Tuesday 31 October 2017

Halloween 2017

I appear to have lost the use of words in this vlog - I blame the lack of sleep, but I get the message across eventually! I talk prizes and Halloween featuring my nieces and nephews! Watch the video below if you can't see it click right here!

L xxx

Monday 23 October 2017

Afternoon Tea at The Royal Hotel

On October 14th, I was invited to a Bloggers afternoon tea at the Royal Hotel in Southend (very handy since I live 10 minutes away!). I'm not sure you're meant to admit this but it was my very first blogger's event - and what a way to start!

In my twenties (read: drinking days) I avoided the Royal Hotel, it was an unsavoury drinking hole that had a lousy reputation. I always thought it was such a shame as it's an iconic 200+-year-old Southend landmark.

The Beautiful Royal Hotel *Although no 
longer a hotel*

Fast-forward to 2015, when brothers Matthew and David along with their father Terry renovated and saved the building from wreck and ruin, into a glorious restaurant and bar - something Southenders could be proud of.

Upon arrival, we were presented with a glass of non-alcoholic Prosecco called the Bee's Knees which was refreshing and tasty, perfect for baby showers and younger customers who want to feel grown up.
Director/Owner Matthew came to greet us and escorted me to the first-floor ballroom. Unfortunately, the venue isn't wheelchair accessible as it's a Grand II listed building, but all the staff were extremely helpful and supportive in getting myself and my chair around so that I didn't miss out.

The ballroom was exquisite, with the original 1791 floor, ornate coving and chandeliers. Standing in such a grand hall you can imagine how it was THE place to party and dine. Former guests of the Royal Hotel include Princess Caroline, wife of George IV and Lady Hamilton held a final ball for her lover Admiral Horatio Nelson in 1805, just a few months before the Battle of Trafalgar and now Lynsey Garrick lol!

The Royal Ballroom

Afternoon Tea was an absolute treat, we were lucky to sample the Royal Hotel Afternoon tea with delicate sandwiches, a selection of beautiful cakes, macaroons and scones with Tiptree jam. Plus we tried the Gentleman's Royal tea which featured chunky sandwiches, burgers, sausages, cheeses, olives and crackers.

The Royal Afternoon Tea and The Gentleman's Tea

Although both were delicious,  I personally preferred the Gentleman's selection which you can also add a Dalimore Whisky tray, sampling various aged products. With both booking's you can have tea, coffee or for a special event, prosecco.

After tea, The Royal Hotel staff hand more treats in store for us. We were escorted by Matthew, whose background is in event organising for venues such as the Tower of London and the Natural History Museum, to meet his brother David a trained flare barman who was head Bar Trainer at the London Cocktail Club.

Dr Legba's Emporium and Menu

Tucked away in the venue basement, is the wonderful Dr Legba's Emporium, an Emerald Green tavern, carefully lit, with a reclaimed wooden bar, covered in 2p's (over £170 worth!), quirky lamps and artwork, in addition to intimate tables and seating nooks perfect for a date night or a small celebratory event.

David expertly made us a selection of Royal Hotel cocktails. The menus are regularly rotated and the team are continually testing and trialling new and exclusive recipes.

Every drink was completely out of this world, I could easily spend a whole day trying them all. Each cocktail was distinctive playing on the origin recipes. For example, in David's Espresso Martini he adds salted caramel syrup adding a warming twist to this classic. 

Espresso Martini

I fell in love with the eccentric Absinth fountain, with its four funnels drip pouring the potent liquor into sugar cubes, for a heady aniseed cocktail. The piece de resistance of the afternoon was the "Pork and Apple" a blend of Sour apple liqueur, Absolut vodka, pressed apple juice, fresh lime all stirred with a slice of absinthe caramelised bacon, which is set alight - this cocktail was so scrumptious and the sweet, salty, smoky bacon was a distinctive little treat!

