Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Gary walk for greyhounds written by Gary Lewis

On my travels....

Earlier on this year I was made aware that Greyhound Rescue Wales was going to have a Sponsored Walk along the Taff Trail. The Taff Trail being a 55 mile (89 km) walk starting in Brecon, a quaint market town in South Powys, then traverses to Talybont -on-Usk, across part of the Brecon Beacons, specifically walking along the Talybont Reservoir, Merthyr Tydfil, AberfanAbercynon, Pontypridd, Nantgarw,Taffs Well before arriving in Cardiff, walking through Sophia Gardens and Bute Park, past the Millennium Stadium andfinally ending in Cardiff Bay.

Gary will be taking part in this walk over a weekend in June, Friday will be the longest walk, and will consist of some 22 miles from Brecon to Merthyr Tydfil. The Saturday, will be a shorter walk, from Merthyr down to Nantgarw, then on the Sunday, the walk will consist of walking from Nantgarwdown to Cardiff Bay, where I am hoping to pick up my own Greyhound "Jolene" in Bute Park, before walking the final two miles to Cardiff Bay, as part of the Great British Greyhound Walk.

More about Greyhound Rescue Wales.

Greyhound Rescue Wales is the longest established greyhound charity in Wales and the only all Wales charity dedicated to rescuing and re-homing greyhounds and lurchers. GRW is a charitable company limited by guarantee, company number08411721, and was established in this new form on 2nd June 2013.

Our dogs are given to us directly by their owners or we take them in as strays after they have been abandoned. Our dogs receive all the loving care and veterinary treatment they need for as long as they are with us. All are also neutered, vaccinated, wormed and micro-chipped.

Greyhound Rescue Wales campaigns ceaselessly to spread the message that greyhounds and lurchers make wonderful pets. We are currently working with key partners to make sure that all greyhounds in Wales receive protection in law in the future. Greyhound Rescue Wales is an entirely voluntary organisation so all the funds we raise are put to good use with the lowest possible overheads.

Greyhound Rescue Wales began in 1993 with a small group of people trying to rescue greyhounds and lurchers in the Swansea area. Over the next few years the organisation grew quickly and attracted support from many parts of Wales. Greyhound Rescue Wales became a registered charity in 1996 when it became able to cover the whole of Wales. 

GRW work is focused on rescuing and re-homing greyhounds and lurchersThey also aim to raise awareness that greyhounds make wonderful pets and to achieve proper legislation to protect racing greyhounds in Wales. Over 1,800 greyhounds and lurchers have since been found permanent homes.

Please sponsor me with this event and help raise Pounds (Dollars or Euros) for Hounds!

Written by Gary Lewis, please find below his fundraising link for this walk 


Friday, 27 February 2015

Turning 30!

On Wednesday the 18th February my birthday celebrations started with my lovely family. Unfortunately not everyone could attend but those that did made me smile. Myself, my dad, aunty pol, uncle Charlie and my cousins Chris all went for a meal at my favourite pub the swan at Fairfield. I had a lovely scampi and chips with a few drinks! It was so lovely to spend time with my family that I don't often get to see as we all have busy lives so was really nice. We had a good catch up eat and drink, it was very refreshing and a good start to the weekend.

On Thursday the 19th February I was excited to get my nails done ready for my weekend. You can see below my birthday nails.

Then Friday the 20th February came and I was up really early to get my hair done. I went to the hairdressers at 9.30am to get my hair washed and curled and ready for my evening. I was there for a whole hour! Although it's always nice to talk a hairdresser as I was getting my hair done! 

Now I was running slightly late and hadn't even packed! So when I got home I think I best get packed and ready for Manchester! My cousin and uncle arrived at 12 and finished my packing and off we went to Manchester! We was a little bit early but as the NEC had a show on it's best to go early than get stuck in loads of traffic! We made it to our train and off we went to Manchester hurray!

We checked in at the Lowry (my favourite hotel in Manchester) and was surprised to find a beautiful card and cake from the hotel wishing me a happy 30th birthday I was very touched 

So next we had some lovely food, I love club sandwiches at the moment so I couldn't wait to tuck in! After this I went to the toilet and started getting ready and my cousin suprised me with a badge, glass and a lovely pink banner!

