Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Oops, wrote this a while ago but forgot to publish! Here goes:

So my recent life has been taken up by three things: work (which I have touched on and doesn't really change so I'm not going to talk lots about it today, dancing and Brownies.

In dancing, alongside my now-regular grade and technique classes, I was drafted into a tap troupe that my dance school had done in a couple of shows. It had been entered into the Tudor Rose dance festival (a preliminary round of the All England dance competition) which had an upper age limit of 21, meaning two girls couldn't do it. I happened to be there on a day when my dance teacher had been planning to redo it and was asked to step in. I had three rehearsals before the festival, over three weeks. It was intense and I had to pick it up quite quickly which I was a little out of practice at, but I spent a lot of time practicing and by the final rehearsal was getting the hang of it.
The festival came around on Sunday and as it was my first competition in so long, both of my parents came along to watch. We all did ourselves up in our full stage makeup (think orange faces, false eyelashes and bright red lipstick) and donned our pretty purple and black tap dresses. Our hair was all french-plaited into a bun so that we looked as similar as possible. We practiced a few times in the changing room before being called down to the stage. We waited in a little side room and had a quick pep talk. And then it was our turn.
It went brilliantly and I had an absolute blast. I am quite definitely readdicted. We came 2nd with 86 marks, qualifying for the next round. I came out of it buzzing!

In Brownies, I turned up to our meeting, completely unaware of what was going to happen apart from the fact that I was going to make my promise as a leader. The Adventure On girls had planned my promise celebration all by themselves and it was a complete surprise to me. Once they had finished making their Halloween wreaths, the celebration began with beautiful cupcakes with trefoils, brownie flowers and hearts on them. Then we had a big game of pass the parcel, with each brownie opening a layer and then me getting the final layer. The prize was a gorgeous scrapbook that they'd put together for me with lots of messages and drawings. I almost cried right there, it was so so sweet. We then got into the circle and I was taken up, in the same way that new Brownies are, to make my promise. We all saluted and I recited the words, feeling very proud to become a leader for such an amazing bunch of girls. I love Brownies because of the feeling I get when I see the girls smiling or laughing or even wiping away tears and feeling a bit better. Knowing that I've given such wonderful, creative, kind little girls a good time is so rewarding and so much fun for me too!

I apologize about the lack of recent posts but I'd rather post meaningful, interesting things not quite as often than post pointless ramblings every day! I just hope the interesting things get a bit more frequent!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Fits and Giggles

I deliberately decided to leave Sunday afternoon/evening out of my previous post. INTOPS finished after lunch on Sunday and from there C and I got the train to Paddington and then a cab to a hotel in...Southwark.

For a while now, C has been holding a "surprise" over my head and I had absolutely NO idea what it was. All I knew was that we would be spending Sunday night in the hotel and then I would head home on Monday morning. So after a brief clothes change at the hotel, C and I set off for Southwark Tube Station. The walk should only have taken 5 minutes but it took a little longer because Poppy the electric wheelchair has been poorly lately and has been going VERY slowly (she is all better now and zooming along once more!) Once there, I proceeded to put on a blindfold (a piece of material that had been tied round the pillows!) and shove my ipod on full volume. With Demi Lovato blaring in my ears, C pulled me onto her lap and drove us...

It was...interesting...for me. I would be surprised by the unexpected jolt of a lift and trying to remain balanced (even when sitting) on the tube with no vision is...tricky.

We arrived at our destination after a few challenges. I was still blind and deaf but suddenly my sense of smell was inundated with...Mexican. At this point I was allowed to remove my blindfold and earphones to discover...we were in a restaurant at the O2 Arena. I still had no clue why...

C turned me round to face a big screen when up flashed...Michael McIntyre's face. I freaked out and laughed cried screamed for a good 5 minutes. I couldn't believe we were actually going to see him in real life. It was his first stand-up show for three years and boy had I missed him!

It turned out that the restaurant we wanted to go to had too long a queue so we ended up in a buffet restaurant inside the arena called...Jimmy's! (My Dad's name!) It was lovely although we came out stuffed to bursting. We then hurried to our seats (which we had to swap to wheelchair accessible ones when we were inside- they turned out to be much better!) and waited in anticipation.

The two funniest hours of my life then followed. I did not stop laughing once. That man is a genius.

I won't give too much away because his DVD of the show is coming out in November but I will say, he made some jokes about a hotel room which left C and I giggling randomly throughout the evening as we spotted things around our room that brought back snippets.

My sister knows me too well because it had to be one of the best nights of my life. I had been looking forward to my "surprise" for ages and when I found out what it was, it exceeded all expectations I could possibly have had. I am so thankful for my ammazing sister and her incredible kindness and generosity.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Weekend Schmeekend

Most people assume that Saturday and Sunday are slightly more relaxing than the average Monday-Friday. Not for everyone, I agree, but certainly for me, weekends are generally days to chill and enjoy. Except for the weekend just gone...

On Friday, I set off on the train to Bristol, where Caroline and I would be attending INTOPS (INTernational OPportunities). It is a selection/information weekend for Girlguiding Members, aged 17-30. And it is, above all else, a challenge.

It is designed to push you to your limits, make you feel uncomfortable, exhaust you and see how you respond. I am not allowed to divulge too much so that the weekend is kept as a surprise for people who may go in the future but it was quite the experience! There were some very good times but there were also some pretty not-so-good times.

In terms of my own experience, I found it particularly hard due to my current mental state (which, don't get me wrong, is far far better than it was a couple of months ago but is still nowhere close to the girl I used to be). However, throughout the weekend, I grew in confidence, whether it was initiating conversation or standing up and giving a presentation. I definitely enjoyed myself much more towards the end of the weekend!