Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

Alien Skin

Happy Wednesday bookish people! I’m back with another Where’d I Leave It Wednesday. This one is a bit different to usual, it isn’t focusing on my cane rather just my life in general at the moment. It was a piece that I wrote for a competition, that I didn’t win, and I thought I would share it here.

I hope you all enjoy it!

It was thin in my hands. Blue, and it crinkled like paper. With a string hoop stitched into each side of it. My hands fit through the hoops, it scratched at my ears as the blue front compressed to fit the contours of my face with each intake of breath, a second alien skin over the top of my own. Everyone else around me has blue alien skins now too. It only shows up when we go outside, or the postman knocks the door, but he’s already outside – that’s why his alien skin is already showing it’s had chance to fit to every crevice long before he sent the post through the letterbox or rang the doorbell with his gloved hands. Sometimes people have theirs hanging from their faces, dangling precariously from an inflamed ear that always has a crimson crescent curled around it’s back. It looks like they are shedding. Like a snake does when it’s done with its original skin. If you laid my alien skin out on a table it would be smaller than my sister’s is but when it is smoothed onto my face it covers just the same amount. My tiny brown eyes stare out at me over the top when I look in the mirror, it’s the same look my sister’s kitten gives me when he hides on the stairs but drops his head on the step above with a thump. Some days I think I’d quite like to be a cat. All I’d have to do is stalk through my owner’s open and welcoming legs, brush up against their skin and bite with my fanged teeth if they tried to move while I was walking through because, how dare they move. All I’d have to do is wait for hands to feed me, then lay on my back while the same hands, and others, would rub my belly and I’d pretend to push them away with my paws while really wanting them to continue. And I’d purr all day because I wouldn’t have to wear an Alien’s skin on my face whenever I left the house and I wouldn’t have to guess whether or not I knew the person I was talking to because as a girl registered as blind in a world where we are all wearing Alien skin faces, I can recognize even less than usual. We got Shadow, that’s the name my Sister gave her Kitten, in October 2020 and it’s fitting that he’s black and white when we got him in the month of Halloween – we tried to dress him up in a Mickey Mouse zip up jacket but he wasn’t having any of it, he hid in my backpack with one tiny paw poking out the side to swipe at our legs instead. Revenge for the dress up, he’s definitely my Sister’s cat – and he also really hates the Alien skins we wear when we go outside.

That’s it for today’s story, I’ll be back next Wednesday hopefully with another one!

Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

The Puzzle of Building a Jigsaw

Happy Wednesday bookish people! I missed last week’s Where’d I Leave It Wednesday but I’m back! This will probably be a shorter post than usual but I hope you will all still enjoy it.

Today’s story is about the struggle of completing a jigsaw…

I love doing jigsaws. The satisfying clunk as each piece slots into place. Seeing the picture growing because of the work being put into it. It takes up time but I barely notice as the hours pass by. At the moment I have a jigsaw half completed taking up residence on the front room carpet. It’s pride of place, balancing precariously on a green mat that rises in different places like countryside hills have sprung up overnight. The pieces bend and crack over the hills, the tabs are like arms trying to grip to their neighbour or otherwise crumble to the bottom. An avalanche of puzzle pieces with every footstep in the house.

I’m getting close to finishing this puzzle. With a few more days of working it will be completed and the dressmakers shop it depicts will come to life in my living room. It’s 500 pieces taking up the space of 1000 pieces. The puzzle drew me in from the very first web search I did. ‘Extra large jigsaw puzzles’ that’s what I searched. There aren’t many, that’s what I discovered. Even this one saying extra large pieces all over it’s packaging isn’t as large a piece as you’d expect. it’s a constant search for me.. to find puzzles that I can see the pieces of without having to resort to puzzles that have ‘7 and up’ scrawled over the front like a flashing label that says look at me I have to do children’s jigsaws when I’m 22. This doesn’t include Disney, because Disney is for any age and I won’t hear anything against this.

I have a lovely Disney puzzle. I took it down my partner’s Dad’s on Boxing Day last year. Set out every individual piece with a careful precision. Took in each and every colour and distinguishing feature. The edges were built, an elegant frame. Then the inside was filled, piece by piece, I put in what I thought was the final piece. Wonderful, I sat back to take in what we had completed. Then I noticed, there was a piece missing. I looked everywhere for it, it wasn’t in the bed or on the floor.. no, my partner had it. He had taken it at some point during the day and kept it hidden from me so that he could put the last piece into the puzzle. Then he looked at me and said ‘I win’. I still contest this.

