Exeter always an experience!

Today I went to Exeter again to meet up with the pickle club members Jenny & Patty, Vicky and Courtney, Bridget and her son Keira if I spelt that right and the lovely Maria who has and will continue to join our meet ups, yay!

Exeter is always an experience when we go and it was extremely busy today because of the Lego show that was being held somewhere in the town centre and I didn’t know this until Maria mentioned it! Today was the first time Peter and I did the route from the bus station to M&S all by ourselves with no help from anyone else. Just as we were walking towards the road crossing a child ran straight in front of me, I didn’t realise so I nearly fell over him but managed to grab onto Peter so I didn’t fall on the little boy and then I needed to find somewhere for Peter to get busy so I found a bit of grass by a building for him and I was trying to remember how to get myself back on track to our normal route but it was fine Peter found everything perfectly, weaved me in and through the crowds so I didn’t really notice the crowds to be fair trying to focus on Peter. He is a champion when it’s busy just gets me through somehow without brushing me past anything or anyone. We got to M&S were Vicky and Courtney were waiting and we chatted to them for a while whilst we waited for Jenny, Keira and Bridget to come. Once they all arrived we decided to go in whilst Jenny went back and did a rewind with Patty as she had done something wrong but got it right second time round. We went in, went in via the wrong door of the cafe so went back out and found the right entrance, we then got our drinks and went to sit down for a good chit chat before taking Jenny to sainsburys in the guildhall shopping centre for her stint of fundraising. Patty knew where she was going then, clever girl whilst all Peter and Courtney wanted to do was go to Wilkinsons lol! On the way out Peter literally dive bombed in there lol! We then made our way back to the bus station so we could get the bus home, obviously just as I got on the bus I heard a click sound and then loosening around my top area and typically my bra had come undone. Tried to put it back together but didn’t manage it so kind of had to leave it till I got home lol!

Exeter is always a good challenge, Peter loves the vibrancy and so do I. One beautiful city. Until next time…

Finished work/volunteering at WESC

Since my last post I’ve finished work for the summer so don’t go back till 22nd August so Saturday & Sunday I rested and just did the usual, had 2 of my sisters over for the weekend which was nice and then on Monday as usual we walked the dogs, I went to Lidl for mum and then we went to Exeter to pick up my sister and I went into whitestuff as had ordered something but unfortunately it didn’t fit! So had to be returned, I then went to the Apple Store to play with the Apple Watch as thinking of getting on, was very impressed with the demonstration but I Also on the other hand think do I need it. In a lot of ways it could make life a lot easier but… Still undecided.

Yesterday I walked into town via the road route with Peter and he did very well even though he doesn’t like that route so much! He’s a funny dog with the routes he likes and dislikes lol! We visited Sharon in WESC charity shop who was on her own so I asked her if she needed any help over the next few weeks so I helped her today, am doing tomorrow and possibly Friday. She’s lovely and I enjoy working with her, another VI volunteer was Also in today till 12:45 so I helped her out whilst Sharon sorted out the shop as Sharon seems to trust me somehow to teach and be in charge lol! She said I’m the best thing that Happened to that shop since it opened and she feels honoured to have Peter and I! Peter loves it in there and is a good boy and brings customers in which is what we want, I learn new skills, meet lots of different people and generally enjoy working there. I need to ring the donkey sanctuary to ask if they need any help too. No rest hey lol!

Folk festival week is starting on Friday so going to get rather busy in Sidmouth over the next week as its a very popular event which apparently I was told by a customer today since 1954! Will be an interesting week. Will let you know what I think when it’s over lol!

Peter’s recall issue and Texan’s ball giving up is getting much better thanks to my training, I wasn’t going to give up and accept they can’t change because they can do it. Sometimes Peter is still a little stubborn but if I blow the whistle five times rather than the usual 3 then he normally comes and if I have a squeaky ball handy for reward approved by Karen.

