>Planning a redesign

>I’ve switched my layout back to an old theme I had on last year (I think it was at least).  I love the primepress theme especially the rotating header function but having had that on since August or September (I think September) last year it was definitely time for a change.

I’m actually working on a customised theme for myself.  Probably Kubrick because that’s what I usually customise and it’s easy.  Plus I mostly know what I’m doing with that which is always a good thing.  Don’t want to be making my blog blow up and stop working again.  Doing that once was definitely more than enough.  In my defence though it was the very first time I ever tried to customise the look of the blog and it was about five days after I set the damn thing up.

Anyway… It’s proving to be more complicated than I first expected.  Mostly because I keep changing my mind about what I want.  If there’s one thing I’m good at it’s being indecisive.  And something I suck at is making decisions.  Working on that, too.  Also every time I see a premade free theme I like I keep thinking  “well  I like it but it would be better like this…”

One thing I was wondering however was if there is any thing anyone who reads this thinks I need to add to my blog designwise.  Because I must admit that one or two blogs I read I think things like “wow she needs to add a home link” or “they write such long posts they could do with a back to the top link” etc.  And then I got to wondering what my readers think.

I won’t tell you what I’m thinking about for my redesign.  Just that I’m thinking of something with COLOUR!

>101 in 1001 – Item 2…

>

Read the first Swallows and Amazons book and the rest if they’re any good

…has been completed!

Or at least close enough that I’m calling it done. I bought the first two with gift vouchers in the January sales and after picking up and putting down Swallows and Amazons several times I finally read all of it last week.

I was hooked. I’ve since read the second one and requested the next three on Read It Swap It. I think these are brilliant books. I was almost surprised how much I enjoyed them.

But then I love to sail and I also love girls own books. Technically these books can’t be called Girls Own (I think) and as a girl myself I don’t want to call them Boys Own. They are certainly books in that sort of genre though so it’s not surprising I enjoyed them as much as I did. Although I do wish I could find a way of defining them and or definitions online of Girls Own and Boys Own books to make it easier. Alas, I can’t.

The only reason I’ve not requested the whole lot of the ones I’ve not read is just in case they suddenly turn crap. I got badly burned with the whole “Five Children and It” trilogy incident and have no desire to repeat that!

I would write more about these books etc but it’s time I got ready to go for a sail of my own.

Swallows and Amazons Forever!

>101 in 1001 – Item Two…

>

Read the first Swallows and Amazons book and the rest if they’re any good

…has been completed!

Or at least close enough that I’m calling it done.  I bought the first two with gift vouchers in the January sales and after picking up and putting down Swallows and Amazons several times I finally read all of it last week.

I was hooked.  I’ve since read the second one and requested the next three on Read It Swap It.  I think these are brilliant books.  I was almost surprised how much I enjoyed them.

But then I love to sail and I also love girls own books.  Technically these books can’t be called Girls Own (I think) and as a girl myself I don’t want to call them Boys Own.  They are certainly books in that sort of genre though so it’s not surprising I enjoyed them as much as I did.  Although I do wish I could find a way of defining them and or definitions online of Girls Own and Boys Own books to make it easier.  Alas, I can’t.

The only reason I’ve not requested the whole lot of the ones I’ve not read is just in case they suddenly turn crap.  I got badly burned with the whole “Five Children and It” trilogy incident and have no desire to repeat that!

I would write more about these books etc but it’s time I got ready to go for a sail of my own.

Swallows and Amazons Forever!

>101 in 1001 – Item 81…

>

Sort out a funky and appropriate bag to live on my powerchair

…has been completed!

I actually figured out a couple of months ago just what sort of bag it needed and how I needed to put it on the chair and got the bag on Saturday just gone.  But the story of the bag involves the trading standards story I mentioned a few days ago so I was waiting until I had an answer on that before blogging it.  Also a few more attempts at using it to be sure it worked seemed a good idea.

Basically I can’t put a regular bag on the back of my powerchair due to design of it (bar as opposed to push handles). And wheelchair bags are shit, basically.  Totally don’t work for me.

But a few months ago someone showed me a wheelchair bag designed to hang on the side of a chair.  Only problem being it was much too small for my purposes.  However I was able to try a regular messenger bag on there and it worked.  Just needed to find one that I liked and that didn’t cost the earth.  I’d seen several that would “do”.  None that were a style/design I really liked and waterproof.  So I’d not got one yet and was beginning to think of going for something less perfect.

