>One Month and general witterings

>Today has been a relatively chilled day.

I’ve been reading and knitting and relaxing and also getting stuff done! Which is good as it occurred to me earlier just how crazy busy my busy week will be.  Tomorrow I’m in the bureau (as an extra) and then sailing.  I need to go a few places in between, do some writing, do some exercise etc etc.  I’ve actually been wondering what possessed me to say I would go but it will actually all fit in and I know it will so I need to stop stressing!!  I’m also going to two different shows this week, and have another one off commitment,.

I just spent a while answering a load of questions which were left on my Formspring page.  Great fun.  They were some thought provoking questions too.  I’m not sure whether some of my answers will be what the asker expected but we shall see.  Why not go over and ask me some more?  You don’t have to be a member.

June goals are Southern Cross Novel Challenge, daily exercise, and keep up the no coke and chocolate for as long as possible.

And I’ve officially made it through the entire month of may with no coke, no chocolate and only two lots of pizza.  Wooo fucking Hooo.

>Creative Writing Prompt – The Object

>At creative writing last night we each picked a random object (without looking) from a box our tutor bought with him.  Then we had about ten minutes to write something about the object’s owner, which included the object.  This is mine.  I might do something more with it, I’m sort of toying with the idea.

The Enigma

He is a bit of a mystery – and that’s the way he likes it.  He’s a bit different – a bit unusual.  That’s what people think about him or at least those that get close enough.  To everyone else he’s just a regular guy.  Friendly, helpful, unremarkable really.  He likes that view of him too but not as much as he likes being a mystery.  But then there aren’t many people who get close enough to notice the silver cufflinks shaped like question marks.  And fewer still who realise just what they mean.

>101 in 1001 – Item 58…

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Go three weeks without eating chocolate or drinking coke

…has been completed!

Well, actually it’s been completed for a couple of days and is still on going.  Today is day 25 without chocolate or coke (starting on the first of the month makes tracking these things easy!).  Which for this girl who had a serious addiction to both and wasn’t doing great at cutting them down but not out is amazing.  The end of this month is my current mini goal but I think two months is my real goal at present.

But, of course, in reality, this has to be how I eat for the rest of my life if I want to maintain my weight and lose weight.  I must admit that’s been something I’ve been trying to get my head round and it’s not been particularly easy.  Never is probably too much of a goal but an occasional small (normal) sized portion would be OK. When I went to the nurse she described it as the first month is trying things out and the second month is reinforcing that this is it.

I do and I don’t miss them both.  Yesterday I was in the mood where I would have liked some chocolate but I knew I didn’t need it and not having it didn’t bother me really after a little while.  Plus, as I reminded myself the weather being so hot it would have been all melty and not as nice.

Coke I think is more then that.  But part of that comes down to how ingrained in our society that drink is.  That’s something that I’ve been noticing a lot lately and I’m not sure I like it.  I’d post a big rant about that but I’d rather go read a book right now I think.  Actually I think I miss it less than chocolate, especially since I’ve realised that about society but it’s harder to avoid.  If you go to the pub and you don’t want to drink alcohol and don’t drink coke, what do you drink?  Both times I’ve been lately I’ve had J20 (which gets a bit sickly after a while) – and comments about how I may as well be drinking coke.

The best things about not drinking coke or eating chocolate.

Finally, my weight was up 1 1/4 lb this morning.  But that’s to be expected for a number of reasons and I’m not disappointed.  I’ve still lost 5lb this month and if I keep doing that every month for the rest of the year (I do realise this may be an unrealistic goal) I could lose another two and a half stone.

oh and if you want to read the rest of my 101 in 1001 list or find out what the project is about – this is the link

>You know…

>You know you’ve got CP when…

You go somewhere for the first time and spot the disabled loo.  When you later ask if you can use it the staff member disappears to go find out if they have one.

To be fair to him, he did say he didn’t normally work in those offices.  But I was taking part in thing for which they specifically needed disabled people..  And they didn’t just want a few people to do it, they wanted a lot.  So I was quite amused.

You know you’re a writer when…

You get asked for comments about something and point out typos and misspelled words (I didn’t correct it)

When you get home you Google a word you think they spelt wrong but weren’t sure about so didn’t point out.