Im on a diet again lol! Trying to achieve 15,000 steps in a day whilst I’m off, not quite figured out how I’m going to do it whilst I’m working but will figure out a way when it comes to it, I will either eat lunch and not eat cake or eat cake and not eat lunch. Last 3 days I’ve not eaten lunch as such, Monday and yesterday I had nothing and today I had a nectarine and some fruit juice and I haven’t felt so hungry but as long as it’s not bread I think I shall lose more, I’ve never quite got why I haven’t lost anything since moving here since I do a lot more exercise and have only had maximum of 3 hot chocolates since I moved here, my body hAs obviously decided against me losing weight so cutting out bread during the week as had results last time and on weekends I will eat as normal but not bad eating just what we normally have for breakfast etc and so at least I can enjoy some bread lol as I do miss it and my stomach definitely misses it lol! We will see if any results come of this, doing the exercise bike as well and some stomach muscle strengthening exercises like I have been doing for ages but no results to hopefully get a flatter tummy! I can only try and if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t but at least I’m trying to keep myself fit, I’m certainly feeling it in the morning as having difficulty getting out of bed as my muscles are complaining but we shall keep going and they just have to deal with it lol!

 

 

Lyme Regis/Texan’s first swim/Off kerbs

On Sunday mum, dad, sister and I went to Lyme Regis for a few hours as it is something different and is a lovely town. My sister took Joey, I took Peter but the other 2 stayed at home. In the morning we had taken the dogs for a walk and Texan was playing with his ball and I was throwing it for him in the sea to cool him down but my sister chucked it with her chuck it at one point and it went a bit far so we didn’t think Texan would go for it as he has never swam before But he just went for it! We were amazed! Just unfortunately later on in the evening he was really distressed and clearly in pain and we weren’t sure what was wrong but he seems to have done a bit much and got limber tail syndrome poor boy, he’s on the mend slowly as he can wag his tail now but he’s still not right poor boy he’s not athletic like Peter lol! 

Lyme Regis with Peter was a different and quite a nightmare with Mr Pickle Peter, he was so excited he was pulling me, not behaving, not concentrating and not listening to me but it was my fault for forgetting the gentle leader because that does make him behave better but hey ho all was forgiven shortly afterwards when he looked at me dolefully. I bought some signs like I’d rather be walking my flat coat retriever and I bought a lovely door hanger with Lyme Regis high street on it and some presents for friends. 

Yesterday as it was too hot to do much we just went to Lidl to get some stuff for mum and Peter was a good boy and he even made a fab decision about an obstruction on the path going from Lidl round to the bakery. It was what I think were road works and some things on the floor and people working but it wasn’t noisy so I have a feeling they were painting as it did smell funny. We went half way round this and Peter stopped so I said good boy find the way, I heard someone say sorry but not sure why but I’m guessing it was because there was something in our path so I told Peter to find the way again and thought he would go straight but instead he went to the kerb between 2 cars as he obviously thought that was a bigger gap and he didn’t bump me into the cars and he stayed close to the left and found the pavement again perfectly so big praises for my boy on that one! 

My photos were rejected by the website as apparently my camera not good enough ūüė¶ 

And I think it’s time I did some crazy fundraising for guide dogs again as its two years nearly that I did Snowdon so any ideas let me know. So far I’ve thought of skydive as my friend is doing one in September and the other is zip world longest zip wire. 

First week at work/flies

My first week at work is now over even though I am not working today or tomorrow but back in wednesday, thursday and friday this week so they are easing me in gently. I have nearly completed all the training necessary as at least I can mostly do that bit myself since I have done it before and its accessible. The paperwork side is a bit of a problem but we are muddling through together until my desktop magnifier comes, which hopefully will be very soon.

My work colleagues are all very lovely, I have a lovely office of my own so Peter can really be himself and have a bit of freedom, I have some very noisy work colleagues who I can hear munching on the bird feeder just outside my office window which overlooks grass and trees and woodland and since I started on Tuesday I have seen Mr Pea the Peacock on two days he has probably been there more often but I hadn’t heard him and he made me jump on Friday when he suddenly bellowed at the top of his voice, I thought a poor cat was in trouble! Peter thinks its all great fun, he has a buddy called Hugo who is a working cocker spaniel who is accompanying his owner who is the lady who is training me so they enjoy each others company and peter makes himself at home and lies down wherever he wants really normally by my feet or behind me or sometimes by the door on under the table but not on his mat lol! Typical Peter!