That’s it for today’s story, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

The Misadventures Of My Bladder – Where’d I Leave It Wednesday

Happy Wednesday everyone! It’s time for another story. This one is a mix of a few stories around a topic. I hope you all enjoy it.

The misadventures of the bladder

I have a weak bladder. More recently especially. This had led to some interesting events and many embarrassing moments throughout my life. I think it stems from being at secondary school and holding it all day. I wouldn’t go to the toilet from the time I left home at twenty to eight until I got home at four each day. Simply because I couldn’t see well enough to go down stairs to the toilet in the basement. The stairs were redecorated to ‘help’ me and they made them a navy blue with heaps of glitter flowing in it and a black stripe on the edge. They might as well have taken the stairs out all together and made it a ramp because that is what it looked like, to me anyway. I also took a few trips down them missing out more than a couple steps on my way down each time. That is the only adrenaline rush I ever needed.
          Not that I wanted to use that toilet anyway, the rumour was that many years before I went there a girl hung herself in that toilet. Nobody ever checked if it was true or not but it was enough to frighten me. Not that it takes much to frighten me. I have weak nerves as well as a weak bladder. I was only prepared to use that toilet, even though I never did, because the toilets upstairs in the main hall were the meeting place of an older group of girls. They hung around in the toilets at break and lunch as if they were a secret agency and didn’t want anyone to see them. Either that or they were hiding from a male teacher. They would be in there eating their lunch and I have a problem with other people and food. Generally other people touching my food. I can’t drink out of a glass somebody else has drunk out of, I can’t eat off a piece of cutlery somebody else has eaten off. So, girls eating lunch in the bathroom ruled out me ever going within touching distance of the door handle let alone actually going toilet in there.
            This is what I believe was the beginning of my misadventures. It certainly wasn’t the end of them. Trains are disorientating for me. You can sit in your seat and not know if you are going to be travelling forwards or backwards. It doesn’t help that I can’t see which part of the train is the engine so when I find my seat it really is a mystery. But the toilets on trains really are the things that haunt my nightmares. For one thing, you have to walk past everyone else in your carriage to get to the section where the toilet is. You might as well have a large sign stuck to your forehead in neon flashing letters saying “I’m going to the toilet”. As if that isn’t bad enough you don’t know until you get there if the toilet is already occupied. If it is not only have you tried the handle and let the person in there know you are waiting but, I know from experience, it makes them try and hurry whatever they are doing. It’s a very awkward moment between two people when they have to squeeze past you as you swap occupants of the toilet. Both of you at this point also know you heard everything that happened in that bathroom since you have been there. Its an intimate knowledge of a stranger that you could probably have lived without knowing. I know I could have. It’s happened to me many times, I have been both people in that situation. Toilets are difficult for me in general because I have hypermobility in my fingers and so locks can be difficult to navigate. Luckily, I am also disabled and I can use disabled toilets. It’s a luxury I don’t think I deserve. An expansive space, an easy handle lock that I can fit my whole hand around rather than using two nimble fingers to gently edge a bolt lock shut. No fear surrounding me as I use the bathroom that, maybe this time, I won’t be able to get the lock open and I will be stuck in the toilet forever. I’ve even been known to think up a list of toilet monster names for myself just in case this ever happens. The toilets on trains are not like disabled toilets. They are small and not very helpful for blind people. There are little signs with instructions hidden behind the toilet and behind the sink, you would have to be a contortionist to be able to read them. And that is if you have working eyes never mind eyes that like to do their own thing. I’ve become accustomed to spending most of my time on a toilet, not just on trains, because of being locked in. I’ve always gotten out eventually but there is one moment that I remember well.
           It was 2014 and my whole family was on the Eurostar on the way to Disneyland Paris for my sister’s eighteenth birthday. We had been lulled into a false sense of security when they upgraded our tickets to first class for free. They had fed us up like they were the Witch and we were Hansel and Gretel. We didn’t suspect a thing. Then it got to the inevitable moment when a few of us, my Grandma, my Sister and I, all needed the toilet. It was lucky on this train there were enough toilets in a row for us to all go. Then, unbelievably, all three of us got stuck. We pulled on the locks but they wouldn’t budge. The toilets were our prison cells for the next ten minutes or so. At least they were next to each other. We could talk to each other through the walls like we were convicts in a production of Les Misérables. Then finally we were freed. Nobody could believe how unlucky we were, its bad that one person could get stuck but for all three of us at the same time it was barely believable. Although, I would rather get stuck in a toilet than what happened during one of the trips to London. If you have ever wondered what the walls of the toilet stall feels like when travelling at a mid to high speed, I can tell you it feels like you would imagine hitting a solid wall feels like. It hurt. Yes, the train jerked when I was the most vulnerable and with no chance of stopping myself, I was propelled off the toilet and into the wall. It happened fast and it took me a few moments to realise that I was now sprawled on the floor. I had to try and leave the toilet with a dignity that I no longer possessed. And that everyone in that train carriage that I now had to pass on my way back to my seat almost definitely heard the impact I made with the wall. It was not my best moment. These are only some of the misadventures of my bladder.