(side note – I’m typing this in Google Chrome.  And it’s auto spell check keeps underlining “Google” in red).

>A Good Things List

>Good things about having given up chocolate and coke and not having had any for almost three weeks.

  • Being told repeatedly by different people that the skin on my face looks a lot clearer and finally seeing what everyone means today.
  • My eyes are brighter.
  • When I went to the nurse this afternoon her jaw practically dropped when I told her.
  • I’ve lost a lot of weight over these few weeks (over 5lb)
  • I still have disgusting feet but now it’s mostly just my nails and not my skin as well.
  • Getting lots of encouragement from different people.
  • Realising that I was addicted to Coke and Chocolate but it is something I can totally overcome.

>101 in 1001 – Item 85…

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Buy new cloth pads

…has been completed!

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to complete this one, I really don’t.  Especially as I use pads everyday due to bladder weakness (CP related – or more like wheelchair related.)

I used to use cloth pads a lot of the time but I’ve really dropped the ball with that one over the last few years and now it’s really unusual for me to use a cloth pad.  Which really isn’t good enough because they are much more comfortable then disposables, I don’t need to worry about buying them all the time (which means over time they are cheaper) and they are really pretty too!

Plus, when I used to have carers they’d see them hanging to dry on my airer and generally the reaction would be something like “WHAT is THAT?!”  Which always really amused me.  Probably more than it should have.

I got them from Luna Wolf.  I’ll wait while you go and check out the pictures to see what I mean about them being really pretty.

Vicky who runs it and I have been friends through our blogs for several years so it was nice to be able to support her business as she’s always been really supportive of me.  Even if she doesn’t comment on my blog very often any more (hint, hint Vicky!).  Oh and another great thing was she got them to me really quickly too.

I’m quite looking forward to getting back into using cloth again.

>Stories and Disability – A Writer’s Perspective

>The theme for the next Disability Blog Carnival is “stories”.  Which as someone who is a writer is an interesting one.

At the last NaNoWriMo meet up, one of the others asked me if I wrote disabled characters.  And sometimes I do.  Sometimes I don’t.  With my last NaNo I didn’t deliberately because I almost always do when I do long pieces of writing and I thought it would be a good thing to not do for once.  I’m not sure why I thought that.  Possibly because writing about disability is writing what I know and I wanted to stretch myself as a writer (which I do).

My script frenzy attempt from April doesn’t yet have a disabled character in it.  It’s currently abandoned but I’m considering returning to it, possibly more as a novel set up.  Weird things keep happening in this story line which can’t be explained.  I think a disability aspect may come in from that point of view.  I’ve already got one character suddenly acquiring children out of no where, I’m thinking a life long wheelchair user who no one else remembers as ever using one before might be interesting.

Anyway, the other comment she made was to ask whether I found including the disability made things difficult with the plot.  Her example was that she’s diabetic and often starts off with characters who are diabetic too. Then the plot calls for them to miss a meal and so the diabetes has to come out because they two don’t work together.  I found that an interesting question.  This blog entry is my a bit more thought out response not what I told her in person.  In no way is it meant to be a criticism of my friend.  We just have different perspectives, that’s all.

I’ve never even considered changing a character that fundamentally so the plot will work.  My disability is a part of me.  I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t have it.  I would be completely different because my whole life experience, frame of reference and everything like that would be altered.  There is almost always a way of making things work in real life despite the disability and I don’t think fiction is any different.  My characters are who they are – and if they’re disabled, that can’t be changed (or shouldn’t be changed).

Maybe it’s because I don’t plan my plots rigidly before I start writing and let things grow and change as they need to. But I can’t imagine not being able to make a disabled character “work” because changing it isn’t possible in real life.  And to me I want my writing to be realistic wherever possible.

As a final point I will say that I suspect part of the reason why we have such differing perspectives is because her condition is acquired and mine is life long.  It’s probably easier to consider making such a huge change to your writing when you do know “before” and “after” then when you don’t – acceptance is different for both groups of people, perhaps.

>11 and then some

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Last week I lost half a pound and was a bit discouraged about that.  I’m not really sure why, especially as it came after a day of nice food and not really being on my diet for my sister’s birthday.  I never got round to updating my blog about that, partially because I was (wrongly) disappointed about it.

