The pine forest Mhlambanyatsi

I’ve been asked to share via my blog more of the scenery and animals I saw on my holiday to Swaziland, of course I’m jumping at the chance to relive memories of that once in lifetime never to be forgotten holiday! 

Swaziland is an amazing little kingdom with the nicest, sweetest and loveliest people around, they care so much for their little kingdom and the enthusiasm they show puts a smile on anyone’s face! 

On our way to Swaziland we stopped off at a service station and this was the most amazing service station I have ever come across. It had a watering hole which we could at and there was a huge expanse of green space and that time I was told and thanks to my camera I know there were buffalo, ostriches and Emu’s but no rhinos first time round. That was our first taste of Africa! 

On the first day when we arrived in Swaziland at our hotel for 2 nights we were in our room and I could hear horses neighing and the lady I shared with told me a horse was riding around the grounds at the bottom of the hotel. 

We then went for a walk in the wooded pine forest just outside the hotel, it was getting dark but there was something tranquil about that forest, it was quiet, we didn’t see or hear any animals and we were told not many animals like this kind of forest. There were however the most vibrantly coloured flowers which were so beautiful and bright and they were made with perfection (pictures will be added). One was a brilliant purple or violet whichever you wish to use, it was a pretty flat flower and the other was kind of like a hanging Lamp shade and it’s a red and yellow and again just amazing and the last one aaa quite a thin flower pearl white and had thin petals, to think these flowers are part of our wonderful creation amazes me, no Big Bang can create something so amazing! 

Even the pine trees in the forest were beautiful but in a different kind of way and just so very different. The forest felt eery and so quiet apart from the odd car. The hotel is an amazing little place and in really lovely surroundings but it’s gets even better as the holiday goes on! Next blog tomorrow
A green leafed background with a twig diagonally across the top right of the picture and in the centre is the beautiful violet flowers fully open. 

The beautiful red and yellow lampshade flower the colours run through like veins and a blurred background 

A collection of 3 white flowers with single petals against a blurred background 

A single emu looking to the camera standing on grass with stones in front of his feet 

A strutting ostrich across the grass with buffalo in 6 buffalo in the background and in the forefront is a tiny bit of the watering hole 

A herd of buffalo can’t count eating the grass 


Tarmac in front of A electric fence and behind is the watering hole with buffalo and ostrich in the background 

Creation is amazing 

Just watched a program about Autumn and how different animals get ready for winter, the  great lengths they go to survive and the obstacles they have to try and overcome.

The program started with a cute chipmunk stuffing as many acorns in its mouth as possible and taking them to a secret hiding place before it heads out again for more! In the meantime another chipmunk is stealing acorns from the secret hole just as the first chipmunk returns and realises all his acorns are gone! They have a fight before mr chipmunk goes back to the job in hand. They are such cute creatures and the amount they can stuff in their mouth is amazing and really funny.

We then watched beavers who are the only animals who can gnaw through a whole tree! And then take the branches to a secret place under the water in prep for winter, their enemy is the moose but the beaver is vicious and splashes the moose with water to make it go away. The baby guillemots who have to jump off a high cliff at 3 weeks old! How any survive is beyond me but at least some of their fathers go with them to make sure they make it whilst others unfortunately left to their own devices fall into the path of a prying fox.

Bears catching the salmon at the top of a waterfall and the mother with 3 babies having to wait till the males are finished before having her turn. 500 million geese fly 3000 miles to the Gulf of Mexico and a weird beetle who chucks other beetles off a tree mates with the female who isn’t really interested before chucking her off the tree too lol! How nasty is that. And lastly the wonderful Impala who unfortunately was had by 2 cheetah siblings in South Africa, brings back my wonderful memories of Swaziland!

I find creation fascinating, God created an amazing world, he definitely had a sense of humour when creating certain animals and just the wonderful seasons and what they mean for various animals is Incredible and I certainly forget sometimes what an amazing world we live in surrounded by such amazing animals. I have to say I was very fortunate seeing some of the world’s most amazing and majestic animals in the kingdom of Swaziland and spending time with the people who safeguard these animals. Thank you to big game parks for protecting Swaziland’s wildlife! Keep up the good work 🙂

Sponsor a child 

Have you ever thought about sponsoring a child? 

In church this morning we had a talk and a video shown to us about sponsoring a child for compassion and there was a guy on the video who when he was younger he had a sponsor and he was sharing the difference it made to him and how he would look forward to receiving letters from his sponsor and he says his life would be totally different had he not had a sponsor, he was able to have an education, the community was helped and he was able to go to uni and get a business degree and it’s all thanks to his sponsor.