That’s it for today’s story, I hope you enjoyed it!

Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

An Inadvertent Dalliance: Where’d I Leave It Wednesday

Happy Wednesday bookish people! It’s Wednesday which means it is time for another Where’d I Leave it Wednesday.

I love going to the Theatre, I especially enjoy musical theatre but of course as my eyes have deteriorated I now need to be sat in the front row to be able to see. This is fine, but it does limit which shows I can see if everything on the front row gets booked straightaway – anyway, that is a different story.

Today’s story talks about a few of the times going to the Theatre has been… an experience – keep reading to find out what happened some of those times!

An Inadvertent Dalliance

I will never ask my two cousins to book anything that I would also be going to for a very specific reason. They won’t let me book any tickets either because they are afraid that I will mix up the shows because of my visual impairment. Despite the oldest of them being trained in how to guide blind people I don’t feel safe in their company. For the reason that I don’t know where I will end up.
               The youngest of the two is the type of girl that manages to lock herself out of her University house while wearing her pyjamas. I was desperate to see a photo of this but one never materialized. Anyway, the moment that stopped me joining their adventures for good happened at the Theatre. In the enchantment of the spotlight that hangs for a moment, vibrating with the echo of an audience’s applause, after the play has ended. When the curtains open, I’m transported, in the same way as with a book, to another life. In this other life I seem to have the most approachable face because I’ve stopped counting the amount of times I’ve been picked on. I thought it didn’t embarrass me anymore until I saw a show with Shane Ritchie in. In this performance half of the show is the serious side of a comedian’s life and the other is him doing his comedy. When he came out onto the stage, carrying a blow-up naked woman and made eye contact with me for the duration of that scene, was the moment I wished I didn’t need to sit in the front row to see. My eyes, and later my brain, wouldn’t have minded never having to live that moment. It wouldn’t have been so bad had the people I was with not noticed he looked at me. They did. They still bring it up at Christmas.
                 I’ve even been coaxed up on stage during a Royal Shakespeare Company performance of As You Like It. I was in a nice dress that I was worried might lift and accidentally flash the whole front row, which included my, at the time, boyfriend Robert. Who – rather than suggest I don’t go onstage for health and safety reasons – all but pushed me onto the stage. Luckily, I didn’t have to do anything too bad and then I was allowed to sit down again. Robert had gotten up and offered me a hand to climb down. To anybody watching his helping hand probably seemed gentlemanly but I know it was just because he was worried that I would fall into his lap. I got my own back later in the second half of the performance. When the ‘Fool’ sat on the step right in front of him, pointed a finger at him and proclaimed “you’re very horny”. They were talking about owning goats so it was out of context but I think my, at the time, boyfriend was suitably embarrassed. He never went with me to a Shakespeare production again.
               But in the case of my cousins it was one of them who was picked on. Originally, we were going to see the performance of 1984. However, I had entrusted my cousins to book the tickets and once we had arrived, taken our seats and could no longer leave the Theatre inconspicuously we realised they had booked the wrong show. What was meant to be an evening of drama and George Orwell became something very different. The spotlight shone on a man sat in the centre of the stage on a wooden stool, wearing a nurse’s dress and eating an orange. If we thought that would be the strangest moment of the show we were mistaken. We sat there for over half an hour of the first half in complete disbelief, the rest of the audience didn’t seem to be confused by what was happening which was even worse for my cousins and I when he began to strip. That was when we could no longer look at each other for fear that we would burst out laughing and interrupt whatever it was that was meant to be happening on stage. Thankfully, he didn’t strip completely. He only took off the nurse’s dress and remained in a white vest and a small pair of underwear. We couldn’t believe it but it got worse from there. He clambered up onto the stool, which was barely big enough to fit both of his feet on, and began to eat the orange in a way that I can only describe as seductively. And while he did this he stared straight at my cousin. That was all her sister, my other cousin, and I needed before we couldn’t hold in the laughs anymore. I had to physically hold my hand over my mouth to remain silent as nobody else in the audience seemed to find it as entertaining as we did. Once he had finished his lunch, he started passing the orange peel between his hands. Left then right and then left again. Then he threw some at the audience, and a bit more and a bit more again. One bit landed on the edge of my cousin’s glasses and hung there like a piece of orange seaweed. Dangling in front of her eyes.  She’s probably glad she couldn’t see what happened next when he started blowing kisses at her. She didn’t notice but her sister and I definitely did. So did the elderly lady and her husband who were sat behind us. “What a lovely dalliance” she said to him, lovely is not the word I would use to describe that performance. My cousins thought I would mess up the tickets if they let me book them and instead, they were the ones who made the mistake.