I then got ready dressed into my dress that I'd got for my celebrations and I was able to stand up to show my dress off,

As you can see that's my lovely dress and of course my hair was lovely as you see above! Now me and cousin went into Manchester for a few drinks and we went to various places and enjoyed a good evening with my cousin and friend and I was so very grateful to them both for coming out with me and making sure I had a fantastic birthday! 

On Saturday the 21st i had finally turned 30! It was a weird thing knowing I was no longer in my 20s but it was good to. I started the day off with a lovely breakfast and I have to be honest it was lovely! I then had  to have a little nap! My friend brought me some flowers to the hotel which I thought was really nice, here they are in my kitchen!

We eventually had to wave goodbye to Manchester and head home. Now I can laugh now but at the time neither of us were impressed! We ended up being left on the train and having to go all the way to coventry! We were then helped off the train and out back on another train to Birmingham! 

We then met my uncle and 2 little girls! They brought me cards and a picture and the youngest sang happy birthday to me very cute. My uncle gave me cards and dropped me off home. My dad came later with gifts and he'd brought me a kindle which I love reading is something I really enjoy! 

On Monday I saw my friend Katy and got more lovely gifts and a good catch up with my family.

So here's to being 30 and I'm sure lots of other little celebrations through out the year! 

Happy 30th birthday vicky! 

I miss you mum and love you and wish only that you could have been with me on my 30th birthday.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Dublin 2015

As you know I've been planning a trip to Dublin for a while now well as I write this I'm sat in Dublin, watching the rugby! 

I traveled over here on Friday and it was manic! My plane was delayed and then when it did land it was the other terminal building! The flight was better than I expected nice and quick if I'm honest but a little bumpy in places! After arriving I met up with heather and we made our way to the hotel with some rowdy French fans on the top deck! Check in was quick I received the wheelchair I'd ordered .. Well you'll hear more on that later! We went across the square to get some food I didn't have much as I'd been traveling and a nice drink!

I stayed at the marker hotel in Dublin and I have to stay it's a fantastic hotel, fully accessible the staff are so helpful and couldn't do enough for you.

Saturday morning arrived and it was time for my first full day in Dublin! So here's where the fun begins! As I said I I'd ordered an electric chair. We took it out up to such a nice little shop, it was amazing haha everything was fresh and just well smelt and looked amazing! It was a bit rocky but I though oh it's because I havnt been out in this chair before no worries. Going back toward the hotel I said I'm not sure about this but will try. So went down the road a little way and then .. Well crossing a road my wheelchair caught on the curb and then round a pole and I was stuck! I didn't know weather to laugh or cry! So a man in a taxi stopped and rescued me lol he tried todo it from behind and I felt like I was going to fall out OH NO! So he came to the front and picked the wheelchair up hurray I was saved!!! Then we decided it was probably not a great idea Togo any further! Back to the hotel we went and swapped my electric wheelchair for the manual, I was a little annoyed, I will be sending an email to the company! Anyway we swapped wheelchair and then heather had to push me. We used the trams which I have to say where very clean and accessible and not really a bad price either. Next step Guinness factory! Now another few laughs as  you know my wheelchair isn't great on cobbles so that was fun a few hairy moments! 

The Guinness storehouse was amazing. They have 5 levels and a further one at the very top that you can see all of Dublin! I had rang ahead and booked my tickets so I picked them up and got to pay in pounds hurray! The lifts were fantastic, helpful people, ramps in places so I could get all around. I was really impressed! After the main tour we went up to the bar at the top and it was amazing to look out onto Dublin! I'd easily say this was one of the best tourist attractions I've visited for wheelchair accessibility.

We then decided to walk through the city centre, Dublin is a strange place in some ways because it's very old new old new you go through different area, old Dublin and then you reach areas with brand buildings. One thing though is it's got a real European buzz around it! 

We next visited the trinity college Dublin for the books of kells experience. First up I will tell you is that it's an amazing place to visit, it's a very strange experience a good one but it just amazes you. I felt really grown up LOL it was what I'd say a literature heaven! I was also extremely impressed with the wheelchair access. It's such an old building with with so much to see it just well I crnt explain the feeling. Anyway they had 2 lifts so you access the long room and the library on the top floor. If your ever in Dublin you should defiantly give it a try €10 I thought was a decent price for the experience.

