it was the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. You can’t help but feel patriotic whilst watching a Lancaster fly over and hearing speeches from Winston Churchill played over the tanoy.

Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane

(And even more British when the French display played a camp catalogue of music to their piece, making us tut – like true sarcastic Brits)

The French "Even making Love in the Sky" according to Mike!

I had a real issue with lens envy though, my poor 14-42mm lens didn’t compare to the 1 ½ foot lenses being proudly displayed, size usually doesn’t matter but it this case it does, planes look like birds on my display lol!

Red Arrows

So I cheated. Duxford has several air hangers with stationary machines just waiting to be photographed! So I did, not that I knew what most of them are, but I knew roughly where these beasts had been and can imagine what their pilots saw, I would love to talk to them.

Sea King

As I said I love the people in History, each person at the same point in time has a different point of view and this fascinates me.

L x

I (Heart) History Part 1

I love History, I admit, The History channel is my secret pleasure. The only trouble is I don’t have a head for facts. I love History of the people. Ok, so I don’t remember the dates, the names of battles, the location of the events or even everyone’s names, but I love a good story.

The last two days have just reiterated this love. Firstly I had an unknown number on my mobile Friday. It was my lovely home tutor, Margaret, who got me through my GCSE’s (See my “Doing my head in” post) she had got my number from my friend Tia (who by the way if your reading this – I miss you and Paul!) randomly after discovering they had a mutual friend in me.

Margaret came to visit Mike and I Friday afternoon, and we had a lovely catch up. We also spoke about my love for the history she taught me and the poetry and Shakespeare she guided me through. I miss learning from her, but she lifted me (and my slightly confused brain at the moment) by saying I was one of her success’.

It's funny how, at the moment I feel like such a failure in terms of personal fulfilment and yet Margaret sees me as a success – just shows you can’t measure your life.....

Friday, 3 September 2010


I told you I'd have a more productive week! I met with the guys at My Town Southend this morning. It looks I'm going to be the disabilities/health editor - how cool is that! Don't worry I'm not being pigeon holed as the token cripple lol! But one of the rules of writing is to “write what you know” – disability and the issues surrounding it – I know!

The page will include, information of local support groups and services, illness profiles, latest medical developments, local peoples stories and loads more!

My Town Southend is being officially launched on Sept 25th at the Village Green (Chalkwell park). So any one whose interested come on down!

I’m starting two more ladygogo pages. Gogo Reviews for books, CD’s and Films and Gogo Recipes. So have a look there too. I’m no Jonathon Ross or Jamie Oliver but I enjoy media and cooking so why not eh?

L x

Whats Attractive - Part 1?

On Wednesday of this week, I blatantly insulted!

I and my Gogo went to the post office – a very unexceptional task, but when I came out, the wind struck me and my fringe looked like Cameron Diaz and “that” scene from Something about Mary. So I stopped to control the unruly hair and out of nowhere this guy comes up to me and says, whilst giving me a dirty look “you know you’re never going to look any better being in that” pointing at the Gogo!

Now I know this little boy cannot help that his only brain cell was used up that day thinking up that insult and I raised an eye brow and carried on with my day. But Thursday morning I found myself getting really het up with my hair, and not just the normal – having a "bad hair day" kind of way. Sadly I let it get to me.

So, in the general public’s eye, does being disabled detract from someone’s attractiveness? I’m going to randomly e-mail friends on facebook and see what comes of that, but one of the projects/experiments I’d like to do is ask the general public. This I’m hoping to do with My Town Southend.

It'll be interesting to see what comes of it.

L x

Monday, 30 August 2010


I've been a bit rubbish and slack this past week! I've had problems with my back from bumping up and down kerbs in the Gogo - lots of spasms and aches. So I've been resting a lot and if I'm honest feeling sorry for myself and been craggy with people!

Still, I have a fairly busy week ahead which I hope is more constructive. I am going to be asking a few family and friend members about how my disability affects them or changed their perception of me when it became a permanent feature of my being.

On the upside I’ve caught up with my music lately and I highly recommend the new Travie McCoy album Lazarus, it’s a real funky record. Each song is so different and a lot of them are very humorous. My fave songs are We’ll be Alright, After Midnight and Akidagain. The album is a lot more pop than Travis’ work with Gym Class Heroes.

Will catch you all up properly in a few days!

L x

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

My beloved is dieting for charity!

Mike Garrick is fundraising for Bliss, for babies born too soon, too small, too sick

My lovely Boyfriend is losing 2st in weight in aid of Bliss (Premature baby charity) Just in case any one is reading this please click the link above and give generously.

L x

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Doing my own head in!

I’ve been completely frustrated today! I’m utterly overwhelmed with useless thoughts and regrets floating round my head.

This time 10 years ago I would have been celebrating my GCSE (all four of them – but hey I was proud!) results, I can’t quite remember how I celebrated but it was more than likely with a Chinese and a Gateaux.

I remember the excitement of picking up my results and realising I had the grades to do the year long media GNVQ. I’d not been to school for 2 ½ years previously to my exams but had a wonderful home tutor – Margaret, for the six months leading to them.