Absithe Fountain and The Pork and Apple cocktail

Matthew and David were wonderful hosts, the hotel staff were friendly and sweet, all the food and drinks were knowledgeably handpicked for an elite experience but without customers feeling out of place. The Royal Hotel is a special venue and I highly recommend it for lunches, nights out, afternoon teas or even a Sunday roast, it's a place where every meal feels like a luxurious treat.

L xxx


There's lots to catch up on! The wedding, new jobs and wrinkle cream here is a video to catch up all up, on the goings on in the brand new Garrick Household!

If you can't see the video click here!

L xxx

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Why Mike?

I was reading an article on why people married their spouses after a long time of being together. There were so many reasons for people taking their time to tie the knot, they wanted to save for houses, had children or a huge life event spurred them into taking the plunge.

With just 23 days until our wedding, after 11 and a half years together, we've certainly taken our time. I was never that worried about getting married, my parents aren't and it's not a popular past time in my huge family. Then Mike took his sweet time proposing and then we took further 3 years to get our arses in gear.

In the time we've been together, we've seen couples come together, fall apart... and yet we're still together. Some people have commented that our relationship isn't as valid as those who've exchanged rings, or that life is so different after saying I do. Can a piece of paper and jewellery really change 11 years of the way we live in our relationship?

One of my nieces asked why I was marrying Mike, I don't think she's meant, why on earth are you marrying that man... at least I hope she didn't! I guessed that she was asking what made me chose him.

Why do I love Mike? He is one of a kind. Geologist, Genealogist, Artist, Book Keeper, Handy man, Builder, Website designer, Photo restorer - a man with that many hobbies can't be anything but fascinating. He makes me laugh until I cry (Mike and his sister together render me to the point where my back spasms and I can't breathe with laughter!), he's protective without being possessive, strong, reliable, sweet and daft.

Mike's also grumpy, stubborn and sees everything in black and white, a trait I've spent a decade trying to fade into many shades of grey. But I wouldn't have him any other way.

We've been through deaths, court cases, rough patches, mental health issues, illnesses, road trips, holidays with both our families and a long distant relationship whilst he travelled the world for work and now we're embarking on a new business, marriage, babies. I think we're more than prepared for life post vows, but a wedding doesn't lessen the meaning or wonder of the 4180 days we've been together before that special day in front of our loved ones!

L xxx

Friday 30 June 2017

It's a big day... no not that one!

I've been away again and here's why! Watch the vlog below if you can't see it click here!

Let me know how you all are?
L xxx

Wednesday 24 May 2017

Kinky Boots

I was lucky enough to go on another matinee trip into London with Martin Wood Events (Formally TAP events) and this time it was Kinky Boots The Musical.

We had an interesting journey into the capital. Because of the horror this week in Manchester, London was a hotbed for police and army activity. I was thankful for the added protection but I couldn't help feel on edge watching armed police on the streets.

I had taken the trip with my lovely friend Lauren since our journey had been a long and slow one, we had a quick hour in Zizzi's for lunch and a skinny Prosecco (yes that is a real thing!).

Founded in 1806, Kinky Boots is held at the Adelphi Theatre (which is completely accessible with very helpful and attentive staff), which was beautiful with stunning 1930's art deco decor. The show is based on the 2005 film starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and is about a failing shoe factory in Northampton, which, after a chance encounter with a drag queen, has a second chance which is ultimately based on a true story!

The factory owner, clueless and lost Charlie Price was played by understudy Paul Ayre, an endearing character portrayal that carried the quieter chunks of the show with some sweet solo's and real heart but as soon as wonderful Drag Queen Lola, played by Matt Henry (of The Voice fame), enters the stage, all eyes were on her. With a quick wit, sharp moves and legs to die for, Henry is a joy to watch driving the lively and colourful numbers with style.

The whole show was supported by a brilliant, lively cast and ensemble - high energy and humour in spades and I have to mention Elena Skye who played Lauren, this is Skye's debut in the West End and she was hilarious, like a cheeky Northern Amy Poehler.

The show's score was written by the incomparable Cyndi Lauper and you can hear her influence in all the songs, astute lyrics, playful beats and the ability to draw emotion and connection in her words. My personal favourites were "Sex is in the Heel", "What a woman wants" and "Raise Up/Just Be".