That’s the end of today’s story, I hope everyone enjoyed it!

Have you had any interesting experiences at the Theatre? Let me know in the comments!

Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

If God Had Siblings – Where’d I Leave It Wednesday

Happy Wednesday everyone! It’s halfway through the week already, is it me or are the weeks passing by really quickly? It’s probably just me. Today’s post is another Where’d I Leave it Wednesday, it seems like the more life story/memoir writing is working for the moment so that’s what I’m going to keep going with.

Today’s story is all about my encounters with religion, there haven’t been many – not including my secondary school Christian assemblies – but some of them are included in this story.

I hope you all enjoy it!

If God Had Siblings

If God had siblings I’m not a religious person. I think that there might be a God but if there is, he’s not that helpful. I was christened. It was the same day my sister got chicken pox and she decided to pick at the spots in the middle of her forehead, right between her eyes. There is a scar there now that I like to poke at. It’s the same size as my fingernail and if I put my finger there it looks like she has grown a horn. She says if it’s a horn then she is a unicorn, I say a rhino.


            I haven’t been to Church since I was a young child and my Grandparents believed that if you didn’t go to church at Christmas you couldn’t be buried there. I enjoyed these visits; I didn’t understand the idea of God behind it but I liked playing with the toy sheep of the Nativity scene. I even slipped one into my pocket one year. I named it Dave. We would stand in order of height and sing Christmas carols from the lyrics on the projector. Of course, to me the lyrics looked like the static on a television. A mixture of black and white waves flowing up and down, over and over again. I did what any other visually impaired child, with an imagination, would do. I made the lyrics up myself. I sang loudly every year to the reimagined Christmas carols “Little Doggy” and “Once Royal Daddy’s Sleepy”. I was not talented at singing. The elderly couple that sat behind my family every year would see us enter the church and take from their bags a set of earmuffs each which they would wear as soon as I stepped up on the bench for the carols. Strangely, nobody would correct my wrong lyrics. They allowed me to sing like nails on a chalkboard, louder every year until my Grandma told me we would not be continuing to attend the church carol services. We started going to the Pantomime every Christmas Eve instead. I wasn’t allowed to talk there; I think that is why they chose it.


     Even though we stopped attending the church these were not the only moments that they have tried to talk to me. There are always people stood outside the large shopping centre in my town. They are usually dressed all in black, black suits, black dresses, long black overcoats that make them look like sketchy stalkers misplaced from an old Scooby Doo episode. They carry poster boards tucked under one arm, chasing unimpressed customers around the grey bollards like seagulls going after a pasty. Usually I try to avoid them, the idea of them stopping me to try and ask about my views on religion makes me go cold throughout my body.