We then headed back to the hotel, we just chilled out for a while before decided what to have for food. We decided to stay by the hotel and off we went to a pizza express (well the Irish equivalent). Which was fantastic, dough balls, pizza and chocolate for desert and not forgetting the wine! Then back to the hotel for a bit of chill time before sleep! 

Sunday morning came and heather was up and ready before me so she went off to the shop and brought me back a croissant, it was delicious and lasted me all day! We had planned to go and take a pic of the aviva stadium (I'm a sports fan it was a must!). We walked over to the stadium and walked past some lovely homes (I'm getting old looking at architecture!). I got some fab fab pics then I saw a tour and I said to heather shall we see if I can go on it?! It was wheelchair accessible and only €10 so I though lets do it! So off we went and what can I say it's fully accessible and one of the best stadiums I have been in, 240 wheelchair seats!! It made me want Togo to a game or concert there! The tour was fab, visiting the changing rooms, press room, press conference room, going pitch side and then up to the 5th tier for some amazing views if the city! 

After the tour we went back to the hotel and we rested for a little while then off we went to the hotel spa. We spent about 2 hours down there and omg it was so amazing, I even fell asleep!! I went into the jacuzzi and then the steam and sauna! Heather also went into the pool. My skin still feels soft (I am writing this in Dublin airport at my gate!!).

We went back and had a shower and ended up flooding the bathroom!!! I don't know how it happened but the water went into the main bedroom (horrified!!) although funny! Heather shouted turn the water off which I did straight away! Then I was stuck in the bathroom for a short while! We put towels and and dressing gowns on the floor to soak up the water! We got ready Togo out! We went for some food at the hotel which was lovely! Later we returned to the hotel and went up to the room and omg hilarious they house keeping had been in and cleaned the flood up I didn't know weather to cry or laugh! Then we settled down with good old tv and a bit of chat before heading to sleep! 

Then this morning I woke up really early (5.45am!!) then got ready to come to the airport. I had nice chat to the man at the hotel complimenting the hotel and he wished me a happy birthday for Saturday! (Thank you!)

I'm now sat in Dublin airport awaiting my flight home had a little cry when saying goodbye (I'm bad at these!!) 

Thank you for a fantastic weekend heather and Ireland you are amazing hope to see you again soon! 

Sunday, 8 February 2015

This and that!

So it's been a long old week and so much to update you on! 

I don't know where to start!! 

Well first up I'm nearly 30 and Iim still traumatised over the big 30 and I know it's not to others but it is to me! So anyway I'm starting off my YEAR long celebrations off in Dublin I leave on Friday and I'm so excited!! I measured my new bag and it's too big for cabin luggage so I was a little gutted but hurray I can take my girlie pink case instead .. Whatch out Dublin!! 

I'm visiting Dublin for a long weekend and meeting heather so I'm looking forward to that! *madness in Dublin* haha! 

Then off course it's the week of my birthday and I think I'm going for a family meal and then of to Manchester for some grooving with my cousin and meeting up with some friends, really looking forward to this as well! 

But of course this means no football in February for vicky :( and so no seeing some of my football buddies or singing with the delightful away fans! 

Then I met up with an old school friend who I've known for over 20 years! We have had a craft evening and Ben managed to knock squines on the floor, what a mess!! 

Most excitingly I am organising a charity ball with auction later this year with some of my friends for arthritis research uk and I'm super excited about this and working with some talented people, I am sure it's going to be a huge success! 

On a health matter ive been flaring quite a bit with my hands and my knee but I'm told that means the physio is working .. Well it is painful but yay for it working! 

I have also been helping disabled football fans with applying for football games and generally giving advice, I enjoy giving back :)

I feel like I've forgotten something my brain fog has been terrible recently! 

So I may not get to blog again before my birthday as I'm quite busy I shall see you on the other side of 30! 

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

A crafting evening

Well on Wednesday evening an old school friend came over to see me .. The first one ever!! 

Anyway it was so lovely to have some company and to catch up on the years we have missed! You see I've known Lucy since I was 5 and we are now heading to 30 .. That's like 25 years! 