Kinky Boots The Musical is just fabulous, a heartwarming, jovial and unique show that you leave with a huge smile on your face, I will be back to see the show as soon as I can and I'm off to purchase the soundtrack now!

Until next Wednesday!
L xxx

In case you missed last weeks vlog click here or wach the video below

Wednesday 10 May 2017

Head in the Sand

As a woman in my 30's, who completed her schooling, college and got accepted into University (albeit the fact I didn't go due to health!) I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent person with a healthy dose of common sense to boot, but I have a somewhat childish habit.

I ignore the news. My head is firmly in the sand, my fingers are in my ears whilst I sing whatever current song I have merry-go-rounding in my head at the time.

I used to want to be clued up and ready for any current affairs conversation, but these days I just don't want to know. When I confessed this in a forum, I was berated for being sheltered and nieve, that maybe the case, but don't you ever feel there is so much going on, the majority of it truly awful, that you simply don't want to fill your head with all the terror and sadness?

Don't get me wrong, I know the basics; I know Donald Trump is proving himself to be the idiot we all knew he would be, and that this has caused issues with the rest of the world, namely Russia. I know that the UK election is looming, and I also have no idea who I'll vote for this time. But I just cannot bare to be bombarded constantly with negative and sensationalised events and people.

Does this make me uninformed and stupid? I don't think so. When I say I ignore the news, I ignore it as best I can, but I'm a prolific social media user and big stories are unavoidable in retweets and shares, so I'm aware when something truly awful has happened, like the Westminster terror attack in London earlier this year, but once I know the general story I don't want to keep going over it.

I'm an emotional girl, NSPCC commercials and every single birth on One Born Every Minute leave me in floods of tears, I take on a lot to heart and I can not/don't want to fill my brain with all the ugly in the world. I already struggle with the thought that I'll be bringing my children into a cruel and confusing world, but I chose to concentrate on the good, the hopeful and the happy and if that does mean I'm sheltered and nieve then so be it.

Wednesday 19 April 2017

Fashion Faux Pas

A few years back, I wrote a piece for my local newspaper, The Evening Echo, about the pitfalls of beauty and fashion when you're disabled. After a day in Lakeside today, I've found some more issues I thought I'd share with you.

Fear of the lost ring - I've lost 20+lb's on Slimming world and my engagement ring has become dangerously loose! Due to Cerebral Palsy on my left side, I can't feel my hand, so if I lost my ring, or a bracelet I wouldn't know unless I purposely checked - the horror! So now whilst pushing myself around New Look, Mike looks after the ring.

Boredom - I texted my wedding make-up artist, Faye, to ask advice on good skin care yesterday, I'm very slack when it comes to beauty products and daily rituals. Today's shopping trip reminded me of a conversation I'd had with Faye about what makeup and hair I wanted for the wedding. I became irrationally excited during this conversation as I struggle to do hair and makeup in day to day life, with one fully functioning hand. My hair is either in a ponytail or poker straight and I wear the same 5 makeup products every.single.day. So having the luxury of a hair and makeup artist for the wedding day is a real treat!

Lusting for footwear - I've mentioned my croissant shaped foot, countless times on this blog and vlog, as well as causing horrendous pain, my bloomin' foot also mean's I cannot wear beautiful shoes. I spent today drooling over heels, pumps and wedges but this is probably great for my back account because if I could wear shoes there would be an entire room in the house dedicated to them!

Wheelchair Faux Pas - When I ordered my wheelchair, 5 years ago, I requested it to be the colour of Cadbury's purple - it arrived pink! But whether it's pink or purple, it just doesn't go with all my outfits! Next time I'll order a sleek black chair - black goes with everything!

Until Next Wednesday!
L xxx

In case you didn't see last week's vlog see the video below, if you can't see a video click here.

Wednesday 5 April 2017

I'm a Disney feminist

I've seen the live-action Beauty and the Beast 3 times.....so far! It's wonderful, I was worried I'd be expecting Emma Watson to whip out her wand at any moment, but I think she played Belle superbly, the whole cast was brilliant, even casting Ewan McGregor, a Scot, to play the exquisitely French Lumière was a win!