            This one day, I stopped on the pavement the other side of the road to the shopping centre. The paving stones rose up from the ground in front of me, rising and falling, sloping under the ball of my cane like mountains. The texture of the ground changed as my cane met the tarmac of the road. I stopped instantly, allowing my ears to pick up on every sound around me. The whistle came from the left as the air pressure changed, I felt it on the exposed skin of my hands as the bicycle passed me. Then I could hear nothing so I crossed the road. My cane lodged in a hole and I wobbled like a jelly before an arm steadied me. It was an older woman, dressed all in black. “What unsteady feet you have” were the first words the strange woman said to me. It made me think of the story of Red Riding Hood and the Wolf dressed as her Grandmother, I only just stopped myself from checking if the woman had sharp teeth protruding from her mouth. Her coat was zipped up to her chin and leaflets were stuffed in the top pocket where a handkerchief would usually be. They were religious leaflets but she seemed to be trying to help me so I allowed her to lead me towards the shopping centre entrance. Then she started talking. “God wants to help you”, “God wants to make everyone feel happy”. While she continued to animatedly tell me why I should gift my soul to God I watched the drops of heavily falling rain trickle down her cheeks. They looked like tears. Tears don’t make her look happy; God wasn’t making me feel happy right then either. The only things I felt were cold and wet.


         I thanked the woman for her help and attempted to pry my arm from her grip. Her face contorted; her smile changed from a fake smile to a frown. “Sinner” she told me “you must be a sinner; God is punishing you and that is why you are blind. If you pray and go to Church, he will remove his punishment and you will be healed.” First, she was telling me that God just wants me to be happy and now she was telling me that he wanted to punish me. I couldn’t think of much that God would want to punish me for, perhaps the time that I pinned my sister to the floor and sat on her chest to keep her there when I was four years old and my sister was seven. If God had siblings then he would understand. I didn’t want to tell her that there was a scientific reason behind my sight loss or that I wasn’t sure I believed in God because I didn’t want to upset her. I walked away from the wolf grandma who continued to call after me “sinner, sinner”. I pretended that I didn’t know it was me she was still talking to. That encounter didn’t change my opinion. I’m still not a religious person.

That’s it for today’s story, I hope everyone enjoyed reading it!

Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

Where’d I Leave It Wednesday: The Turquoise Zebra

Happy Wednesday bookish people! It’s Wednesday which means it’s time for another Where’d I Leave It Wednesday! I’ve decided to stick with a similar way of writing as last week’s story, let me know what you think!

Today’s story is all about swimming, of course when I go swimming (it’s rare) I have to leave my cane and glasses in the changing room… the world looks very strange without them..

On to the story!

It wasn’t blue, not completely but a turquoise colour. A turquoise with diagonal stripes of deep blue, like a turquoise and blue zebra had melted on the floor and left a puddle. An extremely deep puddle. That strangers will float around in like human versions of ducks in a bath. Usually wearing ridiculous things like bikini tops with no straps. Even though water is like a stronger version of gravity to those things. That is how I see a swimming pool – a swirling, whirling pit of green and blue merging together. I imagine jumping in would feel like catapulting myself into it’s wide open mouth. Of course, I only imagine it, I would never be stupid enough to actually jump in. Maybe one day an overzealous scientist who believes they will change the life of someone like me, for the price of a classical painting that is, will invent eyewear that stops a pool from drowning your eyes in salt at the same time as allowing me to stop imagining melted zebras at the local sports centre. Like a Gucci version of goggles. How fancy. The envy of every blind person. Until then I just can’t visit any zoos.
            Swimming and I, we’ve never gotten along too well. From the first time I waded into the blurry expanse of the pool. And by that, I mean ‘gently’ guided in by a teacher after having a tantrum, worse than a toddler told no in a supermarket, before I’d even left the changing area. I shrieked, I cried, I ended up in the water anyway. Clinging to one of those coloured pool noodles made of foam like it was the last remaining lifeboat on the Titanic. Our relationship only got worse from there. A tumultuous relationship that most recently led to an embarrassing moment with a toddler. It wasn’t even my child. When my sister asked me to go swimming with her and her friend, I didn’t realise we would be bringing along the crazed energy that is her five-year-old son. Generally, I love children. Having an uncensored, often brutally honest, conversation with them can be refreshing. But her son could make the most pious nun renounce God and never go to church again if it meant getting away from him. As soon as he clambered into his car seat with yellow armbands on, that could have fit an elephant, I knew that day was not going to be as simple as just swimming in water I couldn’t see. The armbands absorbed the top of his arms like the sleeves of a 1980s wedding dress. Each time he moved they knocked against each other and created a long drawn out squealing noise. If I had any pins in my hair, I would have used one to pop them. Oh dear, he wouldn’t have been able to go swimming. What a shame. Unfortunately I didn’t have anything so her son did end up swimming with us. By us I mean me, considering his mother disappeared to the opposite end of the pool with my sister as soon as we entered. They stayed in the deep end of the pool, swimming around like sharks drunk off mischief. Being short and well, blind, I went no further than the water skimming my hips which meant being an unwilling babysitter. He even began calling me Auntie. I am not his Auntie; he has one who lives in Wales. If I was an Auntie, and my sister had somehow reproduced, I would definitely not take them swimming. I would also make sure their parent was in close proximity so that I could hand them back quickly. I couldn’t do that when his mum was down the other end of the pool.
            I thought that perhaps he would be bored or scared after being in the pool for an extended amount of time but instead he was taking large jumps, as large as he could with toddler sized legs suspended in water. He made for an ungraceful ballerina. It was during one of these leaps that one of his curled-up feet caught on the mottled texture at the bottom of the pool. His face barely had time to crease in anticipation of a complaint before it smacked into the water and disappeared beneath the turquoise. The speed of which he fell pushed his bottom half to the floor of the pool and he bounced there for a moment. The sound echoed around and reached his mother but I had already reached under and pulled his head back out of the water. She stayed at the other end of the pool. Water cascaded down his forehead and dribbled from his chin. His eyes were squeezed shut. I was already preparing for his next move; he might begin to cry or he might make a dash for the stairs to exit the pool. Not that I would have minded had he wanted to vacate the pool as fast as possible. I thought there had been enough adrenaline for one day. Neither option was what he did. His little hands bunched up around his waist and before I had time to ask if he was okay, he pulled his swimming trunks down and let them inflate in the water. He stood there proudly naked in a public swimming pool and said “kiss it better Auntie”. I don’t think so.

