Thursday 29 November 2012

Fun in Fundraising

Hi All,
Thought I’d give you all a little update on how fundraising is going for Motivation (see Plans for Motivation by clicking here).

Motivation is an international charity who aims to provide wheelchairs tailored to peoples different needs. I have, sometimes, struggled with being disabled and not being able to do all the things I want to because of my health (Bungee jumping, driving, Parachuting) and sometimes forget how lucky I am to live in a Western country that provides wheelchairs and a country that although sometimes lacking in disabled access is trying to become a free and accessible country for all to enjoy.

So, some months back I pledged that I would fund raise for Motivation and help others enjoy the freedoms I sometimes take for granted. Unfortunately my health has been so bad that I’m struggling to get out of bed some days let alone plan big events.

Luckily whilst I’ve been ill friends and family have started, in my honour, raising the much needed cash for wheelchairs!

My friends husband Ben raised £110 in sponsorship by running a 10k race! This is only £30 shy of a whole new wheelchair bought and paid for – amazing isn’t it? Such little money to us is a whole new world to someone else!

My favourite restaurant is The Sunflower Eaterie. The Sunflower is a small cafe’ on Queens Road (just off Southend High Street for locals here is their Facebook page), I take all my friends there for lunches, fry ups and roast dinners. The owners Michelle and Scott are a lovely couple and they hold quiz nights with raffles raising money for charities, and after my piece in the localpaper, they chose Motivation on my behalf!

I went to my first quiz night a couple weeks ago with Mike, My Dad and our friend Siobhan. For £10 you get to enter the quiz and for that you’ll also get dinner too! We had a ball, our team – Three Cripples and a Carer, came 5th out of 10 teams – not bad eh? The Sunflower will be giving me the proceeds of their hard work in January J.

The Sunflower - Borrowed from Michelle's Facebook
Although I’ve yet to start my fundraising I want to send a huge thank you and hug to Ben (and Helen for “encouraging” him to do the race ;) and to Michelle and Scott for starting to really make a difference to people’s lives and believing in a cause that is so close to my heart!

Family and Friends get ready as I’m planning on hosting a dinner at the Sunflower next spring amongst other things, so get ready to buy tickets!

L x 

Saturday 24 November 2012

Monkey World and Longleat Safari Park

Sorry for the rather long gap between holiday posts! No, sadly I’m not still in the West Country, living it up in the Chapel visiting cider museums and eating out in lovely restaurants. No, unfortunately I’m back home and suffering for my enjoyment. I think the holiday activities bought on an even more troubling relapse. I’ve been quite low, not really been in the mood to see friends, hiding away in our little flat feeling sorry for myself – self indulgent, I know!

But! I have been doing some self butt kicking and am letting people help when I'm struggling, keep telling myself "It could be worse", resting when needed! Boom, in your face relapse!

I have wonderful photo’s to share with you from Monkey World (Yes, the one from TV!) and Longleat Safari Park. Both were amazing.

At Monkey world there are 65 acres of enclosures all housing rescued Monkeys who have been beaten, given hard core drugs and abused buy circus owners and sea side entertainers. If you ever see some one offering you a photo with a real monkey – STOP! Please don't have your photos, report it to Monkey world. These poor creatures are kept in dreadful conditions and even when they are rescued it takes, months, years even their entire life to get over/cope with the trauma.

Here are some of my favourite pictures from the day, we were lucky enough that Mike’s parents bought us all a guided tour around the park so we got some pretty special snaps....

At Longleat Safari Park has been open for 60 years to the public holding 15 main attractions where the animals walk amongst the cars as you drive round. At one point we had monkeys sitting on our car bonnet and lions leaning against our car for the warmth – amazing! There was a lot of clapping on my part!

At the moment Longleat has a Christmas fair where you can buy Christmas themed decorations, gifts and old fashioned sweets. There is a magnificent singing tree that does and wonderful light so to accompany the music – well worth the wait to see it happen.

Also at Longleat at the moment there’s a little train that runs through the park into a snowed forest where Santa is waiting with gifts for the little ones. Our Niece Beth was confused by this bearded man handing her a present and soon got the idea when she opened up the parcel to find a stuffed tiger and a dog toy.

The park itself regardless of the Christmas fair is an amazing day out for all the family, it’s an experience you’ll never forget!

L x

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Disabled Parents Documentary (Get involved!!)

Just a quick notice; I’ve been contacted by Special Edition Films regarding the making of a future documentary; they’re looking for disabled parents aged 16-28 to take part. If you  or know of anyone who fits the bill please contact Lindsey @
L x

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Somerset Part Two

Sunday at the Chapel was a lazy day, there isn’t much to report and I wasn’t a fatty eating all day either – surprising, I know!

Monday Mike, his Dad and Brother in law Andrew went to the Bovington Tank Museum so us girls went to close by Dorchester to go to the Dorset Bear Museum. Beth, our niece, loved the almost 6ft bears as much and the tiny ones; it’s a small yet sweet attraction and because of our under 3 and carers discounts an inexpensive one too!