On Saturday Peter and I went to meet up with Vicky & Jenny and their Guide Dogs Courtney and Patty, we were talking for nearly 3 hours lol! Didn’t realise the time which meant we had a good time, the dogs were really good and we did have some funny conversations including a lady who told Vicky & I we don’t look as if we need guide dogs so we told her we would look it if we didn’t have them fumbling, tumbling and bashing into things with our heads down and a gentleman who asked us 3 in the lift again but on the way down whether the way behind him was clear, we said yes but then I said “I think so but don’t trust us blindies” bless him he said he was ever so sorry, I am not sure he knew what to say, so I told him not to worry and we were only joking so he began to laugh and told us to have a good day. Vicky met us at the bus stop this time again and we made our way through the crowds Vicky going mad every so often at people lol it certainly is an experience in exeter but I love the place and Peter loves it because its busy! We did the way back on our own with Jenny’s instructions but we went a different way back thanks to Peter but we ended up at the bus station and that’s all that matters! My very clever boy!

Flies, Flies, Flies everywhere and they are really beginning to get on my nerves! On saturday morning I was rudely awoken by the most annoying fly at around 4:30am in the morning, I was not best pleased as I need my sleep but anyway I had to open both my curtains, open the windows and try to catch fly which wasn’t going to be easy since I couldn’t see where the thing was! In the end I gave up, put a shoe by my bed and tried to go back to sleep but it didn’t work because it was light now due to the windows and curtains being open and because this fly wouldn’t shut up so I gave up on falling asleep, Peter was annoyed too and tried to catch it but it didn’t work and it didn’t go out the window! I was awake right through till morning because there was nothing I could do so decided to get up in the end, I killed something at 7:45am but not sure if it was that fly as there seemed to be several in my room at that point, I was worried for my guinea pig that he would get fly strike but I cleaned his cage out and he seems ok thank goodness. Then on Sunday we went blueberry picking and unfortunately I got bitten by a horsefly and didn’t realise till it started itching! I thought it was fine because it was ok in the evening but this morning i woke up and that bit of my arm is twice the size, it really must have sucked me this time :(. Have put on antihistamine cream etc but it hasn’t gone down yet but I am sure it will in its own time but its incredibly itchy and I am so trying not to aggravate it. And this morning as well I woke up to another blooming fly but fortunately this one was slightly more considerate and kept a bit more quiet than the first one and I think it went out the window after a while thank goodness but really flies are not in my good books at the moment so they all better stay away otherwise!!!!

Today I have been trying to work out how I can sell my photos online and make some money out of them as people have said to me my photos are really good and I have to do something with them so I am trying, just waiting for their approval from this website. Tomorrow I am off again before going back to work on wednesday.

Work/Meet up

As most of you know I had my first day at work yesterday, it was very strange having a bit of a routine again and I was nervous but was made to feel at ease by everyone I did meet albeit it’s not many as a lot are on leave at the moment due to summer holidays starting. I have kind of learnt what I will be doing but I haven’t got my desktop magnifier yet so it is a bit difficult to read the paperwork but the computer is sorted, I have a log in and my ID card is being done tomorrow so then I won’t any longer be a visitor but a fully fledged member of staff, yay!

This afternoon I met up with Julia from Milton Keynes, Helen and Geoff who live in Dorset and for the first time and definitely won’t be the last Maria & her husband Rob and the gorgeous dogs all who had a great time running along Jacobs Ladder beach and in the sea! After talking to Maria & Rob and how they didn’t realise I had Mild Cerebral Palsy, it made me realise how far I have actually come. I Was in a¬†wheelchair 11-12 years ago, doesn’t time go fast! I slowly regained strength in the bad leg and then once I had come out of the wheelchair about a year later, it was crutches and physio you name it I had it all and of course in the end they put it down to my Cerebral Palsy. Then it was 10 years this March just gone that I was registered blind so with all that happened back then to how I am now that nobody can tell that I have disabilities,¬†it makes me happy because they see me for being me. It wasn’t an easy ride and I wanted to give up many times but I was determined I wanted out of that wheelchair and I was determined I wasn’t going to let my registration of being blind get to me because there’s so much more to life.