Beauty and The Beast

There has been the inevitable backlash against the film. Firstly due to the gay characters - what poppycock! Do people really think Gay people didn't exist in 18th century France? Half the European royalty had both men and woman keeping their plush beds warm.

The second backlash came because Disney princesses are seen as anti-feminist. Yes, there is usually a handsome Prince involved but the Princesses, especially the newer additions, have been kick-arse diva's, fighting for their cause, their loved ones and their towns.

As a child, my favourite Disney Princess was Airel, a beautiful gutsy redhead (why do you think I have the red hair I have today?). Yes, she fell in love with Eric but that girl had some balls; going to Ursella having her voice taken, risking her father's kingdom, then going to an unknown land alone. I get scared going to Sainsbury's on my own - but as a child, Ariel inspired me, she had courage, and spirit and I tried to convince myself that since my legs didn't work that well, I was obviously a mermaid and the leg-spell had gone wrong.


There are various campaigns to ban pink, barbies and gender specific clothing, but why can't we have pink, blue, yellow, green, black and all the colours in between? I agree that Barbie's figure is an unattainable and unrealistic one that could be adapted to a more average woman, but as a girl, I never once looked at her waist, I spent all my time looking at her wardrobe and using my garden as an obstacle course. I didn't have a Ken doll, I borrowed my brothers Action Men and Barbie whooped ass in the Ferrari and Tank. I am all for gender fluidity and I'm a full supporter of LGBT rights/campaigns and yet I still love all things girlie and pink.

I am a feminist. I am a cheerleader for all the woman and men in my life, I teach my Nieces and Nephews about being strong, being who they are and doing what they want to do. My niece Abi is the perfect example of a girlie Feminist. She'll dress in "boy" clothing, teamed with a tutu and a crown, she's the first one diving into a muddy puddle, attempting the biggest climbing frame in the park, all whilst donning Frozen wellies. She is strong, but loves a cuddle, has her eye on a boy already, but doesn't put up with any crap from anyone.

If you haven't already, take your children to see Beauty and the Beast. Belle is feisty and gives as good as she get's, telling The Beast where to go when he's being an idiot, she's courageous taking her father's place as a prisoner and rocks some stunning gowns whilst riding horses - and not side saddle either!

Margo, Edith, and Agnes

Disney films are meant to be an escape from the real world, each of the Princesses reflects society at the time of their release. Cartoons now have characters like Elsa, Merida, Margo, Edith, and Agnes and there are rumours that Elsa will fall in love with a girl (Shock horror!) in the next Frozen film, because we are turning into a more tolerant world, which celebrates differences, and if you aren't going to watch a Disney film because of that, you are missing out and not just at the cinema.

Until next week.
L x

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Attack of the Bridezilla

After last week's announcement, that we had booked our wedding, we've had an overall wonderful response and have managed to book the majority of the companies/people we need for the day. I just have to find a makeup/hair artist and transport, plus even the hen do preparations have started - and who knew that would be more complicated that the wedding day itself lol!

After years of being a bridesmaid or guest at 3 dozen weddings, I've taken note from all the couples; the do's and don'ts of the day according to those who's been there, done it and come out thousands of pounds lighter the other side.

Much to our surprise, luck and gratitude, the wedding planning has come along beautifully and easily. I'm very much expecting something to have gone wrong or that I've forgotten something crucial, yet I have still found myself getting in a bit of a huff, the Bridezilla in me, rearing its ugly head.

Bridezilla gonna get ya!

Why are there no nice brown invite envelopes on Amazon Prime? Why did I eat that cake/prosecco/chocolate when I know full well that I have a wedding dress to squeeze into by July? Why don't I know what the weather will be like on the day? Is it crass and cheeky to ask for cash as a wedding gift? These are all very much, 1st world problems and mostly ridiculous thoughts but they've still kept me up at night, I don't sleep enough as it is!