That’s it for today’s story, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

Where’d I leave It Wednesday – Garden In My Bedroom

Happy Wednesday bookish people! It is that time again where I tell you about one of my experiences that may or may not be funny. Today I’m doing something a bit different, usually I just write out the story but one of the modules on my University course was Creative Non-fiction where I wrote a few pieces about my experiences. This story is about how my cane picks up leaves. I hope you enjoy it!

I have more leaves gathered in my bedroom than there are in the park that is just beyond my front door. I’m not a collector in any way. Well, I am when it comes to books and pin badges, but definitely not leaves. They sit on my purple carpet, crinkling in agony when I walk over them. Most of them are torn. Flakes of brown and orange strewn around the floor. A friend of mine asked me if I’d spilt a box of Cornflakes and not picked them up. I told her it wasn’t but at that time we were already running late and I couldn’t explain that actually it was the corpses of leaves. I’m not sure that is any less weird.

They get impaled on my cane, like meat on a skewer. I can walk along the street just fine. Well, it’s a different matter entirely when I come across a pile of leaves. By the time I get home there are so many of them, twirling around my cane like orange pole dancers, I barely notice them anymore. They have become part of my room; it would be strange to get rid of them now. “You should hoover them up” I’ve been told by many people before. I can’t bring myself to do it. The leaf that is still green got stuck to the bottom of the cane when I walked through a particularly deep puddle of leaves. It got dragged with me for miles and now it lives on my bedroom floor. The least I can do is provide good hospitality. It’s not as bad as it sounds. My carpet isn’t completely filled with leaves, I leave most of them outside the house when I shake off the cane in the same way as you would an umbrella after closing it.

Picking up leaves isn’t the only thing that happens when I use my cane outside. I usually find that there are two different types of people that notice me on the street. There are the ones who ignore the cane and continue to walk towards me; I enjoy the look of surprise on their face when I don’t move either. Their shoulder will bump into mine; it will be knocked backwards but my legs will remain strong, unmoving in the slippery pavements. They all do the same thing. They turn, mouths open and begin to say “look where you’re going” but they stop when they notice that I’m Visually Impaired. The irony of it always amuses me.

Then there is the second group of people, the ‘helpful’ ones. If a person offers me help and I need it then I will be thankful for the assistance. However, some people don’t ask before ‘helping’. I must have an expression that screams help me. The one I remember most vividly was on a cold day, it must have been Autumn because the air was cold and the metal of my cane had been turning my fingers red as I held onto it tightly. The leaves had already begun falling. They were cutting into my skin like cat’s claws on a scratching post, climbing up my boots higher and higher. I was stood at a crossing, waiting for the man to turn from red to green as I usually do. I can’t tell when there is a space to cross between cars so I wait for the green man. There is a cone on the bottom of the Pelican crossing control panel where I press the button. If I put my finger on it and wait when it turns green the cone spins. It’s useful for sunny days when I can’t see the colours of the man.