When I was shopping at the weekend however I remember a small bag shop that was a bit out of the way and I’d not tried yet.  Bingo, they had a waterproof plain black messenger bag for a tenner.  Perfect.  It doesn’t scream “Emma!” ye but I have a few possible customisations in mind to make it more “me.”

It’s working well… I’m in two minds about whether to put a couple of stitches in the strap to make it more secure but at the moment it’s ok without that.  I’ve fitted most of the stuff I’ve got when shopping in it (and that was a relatively big powerchair to sainsburys trip for me).

The shop I got it from however shocked me greatly.  And as I mentioned before I ended up reporting them to Trading Standards.

So basically I asked the guy to reach me down a bag to look at and he did.  Then I asked to look at another one (the one I actually got) and he told me it was crap, it was a tenner (the first one was £30 I think) and I didn’t want to look it.  Annoying but not the reason for my complaint.

Decided what to buy and asked “do you take X card?” and he said they did.

But there was a problem… they could move the card machine but had a display of bags in front of the counter and that meant the card machine couldn’t get to me because I couldn’t get very close to the counter.

The guy working there told me “it’s fine” and I’m thinking he’d move the stuff (it wasn’t much).

No.

“Tell me your PIN number and I will type it in for you.”

Oh My God.  So I just kind of gaped at him and went “No.”

“well, you can whisper it to me.”

“No.”  In the background another customer walked in.  He already knew I was by myself because he’d asked when he asked if I wanted anything reaching earlier.

“Tell that lady your PIN number and she can type it in.”

“No.”

At that point I started gesturing for my card back and he finally got the message.  He moved the stuff (which was all of about three things and took less than a minute) and I typed in my own PIN number.

Jesus wept. I was absolutely astounded that anyone would consider that 1) an appropriate thing to ask a customer and 2) in anyway safe.

I deliberated for a couple of days and in the end e-mailed trading standards.  Because it’s such a huge safety issue I felt that on reflection I had to.  They tell me it’s a clear DDA Breach (which I knew already) and they’ll be discussing DDA requirements with the proprieter and also referring the matter to the local access officers

>101 in 1001 – Item 81…

>

Sort out a funky and appropriate bag to live on my powerchair

…has been completed!

I actually figured out a couple of months ago just what sort of bag it needed and how I needed to put it on the chair and got the bag on Saturday just gone. But the story of the bag involves the trading standards story I mentioned a few days ago so I was waiting until I had an answer on that before blogging it. Also a few more attempts at using it to be sure it worked seemed a good idea.

Basically I can’t put a regular bag on the back of my powerchair due to design of it (bar as opposed to push handles). And wheelchair bags are shit, basically. Totally don’t work for me.

But a few months ago someone showed me a wheelchair bag designed to hang on the side of a chair. Only problem being it was much too small for my purposes. However I was able to try a regular messenger bag on there and it worked. Just needed to find one that I liked and that didn’t cost the earth. I’d seen several that would “do”. None that were a style/design I really liked and waterproof. So I’d not got one yet and was beginning to think of going for something less perfect.

When I was shopping at the weekend however I remember a small bag shop that was a bit out of the way and I’d not tried yet. Bingo, they had a waterproof plain black messenger bag for a tenner. Perfect. It doesn’t scream “Emma!” ye but I have a few possible customisations in mind to make it more “me.”

It’s working well… I’m in two minds about whether to put a couple of stitches in the strap to make it more secure but at the moment it’s ok without that. I’ve fitted most of the stuff I’ve got when shopping in it (and that was a relatively big powerchair to sainsburys trip for me).

The shop I got it from however shocked me greatly. And as I mentioned before I ended up reporting them to Trading Standards.

So basically I asked the guy to reach me down a bag to look at and he did. Then I asked to look at another one (the one I actually got) and he told me it was crap, it was a tenner (the first one was £30 I think) and I didn’t want to look it. Annoying but not the reason for my complaint.

Decided what to buy and asked “do you take X card?” and he said they did.

But there was a problem… they could move the card machine but had a display of bags in front of the counter and that meant the card machine couldn’t get to me because I couldn’t get very close to the counter.

The guy working there told me “it’s fine” and I’m thinking he’d move the stuff (it wasn’t much).

No.

“Tell me your PIN number and I will type it in for you.”

Oh My God. So I just kind of gaped at him and went “No.”

“well, you can whisper it to me.”

“No.” In the background another customer walked in. He already knew I was by myself because he’d asked when he asked if I wanted anything reaching earlier.