My guide dogs have helped me in more ways than one, not just the guiding side but they have helped me build up my mobility and stamina and the strength in my arm muscles lol! And the confidence they have given me is amazing and to them I will be forever grateful. I have met wonderful people through these different challenges and now my friend is going through similar but the other way around, she sees me and my determination and that I got out of my wheelchair and she wants the same. It doesn’t always happen and it may not happen to her but she’s come a long way already in the time that she was in a wheelchair for a different reason to now not relying on it so much and also with her sight loss, just being able to help and be there for her giving her encouragement she needs I hope she will battle through this. It was extra hard leaving her behind knowing I am the only friend she used to see when I was in MK and now she doesn’t leave the house, makes me sad and I just hope she won’t go backwards now that I’m not there.

Yes our disabilities will never go away and sometimes mine are worse than other times, when you have more pain or at the end of the day I feel stiff and in pain and today more than normal with the things I did but I can’t let it stop me from enjoying life and I’m not going to let it stop me from doing things I want to do. Yes there are certain things I need help with and yes we have limitations but it’s also good to push the boundaries sometimes, yes you will probably pay for it but I believe it is all worth it, everyone knows their limitations whether it be being scared of heights or scared of water, whatever it may be everyone has their reasons but pushing the comfort zone sometimes is a good thing.

I did Snowdon nearly 2 years ago now and that was an absolute killer but I’m glad I did it when I did because I don’t know if I could do it now, seeing people who are doing it or going to do it makes me kind of think should I do it again but the pain I experienced days afterwards was honestly something I would rather not experience again even though saying that I went on a bike last year in Cornwall whilst on holiday and yes it was a bit of a disaster and after 21 miles the pain was probably worse than Snowdon and I couldn’t walk for days it was horrendous and it was the scariest thing I’ve ever done and why I did I do not know but that I am never doing again lol!

Looking back over all these things makes you realise the journey you’ve taken and how far you have come, the obstacles you’ve overcome and that’s good because we do forget as time whiles away and we think we are still in the same place we were 5 years ago but actually we are not. Even if I look back over the 3 months I have been here in Devon and over the last 6 months of this year, what I’ve done is something to look back on and be proud of but that’s something for another day.

Today brought back memories when talking to Maria and Rob and that was definitely a good thing! It was lovely seeing everyone and catching up with all that is happening all whilst the dogs had an awesome time playing on the beach ūüôā Bliss

 

 

 

Volunteering at Donkey Sanctuary

Today after church Peter and I were to do some volunteering at the donkey sanctuary however mum had forgotten but due fully reminded her so instead of going home they took us straight there. We arrived about 11:15 and spoke to the gentleman who was standing there and went to the ladies before starting my shift. How bad of me but I can’t remember his name but all I know is he had a dog called Barney, a little cavalier who wasn’t really intrigued with Peter lol! Anyway he stayed a while not with Barney, we met Barney later in the day. I chatted to him and found out how long he had worked for the donkey sanctuary, very interesting man, something lovely about him. He also said that normally if he sees a guide dog they are lab X retrievers but that this week he had seen 2 Flattie X Goldie guide dogs and now with Peter 3 lol so I knew immediately who they were lol, we Flattie guide dog owners can’t hide anywhere hehe!

After a while he left to check on his classic car because there was a car show and he had his car there or not his but a friend’s which he was borrowing so he was making sure no one had stolen it, he then came back for a bit and we spoke some moor before he had to go and cover the ladies in the visitor centre so they could have lunch.

Throughout the day we met many kinds of people from all over the country and even a couple from Sweden! I answered lots of questions and directed people not always in the right direction I figured out at the end lol! But my excuse is I can’t read a map lol! There were also hundreds of dogs of all different shapes and sizes and Peter had to say hello to near enough all of them who bypassed him! He was tired in the end so went to sleep in the log cabin like a good boy but he got loads of fuss, cuddles and told how handsome he was many times. We met a lady who used to puppy walk but both of her puppies failed for various reasons so they kept them both Yulin and Ash, Yulin being 13 1/2 and doing really well. We also met the most adorable Patterjack (Patterdale/Jack Russell cross) called Betsy who was adorable and into everything, such a confident little girl who loved Peter and was so good with their two little girls. Their was also a baby red and white border collie but I didn’t get to say hello unfortunately as was really busy. The car show definitely brought people into the sanctuary which is really good.

