Friday, November 13, 2009

Of Cockroaches great and small

Over the years I have come across a few cockroaches (and some of them with only two legs!) but recently I was talking to my friend SIAM *1 and he told me a fairly yucky story that happened to him recently on holiday. It's funny really, isn't it - these things always happen on holiday, don't they?

Hubby and I once went on holiday to Malta at the beginning of the season on a very (and I mean very) cheap holiday. This holiday included car hire and cost only £125 each for the week - they didn't include food on the plane and our self catering accommodation was basic to say the least. I'd like to say that this price was 20 years ago and the cost of living has changed massively, but in reality it was within the last 10 years and it was just really, really cheap. Anyway, we didn't have much cash at the time and enjoyed ourselves... on the whole. The second night we were there, despite being early in the year, it was quite warm and hubby turned on the ceiling fan. If he did, something rather like a small rock flew off the fan, whacked him on the head, suddenly developed legs and started legging it off across the floor! Well, what do you do in such circumstances, when the fear of stepping out of bed onto a not so small bug in the middle of the night would be enough to glue you to the bedclothes? What we did, in a slightly drunken state (holidays are like that too) was to grab a drinking glass and up-end it over the poor creature and go back to bed. In the morning, we reported it to reception (who seemed suitably unconcerned) and trusted the cleaner to get rid of it. The cleaner also seemed 'suitably unconcerned' and left it there for the entire week. We never let it out (by now fearing some kind of cockroach revenge in the middle of the night) and there it stayed, running around in a small circle, not seeming to either eat or drink, but surviving nonetheless. To this day I feel moderately guilty about the whole episode, but cockroaches can be pretty scary and creepy so I don't know if I should.

I guess that poor lone bug wasn't too bad, but I once stayed away in a place where some of my friends were bothered by many, many 'skittering' sounds in the middle of the night. For me, I tend to sleep quite heavily, but I later found out that this wasn't the reason I wasn't bothered at all - in fact, it had nothing to do with that, and everything to do with the fact that I usually leave the bathroom light on when I am away from home. Now, I'm sure there are those of you out there thinking "Ah bless!" that I should need a night light when away from home but it actually has rather more practical applications for someone with really bad balance. My balance is so poor and the feeling in my feet so bad, that I rely on either touching something to get a reference point or I need some kind of horizon to look at. If I stand up in the middle of a room and shut my eyes, I just fall over backwards - no fun for me but very amusing for any onlooker! In fact (at the risk of digressing some more), just 2 nights ago in a vain attempt to get across the bedroom in the middle of the night and missing my normal grip on the laundry basket, I careered across the room, frightening both cats and landing on the floor with a thump that not only woke hubby but probably half the neighbours as well! Anyway back to my extraordinarily quiet room compared to the BMB's, who was complaining how he was being kept awake by insects with hobnailed boots. He later told me that on his last night there, he got up early for the trip home and stumbled into the bathroom in the dark, flipped on the light and was staggered by the sudden rush for cover by what looked like hundreds of cockroaches on the floor, walls and ceiling. It was at that point that he realised that it wasn't just a few heavy footed bugs, but that the place was literally crawling with them.

All this is a long way from poor SIAM which is where I started! Anyway, he went on holiday recently and woke up to find that his bottom lip appeared to be paralysed by a heavy weight. After an initial panic that he had Bells Palsy, the weight started to shift slightly and he realised to his horror that he had a cockroach on his lip "having a drink from that little bit of night drool..." is how he put it. Eeew!!

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*1Same initials as me

Friday, November 06, 2009

What defines me??

I have realised that disability seems to crop up in quite a few of my blog entries and I know from a poll I did a while ago it seems that many of my readers are disabled. It was after the poll that I fell to wondering if that was what defined me as a person. I think in truth, that it isn’t, but whether I like to admit it or not, I do have a disability, and always have.

As a child, I believed that I could do anything that anyone else did and I also thought I could do it better than them but I still had spina bifida. For all my grand dreams and ambitions, for all the times that I thought that next year I would have learned to run and be able to beat everyone at school sports day, for all of those thoughts, dreams and ideas, there were also the more sobering moments. There were always the times that I realised that there was stuff I just couldn’t do, I couldn’t join ballet classes when every other girl in school did and school rounders and athletics were a no-no. Now, it may be that all you people out there reading this say well, I was useless at ballet or couldn’t hit a ball for toffee, but I think what I am getting at is that at least most people have the opportunity to try.

Now, don’t get me wrong in all this, I’ve done well and never fancied rounders anyway and I know that because I learned to walk, I managed to do all kinds of things that some other people never get chance to do but there were always limitations. In fact, just that expression, “learned to walk” speaks volumes. Why shouldn’t I learn to walk? Most parents don’t proudly state – “Oh, little Johnny is so clever, he learned to walk!” – learned to play the violin, yes, but walk? No, they just don’t expect to have to say it, do they?

So there you go, like it or not, I have a disability. It has stopped me from doing a few things but has prevented me from doing very little that I set my mind to. I believe that what therefore defines me as a person are the things I like to do, the people I like to spend time with and the way that I like to live my life – I just do all these things alongside the way I was born...

Play Ball

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Garden of Eagan: Visual perception skills

Garden of Eagan: Visual perception skills

You just have to do's really good.

Once you have done so (and not before please!) - go and read this:

About the video

I will comment later....

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I will, I will, I promise....

...get back to blogging that is...

I have had a hectic couple of weeks (or at least that is how it has seemed to me) and so I just have neglected my duties as 'Mistress of the Blog'. In fact, I don't really know just how hectic they really have actually been in the normal sense of the word; it's just that some of my days have been shortened by a couple of late starts...I wish I could tell you that they are down to simple laziness, but sometimes stiff mornings follow on from rough days and even rougher nights. Hubby is as usual supportive and put up with me having to call all plans off last Saturday when I didn't get up until nearly lunchtime. Good grief! (As Charlie Brown used to say!)

Anyway, life seems to be settling a little and I have been spending lots of time wondering about stuff so I will get back to writing more soon....

where is your smile?