“Tell that lady your PIN number and she can type it in.”

“No.”

At that point I started gesturing for my card back and he finally got the message. He moved the stuff (which was all of about three things and took less than a minute) and I typed in my own PIN number.

Jesus wept. I was absolutely astounded that anyone would consider that 1) an appropriate thing to ask a customer and 2) in anyway safe.

I deliberated for a couple of days and in the end e-mailed trading standards. Because it’s such a huge safety issue I felt that on reflection I had to. They tell me it’s a clear DDA Breach (which I knew already) and they’ll be discussing DDA requirements with the proprieter and also referring the matter to the local access officers

>Tension Headache

>I’ve been planning for a while to attempt my first proper “wearable” knitting project – a cardi (actually a lace pattern so that’s another first in there too).  I bought yarn I think will do on Saturday and it was actually much less than I thought I would need to spend.

An easy first step should have been the swatching – to check what size a set number of stitches and rows comes out so I can adjust as necessary.  Because if you knit tighter or looser than average that will effect the fit.  I’ve never swatched before.  But I got the principle.

Only I then looked at the pattern and saw what it called for for tension squares (well, eventually.  turns out it’s on the designer’s website but if it’s in the PDF I bought I can’t bloody see it).  And it actually seems much more complicated than I thought it would be.  Lots of googling and advice from a friend and I think I know what I need to do (although I did e-mail the designer to ask when Ravelry failed me).

My knitting tutor talked about breaking patterns down into small bits and practicing each step until you get it.  And certainly just doing a few rows of the lace pattern made me realise how simple it was without even getting halfway though it before stopping.  Breaking this pattern down into steps makes it seem more doable.

Getting started however, doesn’t.  And I’ve already given myself a headache.

>I’d call this entry toilet humour, but there’s nothing funny about it.

>I went shopping on Saturday.  And in the space of about twenty minutes had two of the most shocking disability incidents I’ve had in a long time.  I wrote an e-mail to trading standards about one of them earlier this evening.  But other than being shocked and thinking it’s rude (jesus wept, i don’t think it could have been worse) there’s nothing I can do about it.

So I’ll blog it.  And I’ll probably blog the other incident too at some point but I should give trading standards some time to get back to me first.

Anyway, I was in Reading shopping.  Specifically I was in Marks and Spencer and figured whilst I would in their I’d go to the loo.  They’ve got a pretty good disabled loo.  The key thing to note here is it’s open all the time you don’t need a RADAR key or any other key to get in there.

So I’m in there, on the loo knickers around my ankles all that sort of thing.  And this random woman took a coin out of her handbag, fitted it into the middle of the lock mechanism, unlocked the door with it and started to walk in.  In the UK disabled loo’s are generally separate rooms so this openned pretty much on to the shop floor.

I was yelling “hang on a minute!!” and she just stopped, went “Oh I didn’t expect there to be any one in there”, shut the door and locked the door again.  Then I could hear her telling someone “oh there’s someone in there, I’ll use the ladies.” and walked off.

When I was done and came out of the loo this other woman was outside waiting and she was like “That woman, she got a coin out of her bag… and walked in… how rude!!” and I was like “yeah it’s soooo rude it’s ridiculous.”

Anyone whose ever used a radar key more than once will likely know that system means you can unlock it even if someone has locked it from the inside.  You quickly learn to be slow opening the door… I’ve been walked in on at least once, and I’ve walked in on people a few times too.

I never minded that, not least since one of the times that happened I found someone collapsed and in need of assistance.* Especially because you either need to provide proof of disability to get your own (meaning you know how it works) or you need to ask a staff member for a key.  And RADAR key disabled loos (and most other locked disabled toilets) have signage explaining the systm and usually where to get a key from so the fact you can’t just walk in is bloody obvious.

But to take a coin and unlock a proper lock?!  Especially without even knocking or anything?! And when it’s obvious that if it’s locked there’s someone in there?  Fucking ridiculous.

*looking back at the entries relating to that incident I appear not to have shared the response I got to my complaint about it.  Which didn’t come until five months later.  And which said they’d had British Transport Police arrest the man for smearing faeces all over the  disabled loo.  The man that collapsed had been on the floor an hour (he said) when I found him.  I don’t know about anyone else but if I had been trying to go to the loo, fallen and then been on the floor an hour I’d probably have ended up doing my business on the floor too.

>My earliest chocolate memory

>This was a prompt on a market research message board thing I’m on.