Stupid brain, I didn't think I'd be so twitchy about the whole thing, I am someone who would have happily never married Mike, skipped that step and got straight onto having babies, but now it's happening, I want it to be a great day that people enjoy. I want them to be well fed, dance until they drop and drink lots so I'm not they only numpty throwing ridiculous moves on the dance floor; why oh why can't I control all my guests' free will and emotions damn it!

I am well aware that I sound like a self-indulgent brat, but I'm giddy with excitement. Over the years I've seen countless social media posts about other weddings; Brides panicking, Meme's telling brides to shut the hell up, so I've tried not to bang on about the wedding too much in person either.

I don't want to be "that friend", the one who manages to bring every conversation back to the wedding day, the one who complains when she can't find the right envelopes, the one who preaches at other brides to be about what they should or shouldn't be doing!

What a minefield weddings are! I'm enjoying the process more than I was at the beginning, despite the idiot thoughts running around my tiny brain. So I now pledge, in hopes that I don't drive my readers mental too, to limit myself to only one wedding vlog or blog a month.

So, now I've got to find 15 non-wedding related subjects between now at the day.... damn it again!
L xxx

In case you didn't see last weeks vlog watch below. If you can't see the video click here and please subscribe!

Wednesday 15 March 2017

We have an announcement!

Yes, it's vlog week, but I don't know how to integrate photos into my video yet!  So here's the video, and the photos!

Watch to find out our news!

Our Afternoon Tea at Cake boy London was courtesy of Red Letter Days 
Celebrating our 11th Anniversary

Afternoon Tea at Cake Boy London

These are not just sandwiches

Dessert like I've I've never had before
Shoes at Selfridges

School of Rock
I highly recommend School of Rock! It was such a wonderful musical, funny, heartfelt with a rocking soundtrack!

Until Next Wednesday
L xxx

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Gi, Tom and Me.

The last week has been a funny one, odd and unusual you might say. I left you with a rant about wedding planning. We've now narrowed it down to two local, very different, venues. I'm so far, not enjoying the wedding planning. There's so much to consider, luckily we have a lot of friends and family keeping me calm.

I had a great day at my Mums last Thursday, snuggles with my youngest nephew, time spent with three of the bigger ones. I cooked dinner for my Mum and Sister, whilst introducing Mum to Bridget Jones, we're doing two more nights to see the other two films, educating our Mumsy in the wonder on Miss Jones. This day made up for the fact that Mike and I were meant to go and see Davina McCall, film A Year From Now at Elstree Studio's - my not sleeping for two days put a stop to that treat *sulk!*

But, the next day I ticked an item off my bucket list. My friend Alison and I took a road trip to Brighton, we popped into my Sister in Law's cafe (The Coach House) and then into town to meet Author, Actor, Writer Giovanna Fletcher. She's written a book on her experiences as a mummy. A tad premature on my part, but I see the book as research - that's what I've told Mike anyway lol!

Gi was lovely, she spent a couple of minutes getting to know each of her fans and then was gracious to have a selfie with each and every one of us. I adore her, and her husband, Tom Fletcher (McFly) and have followed their careers/lives for years now and to meet Gi made me a little giddy.

Me and Gi

Gi, Me and Alison

After getting home from Brighton, driving Mike mad with every little detail of our road trip, I slept for a solid 12 hours. I needed it as we were seeing our first possible wedding venue - Southend's Pier (where Jamie and Jimmy's is filmed). It was a wonderful seaside setting but my caster wheels kept dropping through the planks - not a great start. I had, had my heart set on the place, so I was pretty sad afterwards, but luckily we were heading to Balham that evening for my friend Tom's Birthday, house party.

Obligatory pre-night out couples selfie

Tom is married to my gorgeous friend Kirsty, who I met at school and regular readers may remember we spent four days in Tuscany for their wedding in 2015. We had so much fun, we'd effectively been on holiday with all of the house party guests so it was a mini reunion too. We rocked in at 3am, having experienced my first Uber - how trendy of me!