We got picked up at 2:30pm and we went straight for a walk with the dogs and then that was me crashed for the day apart from making mum and dad coffee and cake and feeding the dogs and my Guinea pig.

Time to go to bed now before tomorrow where Peter and I will be meeting up with the 2 Flattie X’s and their lovely owners for some fun on the beach so watch out for the photos tomorrow :).

 

Last few days/days to come

On Wednesday it was mum’s birthday so we decided to visit Castle Drogo which is somewhere in Devon but not quite sure where, another national trust property. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go at first but decided to join in. It was set in lovely grounds but the castle was being worked on so it wasn’t looking as beautiful with all the scaffolding surrounding it and it didn’t have much you could look at either. Again like museums I don’t really enjoy national trust properties because you can’t touch anything and they are normally really dark as well which makes visibility for me worse but I can understand why your not allowed, I also always feel as well that I have to be so careful because I don’t want to walk into something but fortunately Peter was very good and did a marvellous job and he loved the bit when we went into watch a to screen which was projected on the ceiling and they had beanbags on the floor, I sat in a chair because I probably wouldn’t have gotten off the beanbag and I didn’t realise they were there but my sister came in after and sat on a beanbag and Peter was so excited to go and join her so I let him and they snuggled up together watching whatever was on the projector. Once we had finished the house we did the gardens which were lovely and then it was getting late so we went home and mum didn’t fancy going out so we had pizza for dinner. 

Thursday morning my GDMI came out to see Peter free running and Texan because he doesn’t give up toys willingly when he gets it on a walk because the others are too quick, she ended up wanting to leave her job because she couldn’t sort my two out! Lol bless her, I’m sorry Karen, we do love you! Peter is a lost cause bless my boy, just hoping if I keep working on recall and finding a treat he really likes which has been impossible so far because Karen suggested anchovy paste so I rushed out to get some on Tuesday evening even though I was shattered and my legs had had enough and it turns out my boys aren’t even interested in the slightest! Lol typically my boys have to be the naughty ones let alone our pet dogs are very good. Dear oh dear embarrassing but I will get Peter to listen to me one day hopefully and Texan I won’t worry about bless him Karen says just let him carry the toy until we get to the car or home as that’s all he wants to do. Peter will be Peter and everything else is far more interesting but I will get there with him it will just take harder work with my little monkey! Mum had friends round in the afternoon so it was lovely to see them, the girls all grown up. I spent most of the time in my room with the dogs apart from rushing to get the laundry in with help which was nice. 

Then yesterday I walked into town to meet friends for coffee but I was a bit late so was worried I missed them and I had no signal so nothing was coming through but fortunately they came shortly after 11. We had a good chat and I got told some very funny stories about naughty puppies lol! Was lovely seeing Jenny and gorgeous Patty again and Peter loved his cuddles with Jenny and was getting slightly over exuberant at times silly boy! But most of the time they were very very good and we had a good natter and hope to do it again next month. Also bypassing us were Lesley and Rob with their Flattie crosses as we were having a drink so chatted to them for a bit which was nice and I’m meeting them on Monday for a beach run for the boys at Jacobs ladder as the tide will be out hopefully so there will be more sand and not so many pesky pebbles to walk on! We then walked back and I gave Peter a free run for being a good boy working through the byes even when balls were being thrown and dogs were coming up to him etc, spoke to some lovely people and their dogs, the harness and lead seem to instigate conversations which is good but it means you don’t get very far. 

We then got home, I baked the cake and we waited for Helen and Geoff to come round for tea and cake and chat so that was lovely seeing them and will see them again on Wednesday when another friend of ours comes down from MK. We will have dinner with them I think, will be nice to try out one of the restaurants or pubs here in Sidmouth as only been to two restaurants but no pubs. 

Today not done much really Apart from baking and cooking, tomorrow I will be going to church and then going to help out at donkey sanctuary for a few hours and then Monday as I said earlier gonna be 3 Flatties on the beach so Sidmouth watch out lol! And then Tuesday I finally start job number 2! Excited and nervous now!