Friday, 14 February 2014

Love is in the air!

This week, I realised I hadn't posted an article I wrote, that was featured in the Southend Evening Echo, about being in a long distance relationship. Since it is Valentine's Day and Mike is away in California, it seemed apt that I would post this piece about our strange relationship.

Click on the photo below to read the article in full.

Mike and I

I love Valentine's Day, some would say this is because I'm in a relationship, but even when I was single I loved seeing/hearing what everyone else was up to, especially now that we have Facebook, I enjoy seeing all the sweet things people do for each other! I'll probably get a barrage of messages telling me I'm a sap who evidently believes in RomComs and Fairytales, well, why not? I'd rather look on the bright and fun side of life than be a miserable cynic.

Saying all that, I'm not naive, I realise it has become a very commercial event, with card retailers, florists and restaurants cashing in, putting up prices and trying to sell us everything covered in hearts, glitter and pink fluff, but they must be on to something, as there's no market without consumers.

Whether you're single or coupled up, enjoy the cheesefest, if nothing else it's an excuse to curl up, eat chocolate and watch a movie featuring your most lusted after film star... tonight my friend Jo and I are having a girls night in and I know she'll want a Johnny Depp and I'll request Gerard touch choice!

L x

Friday, 7 February 2014

Independence for All

Me again, I’m on a roll! Not only have I written two blogs this week, I also had an article published in a local paper too!

The Evening Echo is a staple for any Southender! Want a new Puppy? “Check the Echo!” Has the pier burnt down, yet again? “Check the Echo!”Selling your Car? “Check the Echo!”... you get the idea! Anyway, they have given me my own column - One Disabled Day at a Time. In this months’ piece, I wrote about being housebound and how to appreciate your freedoms – in any small way you can.

This was my 6th piece for the newspaper and because I am so open and willing to talk about anything, from disability, relationships or cruel internet trolls, I believe, this has made readers realise that I am a regular contributor and people are now asking for my advice.

To read this weeks’ piece click on the photo below.

One Disabled Day at a Time

As you can see in the article, I talk about not being able to use the bathroom or cook in the kitchen during a full relapse of my conditions. After it was published, I received e-mails from people wanting specific information on what equipment I use to help with this.

As I have Cerebral Palsy, Hypermobility Syndrome and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome the three conditions battle within my body, fighting as to which one is going to cause the most trouble, so my needs change daily.

One thing I have always struggled with is cutlery. When I’m in severe pain, my left hand clenches tightly and my arm curls into my shoulder, club this with the paralysis on my left side and it makes for a messy meal time! I have used moulded knives and folks but there are so many different types available to suit everyone’s needs. I would suggest and recommend you go to They have an extensive cutlery range for all disabled people and I personally have used these ones in the past.

I would also suggest browsing UKS Mobility’s vast kitchen and dining section here. There are so many gadgets that are not only useful but incredibly safe too. I love the fact that with a few extra tools, we all gain further independence.

When I was a child I had to depend on Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapists for equipment such as leg splints, hoists and exercise apparatus. Today, I choose to purchase most of my own kit, which means; I’m no longer on mile long waiting list and I can buy what I want and when I need it – a real luxury.

I had two specific e-mails about toilet aids. Readers wanted to know what commodes I have used. I have only used a standard one without wheels similar to this model, very much like the ones you would see in hospital. They just become another piece of the furniture and ours became an office chair in between relapses!

When you’ve used commodes or have been bathed by family or carers you lose any sense of embarrassment. I know a commode is effectively an adult potty, but there is no point being shy about these things, we’re all human and we all have the same needs.

Luckily companies like UKS Mobility can recommend the right equipment for you; they consider your size, needs and disability. If you are really struggling with all the choice on offer, UKS Mobility encourages their clients to call their customer helpline, before, during and after sales for the best service. Thankfully they sell online, with an incredibly easy checkout, they can deliver to your door plus after over a decade in the industry, these guys know their stuff!

My final piece of advice would be to use social media. Talk to other suffers of your condition. Bounce ideas off each other, these people can understand what you’re going through and their suggestions might just make your day easier!

L x

Disclaimer - All thoughts and opinions are my own as Lynsey M Ellard. Written 02/2014 I retain all copyrights. Should you wish to contact me about this piece or would like to talk about having a sponsored post on my blog, please use the contact page above.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

The Rest of January 2014

After the long day at Paradise Wildlife park, I had to rest for three days, as my body was spent - agony does not describe the pain, but on the 4th day we had a trip back to London!