Tonight Lucy helped me well mostly did it with me pointing and advising! We did a memory bored to hang up on my wall and it is so pretty it's all pink and blimey! It has some tickets and photos on and pretty paper :) anyway here's a picture 

Thanks so much Lucy and it was lovely to see you .. I'm not much of a crafter but I have really enjoyed doing this with you 


Sunday, 1 February 2015

Taxis and me!

So today I'm traveling home and I have got to have a little grump (sorry) about black cabs. Firstly I'd like to say I've had some fantastic cab drivers in the past helpful, talkative and safety aware.

However this trip has not been great on that level. Firstly I wasn't secured in on my trip to the hotel and was basically jumping all over the place then left on a hill to help myself, thank god for physio or I'd have been in the sh*t

My second trip back to the train station. Firstly he moaned that my chair handles were loose and he didn't think he'd be able to get me into the taxi .. Well that's funny because no one else has ever had the problem you are talking about! Then he didn't strap me in so I was literally holding on to stop myself from going anywhere. Then on arrival at the train station he literally took my money and wheeled me on to the pavement. I ended up bursting Into tears and feeling very upset.

So taxi drivers please strap wheelchair users in and be at least polite and help to put them in a safe place.

On a plus a nice man from network rail came and saw I was upset and helped me up to the platforms and got me on an earlier train home (which is where I'm writing this from, I've just got In to Stockport!)

If it wasn't for football and seeing 2 friends Duncan and briefly andy I'd have wrote of this weekend completed.

Signing off a very upset and disheartened Worcestershire lass ... We all have our bad days Manchester! 

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Manchester United v Leicester city

So I got up early as I was getting a train from my home town in worcesteshire, now it wasn't the best the train guard didn't even get me a ramp instead expected my 73 year old dad to lift me and wheelchair on to the train, so that's annoyed me and it wasn't even 10am!! 

Luckily on the train someone helped me to a wheelchair space and I met a really cute black lab x guide dog and she was a beauty! The owner told her to come to me so I have her a quick cuddle cheered me up! Then at Birmingham a lovely lad helped me and he was a Birmingham city fan (granddads football team!) so we had a good chat about football while waiting for my train! 

Once on my train to Manchester I seemingly found my self surrounded my Leicester fans!

On arrival at Manchester lucky someone got me off a city fan too! So we had a chat about both our games I predicted 2-1 .. Find out later! I got in the taxi and asked him to strap the wheelchair down .l yeah sure and then he drove off now if you have been in a taxi with me you will know my wheelchair goes all over the place! I was holding on tight!! 

We arrived at the hotel and he left me on a bloody hill to wheel myself in, I was absolutely knackered it was hard work with my bags on the back! 

On a plus the receptionist was lovely! He let me leave a key down at the reception for Duncan who was coming to meet me at the hotel :)

Hurray Duncan arrives! I feel better seeing a friendly face and I know I won't be pissed off any more! We opt to grab a drink in the bar .. I had a rosè it was nice but a little dry .. Duncan said it was horrid haha!! I met up with andy too and gave him his flag back was lovely to see him again :)

We got to old Trafford and it was his first visit to the disabled section of the ground and he laugh it was good with the ability suit to keep warm in before the match! Today's game I was seat number 4 and that meant I was right by the away fans, didn't they make some noise! Here's a picture of my view 

As you can see it was a good view and no stewards in the way hurray! 

Before the match started me and Duncan had a guess the score I said 2-1 united and Duncan said 3-1 united ... The final score was 3-1 RVP and Falco and an own goal by Morgan! I'm not sure who scored for Leicester! 

Here I am at the match with my mate 

^^ we are really good friends and I know we will always be there for each other :)

Anyway after the match we couldn't get a taxi :o so Duncan bless his heart pushed me all the way into town it took us 50 odd mins! He had indentations on his hands from the handles on the wheelchair! But good job in the dark getting me safely back to the hotel, much appreciated :) 

After Duncan left, I had a good cry as I wasn't going out and I was a it upset about it. Then I got wifi in my iPad and started talking it friends afar and texting Duncan! I had some chocolate so I'll probably get breakfast in the morning! 

Well that's it from me, a good win for united and a mixed day from me .. But good to see my friend!