Kirsty and Tom

I spent the next two day's recovering - not just because of my medical conditions, I'm officially old, the hangover was horrendous - I'll need to build up my tolerance before our wedding - more on that next week!

Until next time, for vlog week!
L xxx

Wednesday 1 March 2017

Accessible Romance

When you're planning a wedding, and you're a disabled Bride, it's not just guest lists, chair covers and DJ's you need to think about! Today I talk about accessible romance! If you can't see the video click here!

Please subscribe to my channel, Youtube have changed their rules and I can't get my personalised URL without a certain amount of subscribers.

If you're in Essex and have any wedding related businesses or recommendations, please get in touch; Lynsey_Ellard@hotmail.com, all vendors used in our wedding will get a full write up in my blogs and all social medias.

Until Next Wednesday!
L xxx

P.S In case you didn't see my last blog, I wrote about disability discount, click here to read all about it, who doesn't want to save some extra pennies? 

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Silver Linings

I love a discount, I don't love being disabled, but the two collide in some lovely money saving opportunities, I thought everyone knew about, but after speaking to disabled friends who didn't I decided to share a few tips and tricks to save some pennies as we all know /DLA/PIP doesn't get us very far!

Every cloud has a silver lining....

I put this one first as it's my favourite discount of them all! If you don't already, get yourself a CEA card. Set up by the Cinema Exhibitors Association, this little gem of plastic gets your "carer" (In my case this is anyone willing to be dragged to see all the films!) a free ticket when accompanying you. I believe it's for your safety, it's thought sensible that you bring a friend since we're vulnerable in emergency situations. 

If I take a friend along we would share the discount and only pay for one ticket between us..... but wait, it gets better. Most UK cinema chains have introduced monthly pay schemes where you can see as many films and you like, as many times as you like, BUT if you have a CEA card you can use them together. 

So, today Mike and I saw La La Land (Incredible!) and Split (Genius!) and it only cost my £17.99 fee for us both to go, my carer still goes free and I only pay my Odeon direct debit, today should have cost us £42 now any other films we see this month are effectively free!

For more information on CEA cards go here https://www.ceacard.co.uk/


Living expenses, when you live on benefits, can be stressful but there is help available. If you are a recipient of ESA you are entitled to apply for a council tax reduction, because most of us have to adapt our homes or even extend them, this could push our homes into higher council tax rates, hence why this discount is available. 

To contact your local council about this reduction go here https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council

When buying the aforementioned disabled equipment or adaptions keep in mind that you do not pay VAT on them. They are necessities to our way of life and they are not cheap, even with the VAT removed, so make sure that if you purchase anything related to your disability that you get the VAT off, 

If you have a water meter some water companies will cap your bill if you can prove that you use a lot of water because of your disability. Contact your own water supplier for information.


As a disabled woman, I have to rely on other A LOT and this includes being driven around, with public transport being such a pain with any mobility aids our car is a God send. Unlike non-disabled people, we cannot hop on a train or on a bus, so if you get DLA/PIP you do not have to pay your car tax. 

To read up on car Tax Exception go here https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-exempt-from-vehicle-tax

The infamous disabled blue badges, don't just let you park on double yellow lines or nearer to the door at Tesco, they also mean that you are exempt from the Dartford tunnel charges (and most other paid for bridges in the UK) and the London Congestion charge too to apply go to https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/congestion-charge/discounts-and-exemptions

Plus until the Brexit (ever!) happens, you can use your badges in Europe for parking and (as we did in Pisa, Italy) use them for car park discounts, 

To apply for a Blue Badge go here https://www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge

Theme Parks/Theatre's/Events

If you are partial to a rollercoaster, a gig at the O2 or a day at a Duxford Airshow, always ask about their disability discounts. I have seen many a show where Mike and I have only had to pay for one ticket, I assume since a lot of us cannot get around freely and alone, companies feel sorry for the poor bugger dragged along to any shows, this is part of why you get a free carer. 

Theme parks general give you a free pass for your carer, a discount for yourself and if a second carer is needed they give them discounts off their ticket too. It's all about planning, phoning the venue before hand or checking their websites for details and some places have dedicated phone lines for disabled customers. 