I’m not quite sure what made me sponsor a child but I think it was after I had my job interview with world vision, I certainly remember the evening I did it and remember asking God as I was on the world vision website which child he wanted me to sponsor! I was going through all the children who needed sponsorship and suddenly I got a strong feeling inside as I flicked over to a little 4 year old girl called Milena, at first I thought is this the one but somehow God made it clear so I sponsored her and still do today, Milena is now 6 and I’m proud to sponsor and support her and her community in Armenia, for £25 a month I can make a difference to not just Milena but the whole community giving them a future they wouldn’t otherwise have. It is certainly a worthwhile thing to do and I enjoy sending her birthday and Christmas cards and letters in between. I enjoy following her progress, continuing to see her grow and flourish. 

So if you are thinking of sponsoring a child and you are in a position to do so I would definitely recommend, these children and communities need our help and it’s thanks to charities like world vision and compassion uk that these children have any hope at all. 

Carnivals

Carnivals I’ve always thought are a daytime thing where they go through a bit of a town before ending up in a field full of stalls either selling things or collecting money for various causes. Sidmouth however has changed my view on carnivals because I have to say it was a lovely procession. It happened in the dark so every float was lit up apart from one whose unfortunately broke and I for one with the help of my camera was able to see more of what was going on because I didn’t have to focus on a big picture just a little part which had a light albeit some where very bright. Thankfully the weather stayed dry but my legs certainly didn’t like standing still for half an hour so I had to keep moving them because they were painful and for some reason when my legs are aching I get an itch so I had to keep bending down of moving on the spot to try and get rid of it and to stop my legs from getting too stiff lol people must have thought I was odd but hey ho.

Today was a busy day in General for me with having gone to otter nurseries this morning to have a look, then took the dogs for a walk and then helped in the charity shop for a little while before coming home to then go back out to the carnival! No rest for the wicked as the saying goes lol!

It was a good procession, everybody worked so hard on their floats so it was definitely worth going to watch! It’s now raining and I’m tucked up in bed ready for some sleep. Night night

 

pics show various floats with bright blue or multicoloured lights and a single dressed up smiling star and the lady one is the float with no lights on as its broken.

My take on being called ‘inspirational’

Ever since I became a Guide dog owner nearly 8 years ago now I’ve dealt with all kinds of different reactions from people good and bad and even when I spent time in a wheelchair when I was 15 and I guess it comes with being disabled or simply just different. People have different views and perceptions about people with disabilities and I find it quite interesting, sometimes frustrating and intriguing how people come to have these reactions. One of the main reactions is “you’re an inspiration”. 

A lot of disabled people find this patronising and I used to think why on earth am I an inspiration, I’m just living the life I was given but now I’ve come to the conclusion that’s it’s not a bad thing and if I inspire one person to do something or achieve something that they thought they couldn’t or even just getting them to realise that they may be struggling with the slightest thing and I walk past with my dog and they say “you’re an inspiration”, they may just need that little bit of encouragement. I believe whoever we meet on a daily basis we are meant to cross paths. I say to my friends who deal with and have overcome challenges that they are an inspiration because for instance 2 of my friends and I’m sure they both won’t mind me saying have both gone from having some sight to having nothing at all and I see them both as an inspiration for having had the strength to get through that particular challenge because to be perfectly honest I don’t know if I could. Everyone has challenges to deal with and for the public to see someone in a worse situation to themselves just walking down the street with an assistance dog or shopping but happen to be in a wheelchair or on crutches, are deaf or limited mobility will encourage some people. 

When we talk to people they are interested and just want to know more, sometimes conversations get to the point where i open up and feel able to tell them about my disabilities and that can then create this reaction. When I tell people I have CP they can’t believe it, I tell them I was in a wheelchair for a while, I tell them how I came to get a guide dog if they want to know and that inspires them. Some people can’t believe young people can be disabled, I had one lady say “your too young to be blind” I said it can happen to anyone at any point in life and that was her educated, she felt sympathy for me, I don’t want that and I don’t need it, empathy fine but I don’t need feeling sorry for but inspiring people is encouraging them. 

I don’t necessarily see myself as an inspiration but I know people do see me as an inspiration, what makes them say or think that word is not for me to judge, if I inspire them in some way then that’s absolutely fine and I certainly take it as a compliment. 

Watching the Paralympics there were ladies with CP running & cycling, VIs swimming and disabled equestrians and to me they are inspirational and they have inspired me to get into a sport I have always loved but never been able to progress (Horse riding) so they have encouraged me to do something because I thought if they can do it what’s my excuse. Yes we can’t do everything, we all have limitations which we need to realise and nobody must ever feel bad for not feeling able to do something or simply not being able to because we are all different and we all have different motivations, interests and hobbies. 

Everyone at times will feel negative, when I had to give up VI tennis because it was too much on my muscles and joints I felt angry and upset at myself and I felt like I had failed but now I think I tried it, it wasn’t for me and I then tried to find something else I could do and when adaptive skiing was opened up I took up the opportunity and with the help of my fabulous ski instructor I’ve succeeded, again it hasn’t been easy but it’s something I enjoy. I can’t do it whilst in Devon because there isn’t the opportunity here so now I really hope to succeed in horse riding. 