In other ways, however, I’m continuing to do really good which I’m incredibly proud of.  I’ve not had any coke or chocolate this month (today is day 18!) and considering I was eating loads of each every single day. And had found that attempting to cut it down to one or the other or every other day and stuff like that hadn’t worked it’s amazing.  Plus, the only time I had pizza was when we had family dinner for my sister’s birthday.  I didn’t have as much as I usually would then, either.

This morning I am down another 2 and 3/4lb.  For a total weightloss since 22nd February of 11 1/4 pounds.  And which also drops my BMI from 45.6 to 43.6 (not a huge fan of BMI as such but I find the trend interesting).  I’m really, really pleased about both of those!  And especially pleased to finally be able to update the sticker on the side of my blog to the 10lb gone one 🙂

>Oxford Regatta 2010

>Behind yet again and I have a few other entries which need to stand alone planned.  So just a few thoughts this evening to catch up a bit.

The Oxford regatta was last weekend.  It was my last regatta of the year most likely and I’m not sure how many I will do next year, if at all.  I find them quite hard because although it’s a disability sailing event my disability and the set up clash rather a lot.

I made it out once on Saturday and was that cold and sore afterwards that I had a load of clonus and it was hard to get me out of the boat as we weren’t using the hoist for various (annoying) reasons.  As a result of that and something that happened with another sailor it was decided on Sunday that there was room for my challenger on the new pontoon with the 2.4 people so I did my patented falling into the boat to get going from the beach and then went from the pontoon for the rest of the day so they could hoist me.

 I did enjoy the sail that morning although I definitely pushed myself beyond my limits which may not have been a great idea.  I’d decided part way through that there was no way I would make it out that afternoon and so I was going to sit it out that morning and keep going until the end regardless of what I probably should have been doing.  Unfortunately it was blowing squalls which made the sailing a bit more challenging. And I’d lent my hat to a friend and borrowed my Dad’s to wear myself.  His favourite one.  Which blew away, never to be seen again.  He wasn’t very happy about that.

Then someone else snapped at me and I was tired and cold and a bit damp and it all felt like a bit too much.  But my Dad and I made up later and I had some lunch which warmed me up.  Surprisingly I was the only one who sat out the afternoon, although several people did come in early. From what I’ve heard everyone struggled with the cold and the weather that day.

We came back a bit early and I spent two hours lying under my duvet not really awake but not fully asleep.  Still felt a bit cold after that – so much so I actually took my temperature but it was normal.

Sunday the weather had improved a bit but it still wasn’t overly warm.  I managed both sails that day although wasn’t out for the entire time in the second one.   I was much happier that day partially because I didn’t get wet at all but also because it was a bit warmer.  And hoist transfers make things so much easier!  That turned out to be a Very Good Thing because when they got me out the boat the final time they hoisted me into my chair and I then tried to stand up but I barely got my bum off my seat (but just enough to pull the sling out).  Had an hour to chill or so and then tried to get my towel out from under me and my waterproof trousers off.  Usually I stand up, move the towel and pull my waterproofs down and then someone helps me get them off completely. Not that day. Stood up, my friend grabbed the towel and that was all I could manage.  Stood up again and she ended up helping me pull my trousers down as well as off.  Too sore and stiff for much else!

I must admit there was a very hard moment when someone asked if I’d chickened out by coming in early. I did point out to her that I was in a lot of pain and that was why I came in.  She realises that it was something she shouldn’t have said, I’m sure, and probably didn’t mean anything by it. But I don’t think she realised just how hurtful it was.

That’s one of the things I dislike about these regattas is that to a certain extent they focus a lot on coming first etc which is important.  But what about personal achievement and pushing your limits?  That matters too.  I’ve always thought that the fact you tried is one of the most important things when it comes to disability sports.

But this entry really needs to end on a happy note.  I won one of the races for my class and came second in it for the regatta.  To be completely honest, that was out of two people but I didn’t come last overall!!  I was given the medal and cup for second despite that and got to go up and shake hands with the Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire.

One of the guys from our sailing club said to me afterwards that the cup for me was more for getting out there and trying and pushing my limits than for coming second of two.  And that’s how it should be.