Hope this helps some of you out there! Let me know how you get on!

Until Next Wednesday

L xxx

If you missed last weeks vlog watch it below or please click here, and because I'm an idiot, here is a photo of Teddy that I forgot to add to the end of last week's vlog video!

Gorgeous Teddy who has now gone home - Boo :(

Thursday 2 February 2017

Tapping to Wicked

I’m sorry I’m a day late! To be honest, Monday and Tuesday were pretty much written off with pain and sleep, and yesterday (Wednesday i.e. blog day!) my sister, Nicola, and I went to see the West End show Wicked and by the time we got home, I was in enough pain to warrant a dinner and bed!

Wicked, the hit West End/Broadway show is mesmerising and about to go on a tour. The storyline hones in on the unlikely friendship between the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, and Glinda the Good from the epic Wizard of OZ books/films. 

Speaking of unlikely friendships, our trip to see the show largely came from my own one. You see our day out was planned by TAP Events who organise matinee outings to big shows in London. TAP is owned and run by Martin and Karen.

I've known Karen for 16 years, and the reason our friendship is an unusual one, is that Karen is my ex-boyfriends Mum. My ex and I split up 12 years ago and yet Karen and I remained friends. Some think it's a tad odd but Karen is one of my closest friends who I love, respect and enjoy spending time with, however unlikely our friendship is!


Getting to London is a sore subject with me. I adore our capital and city of my birth, but getting around in a wheelchair is difficult in such a historic and busy place. The excellent thing about Tap Events is that being a Southend local company, they collect patrons at pick up points all around town and they're happy to take wheelchairs! 

I was treating my sister to the show, as her Birthday present, as I've seen the show before. The coach dropped us right outside the theatre but we had a couple of hours to explore, get lunch and shop. 

At 2:30, we were greeted at the theatre doors by Kara, Victoria Apollo's, assistances coordinator, who explained where we were seated, where the disabled loo's were, and then took us in via platform lifts to our dress circle seats, where we had an amazing view of the whole stage.

The show is no less incredible than the first time I saw it. In fact, Wicked get better each time, I think I was so enthralled the first time that I didn't fully take it in. The music, the voices, the costumes and set design were all mesmerising, I adore the way Wicked plot weaves effortlessly into the well known OZ tales and I found myself getting a tad emotional in parts because it is such a beautiful, emotive funny show. 

Luckily, since this was Nicola's Birthday gift, she loved the show, which by the way was her first foray into the West End, and said that she has caught the theatre bug. When I asked her what she thought of the show she simply said Wicked... what more can you say?

Nicola and I

After the show, the lovely Kara came and escorted us through the theatre back outside into the chilly February night, where our coach was waiting for us and although by this point I was exhausted and in agony,  we were both on the wonderful high show's like Wicked put you on. 

A huge thanks to Martin and Karen at Tap Events, I cannot recommend their service enough, they look after you every step of the trip, competitive prices for the shows are standard and you don't have to faff around on the trains and tubes. You do have to be able to take a few steps on and off the coach but every one helps to you and let you take your time (and boy do I take my time). I'll be using their services a lot in the future.

Go see Wicked!

Until next Wednesday,
L xxx

Wednesday 25 January 2017

ESA Benefit Review

It's vlog week!

I had my Employment Support Allowance Benefit review today. I was terrified. I think this week's blog shows just how distressing the whole process is for disabled people. Let me know what you think!

If you can't see this weeks vlog then please click here! Remember to subscribe and leave a comment too!

Until next Wednesday!
L x

Wednesday 18 January 2017

The Dreaded Brown Envelope

It’s been a weird week, the countdown began for Mike's homecoming, three weeks is the longest we've been apart since May last year, his actual job seems to be picking up again, so have to get used to being home alone a lot more... we so need a guinea pig or puppy to keep me company Mike!