Now again some people think quotes like this one: “The only disability in life is a negative attitude” are aimed at them. The way I look at it is: Nobody can do anything about their personal limitations but everyone can change their attitude so for instance trying to see the positives in every situation. Of course we all have down days where we feel we’ve had enough and a negative attitude gets the better of us and that’s fine but maybe we need to especially on days like this when we feel hopeless, set ourselves a challenge to just find one positive thing about that day, it will make us feel that little bit happier. I don’t believe anything in life is possible, within reason or a person’s capabilities but I don’t believe in can’t and a “can do attitude” is very important because we will achieve what we want to if we say I CAN and do it :). 

Quote says: “I am blind and have Cerebral Palsy and I can’t do anything about either. Therefore, I always focus on my realistic capabilities, work hard, maintain a positive attitude, and never give up. 

If you’ll do the same you’ll find that anything in life is possible. I believe the only disability any of us have in life is a negative attitude”. HK DERRYBERRY 

#hashtags

You might wonder why I’m writing a blog about #hashtags but I must!

People including myself know very little about # and what they mean especially in a blog and now I know how they work I had to teach and help someone else understand how to # to get more likes and more people to read their blog.

It’s a hard thing for some people to grasp but now for me it’s pretty simple.

So in the categories and tags tab on the right of the WordPress webpage (it’s slightly different via the app) is where you put in any tag you want relating to your blog, not sure what categories mean yet but I shall find out soon.

So for instance one of my posts was about tweezers so I #tweezers and I #prezzo as that’s where we had the conversation  along with some others.

My friend’s blog is about a puppy so forgot to tell her this even though she did do # but she could have #puppy, you can hashtag whatever you want to even #whatever which she was going to do! It is a fave word of mine!

So guys it’s pretty simple just get #hashtagging and see your blog grow in followers and likes 🙂 did I forget anything who knows lol!

Sorry it’s been too long!

I’m really not good at this blogging thing at the minute and every day I’ve been reading someone else’s giggling and thinking they are doing well I must do a blog but then I never get round to it! I’m either too tired, can’t be bothered or busy lol! Anyway today I thought I must because things have happened over the last few weeks which I should have blogged about but didn’t so anyway here goes:

Over the bank holiday weekend Peter and I did a first trip to Southampton/Portsmouth all on our own to meet people we’ve never met before and to see those we have met before again, to visit Peter’s puppy walkers and to support a friend abseil down the Spinnnaker Tower in Portsmouth to raise money for guide dogs. The journey down went smoothly, slight issue at Salisbury because the assistance decided to pick up an unbooked assistance rather than me who had booked but thank goodness I had a lovely couple who asked if I needed help getting off the train and helped me find my next train to then find the assistant who apologised and said he would get me on this next train which he due fully did bless him so all was forgiven and I thanked the couple for all they did to help me. I then got off at Southampton and was met by a lovely lady who took me to a taxi who had no problems taking us to the premier inn, in fact he was lovely. Got to the premier inn, checked in and the guy helped us to our room where we made ourselves at home before the others arrived at the hotel. I fed Peter, had a shower and changed clothes just in time when my phone went off and the Girls had text to say they had arrived in reception and where coming upstairs. I thought to myself what  they going to be like and then I get a knock on the door and I open it and in they come with a bit of excitement from the dogs and we say hello to each other and how nice it was to finally meet etc and we got on straight away. Once they had unpacked, fed the dogs and freshened up we went for dinner and had a good chat together about all kinds, lots of giggles about their journey and how disorganised they are etc! Then Saturday we went to Southampton common to free run the dogs and meet some of the Southampton crew for lunch which was lovely and also a lady, her husband and son came from Kent and a lady from London came too so that was lovely and we all had a good time before heading out to the common again for the dogs to have another run before heading back to the Hotel. Then Sunday we took a taxi to Portsmouth to watch our friend do her abseil and then go for lunch afterwards, my 2 friends were like no we don’t need our receipts so I decided I wanted one and they burst out laughing and I was thinking what’s so funny so after that every time we went somewhere they asked for a receipt and passed it to me calling me the book keeper and accountant lol even though I’m not good at maths! lol anyway we spent ages in Portsmouth, had dinner before heading back to Southampton as we had to be up in the morning early to take the dogs for a run before the long train journeys back home and we actually did it and in good time. Had such a lovely weekend, met some wonderful people and enjoyed every moment 🙂 heres to the next adventure whatever that will be!

Then this week Monday was the first day of term and it was manic at work so I was stressing myself out but fortunately the lady who trained me came to my rescue on Tuesday and stayed for 2 days to help out and now I feel more able to deal with things and know more what I’m meant to do, it’s all clicking into place now thank goodness! Peter’s loved it getting all the fuss and attention from students in my office but he’s been a good boy and settled down when it’s quiet it’s just all so exciting for him when people come in to see us lol!

Anyway I feel another blog coming on about hashtags because someone doesn’t understand lol! I wonder who that might be…