Wednesday 28 March 2012

There Are No Words!

I was going to write about my lovely weekend at the Vitality Show and Ideal Home Show – both held at Earls Court – both were fantastic fun, I got lots of health and beauty goodies and Mike bought a lot of sausages and cheese. I’d recommend both of the events for anyone interested in health products, D.I.Y and fresh food produce.

A side note to my previous planned blog was another finger wagging in the direction of public transport services and their forever lack of ramps, lifts and helpful staff but then I stumbled upon a campaign from Channel 4 (UK).

No Go Britain – is a series of video’s highlighting the UK’s lack of safe and reliable public transport (ahead of the Paralympics) for disabled spectators and indeed those competing.

No Go Britain Campaign Video

Although I’m always grateful for these awareness campaigns, why is it only coming to people’s attention 4 months before the entire world descends on our capital city? Surely all these issues should have been as much under construction as the stadium it’s self?

Still - No Go Britain have got Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson one of our most famous Paralympian’s on their side and  in one of the video’s she speaks of when she booked assistance off a midnight train at Kings Cross only to be greeted with an empty platform and having to throw her wheelchair off the train and crawl off! The lack of dignity and grace for anyone let alone a Baroness is infuriating.

I almost spat out my breakfast reading these comments! It’s odd; I’ve been told that I should have been killed at birth, that I should stick with my own kind and that my parents should have aborted me but people’s anger, resentment and plain stupidity still shocks me!

Please repost this blog, the video’s and articles on your Facebook and Twitter – how can it be 2012 and still be this behind with equality and basic human rights?

L x 

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Following the (Unofficial) Leader

I’ve had a lot of messages regarding my Weight Watchers diet and whether it’s working; especially from a disabled person’s point of view and the lack of exercise. Plus one anonymous person asking if I’ve “fallen off the wagon and failed once again” – erm rude!! 

I've very happy to report I am a complete an utter diet bore; simply because it’s working! So far I've lost 18lb in 10 weeks. I’m feeling quite proud and even bought myself a hot pink, Kelly Brook endorsed bikini, not a swim suit an actual two piece set with my body, op scar’s and stretch marks on show (although proud; I do apologise to the male members of my family now in sight of our family holiday’s coming up... Mike on the other hand...). When I hit my first stone (14lb) in loss I bought myself new jeans and even they keep falling down – luckily I sit on my arse 99% of the time really!

LadyGoGo84 - Letting you into her

I do minimal exercise as generally movement = pain, but my little contribution to my heart and circulation is this; I watch roughly two hours of TV a night which will have six ad breaks with an average of three minutes per break. So in every one of those I resist TiVo’s fast forward function and use 1lb weights to exercise my arms and will also attach them to my legs and do raises and mid air cycling. It’s not a lot but it means I’m keeping my old limbs going and resting for 15 minutes per every 3 so as not to hurt myself. 

An unexpected role that has come of being on WW is I’ve become an unofficial Weight Watchers leader. I had 5 friends who were already having wonderful results on the diet, especially my sister in law – if you’d seen her wedding photo’s – you would understand why I chose the plan over others. But from seeing my results 6 friends have joined and several have gone back to Weight Watchers and their new Pro Points plan and regularly I get texts/phone calls/fb messages/e-mails asking me for all kinds of advice and I’m no expert and regularly warn them of this but I find this little WW community of my mine a real help, especially since I can’t make the official local meetings. 

Those of you who have sent in questions I really do highly recommend the plan but would talk to your medical team/GP first! I shall keep you updated and no I don’t plan on failing either :P 

L x

Thursday 8 March 2012

When is a Joke, not a Joke?

I’m in Sussex again, with Mike and his family, so hence my lack of posts this past week or so. I’ve been chilling out, enjoying the quiet of my phone hardly getting a signal and looked at my inbox to find 450+ e-mails waiting for me. I have been one chilled bunny!

Yesterday I went to work with my Mother in law Andrea. She’s the Voluntary Services Manager for St Michael’s Hospice in Hastings. Andrea, along with two of the Hospices HR team Wendy and Leanne, were running an equality and diversity training/awareness day for St Michael’s staff called – When is a joke not a joke?

Although not planned I became part of the hosting team tackling issues such as inappropriate use of language, terms and humour in a working environment.

I was introduced as the “special” guest in reference to my special needs as a disabled person.  This was meant to provoke an emotion and reaction from the trainee’s – there were murmured laughs and half smiles with one person  after being let in on the joke confessed that me being referred to as the special one – left her feeling awkward and cringing.

So when is a joke not a joke? I came to a very vague answer that that there is an incredibly thin line between humour and embarrassment.

We had three groups coming in for training throughout the day and just the difference between the reactions to stories we told and joke’s we made were fascinating.

The sociologist Erving Goffman studied the effects of embarrassment in people and realised that we had different humours depending on their social situations.

The example we gave our groups was that when I visit Mike’s family we take the mickey out of each other like any other family does and I’m regularly asked whether I want my large handled spazzy knife and folk or when I have to go to front of queues or get assistance at events - I’m being a diva celebrity - getting “special” treatment.

When we told group one about this they laughed, group two gasped and seemed uncomfortable and group three were completely divided.

Another example of the mine field of jokes was when two of our groups were asked to read an article about a lawyer, who has dwarfism. She was mocked in court with a defendant singing “Hi ho, hi ho it’s off to work we go” at her (she’s now suing him!).

Andrea, Wendy and Leanne stood in three positions in our hall – each of them representing that the article was hilarious, mildly amusing or awful and offending. In the first group they either found the piece hilarious or funny with no one offended by the Snow White reference.  Surprisingly the second group had 8 offended people in their midst.

When you know that these groups were put together randomly with a mixture of clinical, nursing, admin and site maintenance staff you couldn’t predict anyone’s reactions. Think about your work place and family and friends, could you predict their responses?

Although exhausting I had a really interesting day, it has certainly made me question my own humour, I’m not easily offended but when rape, abuse or murder are used for a laugh – I will switch off! So next time you go to forward a chain e-mail or text think about who you’re sending it too.

L x