Anyway, returning to the strange incident I remember. I was stood there waiting, rolling the ball on the bottom of my cane over the bumps by the edge of the road, when I felt a hand on my arm. It pulled gently and I moved with it. My feet stumbling over each other past the pavement on the other side and across another crossing, then another and then another all at once. I didn’t have the chance to look at who was pulling on me until they stopped walking and let go. I caught my breath while looking at them. It was a lady, if I had to guess she was probably around sixty years old, and she was smiling at me. I knew I had to be polite so I said thank you and watched her walk away down the street. She was only trying to be nice is what I told myself as I slowly moved back to the crossing that the lady had just walked me across. If she had given me a chance to talk, I would have been able to tell her that I had only wanted to get across the first crossing and not the three subsequent ones.

Things like this happen to me more frequently than I would like to admit. Once I reached the street that I had originally intended I looked down at my feet. There, lounging peacefully were clumps of leaves. They were red and orange and yellow. I shook my feet forcefully. Most of the leaves spun away, dancing across the paving stones without partners. Some lay at my feet, as lifeless as if I had killed them. They were submerged in puddles of water, reflecting the colours like a spilt paint box. Curling, closing themselves up into small orange cylinders, like orange Wotsits drowning in the puddles underneath my feet. Of course, they didn’t all extract themselves from me. I carried stowaways under my boots, which I didn’t realise until I reached my house. I carefully peeled them from my soles and let them drift to the purple carpet. Becoming part of the garden in my bedroom.

That’s the end of today’s story, let me know if you liked this style or not and whether you like this style or what I usually write more!

Uncategorized, Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

Where’d I Leave It Wednesday – The Chair Conundrum

Happy Thursday bookish people! I know it’s a day late but I had so much work to do yesterday and I still wanted to post my story so I’m posting it today instead!

So imagine the scene. I was at the Art College, I was a student I wasn’t just there randomly I promise, and it was just a normal day. The lights were too bright and were creating shadows on the dried paint splattered tables everyone was working on. There was a group of students laying in various positions on the floor waiting for their prints to soak in the dye they were using.

I was sat at the table nearest the door with three other people. I was sketching drawings of buildings, that later I was told were done badly so that was nice to know, and I needed to get up and stretch my legs. I’m not joking, the chairs in that room were like sitting on a pile of sharp stones.

So I got up and walked around the room. I was using my cane and I felt like I was carrying a metal detector. The only thing I’d find using one of those in the Art College would be an abundance of paperclips. Anyway, when I got back I went to my table and I went to my chair and I leant my cane against the back of the chair.

Except it wasn’t a chair. It was a person.

And they were not impressed. I quickly grabbed my cane and apologized. Then I almost tripped over my own feet trying to get away as fast as I could. I went back to my table, my actual chair, and pretended nothing had happened.

That’s it for today’s story! I hope everyone enjoyed it.

Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

The Stick in the Stall

Hello bookish people! Happy ‘where’d I leave it Wednesday’ I hope everyone is having a good day. My day consists of doing a load of work for one of the assessments on my Masters course and not being allowed to go into the kitchen all day. This isn’t just a weird thing with my family that on certain days we aren’t allowed in the kitchen – it’s my birthday tomorrow and always the day before my Mum and my Sister make me a birthday cake so I’m banned from going anywhere that I could get a sneak peek of it.

So for today’s post I’m going to be telling you about the time that I left my cane in a public bathroom stall.. the first time.

It was a Monday, yes I remember the day this was a very embarrassing moment, and it was in between my two University classes. Sometimes I get free time between my classes but it isn’t enough time to get on a bus and go home because by the time I got there I’d have to get on another bus to come back. So I would go into the shopping centre and just walk around (and buy books in Waterstones but we will just ignore that because I literally have no self control) and obviously at some point I would end up having to use the bathroom.