18 Months ago, Mike and I bought tickets to see the band Maroon 5 at the O2. We were meant to see them last June but they'd postponed the gig for 6 months - lazy so and so's!

We got to the O2 a few hours before the doors opened, so we could go for our usual pre gig dinner at one of the venue's many restaurants.

We chose Las Iguana as neither of us had tried them before. Sadly we were a tad disappointed;  the staff were rather rude and dismissive. On gig nights the restaurant does half price cocktails - which were lovely, but the food was flavourless and only lukewarm, in fact as I write this, I can't even remember what we had!

As I am an O2 mobile customer we were given access to the O2 V.I.P cocktail bar. I had two very strong Mojito cocktails - which made up for the lack of food in my belly.

Happy and a tad tipsy, we made our way to the disabled seating section, which is basically a wide platform with ramps just to the left of the main stage. I do see our great seats as a bonus to our disabilities - there has to be a silver lining to everything! There are few bonus' to being ill but front row tickets is a big perk!

I'm always astounded by the size of the o2, every time I go, I cannot believe I'm joined by 20,000 people. Those at the back, look like ants from the front. I'm not sure I'd would bother going just to see the big screens, I love to perv  actually see the acts in the flesh.

20k People at The O2

Supporting Maroon 5 was a guy called PJ Morton a singer/song writer from New Orleans, who is also currently standing in as Maroon 5's keyboard player too. Being a little tispy and excited, I spent most of his set watching other people filing in, holding their "We Love You" signs.

The main support act was Robin Thicke, yes, he of 'Blurred Lines'. I know there is a large consensus of people that feel the song was inappropriate and an advocate of sexual assault, but I can't imagine Mr Thicke or his band/family/record label would have release the song otherwise. I do believe it was meant to be tongue in cheek and a fun record.

Robin Thicke

Anyway, Robin Thicke was brilliant and an effortless performer, who really got the crowd going and what got the biggest applaud? Blurred Lines, of course!

When Maroon 5 came out the crowd erupted into a frenzy of cheers, feet stomping and whoops. Of course I love my Mike, but lead singer Adam Levine is so bloody HOT!...


The band were fantastic, playing from their entire back catalogue, including hit's such as; "She will be loved", "Makes me wonder", "Payphone" plus an incredible rendition of "Moves like Jagger". Mr Levine played on his sex symbol status, wooing the ladies with a sexy little hip wiggle and an empty promise of taking his top off, all whilst being the envy of all men present! 

By 11:30pm our voices hoarse from singing and the show was over in a confetti canon conclusion.
Despite not getting to bed until 1am, the next day was our friend Mikes surprise 30th Birthday party.

Amazing Night

We had made a photo montage comprising of Mike's "best" moments.... i.e. naked baby pictures and drunken wipe out photos!

We'd seen Mike and Lauren for dinner earlier in the week and how Mike had no idea what we were all up to, I don't know. Both Lauren and I mentioned the party a dozen times, I can only conclude Mike hears white noise when Lauren and I waffle on!

The surprise party was a complete hit, and my Mike and I were the last ones standing, (or sitting in my case) along with Mike, Lauren and our friends Sarah and Mark - boom!

New Memories....

...and new photos for the drunken blackmail voult!

It was noon on Sunday before I surfaced, although I was void of any hangover, my body hated me. My feet were curled in spasms, purple, frozen and the rest of me didn't fare much better, but I was on a mission.

My last task of the week was to bake chocolate Muffins, as our friends Steve and Sarah were visiting for tea and cake that afternoon. I bore everyone with the Steve and Sarah tale.... so why should my readers miss out?

I've known Steve for 10 years, I used to go clubbing or to the pub with him and all his boys, summers were filled with BBQ's, bars and swimming in the Thames.

These days the boy's have grown up got wives and have or almost have children. When my youngest sister turned 18, she, our brothers and I all invited our various friends for a big night out. I invited Steve and my brother Steven invited his school friend Sarah.

A few days later they had been on a date and Steve had sent Sarah a huge bouquet of flowers. Fast forward 6 years, they've married and in two months their little boy James will be born. Although this union was a complete fluke, in my mind, I'm cupid!

Steve and Sarah

L x