After 3 years of hospitals, no social life and being a recluse who sat in her room writing to pen pals (which by the way I still have 4!) I was so full of expectations.

2000 Was the new Millennium, my 16th Birthday, college, and the start of a Channel 4 production Big Brother.

No doubt every columnist/blogger/facebook status in the UK has changed tonight to commemorate the end of BB but to me (for at least the first 5 series) it was intriguing to see these people, how they all interacted and what they wanted to do or be. Some have succumbed to the Z list celeb cluster whilst others went back to their lives with the experience under their belt.

This leads me to my frustration. Lack of experiences. 10 years have passed and that quarter life crisis is rearing its ugly head again. I goggled this term, which I first heard in a John Mayer song, and Wikipedia brought up this list

1. realizing that the pursuits of one's peers are useless

2. confronting their own mortality

3. watching time slowly take its toll on their parents, only to realize they are next

4. insecurity regarding the fact that their actions are meaningless

5. insecurity concerning ability to love themselves, let alone another person

6. insecurity regarding present accomplishments

7. re-evaluation of close interpersonal relationships

8. lack of friendships or romantic relationships, sexual frustration, and involuntary celibacy

9. disappointment with one's job

10. nostalgia for university, college, high school or elementary school life

11. tendency to hold stronger opinions

12. boredom with social interactions

13. loss of closeness to high school and college friends

14. financially-rooted stress (overwhelming college loans, unanticipatedly high cost of living, etc.)

15. loneliness, depression and suicidal tendencies

16. desire to have children

17. a sense that everyone is, somehow, doing better than you

18. frustration with social skills

I don’t know how many you have to agree with but I’m on board with 1, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 17 and 18 - I think I might qualify. It’s a sad list that suspiciously looks like a check list to a mental institution. But it seems a common phase in a lot of people’s lives; there are even books on it!

I don’t know... I’m a Gemini; a completely overreacting drama queen. I have these days of real thought and contemplation. It drives Mike mad.

L x

Sunday, 22 August 2010


I did myself an injury Saturday morning.... my crime? Sitting up in bed! My back went snap, twang and pop! I spent the day moving round like a, quite literal, plank!

Mum and Miss M.P helped me out and I was thinking that a few extra meds, a good night’s sleep will do the trick! Sadly Miss M.P is a coffee fiend and I'm a sucker for a warm beverage when feeling rubbish. Now it's 2am and any chance (which on a good day is hard enough) of a good night’s sleep I feel is lost.... I'm on a caffeine high!

Miss M.P has been told off on FB.... and now what to do with my night.... do you think they’ll let me and the Gogo into a nightclub?

L x

Friday, 20 August 2010

Terms and Conditions...

I doubt anyone beyond my faithful circle of friends is reading this but I thought I'd better let you know why I am disabled.

I've not consciously tried to avoid the subject but a friend mentioned that although it's nice to let people know about my freedom and the fun parts of my life, my conditions do govern each day and I suppose my personality too!

Firstly I have a form of Cerebral Palsy called Hemiplegia which in my case means the left side of my body is weaker and less co-ordinated that the right. This most likely occurred when I was being born. I didn't give my Mum the nicest birthing experience, and I apparently become distressed on my way out and had a stroke - always the drama queen!

I have a very mild version of Hemiplegia, and probably would have avoided a wheelchair and basically would have just had a limp. But, I developed a condition called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome to long term sufferers it’s known as Really Sucks Disease lol! As the name's indicates I am in pain - a lot pain!

RSD is different in every person that has it. Some people go into full remission and others like me, don't! Since I was 7 I have been in various degrees of pain with spasms, burning pains, muscle aches, pins and needles etc etc . but as I've got older the pain has gotten worse.

Although I go out quite a bit - as you've probably guessed I'm a people person. After my visits, I'm exhausted! I don't want to bore you too much with it, but life can be difficult, as I don't sleep much at all, I'm constantly drained from the pain its self, plus some days I find the simplest things like cooking or doing the dishes a trial in my day.

BUT in the end, I do have a good life; it may not be your average one! On the good days, I try to make the most of it, as cliché as it is, you don't know what tomorrow will bring.

I still feel I need to do more, and make a mark on the world. I joke that I'm having a quarter life crisis...... maybe I am!

L x

Thursday, 19 August 2010

No Buns!

Batteries lasted well today! Made it to Southend General Hospital and back with a quick nip into Sainsburys on the way and the dial is still on green!

This means I can easily go bug my friend Jo regularly – on my own! (Not that she’s reading this or knows what I’m planning) This also means I’ll get to see her little boy more too. See what I mean babies everywhere – no one to push me!

My status on facebook recently was “yet another baby on the way!!.... Something in the water.... I'm starting on Milk... no buns in my oven thank you!” I love the Auntie duties but I also love giving them back. I’ve only just got my freedom; I don’t want to give it up again!

Got to see beautiful baby Alex again for a bit, he and Mummy are hopefully going home tonight! I probably won’t see him for a couple of weeks and I know they’ll have millions of visitors!