It was all fine until I exited the stall, another woman was waiting – fine, she rushed in before I’d properly been able to move out of her way – a bit rude but fine, I washed my hands and left the bathroom. It is really weird that I can’t safely walk around very well without my cane but it takes me a very long time to realise I don’t have my cane. Oh goodness I’ve just had a thought, I probably still hold my arm out and move it side to side in front of me as if I’m carrying my cane even at times that I’ve left it somewhere… okay, that’s very likely. And very embarrassing.

Going back to the embarrassing moment I was originally talking about – I left the bathroom and got a few steps before I remembered that I’d left my cane in the stall, I lean it in the corner where the door hinges are because my cane laid down on the floor tends to stick out under the stall door and people have fallen over it before.. so I had to go back for it. It is very awkward having to suddenly turn around and walk back into a bathroom you have just left, and it’s even more awkward when you have to bypass all the available, open, people free stalls, and knock on the shut door of the only stall that is currently occupied.

The woman who rushed past me earlier was still in there and we had a very short conversation. I knocked, she said hello, I said I’m sorry but I think I left my white cane in this stall and I need it back as soon as possible. She, thankfully, said okay and started trying to get my cane to fit under the door. The gap under the door is not big enough for my cane, that is currently unfolded and over a metre long of thick white fibreglass. There’s probably a permanent dent on the bottom of that door now… anyway, she couldn’t get it under the door that way so I had to tell her through the door that she needed to collapse the cane first.

Explaining to a stranger, who is currently still using the toilet, that they need to fold your cane into three parts, tie the string around it and over the top and then slide it across the floor to me is very difficult. The cane itself is really stiff to make the parts fold up and it meant that some interesting noises were exiting the stall while she did what I said. I have talked to friends through bathroom stalls before, and my family, but this was my first time talking to a stranger through a bathroom stall. Since then this has happened multiple times but let’s just pretend that it hasn’t. So she folded it up and slid it out to me and I practically ran from that bathroom. I later saw her again but we both made sure that we avoided eye contact.

And that’s my story for today! I hope you all enjoyed it! Has anything embarrassing or anything like this ever happened to anyone else before?

Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

The Feet of Flavour Fest

Hello! Happy Wednesday everyone! This week feels like it’s going by super quickly, does anybody else feel that? It’s already halfway through the week – it’s been a productive one at least. On Monday I got to see my boyfriend again after way too long apart, we had a lovely picnic. And yesterday I finally got out of my reading slump and read two books – The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and Bridge of Souls by Victoria Schwab if you’re interested in my thoughts on these I’ll be putting up book reviews for them soon. They really helped get me out of my slump and now I’m desperate to just keep reading the next book on my TBR.

So today… is the second installment of Where’d I Leave It Wednesday, it’s only a short story for today, and the story for today happened around two years ago at the Plymouth Flavour Fest. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a big market in the middle of the town centre (I believe it’s a South West of England festival) where each of the stalls has a variety of food, drinks and even a few craft stalls. The food and drink stalls are often pretty generous with their free samples as well – I’m never going to complain about that!

I was very interested in some particular stalls (ahem *the stall with the jam sponges on it*) that had food that I have a particular weakness for (I really love jam, okay) on them. And I will admit to you – but you have to promise to never tell anyone – I might have had more than one free sample…. alright I had about three or four I admit it! I’d also persuaded my Mum to buy a couple to take home with us which I can tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed later. I promise I shared – I let the rest of my family have one to share between them.

Anyway, I was so distracted by the scent of homemade jam and sponge cake that had just come out of the oven (honestly, I can smell it now while I’m typing this) that I lose track of everything going on around me. It was only when I turned to walk away with my Mum that I noticed something was wrong. I couldn’t move my cane. It felt like it was properly lodged in something but I couldn’t see a single thing it could have been stuck in. I tried to just pull on it as hard as I could but it would not budge. I tried to jiggle it and shake it free from whatever it was stuck in but that didn’t work either. By this time my Mum was itching to get away from the crowds so she wasn’t very impressed with the hunt the cane scenario that was happening. But it was my Mum that finally figured out where it was stuck – a woman’s shoe.

A living human woman who was stood next to me and now had the end of my cane trapped down the back of her shoe. And she had noticed it. You might be asking what did you do about it? I’ll tell you. I pulled my cane really hard and straight up, freeing it from the back of her shoe and then I turned around and walked away. I wonder if she still remembers this day… I certainly do because there’s no way that my family are ever going to let me forget that I got my cane trapped in a woman’s shoe.

That’s it for today’s post! I hope you all enjoyed reading it!