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