Cooking dinner for friends tonight, but hopefully an early night as having a meeting with the guys from My Town Southend and a driving lesson all before 10am!

L x

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Seeing things in a new way....

After last weeks battery fiasco, it seemed that I had not plugged the GoGo in properly to charge, it's still not going more than 5 miles a go but I spoke to the guys at Able Aid (including my strange but never the less lovely friend Mike who works there) and they said it probably needs draining of power a few times to get the battery going again.

It really did worry me though, I'd had a few days of this new life and although shopping for yourself may not seem that exciting - I love it! I hope I don't take it for granted.

I'm starting to hate pavements ever so slightly, they are atrocious, especially the London road from Southend to Leigh..... thankfully I'm on enough pain meds to knock out a horse, that my back doesn't hurt! Went to The Piano Pavilion to see Karen for lunch with Mike (who's home for 6 days until Friday) - at the Sky Blues Cafe - love their jacket potatoes!

I couldn't get into a few shops along the way, and I'm confused to notice that Bar 56 have taken out their ramp into the venue? I've e-mail them, as they had a perfectly good one and have replaced it with steps, effectivly loosing 18% (estimated disabled people) of their custom.

I'm very happy to annouce that one of my best friends gave birth on Monday (16/08/2010) to a gorgeous little boy Alex Thomas Collins 6lb!

L x

Friday, 13 August 2010

Freedom - Already taken for granted?

Well I've had three days of independence - it's been interesting! I'm not in the best of moods at the moment as I went into Southend High Street to meet with Brian and Malcolm from My Town Southend about writing for the website as Lady Gogo. The meeting went very well, am excited at a new challenge. My Granddad Roy would be proud (he set up Food News - a food industry publication).

But on the way back from the meeting, suddenly the battery dial started going a bit crazy and landed on red! Queue a panicked called to my Mum asking her to come walk with me the rest of the way home! This is exactly why I was put off electrical mobility in my teens. Still, one of my brothers came and rescued me and luckily I made it home. Gogo is on charge now but I'm meant to be going out in two hours with friends - eek! They both have prams - double eeeek!

The thought of going back to no mobility scares me after one week!
L x

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Big Wide World!

Ok, the Big Wide World isn't as scary as I first thought! As silly as it sounds, doing things on your own is hard work! I had no idea how much I really relied on my friends, family and Mike. Now I have to watch what the general public is doing i.e. they get annoyed with me, when THEY walk backwards into the scooter! Which by the way is not going very fast at the moment - snails over take.... not to mention people 50 years older than me!

And packing my shopping!? What a juggling act that one is... so your meant to pack, load the scooter and pay all at once? Don't get me wrong, I'm not stupid or naive I've been shopping thousands of times but someone else has always packed and I just paid. These are just things I suppose I've never done on my own - simple as!

Now today is different. I was, somewhat, being supervised by my friend Karen (who owns The Piano Pavilion). Today I am shopping completely one my own. I need cream, a card and rucksacks, a scooter doesn't come ready with shopping space and as stuck up as this may sound I do not like the ready made bags for scooters - someone needs to realise being disabled do not mean we don't want to look good!!

L x

Monday, 9 August 2010

Why LadyGoGo?

Why did I chose LadyGogo as my Blogger name? Apart from being an awful play on the amazing LadyGaga. It's simple I'm a lady, and I have just invested, with the help of my friends and family, in a Gogo mobility scooter.

This is also a hence to the Diary or Freedom. Since I was 12 I have used a wheelchair more and more, and now it's 95% of the time due to my health conditions. But life is changing fast in 2010 and a ton of my closest friends and family are having babies. Babies + Buggies = No one to push me around (I know, how rude of my friends to do such a thing!). So, although a had a horrible time with an electric wheelchair in my late teens that put me off electrical mobility for a long while, it was damn time I gained some independence.

Today, Mike went back to his rig and although I only purchase the scooter three days ago and I'm going out alone, for the first time in about 12-14  years. Granted I will be meeting with my lovely friend Karen, who helped fund the majority of the Scooter plus a new wheelchair (Coming Soon!), I'm still feeling nervous as hell!

L x


I'm 26 from Southend, Essex, UK. I live with my boyfriend Mike, a Unit Manager on oil rigs, in our cosy 1 bed flat. I have a great family, lots of wonderful friends and a thirst for the new or different in life!

I have created this blog as a venting site for my thoughts but also to help other disabled young people like myself and local businesses and projects I am/or will be involved in.

I'm not going to be one of those annoying happy clappy, disabled rights activists. As much as I, and many others try to deny it, our disabilities, in my opinion, do define us to a degree. Whether we like it or not people first see the wheelchair/scooter/walking sick/white stick etc. and judge on that. I do it myself, curiosity is natural and first impressions always count. Ignorance on the other hand can be helped. I will, over time recount stories of damn right stupidity as we go.

So that's me, or a simple outline to a complex and possibly annoying blogger.... we'll see...

L x