We used to go visit my Gran and Grandad. They had a chocolate tin that lived in my Gran’s sewing room and we could choose something out of it. Frequently we would choose cadbury’s chocolate buttons and I’d have to read all of the nursery rhymes to choose which one I wanted. Some of the chocolate buttons would be stuck together and I always used to try to leave two that were stuck together to have last as it seemed special to me. I still try to do the same thing when I eat chocolate buttons now (although it’s much rarer that I do) but I’m not as obssessive about it as I used to be.

As we got older it changed to the bureau drawer by my Gran’s chair and the choices changed too. For me it was always galaxy – one of those kingsize bars that used to have the nine pieces. We would talk about how my Gran always used to try and not have chocolate to the evening and how I get my sweet tooth from her.

And when we used to go visit our Nanny I remember going to the shop to choose something. That would usually be different everytime unless she had already got it before we arrived. I’m very fussy and I remember at least once thinking I would hate the chocolate she bought me and having to psych myself up to eat it. I’ve always struggled with new foods. But I loved it, much to my surprise. That was a flyte

>101 in 1001: Item 29…

>

Go to see We Will Rock You

… has been completed!

I went to see We Will Rock You at the Birmingham Hippodrome yesterday.  I went with two of my old friends from uni (and one of them brought a carer too).  Great fun to catch up.  Especially as I hadn’t seen one of them for two and a half years.  Ridiculous that it hd been that long and we’ve all promised we won’t leave it that long next time.  Hopefully that’s a promise we’ll keep!

We went for Pizza before the show and then to starbucks for half and hour or so after.  Very long day but totally worth it.  And it was very nice to have a whole day away from the PC too (went straight from the train to my parents house for the end of my brother’s birthday BBQ).

The show was absolutely fantastic… I knew nothing about the plot before hand but it was great.  Some of the lyrics had been tweaked slightly to fit in with the idea of an internet age virtual world with no individuality or music(!) and it all just worked really well.  I’ve never seen the musical of Mamma Mia but in the film you didn’t help thinking that in one or two places they were reaching a little just to fit certain songs in.  That wasn’t the case at all with We Will Rock You.  Ever.

The singers were really strong too and the syncronised dancing like autonomitons was great.  In a lot of shows they do similar stuff but these people were literally beat on beat doing exactly the same movements dead on the same time – you don’t normally get that or done that well.

We were sat at the back right by the guy doing the lighting etc in the booth.  And I kept catching sight of him from the corner of my eye.  He was rocking away and dancing really throwing himself into his job of doing all the FX etc.  It was nice to see someone enjoying their job so much.

It was also great to see one moment where the band of the show got drawn in too briefly as a part of the plot – and the bit where they made mention of where we were etc and that days date etc etc.

oh and “Vy deo Tap ee” and “Bri Anne” etc was hilarious

>101 in 1001 – Item 29…

>

Go to see We Will Rock You

… has been completed!

I went to see We Will Rock You at the Birmingham Hippodrome yesterday. I went with two of my old friends from uni (and one of them brought a carer too). Great fun to catch up. Especially as I hadn’t seen one of them for two and a half years. Ridiculous that it hd been that long and we’ve all promised we won’t leave it that long next time. Hopefully that’s a promise we’ll keep!

We went for Pizza before the show and then to starbucks for half and hour or so after. Very long day but totally worth it. And it was very nice to have a whole day away from the PC too (went straight from the train to my parents house for the end of my brother’s birthday BBQ).

The show was absolutely fantastic… I knew nothing about the plot before hand but it was great. Some of the lyrics had been tweaked slightly to fit in with the idea of an internet age virtual world with no individuality or music(!) and it all just worked really well. I’ve never seen the musical of Mamma Mia but in the film you didn’t help thinking that in one or two places they were reaching a little just to fit certain songs in. That wasn’t the case at all with We Will Rock You. Ever.

The singers were really strong too and the syncronised dancing like autonomitons was great. In a lot of shows they do similar stuff but these people were literally beat on beat doing exactly the same movements dead on the same time – you don’t normally get that or done that well.

We were sat at the back right by the guy doing the lighting etc in the booth. And I kept catching sight of him from the corner of my eye. He was rocking away and dancing really throwing himself into his job of doing all the FX etc. It was nice to see someone enjoying their job so much.

It was also great to see one moment where the band of the show got drawn in too briefly as a part of the plot – and the bit where they made mention of where we were etc and that days date etc etc.

oh and “Vy deo Tap ee” and “Bri Anne” etc was hilarious