I was lucky enough to see the touring show of Dirty Dancing with a group of girlfriends this week; it was fabulous, a real treat they stayed close the beloved film, plus the Johnny part was playing but a Southend local guy Lewis Griffiths. I haven't been out, out in so long and a glass of bubbly helped to relax me. 

The Dreaded Brown Envelope

This week was brought down by a dreaded brown envelope hitting my doormat. If you are disabled and in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) you'll know that heart-stopping, sickening feeling when you get the distinctive brown scare bomb in the post. 

I've been called in for a review of my benefits. I understand that it's an evil necessity for the government but when you know that you are entitled, and may I add grateful, for the disability payments it's terrifying. 

It's horrible going for an hour long interview, relaying your toilet habits, telling them about the days when you can't stand long enough to cook a meal or how you sleep 4 hours a night. Yes, my conditions are SHIT, they're horrible vile illnesses, that leave me sobbing, but it's not in my nature to be a "poor me" and seek a sympathy vote, but to keep my benefits I have to be honest and instead of my default answer of "I'm fine" I need to spill the shit to a complete stranger. 

It doesn't ease my mind that I've heard so many friends and news stories; where people in genuine need have lost the benefits that provide them with their freedoms in Motability, extra equipment, taxi fairs to hospital and so much more and yet others who are just plain frauds with full-time jobs, playing golf and skiing, don't get caught - it's all very messed up. 

My appointment is next Wednesday, so in next week's vlog I'll let you know how it went. I can only be honest and hope they understand my needs and if not, I don't know what I'll do. 

Fingers crossed people!
Until Next Wednesday 
L x

If you missed last weeks vlog watch below or if you can't see it click here! 

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Transport Tantrum

Its Vlog week! This week I'm chatting about trains.... no I'm not a spotter but I'm increasingly frustrated and annoyed by public transport in the UK... so I made a video about it!

Please comment, like, share if you think this is something that needs addressing! Watch the video below or if you can't see the video click here!!

Until next Wednesday!
L xxx

Wednesday 4 January 2017

Get a Hobby!

One of my new year's resolutions was to read a book a month, (I'm reading Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher this month) but a friend pointed out that reading is a hobby rather than a resolution so maybe I should have said "To maintain and learn new hobbies" instead.

The word hobby is largely associated with elderly people and a box to fill in on a dating site profile. After talking to a few friends, there is a distinct lack of people with hobbies. Granted many people have very little spare time or would rather be in front of the telly, but I can assure you a hobby can be a wonderful and fulfilling addition to your life.

My current hobbies are cooking/baking, although at the moment these are limited to Slimming World recipes, which is fun, but no giant chocolate cakes and all day cooked briskets for now!  But I'm enjoying experimenting with healthy foods. Last year I went to two cookery classes to make pork pies and macaroons and had so much fun despite being nervous I would struggle, to read my review of The Delightful Tea Bake School click here!

Proud of my Pork Pies

Blogging and vlogging are a hobby; save some of the really famous social media stars, it's not worth opening a blog or channel for money, although I have ads on both the payments are in pennies a month, but I do it for the love of writing. Being too ill (and therefore too unreliable for a full-time job) scuppered my plans to be a journalist, so this, to me, is the next best thing!

If you follow my Instagram you would have seen some unusual crafts appear on my feed. I love doing crafts with my Nieces and Nephews, so I sift through Pinterest for idea's that will entertain 2-12year olds, without destroying Nanny's kitchen! I feel I need to start making time to do crafts for myself, I made our door wreath for Christmas last year and loved it.

Crafts, not just for kids

Since I spend less and less time sleeping these days and more time at home due to the pain, I need a few more hobbies to keep my brain going, even if my body is falling apart. A few months ago I won a huge amount of wool and knitting books - I can't knit, but that's what youtube is for and I'll learn, also other people with CRPS have said it's great for those long nights alone when brain power is scarce!

So, do you have a hobby? Do you think it's a little sad to have hobbies? Or do you have some hobbies to suggest for me to try? Let me know!

Until Next Wednesday...

L xxx

P.S Here's last weeks vlog if you missed it! (If you can't see the video click here!)