Sweep, Sooty & Sue!!!

After some lunch at a place called Taste in Dorchester we headed to Yeovil and a soft play center called Rug Ratz to amuse Beth whilst we waited for the boys to return. As Mike’s sister Emma, is 7 months pregnant and I’m well… me (i.e. crap) chasing Beth was left to Andrea (i.e. Grandma!). When the boys came back all testosterone fueled from the man toy exhibition they took over with play duty then we headed to Ask for dinner.

One of my best friends, Helen, moved the Ivybridge in Plymouth in July and since we were close by we met up in Exeter today. Staying in town centre, we took Beth and Helen’s son, Alex to another play centre called Dinkys which was two minutes’ walk from the cities Cathedral. With the little ones in tow we decided not to go inside, it’s such a beautiful building but currently covered in scaffolding – annoying!

Goofing outside the Cathedral 

Exeter had just a huge city centre, Southend is looking remarkably small and dull now. Exceter has such a wide range of shops and they’re all huge – there’s a 5 storey John Lewis and a Cathy Kitson store… I may just be tempted to move here myself!

Lucky for Southend, I come home in three days’ time!

L x

Saturday 10 November 2012

Somerset Part One

So here we are again, taking you with me on my travels. I’m hoping that I don’t go on the mammoth food tour like it was in Australia (Newreaders go back to April this year on the blog) as I don’t have a glorious pool to swim in or the energy to work off any goodies, but as you’ll read In this blog alone I’m not doing so well.

We left for Somerset quiet late on Friday afternoon once Mike’s folks had finished work, so we headed out with intent of getting there before midnight with only one pit stop. After a 5 hour agonizing drive only aided by a pillow under my feet and a large dose of my pills, we arrived at our converted chapel. Which by the way; is bloody gorgeous!

The chapel has three double bedrooms but can sleep up to 8 adults if you’re not too fussy about privacy. There are three bathrooms plus another separate loo, three spacious sitting areas and two kitchens!

Inside the Chapel

None of us were up for a late night after travelling and we were all sound asleep by midnight.

Saturday morning we had a lazy start, me being the last up after a bad night and although I vowed just to eat toast my one sliced ended up with a fried egg, beans and mushrooms on top – fail! The chapel has a leaflet stand with all the local and Devonshire attractions pamphlets and being in the West Country we decided on seeing the Sheppy and Son’s cider tour and shop – we all know I love a good drink!

We headed to the near 100 year old site which has a small museum, tea rooms, a playground, an orchard open to the public and their shop. As you can see our two year old niece, Beth, had a ball as did we after a trip around the museum we headed for cream teas…. It was lunch time though!!

Beth having a ball

Gorgeous warm and huge scones were delivered to our table with hearty bowls of cream and jam, I was second to finish only behind Mike!

Whilst Beth played in the park Mike and I headed for the shop where we bought a 12 bottle selection of Sheppys best Ciders and if that wasn’t enough Mike bought a gallon bottle of their sweet cider and I added Marmalade injected with rum to the pile!

At dinner (pizza and chips – more fails!) I have half a pint of cider and became warm and fluffy… lucky I either using my stick or wheelchairs really!!

Anyway, one saving grace is I avoided all snacks and the scone became my lunch!

Will try harder!

L x

Friday 9 November 2012

Tea, Toast and Butterflies

I’m on my holidays! I had planned on writing to you all last week but I had nothing personal to report and my brain was too fuzzy to write about a disabled parenting and a new campaign to support new parents with disabilities. I will still write this piece but first I need a break.

People have this funny idea that because I don’t work (cannot work!) that I shouldn’t go on holidays and ask: How is a holiday any different to my lazy and yet luxurious disabled pain ridden life?

Let me explain; pain is a full time job, it’s bloody hard work and exhausting, you try spasming and feeling like you’ve been set on fire – just for a day, then let me know how happy and full of life you are.

Anyway I’m off to Somerset for a week with Mike's family to stay in a converted chapel – how awesome is that? And although I hope that I’ll be well enough to explore Taunton and the towns surrounding it, but if nothing else the sofa or bed will have a welcome and different view from the one in our flat.

Until I’m in relapse I always forget how easy it is to get cabin fever and Mike and I have spent the last month in our living room catching up with each other, TV programs and the odd friend along the way.

I’m sure the boy must be sick of me by now, any couple spending 24 hours of every day together need a break so having 5 other people including our 2 year old niece to chat to will be a nice break for us both!

This morning became our official holiday start when the boy bought me tea and toast in bed (He’s a keeper) he made sure I took my pills (probably so I stop or at least to don’t moaning about the pain! Lol!) and a butterfly came in to join us… we shall name her Betty. A lovely start to a well-deserved break for us both don’t you agree?


L x